Obituaries 2.7.2024

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Jeffrey Vinton


Jeffrey Vinton, 68, of Coventry, died on January 16, 2024, at his home. He was born on May 4, 1955, in Newport, to the late Leon Jr. and Patricia (Bartlett) Vinton.

Jeffrey was a graduate of North Country Union High School. He then went on to serve in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. During his lifetime, he worked for Kerr Auto Sales, Ruscup Motors, and NAPA Auto Parts in Barre, where he was the manager in the parts department at Mulkin Corporation. In the late ‘80s, he became partner with Gary Kerr at Country Custom 4X4 Modification and Fabrication before moving onto the parts department at Hayes Ford, Vinton’s Maple Outfit, and later retired at Sanel’s Auto Parts. He built his camp at Coventry Gore in 1991. He was a Vermont certified gun safety instructor through Vermont Fish and Wildlife, was a member of the NRA, and he enjoyed tapping trees, boiling sap, camping at Bike Week, going to his deer camp during hunting season, watching NASCAR, especially at Loudon Motor Speedway in New Hampshire, taking photographs, and spending time with Jake his dog.  Jeff always believed that he would receive a kidney transplant.

He is survived by his nephews: Patrick Barton and Gregory Vinton; niece Patricia Vinton Cassavaughn; and his lifelong friends Glenda and Gary Kerr and their family.

He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Richard and Michael Vinton, his sister Sandra Vinton Barton, and by his niece Jennifer Gilman.

A graveside service will be held at Coventry Village Cemetery with full military honors at a later date. If friends desire, memorial contributions in Jeffrey’s name may be made to the UVM Medical Center Foundation, Dialysis Unit, Courtyard at Given 3N, 111 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, Vermont 05401. Online condolences may be made at


Betty Schendorf

Betty Schendorf, 75, formerly of Newport Center, died on January 25, 2024, in Barton. She was born on September 16, 1948, in Newport, to the late Reverend John and Mary Jean (Rediker) Kilby. On May 11, 1991, she married Lee Schendorf, who survives her.

Betty was a graduate of Newport Center High School, class of 1967. She then went on and received her associate degree in cosmetology. She worked in food services at North Country Hospital from 1970 to 1984, and Newport Town School in later years. In her free time, she loved to bake, spend time with her family and friends, and attended many church functions at the Newport Center Advent Christian Church and Beebe Christian Campground, of which she was a member. She was also a longtime member and former president of the Jaycettes for Women organization.

She is survived by her son Christopher Royea of Nashville, Tennessee, and his sons Alek and Ashton; her daughter Jennifer Desroches and husband, Andrew, of Jay, and children Adrien, Mariah, and Lorali; great-grandchildren Reid, Scarlytte, and Bren; her brothers: John, Robert, Douglas, Charles and Michael Kilby; as well as sisters Linda Kilby, Dorothy Turcotte, and Alice Armstrong.

She was predeceased by her sister Patricia Kelsey.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, at the Advent Church, Vance Hill Road in Newport Center with Reverend Chris Barton officiating. If friends desire, memorial contributions in Betty’s name may be made to the Newport Center Advent Christian Church, P.O. Box 136, Newport Center, Vermont 05857. Online condolences may be made at


Michael “Mike” Reynolds

Mike Reynolds, 62, of Island Pond, died in Midway, Georgia, on January 11, 2024, surrounded by his wife and family. He was born in Newport in 1961 to Bradley and Mona Reynolds. He also had three sisters: Beth, Kim, and Jacqueline, who loved him very much. He was blessed to have six children: Cheyenne, Dani, Brittany, Shannon, Julie, and Kyle, along with 17 grandkids and one great-grandchild, whom loved him immensely. He treasured his time with them. He always made sure his family knew how much he loved them.

Mike will always be remembered for his love of family, cookouts, making sure everyone had a good laugh, and a love of outdoors and bonfires. He would always have the grill ready for chicken and ribs.

Mike Reynolds was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather. He will be missed by many and will forever and always be loved.

As long as we live, he will live.

As long as we live, he will be remembered.

As long as we live, he will be loved forever and always.

Services were held in January in Richmond Hill, Georgia, with a burial following at the Midway Methodist Church cemetery in Midway. If friends desire, donations may be made for funeral costs, masses, or to St. Jude Cancer Research Center. Please, no flower donations. Contact Germaine Reynolds at (912) 424-3914 for more donation information. Donations can be sent through Zelle, Venmo, or CashApp.

Thank you all for your continued support, thoughts and prayers.


Kim Scott Maxham

Kim Scott Maxham was born on October 13, 1959, in Hanover, New Hampshire, to Jay and Nancy Maxham.  He was the youngest of three children. Kim died January 27, 2024, at Copley Hospital, 64 years old, after a brief stay with some health issues.

