Obituaries 3.20.2024

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Yvonne Wood


It is with heavy hearts the family grieves the death of Yvonne Wood, which happened at St. Johnsbury Health and Rehab Center on March 10, 2024.

Yvonne was born October 10, 1926, the youngest of eleven children, to Cordelia (Turgeon) and Aristide Vaillancourt in Holland. She attended the Holland one-room school and as she grew up, she helped on the family farm. As a young adult she started working at JCPenney in Newport, then moved to Lewiston, Maine, and then Brooklyn, New York, for work. In May 1949, she married Robert Hayes. In 1952, she moved back to Newport to be with family and raise her daughter Diane.

On February 23, 1974, she married Harold Wood, and her family grew to include Harriet Bickford and her family, Richard (Dick) Wood and his family, and Bonnie Glazier and her family.

Yvonne was employed at Montgomery Ward for nearly 25 years until its closing in December 1976. For several years she was employed at Needleman’s Bridal Salon altering wedding gown for many local brides, and she also worked for Provost’s Cards and Gifts.

Yvonne had many hobbies and always loved trying a new craft — sewing, knitting, and crocheting were among her favorites. She was also a member of the Forever Young Club and enjoyed attending the weekly gatherings and playing penny bingo. She was also an avid puzzle builder. Yvonne was a people person and enjoyed making new friends wherever she went.

Yvonne was predeceased by her husband of 25 years, Harold Wood; her parents, Cordelia and Aristide Vaillancourt; her siblings and their spouses: Zelia and William Maguire, Albertine and Romeo Charbonneau, Maurice and Rena Vaillancourt, Arthur and Lorette Vaillancourt, Joseph and Arlene Vaillancourt, Ernest and Jeannine Vaillancourt, and four other siblings who died before Yvonne was born; as well as step-son-in-law Merle Bickford, step-son-in-law Don Glazier, step-grandson Scot Bickford, and step-granddaughter Kelly Glazier.

She is survived by her daughter Diane (Hayes) and her husband, John Ward Jr., and their children: Elizabeth Ward and Ethan Ward; step-daughter Harriet Bickford and her daughter Polly Bickford; step-son Richard (Dick) Wood, his wife, Paula, and their children: Ricky Wood, Tracy and Ted Abbott; Kevin and Kristy Wood, Kelly and TJ Talbot, Jennie and Shawn Thorsell, Casey Devlin, and Emily Devlin; by her step-daughter Bonnie Glazier, and her children: Crystal and Marty Sandler, Sara Morse, Shannon Glazier, Renee Noel, and Danielle and Frank Nobleza; by 31 great-grandchildren; by 9 great-great grandchildren; and by several nieces and nephews. She was especially proud of her nephew Reverend Roger Charbonneau.  She also leaves behind her “angels” at Newport Healthcare and St. Johnsbury Health and Rehab Center.  She enjoyed their care cand company and hearing about little Violet.

Yvonne’s faith was an important part of her life and she was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church. Contributions may be made in her memory to Mater Dei Parish, P.O. Box 1078, Derby Line, Vermont 05830.

Friends may call from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 3, 2024, at Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport. Followed by a funeral Mass starting at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport, with Reverend Roger Charbonneau celebrating a Mass of Christian burial. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport. Online condolences may be made at


Warren “Sonny” Willard

Warren “Sonny” Willard died on March 10, 2024, surrounded by his family. He was born on May 31, 1946, to Charles and Laura (Lizotte) Willard.

Sonny owned Willard Plumbing and Heating for many years. He was the first person to get a perfect score on the plumbing test. Sonny loved to ride his side-by-side with his riding buddy, Aime Bonin, and to go fishing with his lifelong friend David Moore. Sonny’s favorite place was his hunting camp. He had a heart of gold that he tried to hide with a gruff exterior.

Sonny was predeceased by his parents and his brother William (Billy).

He is survived by his children: Tracy (Willard) Bianchi and her husband, Todd; Betsy Willard and her husband, Nate Therrien; and Matt Roberge and his wife, Erin. He is survived by his grandsons: Connor and Carson Bianchi, Chance and Cooper Hodgeman, Channing and Maddox Therrien, and Aiden and Bodi Roberge. He is survived by his sister Wanad (Willard) Lague.

Per Sonny’s wishes, there won’t be any services.

If anyone wishes, contributions in his name can be made to Borderline Ridge Riders P.O. Box 1218 Newport, Vermont 05855.


