Obituaries June 27, 2012

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Philip Romeo Collette

Philip Romeo Collette, 88, died on Friday, June 15, 2012, surrounded by his loving family in Punta Gorda, Florida, at Peace River Regional Hospital.

Up until then, he had been living in Port Charlotte, Florida, where he and his perfect match — Marcella, whom he married 66 years ago — have been enjoying retirement for over 32 years.  He passed without much discomfort after dealing with failing health for the last few years.

He was born in Orleans on March 20, 1924, to his father, Ernest, and mother, Laura Blair.  His siblings were Laurette (Leblanc) and Maurice Collette.

Mr. and Mrs. Collette’s comfortable home was their pride and joy; with beautiful gardens, fruit trees and vegetables that the neighbors envied for many years.  His family will miss him and the trips to Florida with their children — the Collette vacation always had a “project” that involved everyone in some way.  He would build a gambrel roof barn to protect his tools and toys and soon thereafter, a neighbor would ask if he could build one for them.  Florida was a nice place to winter, but his heart was always back in Vermont.

Mr. and Mrs. Collette enjoyed their awesome “camp” at Shadow Lake in Glover for many years.  We could never describe the thought and labor that was expended through the efforts of Mr. Collette, Mrs. Collette, his family and friends to develop such an inviting place to share.

Mr. Collette’s life was one of hard work.  The reality of the Great Depression era always loomed while influencing his attitude toward the importance of working hard, family values and providing whatever he could for his family.

His working life started on the farm at May Pond, his father’s machine shop, the railroad, the feed store, and the Converse Company.  In 1960, he set out with his life partner, Marcella, to establish his own plumbing and heating business which he successfully developed for over 20 years.  If there was any time for family and recreation it would involve camping, fishing, traveling to Ohio, Canada and beyond.  He always loved nature, hunting, more fishing, and especially the creation of the “South America Pond Camp” in 1961.  It would be hard to find anyone who knows of this place who would not want to have their name on the original plaque hanging today above the front door.  Camp is camp — ’nuff said .

His social life was more personal than by affiliation:  the Lions Club, the country club, the Elks, and his trade organizations were important to him as a citizen but the work and his family always came first.  His spiritual guidance was from the support of the Catholic faith and St. Theresa’s Parish in Orleans.

He is survived by his beautiful wife, Marcella; Richard and Joyce Collette of Beaufort, North Carolina; David and Kathy Collette of Topsail Island, North Carolina; Mark and Diana Collette of Orleans; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and by his close friend, Neveah (Heaven), their cat from the Humane Society.  He was predeceased by his parents, siblings, and his first grandchild, Billy, the loss of which was a hardship endured forever.

Respecting his written wish of several years ago, his friends will meet for a service with his spirit and ashes at a soon to be announced date in Orleans at St Theresa’s Catholic Church.  Commitment will follow at the family lot at St Theresa’s Cemetery.  A proper celebration of his life will follow with music and cheer.

Penelope Gregory

 Penelope Gregory, 83, known to one and all as Poppy, died on Thursday, June 21, 2012, in her home in Somerville, Massachusetts, surrounded by her loving family.

Her death ended a two-year bout with pancreatic cancer, which she bore resolutely and with grace.

She was born on July 29, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts.  Her parents, Basil and Andromache (Padis) Despotes, were immigrants from Greece.  She attended the Belmont Day School and Radcliffe College.  She married Dr. Gregory and they had two sons, Robert and Nicholas.  She worked for many years as a secretary at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory with many prominent astrophysicists.

She was a great lover of music in general and of Sacred Harp in particular.  For several decades she held regular sings in her home, and her Christmas music gatherings drew many friends, musicians and composers from the greater New England music world.

She learned to know Bread and Puppet Theater in the early 1970s during their performances at the Emmanuel Church in Boston, in which Sacred Harp played a prominent role.  She visited the theater in Glover for the Domestic Resurrection Circuses, and, as the summer company grew in size, she became the main cook, delighting everyone with delicious Greek dishes.  Over many years she opened her home to the touring Bread and Puppet Company, and housed and fed hordes of puppeteers.  Her warm and gracious hospitality will be remembered by many.

