Obituaries

Obituaries 3.31.21

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Juliette Rosa (Blackman) Stevens

Juliette Stevens, 71, of Westmore unexpectedly went home to be with God when she died on March 25, 2021

Juliette was born on May 12, 1949, in Hartford, Connecticut, to John and Juliette (Viens) Blackman.  At the age of six months her father died, and she and her mother moved to Westmore to be with family.  From a young age Juliette had an unbreakable devotion to her faith.  Her entire life was built upon her love of God, which she modeled for her family by the way she lived.

Young Juliette grew up with ringlets in her hair (which she hated), and was raised amidst a loving family who ran a dairy farm and sugaring operation in Westmore.  It was there that she developed a love of animals.  In her childhood years she was known to lead the calves down to pasture, spend time with her horses, and she had a gift with animals that truly brought her joy and peace.  She told stories of drinking warm maple syrup while sitting in the sugarhouse, and spending time with family and friends.

Juliette attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and Sacred Heart High School.  Rich with French Canadian history, Juliette went to school speaking fluent French and told her family she had to learn to read and write in English upon entering the first grade.

After graduation she obtained her cosmetology license and worked in Hardwick.  Always being drawn to the farm and animals, through mutual friends she met the love of her life David (Hugh) Stevens, a neighboring farmer.  They were married on April 22, 1972, in Barton at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.  From the very beginning, always being one, they drove to the church walking down the aisle together a few minutes late as the care of the animals was important and something they worked together on their entire lives.

They had four children who they shared their lives with.  Memories were made singing around the piano, having bonfires while putting wood in, gardening for food for the winter and on snowmobiling outings with the family.  Juliette instilled a strong work ethic in her children through her commitment to her family and the land.  Time was spent in the barn and hayfields, at Sunday dinners after church, and at the lake swimming, boating and relaxing.  Juliette could be found sitting and watching her family, getting the greatest enjoyment out of seeing her family having fun.

In their later years David and Juliette spent time taking the back roads, stopping to take pictures at anything that caught their eye.  A woman of few words, her love shone through with her actions.  She had a servant’s heart, and was always attending to other’s needs before her own.  This quality was exemplified through her dedication to her husband, her children, extended family and particularly her grandchildren.  One of her greatest attributes was her gift of listening, always knowing when to offer advice that was well thought out, caring and direct.

Always a mother at heart she overcame her strong dislike of technology in order to communicate with her family.  She taught herself to use Facebook and messaging to keep up with her grandchildren on a daily basis so as not to let distance keep her from being with her family.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, David (Hugh) Stevens; her children:  Laura and Scott Harris of Midland, Georgia , Aaron and Kim Stevens of Colrain, Massachusetts, Mathew Stevens of Westmore, and Luke Stevens of Barton; her grandchildren:  Evan and Toby Harris of Midland, Beau Stevens of Barton, and Grace and Clara Stevens of Colrain.  She also leaves her sister-in-law Faye and her husband, Larry Willey, of Barton; brother-in-law Keith Lidback of New Durham, New Hampshire; and a niece and nephews.

She was predeceased by a sister-in-law, Ruby Lidback.

Upon the family’s request, services will be private.  A committal service will be announced at a later date.

Online condolences may be shared at www.curtis-britch.com.

 

Carlene Hazel (Potter) Pierce

Carlene Hazel (Potter) Pierce, 82 of Albany, and West Palm Beach, Florida, died peacefully on March 23, 2021, in Barton with her family by her side.

She was born in Albany on November 1, 1938, a daughter of Hugh and Mary (Farr) Potter.  Carlene attended school in Albany and graduated from Craftsbury Academy in 1956.

After graduation she went to work at the National Life Insurance Company in Montpelier.  On February 21, 1959, she married Maurice Pierce of Morrisville.  Together they bought Harry and Kate Dyer’s store in August 1959 and operated it for 25 years until August 1984.  From 1984 to 2020 they spent their winters in West Palm Beach.  She worked for Publix Supermarket for 21 years.  Her most treasured times were spent with family, especially when her sons were both home and everyone could all be together.  She enjoyed her flowers, digging in the dirt and being out in the sun.

Carlene is survived by her husband of 62 years, Maurice; her daughter Ronda LeBlanc and her husband, Norman, of Orleans; her sons Randy and his wife, Robin, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Raymond and his wife, Linda, of Port St. Lucie, Florida; by four grandchildren:  Travis LeBlanc and his fiancé, Michelle Robert, of Newport Center, Amber LeBlanc and her significant other, Adam Rahelich, of South Burlington, Richmond Pierce and his wife, Katherine, and Reannah Pierce of Rock Hill; by two great-grandchildren:  Hudson LeBlanc of Newport Center and Olivia Pierce of Rock Hill; two step-great-granddaughters:  Kaydence and Peyton DiGirolamo of Port St Lucie; her brothers Waldo Potter of Albany and Bruce Potter and his wife, Patricia, of Sudbury; by brothers-in-law Fred Pierce of Morrisville and Raymond Pierce Jr. and his wife, Janet, of Pittsford; and by nephews, nieces and cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents, Hugh and Mary Potter; in-laws Raymond and Blanche Pierce; and sisters-in-law Beverly Potter and Frances Pierce.

As per Carlene’s wishes there will be a graveside service held at the Albany Village Cemetery at the convenience of the family.  In lieu of flowers contributions in her memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, Tennessee 38101-9929, or to Maple Lane Nursing Home Activities, 60 Maple Lane, Barton, Vermont 05822.

A special thank-you to the nurses and staff at Maple Lane Nursing Home for everything they did to make Carlene’s stay pleasant.

 

Gary Robert O’Keefe

Gary Robert O’Keefe, 64, died unexpectedly at his home in Island Pond on March 14, 2021.

Gary was born in Newport on June 25, 1956.  He was the son of Lawrence (Muscles) O’Keefe and Bertha Henry O’Keefe.

Gary graduated from North Country Union High School in 1974.  Following his graduation he started his lifelong career at Ethan Allen Manufacturing and continued there until his passing.  He developed many lifelong friendships at Ethan Allen and will be missed by all for the many laughs and jokes.

Gary married his lifelong sweetheart, Ginette Stebenne O’Keefe, of Island Pond and they remained married for the last 37 years.  They bought a home together in Island Pond, which they continued to live in.  Gary loved to come home to the many children whom Ginette babysat over the years.  He had many fun times, and the children of course couldn’t wait for their “Big Buddy” to come home from work.

Gary loved going to the Three Stooges Camp and hanging out with good friends Robert Gunn and Stuart Gaboriault.  He loved to play horseshoes and corn hole.  He loved to play a game called buttons with his mom (and anyone crazy enough to get into a game with those two), spending many endless evenings until she died.  Gary also loved to play buttons with his beloved aunt Cora Hill from Norton every Monday night for many years.

Gary was predeceased by his father, Lawrence (Muscles) O’Keefe, and his mother, Bertha Henry O’Keefe.

He is survived by his wife, Ginette Stebenne O’Keefe; three brothers:  Michael O’Keefe and his friend, Linda Deslandes, Patrick O’Keefe and his wife, Lisa O’Keefe, Roger O’Keefe and his wife, Shawnda O’Keefe, and Vicky O’Keefe, a dear friend who was like a sister in so many ways, all of Island Pond.  He is also survived by two godsons:  Thomas Lee O’Keefe of Alameda, California, and Nicholas Andrew Sykes of Island Pond; and by many nieces and nephews.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of calling hours, there will be a celebration of life at a later date and time.

 

 

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