Kim was baptized at the North Pomfret Congregational Church June, 1960. Kim had a traditional upbringing as a low income, farm kid in Vermont. His parents owned a farm in Johnson.  Uncle Kim and his father, Jay, didn’t always see eye to eye, especially after Kim quit high school, (he attended Lamoille Union high school and quit in the tenth grade). In 1976, his father pissed him off and said he wasn’t worth a shit and never would be and dared Kim to join the military. So, Kim enlisted in the Army, which broke his mother, Nancy’s, heart. Kim did well, he completed infantry training on March 10, 1977, at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was promoted to first Battalion Private First Class on January 27, 1978. He injured his back in Lori and Marty’s barn and had two back surgeries.  He suffered with back issues the rest of his life.

Kim leaves behind his love, his wife, and partner of the last 11 years (married for five), Lori Lucas. (He was previously married to Holly Bean.)  Kim leaves behind a son Scott Maxham and his fiancée, Beatrice Wilson.

Kim was predeceased by Scott’s mother, Maureen Peters, in 1992.  Kim also leaves behind a granddaughter Cria Maxham.

Kim was predeceased by his mother, Nancy (Tierney) Maxham, and father, Jay Maxham, and his sister Lori Before. He leaves behind his brother James Maxham.

Kim worked as a farmhand on many farms. He joked that he was an unemployed mechanic most of his life. He did woodworking and made wooden bowls and things on his lathe. In recent years Kim loved growing marijuana and was excited about legalization in Vermont.

Uncle Kim said he lived a good life without regrets. Then said well, the drugs, I regret the years on drugs. (This quote was included because it’s a good life lesson.)

Kim did not want any services to be held on his behalf. He wished to be cremated.


Jon Margolis

Jon Margolis, the veteran national political reporter for the Chicago Tribune, died January 29, 2024, at the age of 83, at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1940, to William and Mars Margolis, he attended Rutgers Preparatory School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and went on to study history at Oberlin College, graduating in 1962. A passionate newspaper reader from childhood and a self-declared “politics junkie,” Jon began a career in the news business as a reporter first for the Bergen Record in Hackensack, New Jersey, then with the Miami Herald, the Concord, New Hampshire, Monitor, and Newsday of Long Island, New York, where his coverage of the Attica Prison riots established his national reputation.

He served as Newsday‘s Albany Bureau Chief before leaving in 1973 to become a Washington national political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. During his 23 years with the Tribune, he covered four presidential elections and was on the panel of the October 5, 1988, vice presidential debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle. In 1989, Mr. Margolis moved to Chicago to work for the Tribune as a sports columnist, correspondent-at-large, and general columnist He was renowned for his clever leads and for his cogent interviews with rank-and-file voters, just two reasons his political work is featured in journalism schools across America.

After leaving the Tribune, Mr. Margolis taught classes as an adjunct at various Vermont-based colleges. For a decade ending in November 2020, he wrote regularly for VT Digger, an online news source.

Mr. Margolis is the author of one work of popular history, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964 (1999), and of The Quotable Bob Dole: Witty, Wise, and Otherwise (1996), and How to Fool Fish with Feathers, (1992) a light-hearted beginner’s guide to fly-fishing, illustrated by the cartoonist Jeff MacNelly.

Mr. Margolis was a devoted fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Mets, an avid reader, and an ardent fly fisherman. He had been to 49 of 50 states and studied Yiddish and French throughout his life. He thoroughly enjoyed dogs, opera, and a great cup of coffee.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sally, children: Katey and Michael; daughter-in-law Amy; granddaughter Shally, and sister Susanna.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: South Burlington Public Library, 180 Market Street, South Burlington, Vermont, 05403, or Barton Public Library P.O. Box 549, Barton, Vermont 05822.


Alverton Alfred Elliott

Obituary written by Al (me).

Alas, I am dead. Alverton (Al) Alfred Elliott, Jr. died at the young age of 81 on November 29, 2023 in Georgetown, Texas, of old age and stubbornness.

Al was born to Isabelle and Alverton Elliott, July 13, 1942, in Waterbury.  His dad was also born on July 13 and thus the Jr., although there was no Jr. on the birth certificate.  He is preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Kendall and Winslow.  Al married Sherron Fisher in 1964 in Morgantown, West Virginia, and she preceded him in death in 2010.  He is survived by his two brothers, Ruel of Hurricane, West Virginia, and Earle of Berlin.  He is also survived by his son, Nichalos and wife, Carol, in Arizona and grandsons, Logan in Tennessee and Ramsey in North Carolina; his son, Matthew and Lori and grandsons, Thomas and Pietro; and a granddaughter, Cristina in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

Al did not want to live alone and remarried a fellow iris lover and true Texan, Barbara Marchant, whom he met while judging the iris show in Midland, Texas.  He moved to Texas, a state with no income tax, limited snow and cold weather, and pride of being a Texan.  He inherited a stepson, Dan and stepdaughter, Carrie, along with granddaughter, Caron and husband Bo, and great-grandsons, Cole and Carter, granddaughter, Madison and husband, Casey, and great- grandsons, Mykel and Henry, and a third granddaughter, Ashley and great-grandson, Cameron, and great-granddaughters, Novalee and Saylor.  All live in either Key West, Florida, or Midland.  Al had several nephews, nieces, cousins, and other members found in the typical family tree.

