Obituaries 8.3.2022

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Constance L. Colligan

Constance L. Colligan, 101, of East Charleston, died peacefully, surrounded by her loving family at her home on July 24, 2022, after a brief illness.  She was born Constance Louise Peter in Jersey City, New Jersey, on June 18, 1921, to Charles and Margaret (Seggel) Peter. In 1926 her family moved to Teaneck, New Jersey. She often reflected on the prosperity of the “Roaring Twenties,” the difficult struggles of the Great Depression and the devastation of World War II.

After graduating from Teaneck High School in 1939, Connie began working in New York City, first at New York Life Insurance, and eventually landing positions with Vogue magazine and the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), where she taught color and design.  During her time there, she helped with the production of school founder Sherril Whiton’s quintessential book, Elements of Interior Design and Decoration.

Her family spent many summers in the resort town of Highland Lake, New York, where Connie met the love of her life, George F. Colligan, a New York City police officer.  They were married on July 14, 1951, lived in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town and had four children before moving to New City, a suburb of New York City, in 1963.  For over 20 years, Connie balanced homemaking, raising her children and continuing her career with NYSID, working remotely as an instructor long before it became the norm.  Connie also learned to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider.  In addition to a love of music, Connie was a prolific reader of books from a young age until late into her nineties and belonged to several book discussion groups over the years.

Connie and George developed their love of Vermont while vacationing for many years at Lake Hortonia, and later by their association with Camp Winape on Lake Seymour.   In 1985, they retired to East Charleston and the beautiful views of Echo Lake and Bald Mountain. They formed a tight-knit group of friends, enjoying an active social scene. After her husband George died in 1988, she began taking art classes along with several friends, and thus began a new creative chapter in her life.

Over the years she produced numerous paintings depicting scenes of the Northeast Kingdom, New England, and the meadowlands of her native New Jersey, and was greatly influenced by her great uncle, American artist Herman Hartwich (1853-1926).

A few years after George died, Connie married Dave Sophrin, also recently widowed, and welcomed his daughters Helene and Gail into her extended family. They enjoyed many years together until his death in 2011.

Connie was very active in both the Four Seasons Garden Club and the Morgan Circle of Friends.  It was at the monthly Circle meetings that she became known for her “health tips.”  Fellow members all agreed that her advice was obviously working, and perhaps nothing showed this more than when, at the age of 94, she was dancing up a storm at her granddaughters’ weddings.

Throughout the years and with youthful enthusiasm and vigor, Connie’s travels took her to California (San Francisco, Napa, The Redwoods, Yosemite), England and Scotland (visiting the settings of so many of her favorite literary characters), Italy (fully appreciating the art, culture and ambience of Florence, Rome, and Venice), and most recently and closer to home, the majestic coast of Maine.

Connie never lost her love for knowledge and in particular, history and current events.  As far back as her teenage years, she was the one who stayed in her seat to watch the news reels during movie intermissions, while the rest went out for popcorn.  Up to her final days, she always insisted on watching the news.

Milestones of all kinds were observed over the years, culminating in her hundredth birthday in 2021, which she celebrated with family and friends both in New York and in Vermont

Connie will be remembered for living life to the fullest, cherishing her many beloved dogs and cats over the years, taking in the panoramic beauty from her deck, and simply knowing that family was getting together to share good food, good talk, and most importantly, love.  She will be dearly missed.

Connie is survived by daughters:  Christine Colligan, New York, New York, and Meg Weiss and her husband, Steve, of Congers, New York; sons:  Steve Colligan of East Charleston and Bob Colligan and his wife, Ana, of Stamford, Connecticut; grandchildren:  Joanna Bamford and her husband, Michael, Laura Hoefer and her husband, Dave, and Kathryn Weiss; great-grandchildren:  Maeve and Callan Bamford and James and Will Hoefer; and nephews:  Bill Jenney and Peter Jenney and his wife, Pam.  She was predeceased by her sister Elizabeth Jenney of East Charleston.

Burial and graveside service took place on Tuesday, August 2.

A celebration of life is planned for a future date.

