Obituaries 4.19.2023

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Richard Willey Simpson


Richard “Dick” Willey Simpson, 88, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Westmore, died on Thursday, December 15, 2022.  Richard’s summer family home from 1959 to 2021 was “Brookadoon” on Willoughby Lake in Westmore.   He was born on February 19, 1934, in Floral Park, New York, to Carl Gilbert Simpson and Doris Griffith Simpson. Richard and his twin sister were born 2 and a half pounds each, during a blizzard with no power.

He went to Bay Shore High School in Long Island, New York, class of ’52.  He went on to receive his bachelor of arts in advertising (graphic design) from Pratt Institute, class of ’58, and attended the University of Vermont, a member of Sigma Phi (V53). In 1962, Richard designed the UVM Ceremonial Mace as an honorary member of the class of 1927 for his parents.  He was active in the Army reserves with a second lieutenant commission serving from 1958-1965 in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Richard was vice president of design for InterContinental Hotels in New York City. He traveled the world for 30 years with InterContinental Hotels and its parent company, Pan Am, creating designs for all hotels which reflected the culture of each city.

Dick and his wife of 33 years, Deborah, had split their time between Lancaster and Willoughby Lake, where he was a sixth generation Vermonter and served as the town historian, giving lectures and history slide shows of the lake and town.

He also reenacted as Frederick Holbrook, Governor of Vermont during Civil War time.  His love of history led him to give lectures on the Civil War from Delaware to Maine to local societies, Civil War roundtables, retirement communities, and church groups.  These lectures raised money for many different groups.  He was also an active member of dozens of Civil War organizations including the General Meade Society and Pamplin Historical Park.

Dick is survived by his loving wife, Deborah; by his daughter Karin Cohen-Black (Ron Black) and son Christopher (Diane DeAngelo); by his granddaughter Erica Cohen Finamore and his grandson Jeffrey Cohen; and by his twin sister Dorothy Simpson Dorion and his brother Robert Carlisle Simpson (Anne).

A service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, July 29, at 11 a.m., at the Westmore Community Church.


Phyllis Russell

Phyllis Russell, 88, of Orleans, died on April 14, 2023, in Glover. She was born on April 28, 1934, in West Charleston, to the late Harold and Etta (Bowley) Griffin.

Phyllis and her husband, Darrell, raised poodles and had a pet supply shop. Then they started a family repair shop, Russell’s Service, where she worked as the bookkeeper for the business. She loved tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, planted apple trees, and was a very avid basketball grandmother.

She is survived by her son Kevin Russell and his wife, Anita, of Barton; by her grandchildren: Tommy and his girlfriend, Kristen Rowell, Timmy and his girlfriend, Cally Moulton, and children Brendan, Emma, and Gracie, and Tracy and Doug Russell; by her great-grandchildren Kaiden, Connor, Madison, and Parker Russell; and by her daughter-in-law Kim Russell. Phyllis is also survived by her partner for the last ten years, Cortland (Joe) Goss, and his family.

She was predeceased by her parents, by her husband, Darrell, son Brian Russell, brothers Don Griffin, Dean Griffin, Francis Griffin, and sister Dorothy Lamere.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral at 11 a.m., on Thursday, April 27, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 12 Elm Street, Barton.

Online condolences may be made at


Bruce Wills Messier

Bruce Wills Messier, 84, beloved husband of Joanne Messier, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on March 29, 2023.  He grew up and lived in Coventry and Orleans.

Bruce served in the Army for three years and four years in the reserves.  He did his basic training at Fort Dix, then went to Georgia for training, and from there to White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico.  He worked for more than 20 years at Ethan Allen and was on the board of directors for the Ethan Allen Credit Union.

Bruce was a member of the Orleans Fire Department for several years.  He was a member of the American Legion for 48 years and loved going to the legions to meet and socialize with other veterans.  Everyone he ever met was his friend.

He eventually moved to South Carolina, where he continued working for Ethan Allen, then retired and moved to Florida.  From there, he moved to Alabama and found another job.  His last years were spent in Ohio.  He just had to work there, too. He loved to work and enjoyed the people. He retired from Menard’s Hardware two years ago.

Bruce and Joanne had an awesome 20 years together.  They both loved to travel and saw a lot of beautiful things on their adventures.  They enjoyed all the same things.

Bruce is survived by his soulmate and wife, Joanne; by his daughter Tina St. Onge and her partner, Greg; by his sons, Bryan, and Mark Messier; by his grandchildren: April Messier, Natalie and Christopher St. Onge, and Stephanie; by eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter Oakley Raye; and by many special nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his stepchildren Sherry (Mike) Winning, Jacquelyn (Stevan) Barker, Terry Amidon (Bonnie), and Ricky (Sandy) Amidon, and many step-grandchildren.  He loved them all and they were a big part of his life and happiness.

Bruce was predeceased by parents, Truman and Ada Messier, by his sister Greta (Dean) Maxwell and brother Dale (Audrey) Messier, by his son-in-law Norman St. Onge, and by his daughter-in-law Delores Messier.

A funeral service is being planned for a later date in Vermont.  He will be very much missed by so many.


