Obituaries 8.2.2023

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Fernand Lanoue


Fernand “Fern” Lanoue, 78, of Newport Center, died July 28, 2023, at his home.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; by his sons Ethan Lanoue, Todd Willey and his wife, Diane, and daughter Lisa Vrotacoe and her husband, Jim; by his grandchildren: Alyssa Steves and her husband, Nate, Dakota Vrotacoe and fiancée, Kaylee, and Dylan Willey and his girlfriend, Caylin; by his brothers Real and Alain; and by his niece Monique and nephew Bernie.

He was the son of the late Rene and Alice St. Onge, and was predeceased by his niece Henrietta and by his nephew Patrick.

Fern spent over 40 years dairy farming at his third-generation family farm, and 22 years driving bus for the North Country Supervisory Union. He was most proud of his family and his part in the formation of the Country Riders Snowmobile Club. Fern really enjoyed socializing with others, especially getting to know students at the school.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 5, at 11 a.m., at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Newport, with burial directly following at St. Mary’s Cemetery. At Fern’s request, there will be no calling hours.

Online condolences at


Jean Tallcot Geremia

Jean Tallcot Geremia died July 26, 2023, just a few weeks shy of her eighty-third birthday.

Born on August 23,1940, in Borodino, New York, Jean was the second-youngest child of four.

She was a lifelong lover of cats, small towns, meat and potatoes, genealogy, coffee on the porch, living simply, analyzing dreams, and getting by. A phenomenally fast typist and prolific writer, she summed up her life and the world as she saw it in starkly beautiful prose and poetry, which was often found in local publications including the Green Mountain Trading Post.

Several businesses were fortunate to have her secretarial skills including Kemper Insurance of Syracuse, New York, from 1958 to 1959, The Washington Post from 1959 to 1966, and Lyndon State College Counseling, Career and Health Services from 1977 to 2000. Jean was proud of her time as member, grievance officer, and then president of the Vermont State Colleges United Professionals staff union.

Jean took pride in her three children and the ten years she spent working from home to get them to school age. She delighted visitors to her greenhouse with her homemade wreaths, crafts, bread, pickles, flowers, and jelly for almost two decades. She believed in angels and saw her own angel, Natalie, several times over the years. She deeply loved her cats Bobby, Buddy, Tigger, and Freddie as though they were angels themselves.

For many years she maintained a delightful daily e-newsletter entitled “Freddie’s Free Press” for the enjoyment of friends and family. She also published several books including her memoir, Growing Up Cold: Life in the 40s and Beyond, a compilation of poetry and prose entitled Growing Up Loved, a children’s book called Vermont Cats of Country Road Farm, and several compilations of historical family recipes.

Jean was predeceased by her father, George Tallcot, by her mother, Alice Emerson Tallcot, by her sister Carol Rhoades, and son Michael Geremia.

She is survived by her sister Merry Swords and brother Richard Tallcot; by her daughters Gina Geremia and Andrea Kane; by her daughter-in-law Laurie Geremia; by her sons-in-law Justin Ashby and Adam Kane; by her grandchildren Evan Geremia, Joseph Geremia, Chay Ashby, Zeb Kane, and Michaela Kane; and also by several nieces, nephews, and their children.

She also leaves behind many dear friends and her beloved writing group. Jean’s final weeks were made far nicer due to the care and support she received from the nurses of Vermont’s Home Health and Hospice program.

Jean liked to say that it doesn’t matter who you love, only that you love.

A memorial service was held July 29, at the West Village Cemetery in West Charleston.

A Poem by Jean Tallcot Geremia

I picked a handful of lilacs

dripping with rain

The pure, sweet fragrance

The pale, lavender color

The taste of one or two


I placed one in my hair

And held the rest to my breast

as though I were special.


Shawn Gardner

It is with profound sadness that the family of Shawn Gardner announces his death on July 26, 2023, at the age of 37.  Shawn was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, nephew, grandson, uncle, and friend. His light was extinguished far too soon, yet his memory will forever burn brightly in his family’s hearts.

Shawn leaves behind his devoted wife, Jessica Gardner, with whom he shared many beautiful years of love and companionship. Their bond was one of profound love and understanding, a testament to what true partnership can be. He will always be remembered as a loving and dedicated husband, his love for Jessica unparalleled, a beacon that guided their shared life journey.

His legacy continues through his three cherished children: Tyler Lamere, Tristyn and Trelyn Gardner, and his stepson Keagan Paya, who were the very heart of his world. His love for his children was boundless and his pride in them, immense. His guiding influence, protective spirit, and the love he instilled in them will forever inspire and guide them throughout their lives.

Shawn’s memory will be lovingly cherished by his dear grandson Ashton, his mother, Penny LeClair, his sister Alexis Carpenter, his brother-in-law Daniel Carpenter, and his sister Bobbie-Jo and her husband, Philip Benoit. His nephews Ryan and Alexander Carpenter will remember their uncle’s unwavering love and guidance, as will his grandmother Joyce LeClair and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who were fortunate enough to know him.

