Obituaries August 2, 2017

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Peter R.M. Bell II

Peter “Pete” R.M. Bell II, 73, of East Albany, died peacefully in his home on July 23, 2017.

He was born on February 17, 1944, in Syracuse, New York, to Peter R.M. Bell and June (Rathburn) Bell and spent most of his life in Syracuse and the central New York area before retiring to Vermont with his wife Barbara in May of 2001.

Mr. Bell had a 25-year career in the Onondaga County Department of Correction in Jamesville, New York.

He also served over 39 years in several branches of the U.S. military which included 18 months in Vietnam in 1963 and 1964. He eventually retired from the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

Mr. Bell was a very loving, devoted husband and father who adored his adopted shelter dogs. He also enjoyed reading, RV camping, playing Yahtzee, and the company of his many friends both here in the Northeast Kingdom and back in Syracuse.

For the last 10 years he dedicated himself to the military honors team of the American Legion Post #23 in Orleans.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Warren) Bell; all of her brothers and sisters and their families; his daughter Leanne (Bell) Trembley, and her husband, Louis, of Clarksville, Tennessee; two grandsons: David Trembley, also of Clarksville, and Staff Sergeant Kristopher Trembley, U.S. Army; and by several great-grandchildren.

At Mr. Bell’s request there will be no calling hours or funeral service. There will be a rendering of full military honors on the Irasburg Common at 4 p.m., on Thursday, August 3. All are welcome to attend.

In lieu of cards and flowers, those who wish may send a donation to either the American Legion Post #23, P.O. Box 72, Orleans, Vermont 05860, or to Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 4473 Barton Orleans Road, Orleans, Vermont 05860.

Online condolences may be shared at


Dermot “Paul” Cosgrove

Dermot “Paul” Cosgrove, 69, of Ruskin, Florida, formerly of Burlington, died July 7, 2017, at the Hospice House in Ruskin after a year of declining health. His sister Maude and her husband, Mike, were with him in Florida when he died.

Mr. Cosgrove was born on March 22, 1948, in St. Johnsbury. He was the son of G. Emmett and Charlene (Branon) Cosgrove. He was raised in Woodsville, New Hampshire, and had a strong connection to Willoughby Lake in Westmore where the family had a summer camp.

He was very personable, with a big heart, a keen mind for details, and a fiercely independent spirit. He was proud of his Cosgrove/Branon Irish ancestry and could be charming, witty, and sentimental, as well as being a master of debate. His laughter is remembered by many. Family and loyalty were very important to him, and he was always generous to people around him who were in need.

Mr. Cosgrove attended Belknap College in Center Harbor, New Hampshire, the Radio, Electronics and Television School in Boston, Massachusetts, and the University of Vermont. He had a gift for engineering, building, or repairing almost anything. At the age of ten he began taking apart household appliances to see how they worked, and in high school, completely tore down and reassembled his Honda 350.

He lived in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Westmore, working in building construction and property management before settling in Burlington and starting the Energy Conservation Company in 1980. He performed energy audits, installed insulation, and retrofitted buildings for energy efficiency, and he did general remodeling work for many loyal customers. He was meticulous in his work, and valued practical lessons learned from mentors he cultivated along the way. He acquired a blasting license during his early employment, which led him to producing masterful fireworks displays at Willoughby Lake for several years in the 1970s. He was active in any community he lived in, serving as a lister in Westmore and as a member of the zoning board of adjustment in Burlington.

Over the years, he maintained a wide range of friendships, including his friends in Woodsville and Westmore, his large extended family, his business contacts in Chittenden County, and the many people he knew in Alcoholics Anonymous. He enjoyed 28 years of sobriety and credited the program with saving his life. He thoroughly digested and deliberated the lessons in the “Big Book.”

In 2003 Mr. Cosgrove made his decision to move to a warmer climate and headed for Florida, eventually settling in Ruskin, near Tampa. Although he missed being close to family, he found friends and settled into his new community. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, taking pictures, and fishing. He enjoyed watching history and science documentaries and could recall the details in any conversations on those topics.