Over more recent years, her regular visits have included the springtime gathering of dandelion greens.

She is mourned and missed by many members and former members of the Bread and Puppet Theater and by the Schumann family.

Last rites were held in the Greek Orthodox Church in Arlington, Massachusetts, on June 24.  She will be buried in the New Westlook Cemetery in Glover on June 27.

Ellen Ruth (Stone) Hommel

Ellen Ruth (Stone) Hommel, 90, of Orleans died on May 25, 2012, at Derby Green Nursing Home in Derby surrounded by her loving family and the caring staff.

She was born on July 24, 1921, in Orleans, the second daughter of George Harrington Stone II and Ella Almeida Allard Stone.

She married J.G. Desmond Hommel on June 16, 1940, from whom she was later divorced and who predeceased her in February of 1979.

Mrs. Hommel graduated from Orleans High School in the Class of 1938, and subsequently had to assist her mother in raising her four younger siblings after the death of her father shortly after her graduation.

She then started working for Bray Wood Heel Company as office staff person later in 1938.

After a few years, she started her accounting career with Amico in Orleans, concurrently working for the Orleans High School in their business office.  In 1954, Mrs. Hommel commenced her long time career with Ethan Allen, Inc., where she held her position as plant accountant for the next 44 years until her retirement in 1998.

In her retirement years, and before, Mrs. Hommel enjoyed traveling with her family and friends, visiting such locations as Colorado, Texas, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Maine, Florida, St. Maarten, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington D.C. to enjoy local landmarks, museums, local attractions and more.  She liked taking day trips with her friends to golf, see summer playhouse productions, or just to enjoy a luncheon out at local restaurants.

She was a supporter of the Orleans Country Club where she was the clerk for many years as well as organizer for State Days.  She spent much time golfing with friends and her two grandsons.

Mrs. Hommel spent an enormous amount of quality time with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings and cousins — she thoroughly enjoyed participating in family events and family adventures, as well as watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow and participate in all their different activities.

She enjoyed time spent throughout her lifetime at her family’s camp on Echo Lake, fishing, swimming, watching the ducks, skating, canoeing and summer barbeques.  She and her sisters would enjoy winters cross-country skiing from Orleans to Barton where they would enjoy lunch and a glass of wine to celebrate yet another successful trek, well into their 60s and 70s.

In her younger years, Mrs. Hommel had a go at horseback riding and her love of horses and other animals carried her through her retirement years as she enjoyed spending time with her four-legged and fuzzy “grandchildren.”

Mrs. Hommel is survived by her sister Glenn A. (Stone) Dow and her husband, Arthur, of Newport; her daughter Barbara E. Mason of Morgan; her son Richard D. Hommel and his wife, Alida, of Whitinsville, Massachusetts; her grandchildren:  Kristin E. Mason and her partner, Ron Roberge, of Morgan, Korey A. Mason and his wife, Amy, of Williamsburg, Virginia, Richard C. Hommel and his wife, Lisa, of Waterbury Center, and Tracy L. (Hommel) Ferreira and her husband, David, of Milford, Massachusetts; her great-grandchildren:  Lindsay and Ryan Mason of Williamsburg, RJ Hommel, Samantha and Eli Winters of Waterbury Center, and Carly and Jake Ferreira of Milford; and by her very special niece and nephews in Washington, Texas, Virginia and Vermont.  She was predeceased by her parents; George Harrington Stone II; Ella Almeida Allard Stone; her sister Beryl Macdonald; her sister Virginia Gregory; her sister Norine Marsh, her brother A. Allyn Stone; her brother George H. Stone; her granddaughter Kimberly Mason; and her beloved son-in-law Kenneth A. Mason.

A graveside service will be held at Pleasant View Cemetery in Orleans on Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Vermont Chapter of the American Cancer Society, or to a charity of one’s choice.

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

Cecile Catherine Kinney

 Cecile Catherine Kinney, 86, of Derby Line died on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at her home in Derby Line.

She was born on November 2, 1925, in Lynn, Massachusetts, a daughter of John and Stasia (Matchieska) Kowalski.  In 1946, she married Foster C. Kinney who predeceased her in 1986.