Should friends wish, contributions may be made to the Orleans-Essex VNA and Hospice, Inc., 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855 or Dailey Memorial Library, 101 Junior High Drive, Derby, Vermont 05829.  Online condolences at



Leonard L. Giles


Leonard L Giles, 87, of South Burlington died July 23, 2022.

Leonard passed away as a result of heart failure during physical rehabilitation after a two-month illness.

He was born in Concord, New Hampshire, on January 20, 1935, to Bertha Louise (Malone) Giles and Gerald Henry Giles, who predeceased him in 1986. In addition, he was predeceased by his brother Gerald F. Giles and his sister-in-law Carmen Giles.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joanne (Kelty) Giles; by his children: Stephen (Donna) of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Gregory (Odilia), of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, daughter Julie A. Giles of Essex; and seven grandchildren: Emily Abair of South Burlington, Clark of Sandy Hook, Melissa of Hoboken, New Jersey, Curtis of Boston, Massachusetts, Alison of Clinton, Massachusetts, Stephanie of Wakefield, Massachusetts, and Rebecca of Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

In addition, he is survived by his sister-in-law Judith Giles of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, niece Paula Johnson of Lyman, Maine, and nephews Fredrick of Wilmington, North Carolina, Michael, and William, both of Portsmouth.

Leonard was raised in Canterbury New Hampshire, educated in a one-room elementary school in Canterbury Center where his father owned and operated the general store and served as postmaster. He attended Concord High School and graduated from Kimball Union Academy after sitting out a year from back surgery.

During summers he worked as a camp counselor and for his Uncle Leonard on his farm in Northwood, New Hampshire.  He graduated from Norwich University in 1959 as a second lieutenant in the armored division. While there he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and played football and baseball. He met his wife, Joanne Kelty, in Montpelier. They were married at St. Frances Xavier Catholic Church in Winooski on September 12, 1959.

After living in Dracut, Massachusetts, he served as a U.S. Army tank platoon leader in Munich, Germany. He was an on-duty officer when the Berlin Wall was constructed in August 1961. Leonard maintained his military status as a reservist, achieving rank of lieutenant colonel, until 1987. On July 8, 1988, he was awarded The Meritorious Service Medal by the Secretary of the Army.

In 1962 he opened LL Giles Groceries, Footwear, Ready to Wear general store on Main Street in Barton, where his motto was, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”  As a member of St. Paul’s Parish, he served on the Parish Council, St. Paul’s school board and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.  While in Barton he enjoyed summer Sundays with his family at Crystal Lake State Park and during the winter months he often would take his family to Burke Mountain or Jay Peak for a fun day of skiing.  An avid outdoorsman, he also enjoyed hunting in Orleans County and brook trout fishing with his children.

In 1977 the family moved to Burlington’s North End.  He was employed by AR Goyette and then started a new business, Leonard’s Wholesale, which he owned and operated for 30 years until retirement in 2018.

A member of St. Mark’s Parish and the Faithful Navigator of the fourth-degree assembly, Leonard enjoyed faith-filled projects and the bowling league. He was a candidate for Ward 4 city councilor and served on the Burlington zoning board of adjustment until 1994. In 2006 he moved to South Burlington and was a member of St. John Vianney Council 7525 and Degoesbriand Assembly 1148 as its treasurer. A lifelong Republican, he served as treasurer of the South Burlington Republican committee.

Visiting hours were held on Friday, July 29, at the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service South Chapel, in Burlington.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, July 30, at St. John Vianney Church, in South Burlington.  Burial followed in Resurrection Park Cemetery.

To send online condolences to his family please visit


Penny (Curtis) Wheeler

Penny (Curtis) Wheeler of Derby died on July 29, 2022, at 56 years old after an almost two-year battle with cancer.

Upon diagnosis, instead of cowering in the face of a death sentence, she and her husband, Scott, went on what Penny called the “Living the Dream Tour.” They traveled the country from Maine to Michigan to New Mexico, visiting their children and grandchildren, and simply going about celebrating life.

Although many of her family and close friends knew of her diagnosis, many other people did not. That is the way she wanted it, because she wanted to live the final chapter of her life under her own terms and not under the specter of pity and sorrow because, despite life being far too short for her, she insisted she had lived a more wonderful life than she had ever expected.