Anthony Francis Hackett

The family of Anthony Francis Hackett is sad to announce his death on April 9, 2023, at the age of 78. He is reunited with the love of his life, soulmate, childhood friend, best friend of 53 years. She was his everything he ever wanted then, now, and forever.

Anthony died at his home surrounded by his family. April 3, 2023, would have been their fiftieth anniversary of marriage. Anthony loved fishing, digging for quahogs, clams, old car shows, junking scrap, cranberry picking, and, most of all, feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, or whatever else might join in. He was known as Dr. Dolittle, as his wife would put it.

He was born July 21, 1944, in Hoboken, New Jersey, then moved with his family to Plymouth, Massachusetts. He and his family moved to Vermont in 1983.

He is survived by six children: Timothy  Hackett and his wife, Becky, and their three children: Lisa, Meagan, and Crystal Hackett of Goose Creek, South Carolina; Anthony E. Hackett and his wife, Cheryl, of Brownington, and daughter Ashley Gallardo and her three children of Coventry; Valerie Hackett of Brownington and her three children: David B. Hackett of Barnet, George Dunn Jr. and his wife, Rachel, and their three children of Otisfield, Maine, and Daniel C. Dunn of Otisfield and his three children of Lee, New Hampshire; Carol Hackett of Derby Line and her four children: Cody LaCourse and fiancée Logan Conley and two children from Barton, Kyle Santaw of Derby Line, and Collin and Matthew Santaw of Island Pond; Kim and Robert Moore and their three children, Michelle and her child Dalton, and Michael of Brownington; Christine Hackett-Forgues of Brownington and her four children: Derek Hackett of St. Johnsbury, Natasha Jenkins of Lyndonville and her two kids, Travis Forgues of St. Johnsbury, and Jazmine Briggs of St.Johnsbury; as well as by many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley C. Hackett; by his parents, Frank Hackett and Mary (Almaida) Hackett, of Plymouth; by his brothers Frank Warren Hackett of Plymouth and Charles Edward Hackett of Island Pond; and by his grandchildren Ashlynn Santaw and Quincy O’Gorman, both of Island Pond.

Services will be held on April 22 at 11 a.m., at their home located at 822 Hunt Hill Road in Brownington.  Cards and flowers may be sent to the same address.

A potluck meal will follow the service, dishes will be welcome.


Robert Thomas Daniels

Robert Thomas Daniels died peacefully on March 31, 2023, at Grand Strand Hospital in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  His three children Renee, Ernie, and Kathy, son-in-law Marc, and sister Elizabeth were by his side.

Robert was the son of Percy Ernest Daniels and Ethel Ira (Markwell) Daniels. He was born August 25,1939, in Norton, where he attended Norton Village School and graduated from Canaan Memorial High School. He had four siblings: Margorie Kidder, Patricia Hadlock, John (Bucky) Daniels, and Elizabeth Daniels.

Robert played drums in school and marching bands as a young man and continued playing music in several dance bands throughout his life, the last band being Mountain Gold. Robert served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1963.  During that time, he was based at Shaw Air Force base in Sumter, South Carolina.

He was deployed to Florida during the Cuban Crisis, and served in the Vermont Army National Guard and was a long-time member of the Vermont National Guard Armory in Newport. During his service in the National Guard, Robert was involved in the constitution of the biathlon course, which is still being used by Olympic trainees today.

Robert’s Air Force career brought him to South Carolina, where he was employed at ABL Montague, Western Brick and Tile, and Idia Wally.

While living in South Carolina he met and married Faye Raines, the mother of his three children: Renee Daniels Hall and her husband, Marc, Ernest “Ernie” Gerard Daniels and his wife, Brandy Rice, and Katherine Natalie Marchbanks and her husband, Brian Marchbanks.

He had seven grandsons: Justin Marlowe, Robert Marchbanks, Keith (Brian) Marchbanks, Cody Daniels Bryant, Chase Daniels, and Chance Marchbanks, and one who predeceased him named Alex.

He also had four great-grandchildren: Lincoln and Levi Marlowe, and Bradley and Caroline Marchbanks. All three of his children and their mother reside in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area.

After he divorced, he married Shirley Daniels and was the stepfather to her children.

When he moved back to Vermont, Robert was employed by Ethan Allen Furniture in Island Pond and was a foreman over the maintenance department for many years before he retired.  He was also a master electrician and used that skill not only in his places of work but to do side jobs for his family and friends.  His last job was at Derby Elementary School, which he enjoyed very much.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Percy and Ethel Daniels, and his sister Margorie Kidder.

Robert enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing drums, and listening to music, serving his country, and spending time with family and his pets.

He lived out the last three and a half years with his daughter Renee and son-in-law Marc Hall in Myrtle Beach.  He was able to spend time with his children, grandsons, and great-grandchildren.  They all loved him so much.

Two celebrations of life will be held.  One in Myrtle Beach for his friends, family, and loved ones who live in South Carolina.  The other will be held in Island Pond for family and friends there.  Dates and times to be announced soon.

“Dad, you will be immensely missed, and may you rest in peace in Heaven, and may we carry on your legacy and make you proud to be our Dad. Go rest high on that mountain.”


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