Mrs. Kinney was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #21.  She enjoyed extended visits with Kristi and family in Florida during the winter, playing bingo and going for rides with Jim and Debbie.  She also enjoyed joining the McDonald’s coffee group in the mornings and she was a person who loved her home and the Derby Line area and having her family and friends come for a visit.  She made her home with Jim and Deb for the past eight years and loved to make mention of “The Three Musketeers.”

She is survived by her children:  James Kinney and his wife, Debra, of Derby Line, and Joan Collins and her husband, Richard, of Melbourne, Florida, and Derby; her grandchildren:  Kristina Dupre and her husband, Paul, of Melbourne, Richard J. Collins of Brewerton, New York, and Catherine Kinney of Asheburham, Masschusetts; her great-grandchildren:  Zachary Dupre, Shelbi Dupre, Tawnee Collins and Taylor Collins, Sierra Foster and Tyler Frasco; a sister, Blanche Faton, of Natick, Massachusetts; and by several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother, John; and by three sisters:  Jennie Juskavitch, Genevieve Bourassa, and Josephine Jasukonis and her husband, Albert.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 29 at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 4670 Darling Hill Road, in Newport.  Interment will follow in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Derby Line Ambulance Service, care of Brian Fletcher, P.O. Box 105, Derby Line, Vermont 05830.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at www.curtis-britch-converse-rushford.

Madeleine St. Onge

Madeleine “Maddie” St. Onge, 50, died on Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, New Jersey, after a short courageous battle with cancer.

Through it all, she never lost her sense of humor and ability to make others laugh.

She was born on February 8, 1962, in Newport to Archie and Theresa St. Onge of Newport.  She attended Sacred Heart High School and earned her GED.

She moved to New Jersey in 1982 where she worked at Air Cruisers Company in Wall for 16 years.  Prior to her illness, she worked in the restaurant business.

She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, going to craft shows and flea markets, cooking, gardening, concerts, and watching her favorite sports teams:  the Giants, the Mets, and the Devils.  She will forever stay in our hearts and memories.

She is survived by her partner of 28 years, June McManus of Brick; her parents; the following brothers and sisters:  Denis St. Onge of Standstead, Qubec, George St. Onge and Gloria of Newport Center, Francine Bourassa and Norman of Jay, Christianne Bumps and James of Newport, Norman St. Onge and Tina of Bentonville, Arkansas, Michael St. Onge and Joanne of Newport, and Roger St. Onge and Tammy of St. Paul, North Carolina; and by many aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces, and by her beloved dog, Abbie.  She is also survived by her partner’s family:  mother Lynn Thomson; sisters:  Janet Thomson and Jennifer Kling; niece Jessica Kling; and nephew Joseph Kling, all of Lakewood, New Jersey.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s church in Newport on Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m.

Carol C. Wheatley

 Carol C. Wheatley, 85, of Glover died on May 25, 2012, in Newport.

She was born on October 2, 1926, in Glover, a daughter of Leslie and Bernice (Davis) Clark.

On July 11, 1948, she married Donald Wheatley who survives her.

She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor of science degree.

Mrs. Wheatley was a teacher at the Glen Carlyn School and the Arlington, Virginia, School System.  She was a member of the Glover Community Church and she was an ordained deacon of the Southern Baptist Church in Arlington.

Among her hobbies she enjoyed reading, traveling, cooking and attending family gatherings.  Mrs. Wheatley was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary of Barton, the Retired Teachers Association, and Windjammer Cruises.

She is survived by her husband Donald Wheatley of Glover; her children:  Kathleen Wheatley and her husband, Steve McHenry, of San Diego, California, and Clark Wheatley and his wife, Heather, of Weston, Florida; her grandchildren:  Sarah, Loretta, Hillary, Caitlin, Davis, Cameron, Jenna, and Margaret; her great-grandchildren:  Ariel, Addie, Hannah, and John; and by her sister-in-law Harriet Riggs of Richmond.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 29, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 12 Elm Sreet, in Barton.  Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at the Glover Community Church with the Reverend Evelyn Coupe officiating. Interment will follow in Westlook Cemetery in Glover.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Glover Community Church Steeple Fund, in care of Roland Woodard, P.O. Box 198, Glover, Vermont 05839.

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

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