Obituaries December 19, 2012

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Maureen O’Donnell

Sharon Maureen O’Donnell

 Sharon Maureen O’Donnell died of cancer at her East Albany home on December 11, 2012, with her brother Brian and close friends by her side.  She died as courageously and intensely as she had lived.

She was born July 6, 1952, and was raised in Connecticut.

After a brief time in New York City performing and recording with The Radiators and other musicians, Ms. O’Donnell, or “Mo” to her friends, moved to the Northeast Kingdom in 1986, with her partner Nancy Lee Kathan, who had taken a job at Catamount Arts.  Ms. O’Donnell was a graduate of Goddard College and worked for a time as a film projectionist at Catamount Arts and as a press operator at Troll Press.  But she will be remembered by all who knew her as a talented and inspiring musician and performer with the BTUs and other local bands.

Ms. O’Donnell was a veritable one-woman band, as talented on vocals as she was on guitar, drums and keyboard.  In 2009, in her home studio in East Albany, she recorded and produced Rogue Element, a powerful and compelling CD of original music.  She not only composed the music and wrote all the lyrics, but also played all of the instrumentation herself.  She influenced and inspired many young musicians in the area.

Ms. O’Donnell was a spiritual person who found inspiration in the nature of the Northeast Kingdom.  She spent much time in meditation at the Buddhist center, Karme-choling.  She was also an ardent participant in Native American rituals and ceremonies.  A Native American pipe ceremony will be held for her at her home on the spring equinox in March.

Ms. O’Donnell was predeceased by her mother and father and brother Michael.

She is survived by her brother Brian and sisters Laura, Nina and Lisa, as well as cousins Lauren, Susan and Mark.

People wishing to honor and remember Ms. O’Donnell may do so by making a donation in her memory to the outreach hospice program and future residential home, Summer House of the Northeast Kingdom, care of Community National Bank,  Church Street, Barton 05822, or care of Donna Tatum, 9 High Street, Orleans, Vermont  05860.

Friends of Maureen are invited to attend a potluck winter solstice celebration in her honor on Friday, December 21, at the home of Susan Blackstone in Westmore from 4 to 8 p.m.

Christine Beerworth

Christine Mary Beerworth

Christine Mary Beerworth, 78, of Jay died on December 12, 2012, in Newport.

She was born on May 13, 1934.  Her parents, Charles and Susie (Connors) Gebler, predeceased her, as did her brother Charles and her husband, Robert W. Beerworth.

Mrs. Beerworth was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and lived most of her young life in Rockville, Connecticut.  She graduated from Rockville High School in 1952 and the New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing in 1955.

On November 5, 1955, she married Robert W. Beerworth.  They made their home in Rockville until 1968 when they moved with their three children to Jay.

Mrs. Beerworth was employed at North Country Hospital for 28 years, having served as director of nursing from 1978 to 1986.  In 1983 she went back to college at Castleton State College and completed the BSN program.  She retired in 2003 after serving as the school nurse at the Jay-Westfield Elementary School.

She was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in North Troy.  She enjoyed music and served as the church choir director for several years.  She also enjoyed many crafts, including her handcrafted Christmas ornaments, sewing, knitting, and needlepoint.

Mrs. Beerworth fulfilled her dream of owning a home in Florida with her husband.  She spent much of her time there on the beach collecting shells, while her husband, Bob, enjoyed his love for golf.

Mr. and Mrs. Beerworth had three children: John Beerworth and his wife, Mary, of Shrewsbury, Susan Kopec, and Robert Beerworth Jr., of Jay.  Mrs. Beerworth is also survived by her five grandchildren:  Caeleigh and Connor Beerworth, and Kathryn, Candice, and Jonathan Kopec.

Funeral services were held on December 15 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in North Troy where a Mass was celebrated by the Reverend Ladislaus Mwelinde.  Interment followed in the Jay Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to N.O.R.D. for Restricted Funds for Stiff Person Syndrome, 55 Kenosia Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut 06810.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Robert Burke

Robert A. Burke

Robert A. Burke, 62, of Derby died on December 9, 2012, in Newport.

He was born August 8, 1950, in South Paris, Maine, a son of Omer and Kathleen (Murphy) Burke, who predeceased him.  On January 1, 1970, he married Anita Hunt, who survives him.

