Obituaries December 13, 2017

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Alden Carl Aldrich Sr.

On the morning of December 9, 2017, Alden Carl Aldrich Sr., 79, died in Newport.

Although his family and friends are saddened by the loss, knowing he is reunited with his beloved wife, Frances, the love of his entire life, brings serenity and joy.

Mr. Aldrich was born in May of 1938, in Brownington, the youngest of Francis and Marcia (Young) Aldrich’s nine children. He resided in Coventry when first born and moved later on to the family’s farmhouse in the Lake Willoughby area where he would meet the love of his life, Frances. When Alden met Frances at the early age of 14, it was love at first sight. They would go on to be married when she was 16, and shortly after he had turned 18. They started their life in Springfield, Massachusetts, but returned to their beloved Vermont to start their family.

Mr. Aldrich worked as a long-distance truck driver, traveling the United States until retirement. He always loved returning to his native Vermont. In 1973, he bought his family farmhouse near Lake Willoughby, where they lived with their five children for many happy years. In later years, Mr. and Mrs. Aldrich would travel to Florida where they joined their fellow friends and church members from the Northeast Kingdom, and where they enjoyed retirement and the sunshine. Throughout his life he attended the Brownington Center Church, and more recently the Albany United Methodist church. He was always known for his wry sense of humor; though the children would roll their eyes, they greatly enjoyed it. They often joke with one another, as each inherited a little bit of his humor. He will be missed immensely.

Mr. Aldrich is survived by his sister, Eileen Provost; and his children: Marcia Blouin-Bushey and her husband, James Bushey Jr., of Irasburg, Alden Aldrich Jr. of San Jose, California, Peter and Robin Aldrich of St. Albans, and Paula and Roger Bernier of Barton. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Allison and Adrian Hahr of Barton, Stephanie and Dan LaBarron of Holland, Jessica and Alex Urango of Santa Clara, California, Emily Aldrich and Angel Maldonado of Mountain View, California, Noah Aldrich and Kally Aldrich of St. Albans, Tess Leeper of Trappe, Maryland, Anna Leeper of Cranston, Rhode Island, Jennifer Bushey and Ryan Roberge of Lowell, Amy and Lester Jewer III of Irasburg, Jesse Bushey and Raymond Coderre of Barton, Alicia and Steven Boardman of Sparks, Nevada, Nicholas and Ariel Bernier of South Burlington, and Joseph and Courtney Way of Cabot, Arkansas. His eleven great-grandchildren survive him, with three more on the way.

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Frances (White) in 2015; his daughter Amy in 1977; and as his son-in-law Dwane Blouin in 2000. His brothers: Roderick, Roger, and Edward and sisters: Avis, Sally, Elin, and Theda, also predeceased him.

Services will be held on Saturday, December 16, at 2 p.m., at the Albany United Methodist Church with Pastor Nathan Strong and Pastor George Lawson officiating. Donations can be made to the Irasburg Senior Meal Program in Irasburg.

Online condolences can be made at


Armand A Fontaine

Armand A. Fontaine, 83, died on November 30, in Newport, with his family by his side.

He was born on July 8, 1934, in Walden to Arthur and Bertha Fontaine. He attended school in Greensboro Bend. He married Betty Blouin on September 3, 1955. They were married for 62 years.

Mr. Fontaine worked at Fairbanks Scales in St. Johnsbury as a machinist. He also worked as a truck driver and hauled fence posts to New York. More recently he worked at Tivoly in Derby Line for 33 years.

He loved music and played keyboards for many years in local nursing homes. It made him happy to see the joy in the faces of the residents.

He like hunting and fishing with his grandson Josh.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; and his three sons: Michael and Jessie of Barton, Marcel and his wife, Karen, of Orleans, and Andrew of Barton; his grandchildren: Joshua, Jared, Summer, Robby, Chad, Heather, Eugenie, and Gilman; six great-grandchildren; and many friends, nieces, and nephews. He is also survived by his sisters: Henrietta and her husband, Dave, Fernande and her husband, Levi, Jeannine, Rose and her husband, Tom; his brothers: Jules and his wife, Anne, Leo, and Denis.

He was predeceased by his mother and father; his sister Michelle, his brother Conrad; and his sister-in-law Dana.

A celebration of Mr. Fontaine’s life will be held in the summer at the convenience of the family.


