Obituaries 9.30.20

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Sybil A. Moffat

Sybil A. Moffat, 91, of Shelburne died peacefully on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

She was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Kimball and Ruth (Cook) Adams.

Sybil was a 1948 graduate of Colby Junior College (now known as Colby-Sawyer) in New London, New Hampshire, with a degree in aeronautical secretarial science.

Her dream of working for a major airline company was never realized, because in the summer of 1947 she met her future husband, Paul Moffat, an Ohio State University student, while working with 200 other college students at the YMCA-owned Silver Bay Association’s summer retreat in Lake George, New York.  They were married in 1949.

Sybil and Paul moved to Attleboro, Massachusetts, where Paul worked for Texas Instruments.  Later they moved just across the line to Cumberland, Rhode Island, where they lived for 40 years and raised their three children.

Sybil’s kindness and creativity were defined by her dedicated belief of being a stay-at-home mom, cheerful homemaker, and committed community and church volunteer.

Black Labrador dogs enriched their family life, as did the purchase of their “camp” on Lake Willoughby in Westmore in 1967.  For over 50 years, she loved summer vacations at the camp where she enjoyed fishing, hiking, and hosting her children and their families.

An accomplished fiber artist, Sybil liked caring for her two sheep, Honey and Toast, spinning their wool, knitting, and weaving.  She was often seen spinning at many historical sites and fairs, especially her beloved Old Stone House Museum in Brownington.  She was featured always wearing her distinctive colonial costume while spinning in the sheep barns at the Orleans County Fair, Champlain Valley Fair, and the Eastern State’s Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sybil was pleased to share her time with lifelong friends she met at Colby-Sawyer College, and was honored to be fiftieth reunion chairperson and ongoing class agent.

Upon Paul’s retirement, they moved to Williston and eventually to Wake Robin in Shelburne, where they enjoyed being an integral part of the Wake Robin Life Plan Retirement Community.

Sybil was predeceased in 2015 by her husband of 65 years, Paul; and her sister Barbara in 1989.

She is survived by her three children:  Susan and her husband, Chuck Hill, Bruce and his wife, Pamela, and Guy and his wife, Jennifer; her seven grandchildren:  Kate, Megan, Emily, Mackenzie, Tucker, Laurel, and Dana; and her ten great-grandchildren:  Aston, Stellyn, Sybil, Audrey, Nolan, Delaney, Reagan, Elliot, Evie, and Maxwell.

A family gathering celebrating Sybil’s life will be held next summer at Lake Willoughby in honor of Sybil’s wishes.  Donations in Sybil’s memory may be made to the Old Stone House Museum, 109 Old Stone House Road, Brownington, Vermont 05860, or the charity of one’s choice.

Beverley E. Wright

Beverley E. Wright, 89, formerly of Newport Center, died on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in Sanford, Florida.

She was born on March 7, 1931, in Rock Island, Quebec, Canada, to Harold and Esther (Alexander) Lebaron.

On September 24, 1949, she married Cecil A. Wright, who predeceased her on January 4, 2012.

Beverley and Cecil lived on the Wright farm in Newport Center for many years.  They eventually moved to Newport to run the Newport airport.

In the 1960s and ’70s Beverley ran a snack bar at the airport, which was located in an old round roof building.  Beverley eventually moved her snack bar into the front of the new hangar that they had built for performing aircraft maintenance.

In the late 1970s until 1986, she helped Cecil run Newport Air Freight, where she eventually became president of the company until they sold it in 1986.  Upon the sale of their company Beverley and Cecil would travel to Florida every winter, where she would work part time at the local Publix grocery store in Lake Mary, Florida.

She is survived by her children Duane Wright and Patty Ames.

She was predeceased by her parents; her sisters Trudy Labounty and Edith Mae Copp; and her aunt Vi Rice.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral on Thursday, October 1, at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. with the Reverend John Genco officiating.  Interment will follow at Newport Center Cemetery.  Please follow CDC guidelines, and please wear a mask.

Memorial contributions in Beverley’s name may be made to the Lake Region Senior Center, 15 Main Street, Orleans, Vermont 05860, or the United Christian Academy, 65 School Street, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at


John Roger Whitcomb

John Roger Whitcomb, 75, of Wheaton, Illinois, died on Thursday, September 10, 2020.  His loving family surrounded him in life and his death.

He shared 53 years of marriage with his high school sweetheart, Ida (Greenwood) Whitcomb.

John was born March 10, 1945, in Newport to Roger and Ruth (White) Whitcomb.

John attended the University of Vermont and graduated from Castleton State College with a bachelor of arts degree.  He then obtained a master’s of business in healthcare administration degree from the University of Florida.

He began his healthcare career with a residency at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Through the years, he served as the chief executive officer of Copley Hospital in Morrisville, Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois, and Lewistown Hospital in Lewistown, Pennsylvania.  He spent the later years of his career as a consultant with numerous rural and financially challenged hospitals, as well as with Franciscan Alliance, Inc. of Indiana.

Throughout his auspicious and accomplished career, John remained ever humble and committed to the growth of others.  Furthermore, he was steadfast in his belief that through his work he could make an impact on communities in need and improve the health of those around him.