Survivors include his son Emmett Brian Cosgrove of Burlington; a sister Maude “Mary” Cosgrove Chater and her husband, Mike Chater, of Montpelier; nephews Ben Chater of Winooski and Brendan Cosgrove of Waterbury; grandnieces Emma, Maggie, and Nora of Waterbury; and numerous Cosgrove and Branon cousins. He was predeceased by his older brother Brian in September of 2016.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.


Russell Kenneth Marcotte

Russell Kenneth Marcotte, 96, of Derby, died suddenly on July 27, 2017, in Holland.

He was the sixth and last son out of nine children of the late Joseph and Violet Marcotte. His siblings predeceased him: Grant, Edith, Gordon, Stuart, Norman, Delwin (“Hooky”), Evelyn Dilport, and Geri.

He received a thorough education in dairy farming and animal husbandry, as it was practiced in the early twentieth century.

He married Elizabeth “Betty” Nault of Newport a few days after the end of hostilities in World War II. She predeceased him, as did two sons, Neil and Brent.

He is survived by his son, Russell V. Marcotte, and his wife, Rose, of Washington State, and by numerous nieces and nephews.

He operated his dairy farm in Barton for 20 years.

He sold his farm and worked for the Ethan Allen Furniture factory in Orleans through the early 1980s. There, he was proud of his reputation as a production worker recognized for both speed and high quality output.

Retiring, he then designed, fashioned, and sold lawn ornaments from his woodworking factory on the Willoughby Lake Road in Barton. He particularly enjoyed making friends with potential buyers.

Concerned about equipment safety issues, he reluctantly retired from woodworking in his eighties.

In this century, he purchased a small home in Derby. There he maintained a predictable schedule of solitary daily drives of love, never leaving, nor having any desire to travel from, the farms he grew up on and loved his entire life.

Self-taught, he mastered the guitar, accordion, and harmonica, contributing to the gaiety of family gatherings.

A graveside service was conducted by Father Roger Charbonneau on August 1 at the North Cemetery in Barton.

Online condolences may be shared at



Wilmot “Bill” G. Nelson

Wilmot “Bill” G. Nelson, 102, the oldest resident of Norton, died at the Coos County Nursing Hospital in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire, on July 25, 2017.

He was born October 26, 1914, in Norton to Edward and Helen (Parker) Nelson. He helped out with the family businesses, delivering gas and helping out at the general store. Mr. Nelson was a beloved member of the Norton community. His many friends were his family, and he always supported the schoolchildren when the Norton school was open.

Mr. Nelson most enjoyed watching baseball spring training and even went to Florida once to watch the teams train. He also enjoyed his cats and dogs and was very kind and caring to them all. He was a peaceful and quiet man and a true Christian. He will be missed; he was gentle soul.

Mr. Nelson was a wiz at figures and numbers, and his memory was exceptional. He was interesting to listen to. You could ask him about almost any event and he could tell you everything about it. He had a computer mind as many would say.

He enjoyed his birthdays; having a cake and celebrating with his friends was a big deal. He always had to celebrate his birthday on his birthday, not the day before or the day after. Mr. Nelson had a special birthday in 2014 when friends helped him celebrate his one-hundredth. It was extra special because he was presented with a proclamation from the town of Norton declaring October 26 of every year as Bill Nelson day; it was a special day for a very special man.

Mr. Nelson was a member of the Morgan United Church.

He was in his mid-thirties when his parents died and he continued to live with his sisters. He is survived by his sister Miriam Nelson of Norton. He was predeceased by his sister Ruth Nelson in 2004.

Funeral services were held on July 28 at the Morgan United Church with the Reverend Michael DeSena officiating. Interment followed at the Mt. Forest Cemetery, in Coaticook, Quebec. Should friends desire, contributions in Mr. Nelson’s name may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences can be shared at


Steven Phelps Sanford

In the comfort of his home, Dr. Steven Phelps Sanford, age 64, naturally left this world going on to the next on June 8, 2017. On that day, the animal world unexpectedly lost a valued healer of its community, but Dr. Steve’s legacy lives on within the hearts of his loyal clients, both human and beast alike.