Origene and Marie-Jeanne Vanasse

Origene and Marie-Jeanne Vanasse, of Brownington, were a couple who exemplified “love everlasting” and died on the same day.

Marie-Jeanne (Cormier) Vanasse, 93, died peacefully on March 4, 2024, at 12:10 a.m. in Magog, Quebec, with her daughter Carmen at her side. Marie-Jeanne had struggled with Alzheimer’s for many years.

While en route to Canada to pay his last visit to his wife with his son Don and daughter-in-law Sue, Origene Vanasse, 94, died suddenly of heart failure in Orleans at 9:20 a.m. on March 4. He had just been told of his wife’s passing two hours earlier.  Shortly after receiving the news, his son Gaston and daughter-in-law Gail arrived at the fire station to be there with their father.

Marie-Jeanne “Jeanne” was born September 10, 1930, in Coaticook, Quebec, to Moise Cormier and Rose-Aline Cloutier.  She was the fifth of ten children.

Jeanne left school during the fifth grade due to her father’s passing, to help her mother raise her younger siblings. As she got older, she got a job to help support the family. During this time, she would contribute her entire paycheck toward family expenses, saving a dime each time for Sunday Mass.  As a young woman, Jeanne joined the convent but had to leave due to illness. It was then that she met Origene.

Origene “Gene” was born on July 5, 1929, in Martinville, Quebec, to Oscar Vanasse and Bernadette Richard. He was the second of 13 children.

Gene left school after the seventh grade to help his parents with logging and work on the family farm. He grew up baling hay for the neighbors and his family’s farm.  His career as a truck driver began at age 15 and he held a valid CDL license until his demise.

Gene and Jeanne married on September 1, 1956, in Coaticook, Quebec.  They soon moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where Gene worked days in a factory and trucked at night to support their two children.  He had a strong independent streak and disliked having others controlling his job. In 1959, the family moved to Brownington and continued to grow until they had five children. Gene began the Vanasse Farms trucking business, by buying and selling his own cargo, especially hay and Christmas trees. He was very particular about loading hay and would not allow anyone but himself to load his trailers. When his sons grew older and were able to drive, they worked with him. As he reached the retirement years, his son Gaston purchased the business.  But Gene’s passion for driving was so great that he refused to give up trucking and only semi-retired.  He loaded hay onto the trailers until he was 85 and continued to drive trucks until 88 years old.   It was a proud day for him when he obtained his U.S. citizenship at the age of 92.

Jeanne was a meticulous stay-at-home mother who raised their five children while Gene worked to support the family.  She delighted in giving a helping hand to anyone who needed it, especially if it involved crafting or being part of the cleanup crew. She was skilled at making uniquely creative crafts for family events and their New Year’s Day family parties were always filled with laughter and fun. Jeanne would also assist Gene in his truck garage, either handing tools to him or painting rims.  She would bring the children out with her and have them help. In the winter, she would shovel the driveway, sometimes late at night, to make sure the trucks would not get stuck in the snow.

The family loved her soup! No one could quite make it like she did. She also enjoyed ice cream. Her ice cream sundaes were unrivaled.  Any topping you could ask for, she had it in the pantry. Jeanne and Gene enjoyed playing card games and taught their children and grandchildren so they could have card nights. Jeanne especially loved parades.  She would attend any parade and would encourage the grandchildren to make a parade to celebrate relatives’ birthdays.  They would play instruments, use noise makers, and sing while riding their bikes, scooters, wagons, and Big Wheels. She really enjoyed watching the July Fourth parade in Derby. She also took pleasure in sitting on her porch and just watching traffic go by.  Both her and Gene enjoyed watching Gaston and his family hay the fields by their house. Sometimes Gene would take his lawn mower, using it as a four-wheeler, and follow the hay baler around the fields.

As a French speaking Canadian couple that moved to the U.S., Gene and Jeanne had to overcome the language barrier and their English was self-taught.  Sometimes they spoke English mixed with French, but they still were able to communicate with the English-speaking in-laws and grandchildren.

Gene fully retired to take care of Jeanne when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  He took over the housework, cooking, and laundry; all things he had to learn since she had overseen the house care.  When the disease progressed, he moved in with her at a nursing home in Canada so she would not be alone.  They shared a room for almost two years.  He was very committed to her care until he could no longer do it and she had to be moved to the Alzheimer’s unit.  Even then, he stayed in a room at the nursing home so he could be close by and visit her every day.