Shawn was predeceased by his father, Robert Gardner, stepfather Vincent Gabaree, brother Matthew Gardner, grandparents Fred LeClair Sr., Rudolph Sr. and Lorraine Gardner, and his nephew Jordan Carpenter.

His unwavering commitment to protect and support those he loved, coupled with his boundless passion and caring nature, made him a beacon of light in the lives of those around him. His spirit will live on, not just in memory, but in the actions and lives of those who knew him.

As his family mourns his passing, they also celebrate Shawn’s life, cherishing the indelible imprint he has left on their hearts. His journey may have ended, but his spirit will forever remain a part of their lives. Shawn’s love and light continue to guide all those he leaves behind.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, August 3, from 11 a.m., until the hour of the funeral at 1 p.m., at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport.

Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport, followed by a celebration of life to be announced at the services, to remember the beautiful life Shawn led. All are welcome to come together to share stories, memories, and to support one another during this difficult time.

In keeping with Shawn’s spirit of love and generosity, all who were touched by his life are welcome.

Shawn’s life will be commemorated with love, remembering the joy he brought into so many lives and the indelible mark he left on people’s hearts.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shawn’s wife and children.

Online condolences at


Dulcina Abigail Fournier

Dulcina Abigail “Dolly” Fournier died peacefully surrounded by her family in St. Johnsbury, on July 29, 2023.  She was born on August 15, 1940, to Harold and Aileen Perry of Bradford.  She attended school in Barre and Lyndonville, and graduated from Hardwick Academy in 1958.

She and the love of her life, Andy Fournier, entered the service together and were later married in Fort Lee, Virginia, in February 1959.  They remained married for 64 years.

The couple raised their family of six in Glover. Dolly held many jobs, including waitressing at the Park and Candlepin restaurants, and sewing at Hardwick Knitwear and Slalom Skiwear in Newport.  She also scooped many ice cream cones at Carmen’s Creamery in Lyndonville, where she worked for many summers.  Dolly also worked at the Union House in Glover.

Dolly’s favorite job was making wreaths with brush cut by Andy.  The couple made and sold wreaths for 22 years.  They were well known in the Northeast Kingdom and the Burlington area for these beautiful Christmas creations.  After retiring, Andy and Dolly spent three years working at the Shadow Lake boat wash, where they helped to keep Shadow the only milfoil-free lake in Vermont.

Dolly was a loving soul, who never stopped caring for her family and friends.  She was known and loved by many and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her husband, Andy Fournier, of Glover; by her daughter Rose Stone of Barton, her son Mike Fournier and his wife, Corrina, of Glover, her son Matt Fournier and his wife, Debbie, of Lyndonville, her daughter Janice Parry and significant other, Mark Rollins, of Barton, and her son Jamie Fournier of Orleans.  She is also survived by her sisters and brothers: Fanny Houghton, Becky Hall, Candy McLeon, Lewie Perry, Armour Moodie and his wife, Rose, as well as by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She enjoyed spending time with her 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, soon to be 15. She was predeceased by her parents, by her sister Sally Winchester, her daughter Sally Fontaine and her husband, Marcel, and by her grandson Keith Stone.

Special thanks to all those who helped and cared for Dolly in the last years of her life, especially Rebecca Williams-Tenny, Nathalie Hill, Frank and Debbie Daigneault, and the Glover Ambulance team.

A Catholic service will be held on Saturday, August 5, at 11 a.m., at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Orleans.

There will be a time from 10 to 11 a.m. to reflect on Dolly’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Glover Ambulance Service, 48 County Road, Unit 64, West Glover, Vermont 05875.

Online condolences at


Betty-Jane Durkee

Betty-Jane Durkee, 90, of Lake Placid, Florida, and formerly of Newport, died on February 28, 2023, at the Oaks at Avon in Avon Park, Florida, with her daughter by her side.  Betty-Jane was born on June 17, 1932, in Lynn, Massachusetts, to the late Frank and Eleanor Spates.

In 1945, the Spates family moved from Lynn to Newport to buy and operate what was to become Spates the Florist.  Betty-Jane (along with her Boston accent, which remained deeply ingrained all her life) finished school in Newport and graduated from Newport High School in 1950.

She worked for a period of time at C.R. MacLean, Inc., followed by a stint at Butterfield’s.  On September 2, 1956, she married George A. Durkee of Andover, Massachusetts, and together they became the parents to three children: Gary, Todd, and Tammy.

Betty and George established Durkee’s Market on East Main Street in Newport, which they operated until it closed in 1978.  Ever the entrepreneurs, she and George owned and operated seven lakefront cottages as well as a couple of apartment buildings.  After the Durkee’s Market era, Betty spent several years as the voice on the phone at Spates the Florist, which was then owned and operated by her brother Doug, and finished her working career as the business manager at Sacred Heart High School.

