Obituaries

Obituaries 4.17.202

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Clara Alberta Brochu

 

It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that the family of Clara Alberta Brochu announces her death on March 29, 2024, in Ellsworth, Maine.

Clara was born on February 5, 1939, and was the third child of fourteen born to Gerard and Bella Brochu who first settled their family in a beautiful farmhouse on the Lane Road in Coventry.

Clara attended Sacred Heart High School, graduating in 1957.  She married Malcolm Jacobs, father of her daughters Judy, Kathleen, Sharon, and Laura.  Clara felt a deep sense of pride and joy for Kathleen, Sharon and Laura while she carried a life-long grief from the loss of her infant daughter Judy.

Clara was employed in the Newport area at Fishman’s Department Store, the Eastside Restaurant, and Aubuchon Hardware.  In the 1970s she moved to the Ellsworth, Maine, area with her daughters.  Clara found employment as a compassionate caregiver for the disabled and elderly.  Her outgoing and jovial personality drew many people to her and her ability to treat her clients with deep compassion earned her genuine love from them.

Clara didn’t waste a minute when it came to having fun.  She enjoyed collecting dolls, rarely passing up the opportunity to purchase or trade one.  She loved eating out, especially if she could enjoy a yummy plate of curly Q’s or a western meal.  She never drove by a yard sale without stopping and found many treasures while traveling between her Ellsworth home and Vermont, where she visited her family every summer.  Clara often relaxed by working on crossword and sudoku puzzles, which kept her mind sharp.  Her favorite pastime was a good game of bingo and she often went home a lucky winner.  If she happened to lose, she could be heard jokingly uttering “Bingo sucks!”  She also enjoyed singing and dancing at music jam sessions held at Jordan’s, Ross Manor, and The Bobbin Mill.

Clara is survived by her three daughters:  Kathleen Brown and her husband, Bill, Sharon Malone and her husband, George, and Laura Jacobs.  She is survived by seven grandchildren:  Ami, Stefani, Christi, Luci, Judy, Victoria, and Collette; along with six great-grandchildren. Clara is survived by her siblings:  Eva Brochu, Rita Choquette, Lea Cook, Rene Brochu, Gerard Brochu, Martha Dupont, Theresa Round and her husband, Todd, Patricia Mann, and John Brochu and his wife, Claire.

She was predeceased by her infant daughter Judy Jacobs; parents, Gerard and Bella Brochu;
siblings: Anna Sanville, Maria Buck, Stephen Brochu, and Alfred Brochu; and by her great-granddaughter Mattie Elle Purdy.

Clara will be remembered for her quick wit, fun loving, sassy, stubborn, and sensitive personality.

In her memory, donations can be made to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association or for Cancer Research.  A celebration of live will be held at a later date.

 

James Sheltra

On March 18, 2024, James (Jim) Sheltra of Newport died, leaving his beloved wife, Kimberly Bean Sheltra, after 17 years of marriage. He also left behind older brother Bernard Shear and his wife, Diane; nephews Drew and Jeff of North Carolina; sister Lisa Marie Spates and her husband, Lee; niece Mara Spates and her son Mateo of Newport; nephew Logan Spates of North Carolina; sister Janet Richard of Derby; nephew Lucus Richard of South Carolina; and friends from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Jim was born February 5, 1959, to Mary Shear Sheltra and Leo Sheltra in Newport, where he resided throughout his life.  He graduated from North Country High School and went on to work at various janitorial jobs with determination for perfection.  He enjoyed working in his yard using his horticulture skills from high school.

Jim shared his lifelong passion for sports with both his family and friends, rooting for the Red Sox, Miami Dolphins, Boston Bruins, and Lake Monsters. After refurbishing his 1966 Chevy Nova Super Sport, it prompted his interest in all antique cars.  Jim’s hunting skills narrowed down to locating and capturing the perfect Matchbox vehicle for his nephew Logan, who he always called “little buddy.”

Former classmates in school, Jim’s friendship with Kim later evolved into marriage in 2007.  With both of their love of animals, they adopted dogs from a nearby shelter.  Two of the trusted companions were Ace, a German shepard mix and Makenzie, a small terrier mix.

Jim was a devoted family member who was always ready to help or advise on needed repairs or projects for others. As a true native Vermonter, Jim never kept anyone guessing what he was thinking. He was straightforward and steadfast regarding his opinions and happy to express them.