Jeanne was the wind beneath Gene’s wings. It showed in the ways he cared for her during her Alzheimer’s battle and by dying on the same day as her so she would not have to go to Heaven alone.

They are survived by their children: Carmen (Vanasse) Young, predeceased by husband, Dino Young, and their children: Dameion, and his wife, Melinda; Deanna and her husband, Linc; Charlene and her husband, Pierre; Alton; Michelle; and Shawntel.

They were predeceased by their son Denis Vanasse.  They are survived by his widow, Amber Bickford, and their son Dustin and his fiancée, Tracey. They are also survived by Michel Vanasse and his son Brandon and his wife, Elizabeth.  They are survived by Gaston Vanasse and his wife, Gail, and their children: Logan and his wife, Chelsea, Leslie, and Nicholas, and his girlfriend, Sabrina; by Donald Vanasse and his wife, Sue, and their children: Adam and his wife, Cathy, Patrick, and Bradley.

They are also survived by many great-grandchildren: PJ, Zoie, Taylor, George, Ava, Zander, Alex, Autumn, Bella, Tristan, Drayden, Brooklyn, Oden, Bradley Jr., Aydria, Sebastian, Elena, Skyllarai, Sophia, Zaryia, Atticus, and Isla.  Also by an honorary grandchild: Michelle Olden.

The brothers and sisters of the Vanasse family: Réal and Liette Grenier, Dolorès, Rosaire and the late Gisèle Carrier, Louise Nadeau, Denise and late Yvon Cardin, Lise and Raoul Lapré, Gisèle and Paul Bédard, Paul-Émile and Suzanne Labrecque, Juliette and Yvan (Jocelyne Boivin). They were the brother and sister-in-law of the late Renaud, married to the late Marielle Labbé, the late Gaétane and the late Ludger Payeur, and the late Gérard.

The brothers and sisters of the Cormier family: Thérèse and late Rolland Lemerise, Normand and the late Bella Carignan, Clémence Madore, Philippe and Lisette (Louise) Viel, and Pauline and her late partner Denis Lauzon. They were the sister and brother-in-law of the late Rolland and the late Gisèle Carignan, Thérèse Turcotte, the late Rose-Aimée and her partner, the late Rosaire Rodrigue, the late Simonne and her partner, the late Roger Fontaine, the late Roger and his  late partner Ginette Jubinville, and the late Denis Cotnoir and his partner Madeleine.

They are also survived by several nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives, and friends.


The family would like to give extra special thanks to the staff at Stanstead Manor in Stanstead, Quebec, for the excellent and loving care that they provided for their parents.   Thank you to Orleans Fire department and Orleans ambulance for their quick response in attempting to help Gene.  Special thanks to cousins Diane Michaud and Andre Vanasse for their invaluable assistance with Jeanne’s Canadian funeral arrangements and more.  Thank you to Dr. Mitchell Sullivan, Dartmouth hospital, the staff, and the doctors (special thanks to Dr. Laura Eastman) for their special care of Gene. 


Calling hours to be held at St. Edward’s Parish Hall, 250 Main Street, Derby Line, from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday, April 5.  Funeral services will immediately follow at 11:30 a.m. at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, officiated by Father James Butts.  A meal and celebration of life will follow at St. Edward’s Parish Hall.

Interment ceremony in St. Theresa’s Cemetery will be held on Sunday, June 23. Time to be announced.

In honor of Jeanne, the family is asking people who are attending the burial ceremony to join in making a BIG parade of vehicles to the cemetery.  Meeting place to be announced.

Should friends desire, contributions in their memory may be made to the NEK Fraternal Order of Eagles #4329, 56 Eagle Nest Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855. Online condolences may be made at


Brian Leslie  Perry

Brian Leslie Perry, 76, a longtime member and businessman in the Hardwick Community, died peacefully on March 10, 2024, in the comfort of his home, following a courageous battle with cancer. His family was by his side.

Brian was born in Hardwick on December 13, 1947, the eldest of six children born to Francis and Eleanor (Riach) Perry. He graduated from Hardwick Academy in the class of 1966.

On June 7, 1969, Brian married his high school sweetheart, Donna Rae Williams, at the United Church in Hardwick.  They also made their home and raised their family in Hardwick.