Born on May 28, 1966, to John and Ruth (Barrup) Curtis, Penny grew up in Brownington, the youngest of four children. Being the youngest and the only girl growing up with three older rough and tumble outdoorsmen brothers prepared her well for the challenges of life. Many young girls like frilly dresses, but Penny would hear nothing of it. If her brothers weren’t going to wear dresses, she wasn’t going to, either. Her parents were poor, but they weren’t too poor to help those in need, a trait Penny inherited from them, along with their strong work ethic.

Penny is survived by her husband, Scott, who she married on August 17, 1985. There are probably few other couples closer than they were. They did everything together, including being very active in their children’s lives as children and adults. She was happiest when she was cooking for a house full of family and friends. Penny and Scott also enjoyed traveling, camping, and exploring the country and meeting people.

For the last 20 years she and Scott owned and published Vermont’s Northland Journal, a monthly magazine dedicated to sharing and preserving the history of the Northeast Kingdom. They also hosted a multitude of community events, including those to honor our veterans. Penny shunned the spotlight, but Scott was always fond of telling people that she was certainly the brains of the outfit, and he meant every word of it.

Penny had many loves, but none of them surpassed the love she had for her children and grandchildren. To some of her six grandchildren she was known as “Gramma Gee,” and to others, she was “Nana.”

Surviving her are her children: Curtis Wheeler and his wife, Gabrielle, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and New Sweden, Maine, Nick and his wife, Abigail, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Emily Brugman and her husband, Robert, of Marquette, Michigan.

She is also survived by the joys of her life, her grandchildren: Brooke and Daniel Wheeler, and Lucas, Annabelle, Henry, and James Brugman. She is also survived by honorary children, Lewis and Jennifer Hatch, and honorary grandchild, Lewis Hatch V, along with her beloved golden retrievers, Boulder and Molly, and her bed warmer of a cat, Kanga.

Also surviving her are her brothers Benny Curtis and his wife, Karol, and Lyle Curtis and his wife, Becky. She is also survived by her father-in-law, Wayne Wheeler, and his partner, Diane Saxton, and Scott’s brothers Jeff and Kevin (Tammy).

Penny is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces (including Kelly Randall and Karissa Vinal who she thought of as her own children) and uncles and aunts, in addition to a lifelong friend, Louise (Swett) Lieberum, and two former sisters-in-law, Sue Paquette (Larry) and April Wheeler.

In addition, she leaves behind too many friends to list. She is also survived by her beloved Northland Journal team.

Penny was predeceased by her parents, John and Ruth Curtis; a brother, Robin, at birth; her brother Lee; and her mother-in-law, Pauline Wheeler.

In addition to being the co-publisher of the Journal, Penny worked in the healthcare field for almost 30 years, including as a pharmaceutical clinical analyst. For the last two years, she managed Northeast Kingdom Hematology Oncology in Newport. No matter what role Penny played in her healthcare career, she was a champion of patients of every socioeconomic class.

A woman of a deep, quiet faith, in times of struggle, family members and friends often turned to her for a nonjudgmental ear and a shoulder to cry on. Throughout her time on earth, she exemplified how to live honorably, and during the final chapter of her life, she taught those around her how to die with grace, dignity, gratitude, and humor.

A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, August 10 at 2 p.m. at the Barn at Top of the World at 1073 Upper Quarry Road in Derby.

Friends may call from noon until the hour of the celebration.

Should friends wish, contributions may be made in Penny’s name to the Mary E. Wright Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855 or to the Northeast Kingdom Hematology Oncology’s Patient Caring Fund, P.O. Box 838, Newport, Vermont 05855.


Ralph Herbert Nault

Ralph Herbert Nault, 91, died peacefully on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at his home in Arcadia, Florida, with family members at his side.

Ralph was the son of Frank and Lena Nault and was born on October 5, 1930, in Lyndonville.  He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Pauline (Menard); by his brother Roy Nault and his sister Frances (Millie) Gero; by his son Michael Nault and wife, Carol, his daughter Jean Agusto and husband, Louis, and his son Chris Nault and wife, Elaine; by seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  He was predeceased by his three sisters, Lucille Dowhen, Gloria Boulanger, Beverly Robitaille, and his brother Donald Nault.