Brother Bernie: As Jim’s older brother Bernie, we spent his early years bonding.  We liked to spend time fishing and time with our grandparents at their camp. He was always with me then and today.

Nephew Logan: I couldn’t be more grateful to have had Jim as my uncle. My fondest memories were playing toss or hitting off the tee for hours until our parents came to pick up my sister and I. The man would do his best to keep the peace between us, with myself telling Mara how things are supposed to be played, whilst Mara played with the dandelions and insects, which were of much greater interest. Jim enjoyed every second of it. He watched us grow through the years, attending just about every sporting event, concert, and every other obtuse activity. The purest lover of sports that I have ever known, Jim was a regular traveler of the various sporting events with his wife, Kim, or best friends — especially opportunities to put hands on the trophies won by the Red Sox and Bruins. If there was a chance, a long day trip would be taken. I can’t count on my hands the number of Lake Monster games attended with this man. He was always enthusiastic for a trip to the Burlington area for baseball and popcorn. Jim was always a believer in keeping family close, regardless of distance. A regular caller to all relatives, one would always expect a weekly chat with the man. Conversations would range from the unpredictable New England weather to the latest player trades and scores. I’m going to miss those calls, but more the ones I missed. Jim’s memory will never be forgotten, for his enduring love of his friends and family has left an everlasting impression. I love you and will miss you greatly.

Sister Lisa: He called me Little Sis. Jim and I didn’t always see eye to eye, like many siblings. We argued and laughed over family, friends, and the fact he was way too old-fashioned, and I was stubborn. If I had to pick a memory that shows that he was a caring brother, it would be the time I needed a new bicycle. My father was retired, and he was limited on funds, so Jim went all the way to Burlington one day and brought home my first adult 12-speed bike. He had just started his first full-time job at Butterfields and didn’t think twice about getting that bike. It was too big, and I know it was expensive back in those days, but he bought it because it was for me.  FYI, I had to recycle it last year because of too much rust.  Later, over the years, he was all about my children and spoiling them with love and attention. Thanks Bro, and I hope you’re riding your SS Nova Sport around in the next place real fast and with the music blaring.

Niece Maras: From the time I can remember, my uncle Jim was, and will always be, the best uncle to me. When he was able, Jim attended many of my childhood milestones (birthdays, field hockey games, horse shows, graduation) and always called if he couldn’t make it to hear all about it. Always making a point he was there.  I think he loved and supported me and my brother just as we were his own children that he never had the chance to have. He loved his family near and far. In his last year of life, he made his last beautiful connection with my son. Always reminding me “Miss Mara, that son of yours is just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” That I will cherish. The photos I have of you and him will hold close to my heart. I know you’re going to still be in my corner every step of the way that I still need to go. Much love and light my Uncle Jim. Your Miss Mara.

Jim’s love for family, his honest nature and his loyalty to lifelong friends will truly be missed.

There will be no calling hours. A private burial will take place with the family later in the summer. Remember Jim by volunteering at a local animal shelter or donating to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society, Potters Angels Rescue, or the Jimmy Fund.  Please visit awrfh.com to share your memories and condolences.

 

Phyllis Belle Roberts Riggie

Phyllis Belle Roberts Riggie, 93, died on April 3, 2024, in Elderwood Nursing Home in Burlington.

She was predeceased in 2010 by her husband, Dr. Brian Riggie, the love of her life. She leaves her special friends and caregivers Kim and Michael Corley of Burlington and Dolores and David Robbins of Island Pond, who all loved her dearly.

Phyllis led a full life.  She was awarded the English Book Prize while at Essex Junction High School. She graduated with her RN from Fanny Allen School of Nursing.  She performed private duty care there until becoming a receptionist in her husband’s dental practice. She and Brian traveled extensively and stayed in several places for long periods of time.

Phyllis and Brian eventually moved to Island Pond, Brian’s hometown. She became very active in the Island Pond community. She was a receptionist at the medical center and was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and the ladies’ auxiliaries of the VFW and American Legion. Phyllis served as a town auditor and a member of the Civil Board of Authority.

Phyllis was full of life. She was always raring to go anywhere, especially clothes shopping. She loved having fun and looked forward to attending or hosting a party or dinner. She appeared in and choreographed the dances in many of the variety shows in Island Pond. She once found herself in the same bathroom with Barbara Bush and just happened to have with her Barbara’s book, which Barbara graciously signed. Phyllis was an avid reader and could be seen lugging a bag of books from the library, enough to last a week because she usually read a book a day.  Anyone who knew Phyllis will remember her love of dogs, all named after beers. One could often see Sam Adams, her latest black lab, pulling her down the street, and she would be loving every minute of it.

