Obituaries March 13, 2013
Kermit Philman Aiken
Kermit Philman Aiken, 53, of Newport died on March 5, 2013, in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
He was born on May 4, 1959, in Newport, a son of Dorothy (Ostrout) Aiken and the late Durward Aiken.
He received his GED. He was employed at one time by Columbia Forest Products in Newport.
His hobby included listening to music.
He is survived by his children: Phil Aiken and his wife, Sheena, of Manchester, New Hampshire, and Celine Aiken of Newport; his mother Dorothy Aiken of Newport; his two grandchildren: Kayden and Nevaeh; his two brothers: Kenneth Aiken and his wife, Brenda, of Connecticut, and Keith Aiken of Newport; and by a niece, Tara Aiken. He was predeceased by his father Durward Aiken.
Spring interment will be in Mountainview Cemetery in Lowell.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at www.curtis-britch.com.
Robert James Cilley Jr., 97, died peacefully with his children by his side at St. Joseph’s Residential Care Home in Burlington on March 7, 2013.
He was born in Island Pond on December 11, 1915, a son of the late Robert J. and Eva (Melcher) Cilley Sr.
Mr. Cilley proudly served his country during both World War II and the Korean War as a member of the U.S. Army. He was a member of the American Legion Post #1 in St. Albans as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6689 in Essex Junction.
Mr. Cilley started his railroad career in Island Pond with the Grand Trunk Railroad and then was employed for many years in St. Albans with the Central Vermont Railroad until his retirement. He loved relaxing at his camp in Island Pond and always looked forward to being in the woods. He was an avid snowmobile rider and whitetail deer hunter. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved him.
Mr. Cilley is survived by his son Thomas Cilley and his wife, Sandra, of Essex Junction; his daughter Suzan Pons and her husband, René of France; four grandchildren: Matthew and his wife, Haley Cilley, of South Carolina, René Pons and his wife, Laetitia, of France, Julien Pons and Yolaine of France, and Karen Martella and her husband, Drew, of New York; six great-grandchildren: Braeden and Leighton Martella of New York, Noah and Lucien Pons of France, and Kennedy and Kendall Cilley of South Carolina; and by several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his wife, Gertrude Cilley, on January 13, 2009; by a son, Robert Cilley III, in 1977; and by his siblings Rodney “Buddy” Cilley, Doris Sullivan, and Eleanor “June” Quinn.
A Mass was celebrated on March 11 at Holy Family Church in Essex Junction with the Reverend Charles Ranges officiating. Burial will be held in the spring at the convenience of the family with the time and date to be announced.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Cilley’s memory may be made to St. Joseph’s Residential Care Home, 243 North Prospect Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.
A. W. Rich Funeral Home and the family invite friends and family to share their memories by visiting Bob’s Book of Memories at www.awrfh.com.
Norman Homer LaCross, 65, of Westmore died at home on February 28, 2013, with his family around him.
He was born in Barton February 3, 1948, a son of Raymond and Geneva LaCross.
Mr. LaCross attended graded school in Westmore and finished high school at St. Johnsbury Trade School where he received a degree in welding. After school he worked for GE’s welding department in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and then he was drafted in the Army and served 14 months in Vietnam. After his tour in the Army, he returned to Westmore and worked for Desmarais Equipment. He also did carpentry work, was road commissioner for the town of Westmore, and did logging for John Riendeau before he became a self-employed logger. Later in life he worked at NSA Welding and Machine Shop in Lyndonville. His last job was with the town of Lyndon highway department before illness forced him to retire in January 2013.
Mr. LaCross loved the family farm. With the help of his dad, he built his home close by, so he would be able to help his brother Roger, who was not only his brother, but also his lifelong best buddy. Roger and Norman were inseparable growing up on the farm and were notorious for picking on the barn cats and tormenting their younger brother. One time they were sitting together in a rocking chair and rocking so hard that they fell into the picture window and couldn’t stop laughing because they broke it. Some of their fondest memories were climbing up on the roof of the school to hide from the teacher, helping their dad with the huge gardens, and doing things like haying, milking cows, sugaring in the spring, and building a hunting camp. Those two loved nothing better in later years than to sit and tell stories about growing up in the small town of Westmore.
Mr. LaCross loved hunting, but his greatest passion was building three-wheeled motorcycles call trikes. He made five trikes and restored two of them to make them even better. He belonged to the Brothers of The Third Wheel, a worldwide family of trikers. He drew attention everywhere he went as his trikes were so unique.
Mr. LaCross was predeceased by his parents and his brother Richard LaCross.