He graduated from Barton Academy in 1960, obtained his bachelor of science in 1965, and master of science in 1967 at West Virginia University, and a master of arts from St. Louis University. He received his United States Air Force (USAF) Commission in 1968 and served with pride and a sense of duty. Al retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1991.

His most memorable assignments were as an associate professor of chemistry at the USAF Academy, and as a member of the USAF Nuclear Surety Inspector General team at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. His last assignment was as the Department of Energy (DOE) Senior Response Assets and Exercise Coordinator specializing in nuclear-related accidents.  He was tasked to be the DOE team leader drafting the nuclear portion of the Desert Storm Treaty and for selecting the team that conducted the nuclear portion of the on-ground inspections for weapons of mass destruction in 1991.  Al received the Department of Defense Meritorius Service Medal for his effort.  He also received three USAF Meritorious medals.

After retirement from the USAF, Al worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, as the nuclear safety compliance office manager for 16 years, retiring in 2007.  He enjoyed wearing the black hat to help ensure worker health and safety.

His hobbies included the Christmas light walking tour in his backyard in Los Alamos that required eight 20-amp circuit breakers and a second job to pay the electric bill.  He annually made at least 450 wooden cars and trucks from scrap wood for various charity groups and as a gift to the visitors of his light display.

He was a life member of the National Garden Club and American Iris Society (AIS).  He served in various positions with the local iris societies as well as on the board of directors of the AIS.  He also served as an AIS iris garden and exhibition judge.  He grew over 600 cultivars of iris and strongly believed that there are two flowers in this world — iris and weeds.

At the age of 68, Al realized that there were only 24 hours in a day and dropped his woodworking and oil painting hobbies to take up a new passion:  quilting. He completed in excess of 350 quilts that were donated to family, friends, and strangers in addition to the more than 200 quilt tops he made for the Sun City Quilt Group:  Children’s Comfort Quilt Program.  He was also passionate about making over 75 patriotic quilts for the Quilts of Valor program.

He was active in church, leading Sunday School classes, and in his later years he began to study for his religious final exam, his end of life, and at the age of 77 completed a Doctorate of Pastoral Theology degree.  He believed that there is one God that took care of his spiritual needs and His wife, Mother Nature, who took care of our beautiful physical environment.

The moss did not grow under his feet as his career and life resulted in moving 16 times: Vermont, West Virginia (3), Oklahoma, Virginia (3), Korea, Colorado (2), New Mexico (3), District of Columbia, and Texas (2).

Although he left Vermont due to career moves, he never lost the love of the state and its people. He visited often and took his Texas wife to spend the fall and winter of 2016-2017 in Glover.  This reunion of fall colors, snow, below zero temperature, white Christmas, and the Glover people was needed for his soul.  He took this opportunity to write the first-edit draft of his memoir God Walked with Me.

The view out the cottage window, overlooking Daniel’s Pond prevented writer’s block and brought back great memories.  Barbara loved the winter experience but refused to go back for another 40 below and four feet of snow.

Beginning in 2010, Al and Barbara set their GPS for no Interstate and never looked back as they helped the economy by driving in all lower 48 states, visited the other two, along with 17 countries and nine Canadian provinces.  He was glad he never lived long enough to grow up. He loved one tablespoon of Vermont maple syrup in his scotch.  His only regrets were leaving behind a huge quilt stash, too many unread books, money in the bank, too many roads untaken, too many partial bottles of scotch on the shelf, and not outliving his 101-year-old dad.

If you would like to do something to remember Al, a donation to your favorite charity in his name would be nice.  Better yet, treat your spouse, children, relative, or friend to a great meal where you do not have to do dishes or prepare the food, and relive the good times of yore.  Toast Al with a nice wine or single-malt scotch of your choice.

Thanks for being part of my life.  It has been a great journey and I hope it is not too hot where I’m going.


Sidney F. Cornell

Sidney F. Cornell, 83, of Barton, died suddenly on January 10, 2024, at his home. He was born on April 2, 1940, in East Bethel, to the late Cleveland and Phyllis (Morse) Cornell.

Sidney worked as a lineman for Barton Electric for many years.

He is survived by his siblings: Stewart and Amos Cornell, Carolyn Darcy, and Cora Joeckel; as well as nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brothers Stanley and Cleveland Cornell, and sister June Desrochers.