Many thanks to all the wonderful caregivers at Elderwood Nursing Home, and the Bayada Hospice care team.  A special thank-you to Diane Jarvis…you are a friend forever.

She will be interred in a private burial beside her husband in Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Phyllis would love that any contributions in her memory be made to an animal shelter. To send online condolences please visit www.vtfuneralhomes.com.

 

Kevin A. Rice

Kevin A. Rice, 68, of Springfield, died surrounded by his family on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire after a brief illness. He was born on October 19, 1955, in Newport, to Wayne and Frances (Wright) Rice of Orleans.

He attended Lake Region Union High School in Orleans, graduating in 1973. He went on to attend the New Hampshire Vocational Tech College in Berlin, New Hampshire, and

Vermont Tech in Randolph. He married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Blodgett, of Barton, on August 7, 1976.

Kevin worked at Jones and Lamson in Springfield and Fellows Corporation in North

Springfield before beginning a 29-year career at General Electric in Rutland as a tool design engineer and team leader. While at General Electric, Kevin and his team were awarded the Corbett D. Caudill Award for developing a new methodology for airfoil die design.

Kevin loved fishing, especially on the Willoughby River in Orleans. He also enjoyed

hunting, working in his gardens, operating his sawmill, and spending time on Mount Ephraim with his tractor. He was an avid sports fan following all the Boston teams as well as college basketball. Kevin was an accomplished martial artist, achieving the rank of fourth degree black belt in Okinawan Karate. He also loved cooking. His stews, smoked meats, and boiled dinners were among his specialties.

Over the years Kevin and Juanita enjoyed traveling throughout the United States

and abroad, including Italy, Greece, Spain, Croatia, France, Central America, and

the Caribbean, among others. Wells Beach, Maine, was a favorite yearly vacation.

Kevin is survived by his wife, Juanita; his two daughters: Laura Rice Seder and her

husband, Jonathan, of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Ami Rice of Springfield; his grandson Lucas Kevin Rice of Springfield; and siblings: Wayne Rice and his wife, Nancy, of

Kennesaw, Georgia, Karl Rice and his wife, Kathleen, of Nashua, New Hampshire, Karen Blanchette and her husband, Brian, of South Burlington, and Ronald Rice and his wife, Mariette, of Essex Junction. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, Wayne and Frances Rice; his beloved son Aaron Rice; and several well-loved family dogs and cats.

An informal memorial will be held at the Hartness House in Springfield on May 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. Interment will be held at a later date at Pleasant View Cemetery in Orleans.

 

Sally Ann McAllister

Sally Ann McAllister, age 73, died and went to Heaven peacefully, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, Maine.

Sally was born in Newport on March 14, 1951, she was the daughter of the late Urban and Rejane (Martel) Starr. She was a 1969 graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport. On June 20, 1970, she married the love of her life, Thomas A. McAllister. Sally loved the outdoors, and enjoyed camping, fishing, and gardening as well as cooking and sewing.  In her younger years, Sally enjoyed skiing and hunting with her husband. Prior to her retirement, she worked as a dental assistant, all while maintaining an immaculate house and raising her girls.

Sally is survived by her loving husband, Thomas A. McAllister; her two daughters: Stacey and husband, Karson Clark, of Lyndonville, and Tabitha McAllister and Greg Nazaroff of Eustis, Maine. She also leaves behind her five beloved grandchildren: Brittany McAllister, Michaela Royea, Taylor Daley, Grace Clark, and Karson Clark III.  She also leaves behind three great-grandchildren: Addison and Willow Daley, and Keagan McAllister; as well as her beloved sister Linda Alberghini and sister Jane Leblanc; and brothers: Urban Starr Jr. and David Starr.  Sally was predeceased by her brothers: Jay and George Starr.

Family and friends may share condolences and fond memories of Sally on her tribute page at www.albert-burpee.com.

There will be a service held at the St. Andre BesseTte Parish in Troy on April 20, at 11 a.m. immediately followed by fellowship and
refreshments at the Troy Parish Hall.

 

Doris Mae (Rollins) LaClair

Doris Mae (Rollins) LaClair died on April 7, 2024, at the age of 87. She was born on November 5, 1936, in Barton.