Mr. Burke graduated from Oxford Hills High School in South Paris and from Husson College in Bangor, Maine, with a bachelor of science degree.  He was case goods manager and accounting cost administrator for Ethan Allen Manufacturing in Danbury, Connecticut, for 34 years.  He was a former member of the Skowhegan, Maine, Lions Club from 1982 through 1986 before transferring to the Derby Lions Club.  During his 30-year-plus membership, he was a past president of the Derby Lions, Lion of the Year in 1992, and he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 1999.  He was also treasurer from 2004 through 2012 and received his Chevron pin in 2012.

He was also a member of the Boy Scouts of America and the United Church of Derby.  He was an avid golfer, a member of the Orleans Country Club, a NASCAR fan, and he enjoyed cooking.

He is survived by his wife, Anita Burke, of Derby; by his children:  Alan Burke and his wife, Nancy, of North Oxford, Massachusetts, Kathleen Burke-Worthley and her husband, Andrew, of Chelsea, Maine, and Amanda Montalbano and her husband, Ryan, of Smithfield, Rhode Island; by his grandchildren Benjamin and Jonathan Burke; by his brothers:  Omer Burke and his wife, Becky, of South Paris and Thomas Burke and his wife, Richa, of San Antonio, Texas; by an uncle, aunts and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 22, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport.  Interment will take place at the Riverside Annex Cemetery in South Paris.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Derby United Church, 3064 Route 5, Derby, Vermont 05829.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

Andre Gaudreau

 Andre Gaudreau, 69, of St. Albans died at North Country Hospital in Newport surrounded by his family on December 11, 2012, following a long and courageous battle with kidney cancer.

Mr. Gaudreau was born on December 6, 1943, in Newport, the fourth child of Gervais and Germaine (Lamontagne) Gaudreau, who predeceased him in 2005 and 2001, respectively.

He was a graduate of Sacred Heart High School in Newport.  He then attended St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, to pursue studies in philosophy.  He went on to earn a master’s of divinity degree at the University of St. Paul’s in Ottawa, Ontario.  He then served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.  He subsequently obtained a teaching certificate in music and elementary education from Johnson State College.  Part of his music certification program included applied studies in pipe organ under Dr. James G. Chapman of UVM in Burlington.

After completing his studies in elementary education, he was employed as a bilingual educator in the Swanton/Highgate bilingual program.  His final employment was at IBM in Essex Junction until his retirement in 2008.

Mr. Gaudreau is survived by his five sisters:  Pierrette Paradis of Windsor, Connecticut, Denise Bouffard of Newport, Gabrielle Carr and her husband, Jim, of Newport, Lucille Gaudreau of Newport, and Suzanne Gaudreau of St. Albans. He also leaves his nieces and nephews:  Suzanne Paradis of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Mark Paradis of Windsor, Jane Bouffard of Stowe, Monica and her husband, Scott Libby, of Newport, Peter Bouffard and his wife, Debbie, of Lincoln, Nebraska, Thomas Bouffard of Pittsburg, California, and Julie Bouffard Vesely and her husband, Keith, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland; and by five grandnieces:  Amanda Joubert, Sara Noyes, Michaela DiZazzo, and Laura and Anna Grace Libby.

He was predeceased by two brothers-in-law, Andre Paradis of Windsor and Paul Bouffard of Newport.

Mr. Gaudreau had a special interest in his French ancestry, history and genealogy, which impelled him to initiate extensive research into his family’s genealogical roots dating back to France.  This major project resulted in the creation of four genealogical volumes for his family.

Mr. Gaudreau consistently maintained a positive and courageous attitude throughout the course of his illness.  He relied on his unwavering faith and spiritual life for strength, inner fortitude and peace.  He was also devoted to his church and was a faithful and active communicant of St. Mary’s Parish in St. Albans.

A Mass was held at 11 a.m. on December 15 at Mater Dei Parish in Newport.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mater Dei Parish for St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Parish in Newport.

Leo Paul Pare

Leo Paul Pare

 Leo Paul Pare, 79, of Derby Line died on December 10, 2012, in Newport.

He was born June 18, 1933, in Rock Island, Quebec, a son of Alcide and Marie (Pomerleau) Pare.  On October 26, 1953, he married Jeannine Veilleux, who predeceased him on October 7, 2012.  He was a veteran of the Korean War.

Mr. Pare was a heavy equipment operator for 35 years, ending his career with Mario Paul.  Prior to working construction, he owned and operated a dairy farm for 12 years.

He enjoyed painting cars, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, sugaring, and traveling with his wife.  He was a member of Community Circle, and American Legion Post #21 of Newport.