He is survived by his fiancé and love of his life, Louise Lessard, of Westmore; by his two daughters: Robin LaCross and her partner, Dennis Dosselman, of Tucson, Arizona, and Tammy Mosher and her husband, Casey, of Derby; by his two sons: Andrew LaCross and his partner, Sherie Blanchard, of Newport Center and Lee LaCross and his partner, Karma McClintock, of Brownington; by his grandson Brian Norway of Derby; his granddaughter Karlee LaCross of Brownington; his step-grandchildren Caitlyn, Christian and Meghan of Newport Center; by his two brothers: Roger and Judy LaCross of Westmore and Dennis and Brenda LaCross of Westmore; and by his canine buddy, Misty.
In keeping with Mr. LaCross’s wishes, there will be no visiting hours. Burial will be at the Danville Green Cemetery in Danville on August 2 at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come and share stories of Mr. LaCross’ life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Westmore Ladies Aid Scholarship Fund, care of Millie Davis, 27 Hinton Hill Road, Orleans, Vermont 05860.
George F. Leavitt
George F. Leavitt, 66, died on March 5, 2013, in Derby, with his caregiver, Diane Young, at his side. She had taken wonderful care of him since the beginning of his illness.
Mr. Leavitt was born on January 21, 1947, in Houlton, Maine. He lived his life in Malden, Massachusetts, with his mother, Priscilla, and his father, Floyd, who are both deceased.
He has several cousins in New Hampshire and St. Johnsbury. He is survived by his aunt Harriet Smith of St. Johnsbury.
There will be a memorial service in the spring at the St. Johnsbury Center Cemetery, where he will be placed beside to his mother.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Orleans-Essex Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, Inc., 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at www.curtis-britch.com.
Jacques LeBlanc, 53, of Newport Center died suddenly on March 2, 2013, in Newport Center.
He was born on January 18, 1960, in Simsbury, Connecticut, a son of Herman LeBlanc and the late Lucienne (Lavoie) LeBlanc. On October 3, 1981, he married Miriam Pierce, who survives him.
Mr. LeBlanc was a self-employed farmer on the Lake Road in Newport Center. Most of all he loved his wife, Mim, and his son, Justin, and his daughter, Anna. His greatest joy was in making his family happy. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially with his grandsons. He also loved working on the farm and helping people in the neighborhood.
He is survived by his wife Mim LeBlanc of Newport Center; by his children: Justin LeBlanc and his wife, Melissa, and Anna LeBlanc, all of Newport Center; his father Herman LeBlanc of Newport Center; his grandchildren: Jake, Joe, Jordan, Corine, and Damian, all of Newport Center; his brothers: David LeBlanc of Montana, and Jim LeBlanc of Newport Center; his sister Christine Fortin and her husband, Gerald, of Newport Center; and by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was predeceased by his sister Kathy.
Funeral services were held on March 9 in Derby.
Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Sue (Bushfield) Marr, a woman of remarkable strength and kindness, died in her daughter’s home in Newport Center on March 3, 2013, at the age of 95 years.
To us, she was always Susie, because that was what her first grandchild heard his grandfather call her. Born on January 18, 1918, she was the middle daughter of three born to Charles H. and Alda (Faucett) Bushfield.
Her precious sisters who predeceased her were Martha Bushfield VanValen of Akron, Ohio, and Charlotte Bushfield Patterson of Springfield, Ohio. Together, the three girls grew up in Newark, Ohio, where the family spent Sundays attending the Methodist church, sharing a Sunday dinner, and going for a drive to see the countryside and eating Velvet ice cream cones at the home of her friend Sarah Antrum, and her family in Columbus, Ohio.
With a degree in home economics, Sue graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where she had met Dr. Thomas Edward Marr on a blind date. She worked for the Ohio Power Company until they were married on September 7, 1941. They then lived in Louisville, Kentucky, until Dr. Marr graduated from the University of Louisville Dental School.
A daughter, Sarah, was born. When World War II finally came to an end, Sue was living with her husband, a dentist and Army captain, and their daughter at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. In June 1946, they moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, where her husband began his dental practice in his father’s former medical practice office, and a son, Charles Thomas, whom they called Tommy, was born. The family became active in the church of Tom’s childhood, First Presbyterian, where Sue taught Sunday school and Tom was an elder.
Even without initial enthusiasm, Sue came to share her husband’s love for flying in the family’s private plane as they took yearly fishing trips with their children and friends Dr. Robert and Mary Swank and their children, Nancy and Doug, to Lake Kagawong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. These times created profoundly vivid and cherished family memories. Sue learned to bait hooks, cook beans and potatoes on an open fire, fillet perch, and wear blue jeans.
After her husband’s death in 1985 after 43 years of marriage, Sue became a member of the Hopeton Village Board. She volunteered in the dining room at Traditions of Chillicothe and served as a guide at Adena Mansions and Gardens Society, Governor Thomas Worthington’s home as Ohio’s first governor.