Doris’ greatest joy came from spending time with her family. She was a devoted, caring wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Her fun-loving personality will be missed by many.

She is survived by her loving husband, Carroll LaClair, and her children: James LaClair and wife, Cyndy, Gary LaClair and wife, Justine, Dennis LaClair and wife, Sharyn, Tina LaClair, Mark LaClair and wife, Joy, Diane LaClair and partner, Michael Poussard, Dawn LaClair and husband, Glen Hermanowicz, and by her sisters Joan Frobig and Mary Young.

Doris had 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.  She was predeceased by her son Stephen LaClair; granddaughter Shannon Bergeron; great-granddaughter Makenzie Divers; her parents, Herbert and Helen Rollins; her brother Richard Rollins; and sister Myrtle Jerseykowski.

She worked at Sprague Electric for over 30 years.  She greatly enjoyed her work at Sprague and had made many lasting friendships.

There was a private viewing for the family only at Bennett Funeral Home in Concord, New Hampshire, on Saturday, April 13.

Funeral services to honor Doris’ life will be held at a later date at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Her memory will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.

 

James D. Kavanagh

James Donald Lloyd Kavanagh died in Newport on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 9:21 p.m. surrounded by his family, whom he cherished above all.

The life he and his wife, Judy, created had an amusing beginning when two kids bumped heads underwater going after the same white rock in Wallace Pond in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Friendship turned to courtship, and eventually a marriage of 61 years with four children, six grandchildren, two bonus grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Born in Lac Megantic, Quebec, on January 3, 1942, James (Jim) was the youngest of eight children born to Albert and Alice Kavanagh. Later, the family moved to Beecher Falls, where Jim grew up and went to school. He was a standout athlete at Canaan Memorial High School, especially in basketball and was captain of the 1961 team that won both the league title and the Northeastern Conference Tournament.

Jim was also an avid hockey player. He played on several teams in Eastern Quebec, and in the Boston area Northshore leagues. Berlin High School in New Hampshire, which was a feeder team for the Montreal Canadiens, tried to recruit him, but he declined the offer, as he did not want to be that far away from the love of his life, Judy.

At the age of fifteen, Jim worked loading log trucks in Beecher Falls that fed various sawmills in the area. This was also the home of the first Ethan Allen furniture plant in the country. At the age of sixteen, he took a job as a tour guide for the factory as he was bilingual in both French and English. This job was a steppingstone to a second career as a manufacturer’s representative in later years.

After high school, Jim earned his degree from the New England School of Mortuary Science where he also served as class president. Jim began his 37-year career as a funeral director in Newport with Rushford Funeral Home, followed by several years with Knight Funeral Home in Windsor, and returning to Newport to become a partner in what eventually became Converse Rushford Funeral Home. To say he touched the lives of many is an understatement. He was honored to help families in their time of need, and he did it with great care and compassion. This included providing outstanding service to the people of St. Johnsbury during a time of crisis, for which he earned an award from the state of Vermont. Jim worked for two years to pass a Vermont State law to protect consumers of funeral services from fraud and/or mismanagement of funds. Jim was also an active member and served as president of the Vermont State Funeral Board and was appointed to the Vermont State Board of Funeral Service by Governor Madeline Kunin in 1989. Jim retired from the funeral business in 1997.

While in Windsor, Jim took a hiatus from being a funeral director and accepted a job with Hanson Tools as a manufacturer’s representative. He turned this into a second career and created The James D. Kavanagh Company, working with the Vermont Ethan Allen Furniture Division where he built strong relationships that lasted the rest of his life.

Jim especially enjoyed passing on his love of sports to another generation, including coaching his sons Mike and Timmy’s Little League and hockey teams. In addition to being a little league coach, he served as commissioner and was instrumental in organizing the Newport hockey program, which became part of the Border Minor Hockey League. His teams achieved great successes and during their second year, went on to win league and tournament championships with an undefeated record, and made it to the second round of the Quebec provincial play-offs. He passed along his love of hockey to his children and grandchildren who, like him, have all been lifelong Montreal Canadiens fans (and naturally despise the Bruins). Go, Habs, Go!

Jim was involved in the local community as a member of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree, and a lifelong member of the Elks Club. He was president of the St. Mary’s Cemetery Association and was inducted into and later ran the Orleans and Northern Essex Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also an integral part of organizing the first international swim of Lake Memphremagog and the international speed skating competition, both taking place in the 1980s and drawing competitors from all over the world.