Brian was always a hard-working man.  While in high school he worked as a farmhand for Noel Lussier. Following his education, he was employed by several businesses including Seward, and A.G. Anderson Concrete Company in Waterbury for 18 years.  Later, Brian started his own concrete and foundation business, Brian Perry and Sons Construction Inc., which he operated for 38 years. During that same time, he started a snow plowing and garbage removal service, which served Hardwick and many surrounding towns. Brian loved working and passed his work ethics on to his children.

He was a member of the United Church of Hardwick. He enjoyed wintering in Florida, auto racing, camping, and large gatherings at his home with friends, but most of all he was a family man. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and loved their visits.

Survivors include: his wife, Donna R. Perry, of Hardwick; seven children: Jeffrey and wife, Tiffany Perry, of Hardwick, Jennifer and her husband, Steven Deyo, of Berlin, Dorothy Perry of Winston Salem, North Carolina, Elizabeth Perry of Hardwick, Holly Perry of Seaman, Ohio, Michelle and her husband, Aaron Cochran, of Hardwick, Lisa and her husband, Dave Chalifoux, of Cameron, North Carolina; by her siblings: Bruce Perry of Stannard, Valerie and her husband, Bryan Putvain, of Bushnell, Florida, and Frances Miller of South Carolina; by his grandchildren: Jaden Perry, Jamon Perry, Jacob Perry, Jessica and Ellery IV Packard, Emily and Shawn Swallow, Madison Deyo,  Eric Gilman Jr., Ethan Lapierre, William Loebker, Cassidy Cochran, Breonna Cochran, Breadon Chalifoux, Brooklyn Chalifoux, and Bristol Chalifoux; by his great-grandchildren: Chase Packard, Zoey Packard, Mackenzie Swallow, Peyton Swallow, and Benjamin Swallow due in July; and by special family friends: Seamus O’Kelly, Madison Urie, Chelsea Hoadley, Paislee Judkins, Calum Judkins, and Bethany Conway.

Brian was predeceased by his son Richard “Ricky” Perry in 1988; his parents, Francis and Eleanor Perry, and by two siblings: Debbie Robarge and Stephen Perry.

Visiting hours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 22, at the Hazen Union School Gymnasium, 126 Hazen Union Drive, Hardwick.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the United Church of Hardwick with Reverend Ed Sunday-Winter officiating.  A reception will immediately follow at the American Legion Post # 7 in Hardwick.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the United Church of Hardwick, P.O. Box 396, Hardwick, Vermont 05843, or to the Hardwick Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 837, Hardwick, Vermont 05843. Online condolences are welcomed at:


Florence Christina (Picard) Monfette

Florence Christina (Picard) Monfette, 93, of Barton, died on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. She was also known as “Toot” or “Tootie.”  Florence was born on September 8, 1930, in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada, as an only child to her parents, Bernice (Goodsell) and William Picard.

She worked at Spencers as a seamstress until meeting her husband, Francis, who brought her to the United States. They married on February 10, 1950. They resided in Island Pond and Orleans for many years, and most recently lived in Barton. She was a homemaker who loved raising and taking care of her family.

Florence was predeceased by her husband, Francis Monfette, on August 13, 2014, and by their infant daughter Lauri Ann Monfette on April 21, 1962. She was predeceased by her best friends, Pat and Evelina.

She is survived by her children: Brian Monfette and his wife, Rhonda, of Orleans; Stephen Monfette, of Barton; and Debra Monfette, of Barton; by her grandchildren: Sonya Sackett and her fiancée, Jason Hale, of Albany; Tonya Monfette, of Albany; Tosha Wilcox of Orleans; Angela Carlin and her husband, Raymond, of Irasburg; and Renee Monfette and her partner, Todd LaRose, of Derby; by her great-grandchildren: Shania McKeogh and her husband, Conor, of Albany; Breanne Stone and her husband, Bruce III, of Coventry; Hunter Carlin, of Irasburg; and Donnie Kontoes Jr. and Dominick Wilcox, of Orleans; and great-great-granddaughter Avelyn Stone of Coventry. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.

Florence was the true matriarch of her family. She loved to put together jigsaw puzzles,

crosswords, and was a great cook. She had a green thumb for growing vegetables and enjoyed a good beer with some country-western music.

A graveside service will be held in the spring, May 11, at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary’s

Cemetery in Newport. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Orleans-Essex VNA and Hospice, 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855. Online condolences may be made at


Joyce Emily Morse Mayhew

Joyce Emily Morse Mayhew, 97, of Jay, died at Bel-Aire Nursing Home in Newport, surrounded by her loving family on March 13, 2024. She was born on February 23, 1927, in the town of Jay, the daughter of Fred M. Morse and Muriel (Baraw) Morse.