Before her move to Vermont in August 2012 and after moving from the family home, Sue spent a year and a half living in her own apartment at The Glade in Chillicothe. Her Cherokee and Glade friendships and her Cherokee next door neighbors, Dick and Laura Whinery, enriched her life immensely, and she opened her heart completely to these dear people. Lively conversations about anything from politics and education to plants and movies energized her, and she repeatedly expressed her gratitude for the privilege of living with her Glade friends after moving from Cherokee.
After her son Tom’s death in 2011, she traveled to Manchester, Kentucky, to see his home there and to meet his special friends. She recalled that trip with characteristic gratitude and joy. She found good in everything and everyone, but always she remained wise and perceptive. Always and even through the final moments of her life, her children and grandchildren mattered most. She lived with honor for them and considered each important decision in the light of what would treasure and sustain them.
Sue Bushfield Marr is survived by her daughter Sarah Wyllie Fitts and her husband, Robert, of Newport Center; her grandchildren: Dr. Kevin T. Marr and his wife, Dr. Kami Marr, of Greeley, Colorado, Juliana Marr Sprister and her husband, Dane, of Fort Collins, Colorado, Andrew T. Wyllie of Geneva, Switzerland, Benjamin E. Wyllie and his wife, Tyler, of Springfield, Virginia, and Betsy Wyllie Johnson and her husband, Matthew, of Springfield, Virginia. Her stepgrandchildren are: Angela Fitts Smith and her husband, Aaron, of Burlington and Arleigh Fitts Young and her husband, Jonathon, of St. Albans. Her surviving great-grandchildren are: Andrew and Liam Marr, Reese, Grey and Bryce Sprister, Cullen, Mora and Kelsey Wyllie, and Annabel and Clara Johnson. Her stepgreat-grandchildren are: Griffin and Ford Smith and Violet Young. Her niece and nephew are: Molly Patterson Chiles and her husband, Dr. John Chiles, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and David Patterson and his wife, Carolyn, of Columbus, Ohio.
Preceding her in death, in addition to her husband, sisters and parents, are: her granddaughter-in-law, Laurence François Marguerite Pignarre Wyllie, and her great-grandsons: Evan James Yves Wyllie and Baptiste Thomas Michel Wyllie; her son, Charles Thomas Marr, and her grandson, Thomas Edward Marr II.
Sue’s family will receive friends at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, at First Presbyterian Church in Chillicothe. A service in celebration of her life, led by the Reverend James W. Grove, will immediately follow at 10 a.m.
Remembrances in tribute to the life of Sue Bushfield Marr may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church, 13 Mead Drive, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601, or to Orleans Essex Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice, 46 Lakemont Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through the funeral home website at www.curtis-britch.com.
Clifton F. Parrott
Clifton F. Parrott died at the age of 81 on March 6, 2013, at the Greensboro Nursing Home in Greensboro with his six children by his side.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and he always had a smile on his face and a story or joke to tell. He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him.
Mr. Parrott was born in Burlington on October 18, 1931, to Harold and Agnes Parrott. He married Glenna Sheltra in 1952, and they went on to have six children. He retired 23 years ago, but prior to that was employed by Montgomery Schoolhouse and Atlas Plywood. He lived in Hyde Park until going to Greensboro Nursing Home in 2012 after he was no longer able to care for himself.
He leaves behind his six children: Cheryl Verderber and her husband, Gustave, of Troy, Donna Roberge and her husband, Claude, of North Troy, Susan Roberge and her husband, John, of Newport Center, Cynthia Parrott Wescom of Belvidere, Timothy Parrott and his girlfriend, Wendy, of Morrisville, and Rhonda Braun and her husband, Mike, of Orleans. He is also survived by many sisters and brothers; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; cousins; and nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother and father, his wife, his brother Ronald, and three sisters: Janet and Shirley and Barbara.
There will be a graveside service in the spring at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell on May 18 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made in Mr. Parrott’s memory to the Greensboro Nursing Home or Out and About in Morrisville.
Michael Stanley Pietras Sr., 54, died on February 25, 2013, at home, surrounded by his loving family, after a lengthy illness.
Mr. Pietras was born on May 11, 1958, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to the late Stanley Pietras and Claire Macnamee Pietras. He lived for many years in Irasburg before retiring to McEwen, Tennessee.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Mary Jane Redden Pietras of McEwen; a son, Michael Pietras Jr. of McEwen; three daughters: Susan Coleman of Barton, Amanda Pietras of McEwen, and Sierra Pietras of McEwen; a brother-in-law, Larry Redden, and his wife, Gloria; a sister-in-law, Carole Grenier, and her husband, Ronald; a sister-in-law, Ellen Motroni; and by several nieces and nephews. Surviving family members also include a brother, Timothy; and four sisters: Linda, Cindy, Charlene, and Cathy.