Even with active work and community commitments, Jim always carved out time for his family.  Dinner was at 5 p.m. sharp every day and everyone was there talking over the day, planning family vacations, and telling stories and jokes. Family vacations included trips to Maine, New York City, Florida, Aruba, and Ireland. But the favorite family trip was an annual summer vacation to Plum Island, Massachusetts, where all would enjoy days on the beach, swimming in the ocean, fishing, shopping, and playing games. Jim and Judy also enjoyed many trips to the National Funeral Directors Conventions, experiencing destinations such as Atlanta, Charleston, San Antonio, and Chicago. It was during the trip to Chicago that Jim checked off a bucket list item when he and Judy drove to South Bend, Indiana, to attend a Notre Dame football game. He was a huge fan of the “Fighting Irish” and exemplified the team motto of “Play like a champion today” with his competitive nature.

In his younger years, his sisters affectionately named him Jimmy, a name that was used by those that knew him well and loved him dearly. Jimmy had a kind and generous heart and spirit. He was warm, genuine, and nurturing. He loved a good party and was an excellent host. Jimmy made friends wherever he went and welcomed everyone into his house and made them feel completely at home. He had the ability to connect with individuals of all ages and was eager to travel with friends and family and create memories.

Jim is survived by his wife of 61 years, Judy; their four children: Michael and wife, Cynthia, Timmy and wife, Candy, Andrea and husband, Ewell, and Katy and husband, Martin; six grandchildren: Matthew Kavanagh and wife, Kristen, Alex Kavanagh and wife, Amanda, Sawyer Kavanagh and partner, Quinn, Jack Kavanagh, and Kristopher and Elizabeth Smith; two bonus grandchildren, Danielle and Grant Thibault; and two great-grandchildren Evy-Lou Kavanagh and Abraham Thibault. Jim is also survived by two sisters: Noreen Legendre and Jean Rainville; brother- and sister-in law David and Patricia Nelson; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is predeceased by his parents, Albert and Alice (McInerney) Kavanagh; sisters Margaret, Patricia, Elizabeth, and Kathleen; brother John-Havey; and his in-laws, Arthur and Catherine Nelson.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport on Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow at the Eastside Restaurant in Newport for family and friends to gather and share stories.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to North Country Hospital, care of the Foundation Office, 189 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05885, attention Wendy Franklin.  In his later years, Jim interacted with many compassionate nurses and healthcare professionals. He appreciated the care they provided, and many had a fondness for him and his Irish charm. His favorite nurse though was his lifelong partner, Judy. Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.

 

Herbert “Herb” Harvey Dunbar Jr.

Herbert “Herb” Harvey Dunbar Jr., aged 92, of Glover, died on April 10, 2024. He was born on July 19, 1931, in Brattleboro, to Herbert H. and Lulu (Slicer) Dunbar, grew up on Four Winds Farm in East Craftsbury, and lived an abundant life at The Highlands homeplace in West Glover.

A 1949 graduate of Craftsbury Academy, “Miss Jean” Simpson played a formative role in his love of learning. Herb was drafted into the Army during the Korean War and served as a corporal and medic at Murphy Army Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts, from 1953 to 1955. Herb then returned to school and graduated from the Vermont School of Agriculture as valedictorian in 1956. Herb worked for 30 years with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service as an engineering technician in the Northeast Kingdom, where he was recognized for his dedication and expertise.

Herb married his dearest Virginia (Ginny) Hubbard on October 20, 1954, and for the next 65 years, they raised children, animals, and vegetables together — pouring their love and attention into growing their family. Putting their passion into practice, Herb and Ginny established and led the Lone Tree Hill 4-H Club for many years, and he also served in leadership on the Grange and Lake Region school board. In his retirement, Herb raised sheep and taught himself to spin, dye, and weave the wool, spending many peaceful hours at his spinning wheel and demonstrating to others at local exhibitions. He always planted and cared for a large garden — first to feed his family and later to share with others in the community.

Herb was inquisitive and intelligent in thought, and loving and loyal in action. He enjoyed music and books, but family was his highest priority and he shared many happy hours with his children and grandchildren — hunting and fishing in West Glover, boating and playing cards at their Norton Pond camp, attending band concerts and school events, and encouraging their passions, whatever they may be. His was a bountiful life!