Ralph lived an amazing life over his 91 years.  Growing up on a small family farm in Barton, he loved the outdoors, hiking, hunting and especially fishing.  He also enjoyed traveling.

He served his country well as a Marine in the Korean War, and he started his own electrical contracting business in his early years.

What defined Ralph most was his close walk with the Lord and his call into ministry over 50 years ago.  As Ralph would tell it, he made a deal with God.  If God would heal his marriage and life, he would do whatever the Lord Jesus asked of him.

Over the course of the next seven years, his marriage and life healed, and God came calling and reminded him of the deal he made.  Ralph, being a man of his word, honored the deal with his Heavenly Father, entered full-time ministry with Pauline and, as a result, affected the lives of thousands upon thousands of people all over this great country and beyond.  He loved sharing the good news of God and His Son Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit to all who would listen.

Ralph will be interned at the Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida.

A celebration of his life will be held during late fall when many of his northern friends return to south Florida.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests sending a donation in Ralph’s name to a favorite charity of his: Agape Flights, 100 Airport Avenue East, Venice, Florida 34285,


Melvin Earl Lyon

Melvin Earl Lyon died peacefully Monday, July 25, 2022, at home with family.

He was born in Westmore August 3, 1931, to parents Erton Beebe and Alta Zoe Woodard Lyon.  On June 23, 1952, he married Shirley Simons and just celebrated their seventieth anniversary.

Melvin farmed most of his life and then got his CDL to truck drive at Calkins Sand and Gravel with the truck “Sweet 16” until his retirement at 79 years old.

He was a volunteer fireman for Barton, member of the snowmobile club the Snow Hawks, and drove in parades for the club’s float for the Fourth of July.

At the farmhouse he enjoyed the kitchen junkits on Saturday nights with record playing and dancing, he enjoyed going to the Barton fair and occasionally Fryeburg Fair. He enjoyed Sunday rides and getting ice cream in the summertime.  He enjoyed the boat ride on Memphremagog with about 40 family members for his eightieth birthday.  One fall he did a cross country trip with his Ford Fairlane station wagon with a pop-up Apache camper and six family members going to Portland, Oregon, down through California, through Texas, to Florida visiting family, and back to Vermont.

The family cared for Shirley’s cousin Billy Simons for almost 20 years, and he was Melvin’s sidekick.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Simons; two daughters: Janice Sicard (Alan) and Ellen Valley (Maurice); two sons: Harvey (Sue) and Dean (Jan).  One sister Marilyn Corlis, one sister-in-law Grace McKinnon, one brother-in-law Bob Morse.

He leaves behind eight grandkids, eighteen great-grandkids, and seven great-great-grandkids.

He was predeceased by a sister Marjorie Chappell and her husband, Ray, a brother-in-law Caston Corlis, a sister-in-law Joyce Morse, and a brother-in-law A.Wayne McKinnon.

There will be no calling hours and a graveside service will be held on Sunday, August 7, at 11 a.m., at Welcome O Brown cemetery in Barton.

Online condolences at


Anne Adair Hurt Dorworth

Anne Adair Hurt Dorworth (January 7, 1938 — May 1, 2022) was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the first of four children of Anna Elizabeth Phillips (1911-1968) and Henry Hicks Hurt (1909-1996).

Her younger siblings, twins Alexander Phillips Hurt (1940-2018) and Helen Hurt Gehrenbeck (born 1940) and Joan Adair Hurt (born 1948) were the beneficiaries of her selflessness and caring — consistent characteristics throughout her life.

Anne went far from home to MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois. A philosophy major, she was actively involved in student life. During her senior year (1960), she was voted the college’s May Queen.

Her mother was fond of hosting young clergy for Sunday supper with the family following worship. On one such Sunday, Anne met visiting clergy, Burke Eugene Dorworth (1929-2003) who claimed it was “love at first sight.” They were married at Towson, Maryland, Presbyterian Church on June 18, 1960.

Anne and Burke had two children: Caroline Adair (born 1961) and David Burke (born 1963).

Despite caretaking her young children at home, Anne was most grateful to her progressive husband for the opportunity to continue her education. Anne and Burke were both ahead of their time. In 1972, Anne earned a Master’s in Education from the University of Maryland where she was enrolled in night school and worked as a graduate assistant in the human development department.