He is survived by his children:  JoAnne Ellam and her husband, Craig, of Derby Line, Michael Pare and his wife, Tina, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Ronald Pare and his wife, Karen, of Helena, Montana, Robert Pare and his wife, Sharon, of Newport, Paul Pare and his wife, Kim, of Keene, New Hampshire, and Carole Rosario and her husband, Tony, of Hillsboro, New Hampshire; by his grandchildren:  Jeffrey Ellam, Michael Pare Jr., and his wife, Lila, DeAnna Chavez and her husband, Steven, Brian Pare and his wife, Tiffany, Ashley Rice and her husband, Steve, Erik Pare, Meghan and Kristen Pare, and Morgan and Nicholas Pare; by his great-grandchildren:  Keara and KeAhna Chavez and Makaela and Zaidyn Pare; by his brother and sister-in-law Gaston and Rita Lefebvre; and by several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother Claude Pare, by his sister Gisele Paquin, and by his granddaughter Jennifer Ellam.

Funeral services were held on December 18 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Derby Line, where a Mass was celebrated.  Interment followed in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line with full military honors.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Society, 502 Strawberry Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855, or to the St. Edward’s Ladies Altar Shelter, 191 Clermont Terrace, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at

William Riggie

William Knost Riggie

 William Knost Riggie, 82, of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, died on December 9, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born October 7, 1930, in Newport.  He attended St. Mary’s School and Brighton High School in Island Pond.  Following his education, he entered the U.S. Navy (1954-1958).  Mr. Riggie was a proud veteran, serving as post commander of the American Legion Post #42 in 1966 and dedicating 58 years to American Legion membership.

He was employed by the New England Telephone Co. as a lineman supervisor, and he retired from AT&T with 31 years of service in 1985.  In early years of retirement, he traveled extensively with his wife, Paula.  In 1997 they moved from Henderson, Nevada, to their current residence in Land O’ Lakes.

Friends and family will remember Mr. Riggie for his wonderful sense of humor, his woodworking talent and his love of travel.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 35 years, Paula Corologos Riggie; his sons:  William Riggie and his wife, Nancy, of Pensacola, Florida, Dana Riggie of Henniker, New Hampshire, Scot Riggie and his wife, Melissa, of Glover; and his daughter Paula Michelle Sweigart and her husband, Aaron, of Pensacola; by his granddaughter Lauren Chase and her husband, Ren, with great-grandchildren Isabelle and Jack Hammond, all of South Burlington; and his grandson Jason Sweigart of Biloxi, Mississippi.  Others mourning his passing are sisters-in-law Phyllis Riggie of Island Pond, Irene Abbott and her husband, Bob, of South Burlington, Judith Corologos of Randolph, and brothers-in-law Roger Sylvester of Juneau, Alaska, Paul Corologos and his wife, Sharon, of Venice, Florida, James Corologos of Mineola, New York, and Andrew Corologos and his wife, Toy, of South Burlington.

He was predeceased by grandchildren Andrea and Jessica Riggie; sisters Theresa Younce, Cleone Sylvester, and Thelma Pontbriand; and one brother, Dr. Brian Riggie.  He will also be mourned by several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Riggie’s name to the Gulfside Regional Hospice at

There will be a private family service only.  Arrangements are by Whitfield Funeral Home of Zephyrhills, Florida.  Interment will be at the Florida Veterans National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

Wendell C. Rivers Jr.

Wendell C. Rivers Jr.

 Wendell C. Rivers, Jr., 61, of Albany, died at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington Tuesday evening, December 11, 2012, with his longtime partner, Cheryl Lafaso, by his side.

He was born in Newport on December 30, 1950, a son of Wendell C. Rivers Sr. and Nancy (Veglia) Rivers.  He attended school in Albany, where he resided most of his life.

Mr. Rivers was a talented musician, playing guitar and singing in many area bands.  He enjoyed wildlife and feeding the birds near his home.  He was a licensed ham radio operator, receiving recognition for relaying information in several rescue missions.

He leaves his son, Wendell C. Rivers III, of Coventry; his longtime partner, Cheryl Lafaso, and her son, Patrick Lafaso; his mother, Nancy (Veglia) Rivers; his brother, Richard Rivers and his wife, Billie Jean; and his sister Millie Seguin and her husband, Gary, all of Albany.  He also leaves many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends.

Mr. Rivers was predeceased by his father, Wendell C. Rivers Sr., as well as his great-nephew Adrien Mason.

A graveside service was held on Friday, December 14, at the Albany Village Cemetery with the Reverend Lawrence Wall and Pastor Tim Ingalls officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855.







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