John P. Gratton

Deacon John P. Gratton, 86, of Derby, died on December 7, 2017, at North Country Hospital in Newport.

He was born August 19, 1931, in Derby Line, to the late Herve and Blanche (Roy) Gratton. His mother died when Mr. Gratton was five years old, so as a young boy he was a boarder at the Catholic school in Saint-Césaire, Québec, and did some grade school in Rock Island, Canada. He stayed with “Mom and Pop” Gosselin while he attended high school at Sacred Heart in Newport. His senior year, he enlisted in the Army. He got his GED and proudly served in the United States Army during the Korean War. On stateside he served as assistant to the chaplain and later was stationed in Germany. He was a member of the American Legion Post #21 in Newport.

On June 14, 1951, he married Norma Hendrick who survives him. In the earlier part of their 66-and-one-half years of marriage they had ten children. Family came second only after God to Mr. Gratton. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Gratton taught their children to pray and the importance of a spiritual life. Night prayers were said as a family. Sunday Mass was a must. Mr. Gratton’s love for his family was evident in his actions and comparison of them to precious gems. He worked several jobs at a time to provide for them and to assure that Mrs. Gratton was able to be a stay-at-home mom. Back when no one worked on Sundays and businesses closed down for the Lord’s Day, it was family day when he would take them on picnics, Sunday drives (with a station wagon filled to busting with children singing as they explored new roads), for a day at the lake swimming, to the drive-in theater, fishing, or visiting friends and relatives. There were no dull moments.

Mr. Gratton taught catechism for a few years and he and Mrs. Gratton helped Father Yvon with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. He played baseball, helped with Boy Scouts, and directed St. Benedict’s church choir at different times in his life.

He attended classes to become a deacon and on September 23, 1989, he was ordained. He was a deacon for St. Benedict Labre Church in West Charleston and St. Edward the Confessor Church in Derby Line, where he was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He held several different positions in his 39-plus years at Columbia Forest Products, his last position being a purchasing agent. He also did income taxes and was a bookkeeper on the side. He retired from the mill on July 1, 1997. The speech he gave at his retirement party was one of humility where he apologized to the crowd if he ever had hurt or upset anyone.

Besides his wife, Mr. Gratton is also survived by his children and their spouses: Michael Gratton of Derby, Bobby Gratton and his wife, Linda, of Council, Idaho, Neena Gratton of Derby, Peter Gratton and his wife, Janet, of Newport Center, Timmy Gratton and his wife, Kendi, of Bristol, Danny Gratton and his wife, Mary, of Essex Junction, Angela Cerkovnik and her husband, Michael, of Davidson, North Carolina, Andre Gratton of Cherryville, North Carolina, Ronnie Gratton and his wife, Paula, of Fairfax, and Ricky Gratton and his wife, Neha, of Derby.

He is also survived by 17 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

His sister Pauline Gratton predeceased him.

A Mass will be celebrated on Friday, December 15, at 1 p.m., at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Derby Line. Calling hours will be prior to the funeral in the church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Donations can be made to Mater Dei Parish, 191 Clermont Terrace, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be shared at


Debra Levins

Debra Levins, 55, of Concord, New Hampshire, died on November 26, 2017, at the Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association Hospice House with her loving husband, Tom, by her side.

Mrs. Levins was born in Newport. She moved to Rutland and was a graduate of Rutland High School with the class of 1980. After high school she entered the nursing program at the University of Vermont where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing, graduating in 1984.

In 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Levins moved to the Concord area where they have lived ever since raising their family. Mrs. Levins worked at the Concord Hospital for over 30 years as a registered nurse. In her free time she enjoyed going to craft fairs. She loved spending time at the beach sitting in the sun with several of her best friends whom she would go with every year.

She leaves her beloved husband, Tom Levins, of Concord; her three sons: Matt Levins, Andy Levins, and Tim Levins, all of Concord; her mother, Carlene (Wright) Cook of Newport; her father, Richard Cook of Rutland; her brother Brian Cook and his wife, Kate, of Lyme, New Hampshire; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; as well as many great friends.

A funeral was held at the Wendell J. Butt Funeral Home in Penacook, New Hampshire, on December 3.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that any donations be made to the college funds of Mrs. Levins’ sons. Please make checks payable to Kim Levins, 9 Kingsley Avenue, Rutland, Vermont 05701; or donation can go to

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