She attended graded school in Jay and high school in North Troy.  After high school she spent a few years on the family farm.  A few of the other places she worked were: Quimby’s, Jay Peak ski area, the motor vehicle department in Montpelier, and the health department in Burlington.  She retired in 1989 when she married Gordon Mayhew who predeceased her in 1994.

Joyce enjoyed reading, sewing, crafts, traveling, and being outdoors.

She is survived by her best friend and sister-in-law Beverly Morse and Beverly’s children: Norman and Heidi Morse of Jay, and their children: Mikayla Morse and significant other, Chris Lantagne, of Coventry and Quintin Morse of Jay; Alice and Ralph Perry of Jay, and their children: Ethan Perry and his husband, Thomas Savage, of Jay, and Jamin Perry and three sons of East Hardwick. She is also survived by Gordon’s children and their families: Roland and Rosemary Mayhew of Troy, daughter-in-law Lori Mayhew of North Troy, David and Debbie Mayhew of North Troy, Robert and Carla Mayhew of Kansas, Eugene and Candy Mayhew of North Troy, and Annette and Gordon Brown of Troy. She is also survived by 21 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her brother Fred Morse and her son Larry Mayhew.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 25, 2024, at 2 p.m. at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 4670 Darling Hill Road, Derby, with the Reverend Michael Haddad officiating. Friends may call on Monday, March 25, at the funeral home, from noon until the hour of the funeral. Spring interment will be held on May 6 at the Jay Cemetery at 1 p.m.  Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Bel-Aire Nursing Home Activities Fund, 35 Bel-Aire Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.  Online condolences may be made at


Wilbur Locke

Wilbur Locke died on March 12, 2024, at home at the age of 80, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on October 6, 1943, to Dorothy (Martin) and Kenneth Locke in Albany Center.  Graduating from Orleans High School in 1961, he then joined the U.S. Army in August of 1964. Stationed in Germany, he serviced tanks and other vehicles damaged in Vietnam as a track vehicle repairer and shop supervisor. He was honorably discharged in July of 1967 as an SP5. He returned home to marry his teenage sweetheart, Susan Gebbie. They soon settled into their current home in East Albany, where they raised their three daughters. They had many beloved animals, from horses to rabbits, pets and hunting dogs, cats, chickens, and one cow. He fondly referred to his home as “Locke’s Mini-Ranch,” even signing cards to include his pets — most recently, “Osker and chickens.”

Wilbur worked in mechanics and parts his entire life, from body jobs in his own garage to managing Newport Auto Supply, finishing his career at Bond Auto Supply. After 47 years in the parts business, he retired at the age of 70.

Wilbur enjoyed decades of hunting with his family on the mountain.

He was predeceased by his parents; a brother Donnie; his in-laws, Donald and Madeline Gebbie; his uncle Roger Locke; in-laws: Pauline Locke, Donald Gebbie II, and Donald Mercier; and others.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years and his children: Deborah Locke-Rousseau and DJ Rousseau, JoAnne Locke, and Amy Locke and her significant other, Josh Burden; his “beautiful grandchildren”: Ember, Carbur, and Foster Rousseau; older brother and best friend Marcel Locke, siblings: William and Judy Locke, Kenneth Jr., Ronald, and Donna and John Morley; in-laws Patricia Mercier, Peter and Sandy Gebbie, and Aileen Gebbie; and many generations of nieces and nephews.


Many thanks to special neighbors and family; Irasburg Fire Department; Dr. Gregory Ripple and Stephanie LaRoza, APRN, and the many caring nurses at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the NVRH infusion lab.


Per Wilbur’s wishes, there will be no service. A private burial will be held with immediate family in the spring. If you wish to honor Wilbur, his family asks that you consider donations to the Northeast Kingdom Cancer Action Network at or NEKCAN P.O. Box 4415, St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819, the Orleans Emergency Unit, 1 Memorial Square, Orleans, Vermont 05860, or a cause of your choosing. Online condolences may be made at



Paulette E. Major

Paulette E. Major, 80, of East Burke, died on March 12, 2024, in St. Johnsbury.  She was born on October 6, 1943, in East Charleston to Rheal and Mildred (Gonyaw) Major. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 4670 Darling Hill Road in Derby, with Reverend David Lisner officiating. Full obituary to follow in next week’s edition. Online condolences may be made at


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