Herb is survived by his children: Heather Dunbar of Magdalena, New Mexico; Harvey Dunbar and his wife, Deb Clark, of Glover; Scott Dunbar and his wife, Marilyn, of West Chazy, New York; and Ian Dunbar and his wife, Jane, of Cary, North Carolina.

He is also survived by his grandchildren: Tristan, Katie, Maclean, Jillian, Andrew, Daniel, Allana, and Emily; six great-grandchildren; and Bethany, Heather Ann, and Ritva-Leena, who are like family to him. Herb was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Hubbard Dunbar; his siblings: George, Shirley, and Wayne; and his grandson Graham Dunbar.

A private graveside service for the family will be held at a later date. If people wish to honor Herb’s life with a donation, please consider giving to the Glover Ambulance Squad at 48 County Road, Unit 64, West Glover, Vermont 05875, or www.gloverambulance.org.

 

Florence M. Boisvert

Florence M. Boisvert, 95, of Morgan, died on April 9, 2024, at her home. She was born on May 10, 1928, in Beauceville, Quebec, Canada, to the late Napolion and Albertine (Gilbert) Poulin. On May 10, 1952, she married Edgar Boisvert, who predeceased her on January 3, 2017.

Florence enjoyed spending the winters in Zephryllis, Florida, with her husband Edgar, spending time with her family and friends, and attending the fourth degree Knights of Columbus supper meetings with her husband, Edgar. She was always seen with Edgar riding in their 1930 Model A Ford during parades and car shows while wearing outfits from the 1930s.

She is survived by her children: Francine Bailey of Morgan, Michel Boisvert and his wife, Julie, of Johnson, Eddy Boisvert of Morgan; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brother Patrick Poulin of Sherbrooke, Quebec; sister Marie Reine Labrie and her husband, Lucien, of Magog, Quebec; daughter-in-law Doris Boisvert of Island Pond; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her son Gaston Boisvert; grandson Andrew Boisvert; and son-in-law Bill Bailey.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at St. James Catholic Church, 146 Middle Street, Island Pond, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated with Father James Butts officiating. If friends desire, memorial contributions in Florence’s name may be made to St. James Catholic Church, in care of Mater-Dei Parish, P.O. Box 1078, Derby Line, Vermont 05830. Interment will be held at Cimetiere Saint-Hermenegilde in Quebec at a later date. Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.

 

MaryJane Bickford

With heavy hearts, the family announces the passing of MaryJane Bickford of Glover.  Born September 10, 1940, she died peacefully and surrounded by her family on March 28, 2024, after a brief illness.

MaryJane was born in Ithaca, New York, to Glenola Jones and was raised by Glenola and her husband, Ray McCoy, in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.  She was the middle child and only sister to older brothers Bobby and Kenny and younger brothers Raymond and Ronnie.

Growing up, MaryJane attended school through the sixth grade and then went to work to help her family.  She cooked at the family’s logging camp and helped raise her youngest brother, Ronnie.  Her first paying job was working alongside her mother at the Park Restaurant in Barton.  While working there, she met her future husband, Carlton Bickford.  They married on April 16, 1960, and had two children: Stacey and Jeff.

When not busy raising her family, she worked in the kitchen at Glover Community School.  She later worked for many years in the Union House Nursing Home kitchen, lovingly preparing meals for the residents.  She also worked for a few years at Sugarwoods Farm.  Working at the school was a very enjoyable experience for her; however, her favorite job was at the nursing home.  In addition to indulging her passion for cooking, she made countless lifelong friends while she was there.

MaryJane and her family enjoyed many camping trips while the kids were young.  Some of their best memories were made during their annual stay at Pagent Park Campground on Crystal Lake in Barton.  Family and friends would come from all around to join them there.  After the kids were grown, MaryJane and Carlton continued their camping excursions throughout New England as they ventured from one county fair to another, following their shared passion for horse pulling.

Anyone that knew her can attest to MaryJane’s passions for many things.  She loved being outside where she could be found planting, tending, and harvesting her bountiful vegetable and flower gardens.  She would then turn her harvest into delicious meals and canned goods for family and friends. She spent many hours perusing cookbooks and magazines or watching a variety of cooking shows on TV, always on the hunt for new recipes to try for her loved ones.  In her later years, she even took to searching the internet on her cell phone and tablet for enticing recipes.  The kitchen was most certainly her “happy place.”  When not in the kitchen, she enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, and reading.