Always civic minded, Betty became a member of the North Country Union High School board and served conscientiously from 1971 to 1977.  In 1978, she won a seat on the Newport City Council and served there until 1982.  In 1982, she became Newport’s first female mayor and served in that position until 1985.  The Newport City bandstand was one of her favorite initiatives, and upon its completion it was dedicated to her as well as long time beloved local band director “Bud” Seguin.

After the death of her husband in 1991, Betty moved to Tequesta, Florida, where she spent many wonderful years sharing a condo with her cousin Beverly Richardson Trow.  She was able to remain there for several years following Bev’s death in 2015, but problems with her health caused her to move to Lake Placid, Florida, to live with her daughter in 2018. In February of 2020, when more physical care was necessary, she became a resident at Oaks at Avon in Avon Park, where she lived until her death.

Betty was predeceased by her husband, George; by her parents, Frank and Eleanor Spates; by her brother Frank Spates Jr. and his wife, Jeannette; by her brother William Spates; and by her son Gary Durkee.

She is survived by her son Todd Durkee of Exeter, New Hamphshire, and her daughter Tammy Dopp of Lake Placid, Florida; by her sister Joyce Stanwood of Newport, her brother Douglas Spates and his wife, Vivian, of Derby, her sister-in-law Hilda Spates of Lynn, and her brother-in-law Jay Stanwood of Hooksett, New Hampshire.

She leaves seven grandchildren: Jennifer (Chad) Binette, Jolene Durkee, Karisa Durkee, Tiffany (Lance) Berry, Christina (Ryan) Blakeman, Ashley (Joshua) Clinger, and Bradley Dopp; three nieces whom she thought of as grandchildren: Andrea (Andrew) Carbine, Elia Spates, and Alicia Spates; as well as seven great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate her life at the United Church of Newport on August 12, at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Donations in Betty’s memory may be made to the Newport Rotary Club Foundation, P.O. Box 166, Newport, Vermont 05855, where the tax-deductible funds will be used for local Rotary programs.


Duane Elvin Colburn

Duane Elvin “Bucky” Colburn, 58, of Newport, died from complications from cancer on July 26, 2023, at his home. He was born on June 21, 1965, in Newport, to Elvin and Margaret (Davis) Colburn.

Bucky was a graduate of North Country Union High School, class of 1983, and worked as a chief lathe operator for Columbia Forest Products for many years, a job he was very proud of.  He enjoyed watching sports, traveling, especially the family trip to Hawaii, watching football games at Gillette Stadium, spending time with Kassidy, and Sammy, his precious cat.

He is survived by his daughter Kassidy Colburn of East Montpelier; by his mother, Margaret Colburn, of Derby; by his sisters Debra Heald of Colchester and Julie Gaboriault of Shelburne; by his brother Jason Colburn and his wife, Amanda, of East Charleston; by his nieces and nephews Jenna and Loralee Heald, Hannah and Jake Gaboriault, Travon and Tristin Colburn, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins from the Colburn and Davis families, and many close friends.

He was predeceased by his father, Elvin Colburn, by his paternal grandparents Ernest and Eunice Colburn, his maternal grandparents Dale and Alice Davis, his uncles Richard Colburn and David Warner, and his aunt Kristin Davis.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral at 11 a.m., on Thursday, August 3, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road in Newport, with the Reverend David Dizazzo officiating.

Interment will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Charleston.

If friends desire, memorial contributions in Duane’s name may be made to the Mary Wright Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at


Thomas W. Barry

Thomas “Tom” W. Barry, 85 of Derby, died on July 26, 2023, in Newport. He was born on February 1, 1938, in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire, to the late Charles and Bertha (Cook) Barry. On August 27, 1960, he married Glennis Pronto, who survives him.

Tom was a veteran of the United States Navy. He was a bus driver for North Country Union High School for 28 years, where he always drove bus number seven.  He was also employed at Butterfields out of Derby Line for 25 years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with friends, camping, and gambling. He coached both Legion and Little League baseball, was a basketball referee, loved all sports, and was a true lifelong New York Yankees fan. He was very well liked by all the kids who rode his bus.

He worked in the penalty box for all the home high school hockey games with Joe Queenin at both the Stanstead and Jay Peak rinks. He enjoyed watching deer, bear, turkeys, and groundhogs out his back window. He was also inducted into the Orleans and Northern Essex Athletic Hall of Fame.

He is also survived by his children: Daniel Barry and Ella Valley, Brian Barry and wife, Andi; his grandchildren Jacob and Christopher Barry; his brother Wendall Barry, niece Jody Barry, and nephew John Barry.

He was predeceased by his sister-in-law Pat Barry.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., on Monday, August 7, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport.

Online condolences may be made at


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