Born in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, on June 20, 1952, and growing up in Baldwinsville, New York, Dr. Sanford’s young life was filled with family gatherings at his grandparents’ farm in Stamford, Vermont, as well as exploring the musical theater life with his maternal grandparents in New York City. Encouraged by parents who embraced life’s opportunities, he excelled throughout his youth and teenage years in both sports and education. His passion for football and lacrosse laid the foundation for future success. He received a scholarship to Princeton and a year later transferred to Cornell University where he graduated in 1979 as a doctor of veterinary medicine.

Given the incredible gift of helping and healing animals, Dr. Steve ventured to the Green Mountains of Vermont to start his career at Sequist Animal Hospital in Morrisville. With big dreams and a shoebox full of index cards, he was drawn to the Northeast Kingdom. Intrigued by both large and small animals, he focused on the bovine community; healthy dairy cows meant success and prosperity to the local farm and milk industry.

In 1991, Dr. Steve established a successful practice with the help of his faithful employees. Derby Pond Animal Hospital and Greensboro Animal Hospital became a part of his legacy. For over 30 years Dr. Sandford dedicated his entire being to his clients in the Northeast Kingdom. Day or night, rain or snow, he came to the rescue. He took great pride in his work and was a dear friend to many, taking exceptional care of their precious family pets.

On his down time he took advantage of what Vermont had to offer, whether he conquered the ski slopes, biked the back roads, or drove his team of Belgians around Caspian Lake. He embraced the community by offering moonlit sleigh rides to Highland Lodge guests and brightened the days of seniors at Greensboro Nursing Home. He recalled memories of looking out over the Hudson as a child and watching the tugboats, which prompted his purchase of a limited edition Lord Nelson Victory tug. He had big dreams of retiring and traveling both land and sea.

Beloved friend, mentor, and college coach Richie Moran played a huge role in Dr. Sanford’s life and inspired him to write and share some of Richie’s “pearls of wisdom”: “Always call your mother on Mother’s Day, and then go to church and the library.” “Big Red is the only gum there is!” “When you are thinking of someone, call them; otherwise they’ll never know.” “Enthusiasm is contagious.” “Never burn a bridge, someday you might want to go back.” “Stay a little bit hungry. It’s great to be the underdog.” “Respect all, be intimidated by none.” “The value of game preparation.” “Sometimes it’s best to turn the other cheek and walk away.” “There’s no such thing as a bad day, it’s just that some are better than others.” “The value of family, friends and education.” And “it’s great to be here,” (which became the title of a book Coach Richie wrote last year).

Those who miss Dr. Sanford dearly and are thankful to have walked this life with him are his mother, Joan Sanford, of Schenectady, New York; his daughter Blythe Sanford of Ithaca, New York; his aunts: Carolyn Bobowiec of Stamford, Susie Gomez of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Mary Jane Mumford of Bradenton, Florida; his cousins: Margaret Moore of Cazenovia, New York, Edward Nassif of Tully, New York, Alicia Stevenson of Malibu, California, Paul Stevenson of Los Angeles, California, Paul Bobowiec of Stamford, and Daniela Gomez of Middleberg, Holland; and his spiritual “swim buddy,” Paula “Peach” Lawrence of East Hardwick.

Dr. Sanford was predeceased by his father, Robert Sanford, of Galway, New York, his precious sister Linda “Lou” Sanford of Taos, New Mexico, who tragically died only two days prior, and his cousin Daniel Bobowiec of Stamford.

Let this bring peace to all the people’s lives that Dr. Steve Sanford truly touched through his expertise in veterinary medicine and the animal world to which he dedicated his life. Even though he’s no longer with us, he’ll never be forgotten.

In 2017, Dr. Steve was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia disease caused primarily by sports-related and occupational head trauma. His legacy continues through the donation of his brain to aid in further research at Boston University. Donations can be given online to BU CTE Center by visiting: Checks, payable to BU CTE Center, could also be addressed to: Attention Jason Miller, CTE Center, 72 East Concord Street, Robinson B/7800, Boston, Massachusetts 02118 (please memo the check CTE Neuropathology Fund).

“Life doesn’t get any better than this; it’s just another day in paradise!” — Dr. Steven “Farmer” Sanford.

May his legacy live on forever!

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