She was a die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox, and she never missed a game, no matter how late it ran.  Twice, she was able to travel to Fenway Park in Boston to cheer on her team in person.  For many years she showed her support for the New England Patriots; however, she recently had a change of heart and became a fan of the Miami Dolphins, much to the delight of her grandson Joe.  She was also an avid Boston Celtics fan, spending even more nights cheering them on from the comfort of her recliner with her beloved dog Sophie, curled up next to her. MaryJane had an incredible memory and could tell you much about most any player, regardless of the sport.

Above all else, her greatest joys came from her family.  As her family grew through the years, so did her love for each person who joined the family, but especially with the addition of every grandchild and great-grandchild.  The first of MaryJane’s five grandchildren, Jessi spent much of her younger life as Gram’s shadow.  Whether working in the garden or cooking in the kitchen, Jessi kept Gram entertained with her knack for conversation.   Next came Joe, and as mentioned above, he and Gram connected over their shared love of sports; he was also quite fond of a good game of cribbage, as well as Gram’s holiday goodies.  James was the third grandchild to arrive, and he quickly wrapped himself around her heartstrings; even as the years passed, he made a point to stop in for a visit as often as he could; he was also known to battle with anyone for Gram’s goodies!  Before long, Kaitlyn joined the family as the second granddaughter.  She spent much of her childhood just being with Gram and her dog. After starting her own family, she moved next door and became a loving caretaker of sorts.  She was there to help with anything and everything that Gram might need.  When granddaughter Krystal was younger, she loved to find her way upstairs to spend hours playing with Gram’s treasured dolls. As she, too, created her own family, Krystal also made a point to stop in for a visit as often as possible and made sure that her own children had the opportunity to get to know their Gram Gram.

MaryJane is dearly missed and survived by her children: Stacey and her husband, Denis Lemire, and Jeff and his wife, Nikki Bickford.  She leaves behind her grandchildren: Jessi and her husband, Eddy Staples, Joe and his wife, Devan Bickford, James Bickford, Kaitlyn and her husband, James Wells, Krystal and her husband, Ben Foster, Megan and her husband, Dan Webster, Tyler and his wife, Lindsay (Gabel) Rodgers; and her great-grandchildren: Grayson, Willow and Elora Staples, Hailee, Haydon and Hannah Bickford, Caleb (and his very special mother Jessi Randall) and Miles Bickford, Liam, Rowan, Lincoln, Gage, and Ember Wells, Letty, Finley, Dylan, and Riley Foster, and Noah, Addie, Logan and Asher Webster.  She is also survived by brothers Raymond and his wife, Peggy McCoy, and Ronnie and partner, Fe McCoy; sister-in-law Pauline Laughlin; numerous nieces and nephews and special family members: Julie Bickford and Jericho Densmore and Shari Bent, and Abby Bacon and Christopher Bacon.  While it would be impossible to list all of the friends she made throughout her life, there are many who held a very special place in her heart:  Roland and Sharon Bickford, Jason and Melissa Racine, Butch and Bonnie Currier, Gary and Gail Lyman, Mark and Hope Colburn, Devin Colburn and Danielle Gratton, Lauren and Nick Baker, and Grace Mason.  If you were lucky enough to be a friend, know that you were a friend for life; and even if you are not specifically mentioned, please know how much she treasured each and every one of you!  Family and friends meant the world to her.

She was predeceased by her parents, Glenola Jones McCoy and Ray McCoy; her husband, Carlton Bickford; brothers Bobby and his wife, Lucy McCoy, and Kenny McCoy; brothers- and sisters-in-law Ernie Colbeth, Bev Colbeth, Stan Bickford, and Louise Bickford; dear friend Leroy Mason, and her beloved cat Emmitt.

Per MaryJane’s wishes, there will be no formal services.  The family will host a celebration of her life at her home in Glover this summer, with her ashes to be spread on a windy day.  Details will be announced at a later date, and all will be invited to attend.

BURIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Bianca Mackay

Family and friends of Bianca Mackay, who died on January 6, 2024, are respectfully invited to attend the interment service for Bianca, which will be held at the Westlook II Cemetery in Glover on Sunday, May 5, beginning at 10 a.m.  All are welcome to join in honoring Bianca following the burial with a visit to the beach at Willoughby Lake or a hike in the area, two of her favorite activities.  Bianca’s complete obituary may be found at dgfunerals.com.

 

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