In addition to his wife, Ida, he is survived by their four children:  Leslie MacAlister of Albany, New York, Jeffrey Whitcomb and his wife, Hillary, of Huntington Beach, California, Thomas Whitcomb and his wife, Amy, of Lantana, Texas, and Sara Schroeder and her husband, Kurt, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.  John and Ida were blessed with 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  John is also survived by his sister Martha Montague and her husband, Richard, of Groton; his brother Alan Whitcomb and his wife, Cathy, of Granville, New York; and by his many beloved nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his sister Nancy Dowd; his brother-in-law Thomas Dowd; and by his grandson Hunter Kennefick.

John enjoyed a thoughtful and respectful debate, and there were few topics in which he was not well read or considered.  Conversations were often challenging in the best way, and one never concluded without each party seeing things in a slightly different way.

Like a true Vermont native, John was handy and hard working.  There was no project too intimidating for him to tackle and his family and friends were often the lucky recipients of John’s craftsmanship and woodworking.  Over the years he crafted furniture for his children and grandchildren, and honed beautiful vases, pens, and small items on his lathe.  His woodshop was the envy of many.

John was a dedicated and responsive papa to his many grandchildren.  He spent many hours with them in the family pool, in the workshop, or encouraging their sports and activities.

A private family service will be held.  And at a later date, the family will invite friends to join in a celebration of John’s life.


Michael Philip Place

Michael Philip Place, 60, died peacefully on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at the Bel Aire Center.

He was a graduate of North Country Union High School where he was an avid tennis player.

Mike met his real calling in cooking.  He was well known from the various restaurants in which he cooked at.  He also loved to build things, always having some sort of project in the works, and going on long early morning walks.

Mike always had a smile on his face and if he could help someone out, he went out of his way to do it.  He will be greatly missed by not only his family, but also his numerous friends.

Mike was predeceased by his parents, Patricia and Philip Place; and also by his older brother Peter Place.

He is survived by his three sons:  Mike, Steven, and Tanis, all of whom he was very proud of.  They put a twinkle in his eyes every time he spoke of them.  He is also survived by his siblings:  Theresa and her husband, Nick Stokes, of Yorktown, Virginia, Elizabeth Place and her partner, Tony Eastwood, of West Chesterfield, New Hampshire, Patricia “Susie” Place and her husband, Tom Bussell, of Derby Line, Margaret “Missy” Place and her partner, Cliff Gaudette, of Pownal, and Mary “MiMi” and her husband, Joe Becker, of Bennington; his several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews; and his very special lady that shared not only his life but his love for the last 15 years, Lauri Bonneau, of Derby.

As per Michael’s wishes there will be no services.

Online condolences may be made at


Joanne W. Dawson

Joanne W. Dawson, 79, of Rockingham Street in Bellows Falls, died on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at the Jack Byrnes Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

She was born on March 4, 1941, in Lowell, the daughter of Melvin and Marie (Mackenzie) Warner.

She graduated from St. Michael’s high school in Newport.  Following school, Joanne worked for the state of Vermont in the personnel department, was the owner of the Greensboro Bend general store, Under the Rainbow jewelry store, and worked for Whitney Blake, Melsur, and McGirr’s nursing home in Bellows Falls prior to her retirement.

She loved being outdoors, enjoyed gardening and had a green thumb, loved taking long walks, cookouts, and loved animals, especially her cat Oscar

Joanne was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Edward F. Dawson; by two babies Robin and Christine; her brother David; and her sister Janette Jones.

She is survived by her children:  Robert John Booth Jr. and his wife, Lisa, of Lowell and her daughter Penny R. Renaud and her husband, Robert, of Bellows Falls; her brother Patrick Warner of Orleans; her grandchildren:  Melvin, Virginia and her boyfriend, Jerry, Ethan Booth, and April and Mariah Renaud; and her four great-grandchildren:  Alyssa, Alexis, LaRaine, and Sierra.

There was a graveside burial service on September 26 at the Oakhill Cemetery in Bellows Falls.  The Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls assisted with the arrangements.


Cecile Ann Brown

Cecile Ann Brown, 84, died peacefully with her children by her side on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

She was a resident of Buford, Georgia, born December 12, 1935, in Glover, the only daughter of the late Floyd Joseph Montminy and Myrtle Alice (Ticehurst) Montminy.   She attended school at Barton Academy and then studied cosmetology and hair design in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  She later worked in retail clothing stores once her kids had grown.

Her interests were many.  She loved animals, drawing and painting, volunteering at Junction, Inc. (drug and alcohol abuse treatment program) in Westminster, Maryland, in the ‘70s, which included taking a young man into her family’s home for rehab, watching horse racing, volunteering with the Middlesex, Virginia, Lions and Women’s Red Hats Society, and knitting later in life.

Originally from New England, she was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan and lived on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay (before kids), where she developed a passion for fresh-caught blue crabs and oysters.  She was a loving and devoted mom of two and grandmother of two with a silly and fun side.  Cecile has extended families in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, and Washington State.

She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Richard Clayton Brown; and her brothers:  Ralph, Forrest, Bruce, and Joseph Montminy of Glover.

She is survived by her daughter Beth Ellen Brown of Hayes, Virginia; her son Craig Richard Brown and his wife, Jennifer Susan (Bell) Brown, and grandchildren Emma Sharlene Brown and Ethan Philip Brown of Buford; her eldest brother Roy Montminy of Glover; and her numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on September 27 in the Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel and Gardens funeral home located in Buford with the Reverend Dallas Thompson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the American Cancer Society and the Wounded Warrior Project to which Mrs. Brown contributed:  “It’s not about the war; it’s about the warrior.”

Memories of Cecile may be shared at


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