Service will be held at the convenience of the family in the spring. Online condolences may be made at


Francis E. Cheney Jr.

Francis E. (Frank) Cheney Jr., 76, well known businessman of Derby, died on February 1, 2024, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, with his family by his side. He was born on September 4, 1947, in Newport, to the late Francis Sr. and Jeannette (Chilafoux) Cheney. On February 17, 1996, he married Donna Ricard who survives him.

Frank was a graduate of Newport High School, class of 1966. In July of 1966, Frank married Barbara (Farrar) Difazio. Together they raised three children: Frankie, Christina, and Jessica. They were married for twenty-five years. Upon graduating from high school he enlisted in the United States Navy and served during Vietnam from 1967-1971.

During his time in the Navy, he spent thirteen months at sea on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, which he spoke of often. Frank was very proud of his service in the United States Military. After his military service, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. Frank was an owner and administrator, along with Pat Russell, of The Pines Health and Rehab in Lyndonville, Union House Nursing Home in Glover, and Maple Lane Nursing Home in Barton. He thought of his employees as members of his family and would help them in any way he could. During his lifetime Frank enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping, golfing, cooking for the family, painting wildlife, coaching sports, and spending time with his family at home and on vacations to places like Walt Disney World, Bald Head Island, North Carolina, British Columbia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Bermuda, and the Dominican Republic.

Frank, with family members and friends, went on numerous hunting and fishing trips. Most notably, with his oldest son Frankie Cheney, his father Francis Sr., his brother Dana Cheney, and his long-time best friend John Stevens, to locations such as Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Alabama, and Canada. The Cheney deer camp in Lowell provided decades of hunting memories for Frank and the entire family. He was a former member of the Newport City Council and past president of the American Legion Post 21. Frank had a native heritage which he took much pride in. He was a citizen and Tribal Council member of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation. In past years, Frank could be recognized around town by his cowboy hat and boots.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Cheney; children: Francis E. (Frankie) Cheney III and his wife, Rhonda, of Newport, Christina Cotnoir and her husband, Rene, of Derby, Jessica Fontaine and her husband, Aaron, of Red Lodge, Montana, and Jordan Cheney and his wife, Naomi, of Derby; grandchildren Nathan Cheney of Glover, Abby Giroux and her husband, Nick, of Derby, Noah Cheney of Holland, Danielle Havens and her husband, Jonathan, of Essex, Lindsay Saari and her husband, Ben, of Seattle, Washington, Alexander Cotnoir, of Derby, Liddia and Audrey Fontaine, of Red Lodge, Montana, and Harrison Cheney, of Derby; and four great- grandchildren; brother Dana Cheney and his wife, Kathy, of Newport; sisters Linda Caron and her husband, Alfred, of Troy; Mary Poulin of Richford, Bonnie Stone of Irasburg, and Marie Cheney of Newport; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his grandparents Leo and Thelma (Morse) Cheney, Archie and Mary (Johnson) Chilafoux, and his parents, Francis Sr. and Jeannette (Chilafoux) Cheney.

Friends may call from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2024, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, at the Curtis-Britch & Bouffard Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport, with Father Jim Butts officiating. Interment will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 17, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport with full military honors. Online condolences may be made at


Elsie M. Abel

Elsie M. Abel, 101, of Newport, died on January 29, 2024, at her home with her family by her side. She was born on March 27, 1922, in Newport, to the late Ernest and Lillian (Cole) Farrar. On May 20, 1944, she married Henry Abel Sr., who predeceased her on January 20, 1999.

During her lifetime she worked for Newport Plastics. She enjoyed doing crafts, crocheting, and spending time with her family.

She is survived by her grandchildren: Lori Farina and husband, David, of Derby, Todd Abel Sr. and fiancée, Jessica, of Derby, Tammi Cross and husband, Robert, of Newport, and Ryan Abel and his girlfriend, Allauna Benware, of Derby; numerous great-and great-great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law Janelle Abel of Newport; sisters-in-law Irene Farrar of Derby Line, Caroline Farrar of Derby, and Sherri Farrar of St. Albans; as well as special friends Elizabeth Combs of Newport and Shannon Lyons of Newport.

She was predeceased by her son Henry Abel Jr. on May 23, 2021; brothers Richard, Arthur, Ernie and Stanley Farrar and brother Francis Phillips; and sisters Erma Bowen and Blanche Monfette.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday February 8, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday May 20, at Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport with Reverend Laurence Wall officiating. If friends desire, memorial contributions in Elsie’s name may be made to the Newport Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 911, Newport, Vermont 05855. Online condolences may be made at


Lewis Rodney Smith

Lewis Rodney Smith, 72, of Maple Lane in East Burke, died on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.  Lewis leaves behind his wife, Mary, and children, Amy and Charles and their families.  A graveside service will be held in the spring.  A full obituary will follow.


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