Head Start was her first calling, serving low-income families. Anne was a dedicated classroom teacher in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) from 1972 to 1987.  She served schools in the poorest area of the county, with high rates of minority students and refugees in Silver Spring, Maryland and Takoma Park, Maryland, while continuing graduate courses at Trinity College and the University of Maryland from 1980 to 1987.

In 1987 Anne became an elementary school counselor. From 1997-2001 she furthered her education through Loyola College, Johns Hopkins University, and Chesapeake Beach Professional Seminars, Play Therapy. She was a beloved counselor in two MCPSs until 2000 when she retired from MCPSs and excitedly announced that she and Burke were expectant grandparents.

Anne and Burke’s daughter Caroline married Mark Fukuda in 1993; they have two sons, Kai Adair (born 2001) and Kazuo (Kaz) Burke (born 2007).  Kai named his grandmother Gaga, as he tried to say Grandma, a name and role she cherished and put all her nurture and support into. Despite a mostly long-distance relationship, Kaz told Gaga, “You always made us feel loved.”

After retiring from MCPSs, Anne became a licensed clinical professional counselor and specialized in play therapy. She worked in private practice, accepting fees on a sliding scale, from 2001- 2016 when she moved from Maryland to the Northeast Kingdom where her family has been connected since 1951. Anne was a resident at the Craftsbury Community Care Center for 7 years beginning in March 2016.

Anne lived her faith and was grateful for her life. She cared deeply for others. Her family and friends were most important to her. She was especially committed to children and people less advantaged or vocal than she was. Together, she and Burke were committed to the civil rights movement from the late 1950s, advancing race relations, social justice, open, welcoming, and diverse communities. They were active community members.

A celebration and thanksgiving for Anne’s life will be held August 6, at 2 p.m., at East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church, Craftsbury. All are welcome to join Anne’s family and friends.

Anne’s family is grateful for the Craftsbury Community Care Center and East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church — both communities were “home” to Anne.


Raymond L. Cota Jr.

Raymond L. Cota Jr., 87, of Barton, died on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at his home. He was born on November 30, 1934, in Orleans to the late Raymond L. Cota Sr., and Sylvia (Hoadley) Cota. On February 16, 1952, he married Helen Weeks, who predeceased him.

Raymond was employed at Ethan Allen Furniture Manufacturing for many years before retiring in 1999. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, family visits, and music jam sessions all over the county.

He is survived by his children: Valerie Poulin and her husband, Steve, of Derby, Sherril Cota and her partner, Scott Smith, of Coventry, Wanda Moses of Barton, Gary Cota and his wife, Pauline, of Derby, and Candy Cota and her partner, Ron Landry, of Orleans; by 19 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and by his brother-in-law Leonard Bent.

He was predeceased by his son Ronald Cota, daughter-in-law Judy Cota, son-in-law Danny Lamere, sister Mona Bent, sister-in-law Betty Currier, brothers-in-law Richard Mayette, Robert Davis, and Joseph Currier, and friends Jane Rollins and Ron Thurston.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., on Monday, August 8, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home, 12 Elm Street, Barton.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the service at 11 a.m.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Legion Post 23, P.O. Box 45, Orleans, Vermont 05860.

Online condolences may be made at


Raymond Conley

Raymond Conley died July 27, 2022, in Glover. He was 81 years old, born on June 17, 1941. He was the son of Charlie and Clarabelle Conley.

Raymond enjoyed hunting, fishing, firearms, and creating leather crafts.  People would often see him walking in Barton visiting the local stores.  He told many stories of his younger years that were good for a smile.

He spent many years employed in the construction business doing bridge and road work.  He was employed by many different contractors and spent more than 20 years working alongside his brother at R.C. Contractors, Inc.

He was predeceased by his parents, Charlie and Clarabelle Conley, and his brother Rodney Conley.

He is survived by his twin sons Rodney and Randall, and his brother Royce Conley and his wife, Lillian, and his sister-in-law Linda Conley.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, August 6, at 1 p.m., at the Dexter Cemetery in Sheffield.

Following there will be a gathering of friends and family at the camp of Royce and Lillian Conley at 1257 Shadow Lake in Glover.

Online condolences may be made at



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