Mr. Pietras was a member of the First Freewill Baptist Church of McEwen, where a memorial service was held on March 9.
Bronwyn Potter, 95, a longtime Greensboro resident, died on March 3, 2013, at the Greensboro Nursing Home, with her loving family at her bedside.
She was born on May 17, 1917, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of the late Albert and Mae (Mazey) Bevan. She attended Wilkes-Barre public schools and graduated from high school in Newark, New Jersey. She later continued her education at the University of Vermont, Goddard College, and Johnson State College.
She married Herbert Stephen Potter in Massachusetts.
In her earlier years, she sang at the Riverside Church in New York City. Following her move to Vermont, Mrs. Potter was employed for more than 30 years as a music teacher in Greensboro, Greensboro Bend, Craftsbury, Hardwick Elementary and Woodbury Elementary schools. While teaching in Greensboro Bend, she was instrumental in helping to develop the music curriculum for special needs students. For more than 63 years, she was the organist and choir director at Greensboro United Church of Christ and for several years she played for the Wolcott Ballet.
She was a member of the Greensboro United Church of Christ. She loved music and the time that she spent with her family. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren will remember her fondly for their Saturday night sleepovers. She enjoyed reading and gardening.
Survivors include a daughter, Bronwyn Masse and her husband, Conrad, of Craftsbury; two granddaughters: Linda Hall and her husband, Ken, of Stannard, and Patricia Foster of Hardwick; four great-granddaughters: Rosita Durbin and her husband, Jeff, of Pelham, New Hampshire, Candace Hall of West Danville, Abigail Foster of Morrisville, and Victoria Foster of Hardwick; and a great-great-grandson, Jack Durbin, of Pelham. She was predeceased by her husband Herbert, and by a brother, Gorwyn Bevan.
Funeral services were held on March 10 in Greensboro. Spring burial will be in the family lot in the Lincoln-Noyes Cemetery in Greensboro.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Greensboro Nursing Home, 29 Maggie’s Pond Road, Greensboro, Vermont 05841.
Arrangements are under the direction of Dian R. Holcomb of Northern Vermont Funeral Service in Hardwick.
Merton N. Thayer
Merton N. Thayer, 94, of St. Johnsbury, formerly of Newport Center, died on March 6, 2013, in St. Johnsbury.
He was born December 12, 1918, in Coventry, a son of Walter and Jessie (Newton) Thayer. He married Verna Brooks, who survives him.
Mr. Thayer was a former selectman for the village of Newport Center, and a longtime member of Newport Elks Lodge #2155 where he and his wife shared many good times with the “Newport Center Gang,” both working parties and attending them.
He enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing, and bowling, and they spent several winters in Florida.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Verna Thayer, of St. Johnsbury; by his children: Sherry Rainville and her husband, Arnold, of Lyndonville, Roberta Ellis and her husband, Wendell, of Newport, and Rebecca Poulos of West Lebanon, New Hampshire; by his grandchildren: Scott Rainville and his wife, Tammy, Todd Rainville, Shelly Rainville Watts and her husband, Chad, Chris Donovan and his wife, Terri; by his great-grandchildren: Patrick, Brady, Emily, and Alex Rainville and Kaitlyn, Jillian, and Riley Donovan.
He was predeceased by a brother, Robert, and by two sisters: Jennie Monette and Lillian Cargill.
A graveside service will be held in the spring at the Newport Center Cemetery. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Newport Center Methodist Church, Newport Center, Vermont 05857.
Tribute to Dr. Robert James McKay
by Thomas Moseley, M.D.
Orleans County has lost a good friend, a man who though not well known to younger residents of the area, has touched the lives of many of us through his energy, kindness and gentle graciousness. I refer, of course, to Robert James McKay MD, “Jim” to his friends and colleagues, and pediatrician to many children here and throughout the state of Vermont. I feel particularly called to comment on Dr. McKay’s passing, at age 95 this past November, because his influence steadied me on my choice of pediatrics as a profession, and his active intervention led my wife, Christine, and me to choose Orleans County as our home and place to practice. Well into his late 80s, Dr. McKay continued to teach and inspire students of medicine by his immense learning and personal kindness. For those reasons, and because of his long-time association with the Northeast Kingdom through his service here and his summer residence in Westmore with his wife, Martha Ann Wellman, I would like to share a few personal memories.
Dr. McKay’s life as Vermont’s premier pediatrician may not be well known to many around here. He was such a modest man that his numerous accomplishments — single handed founder of the department of pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in the 1950s, professor and mentor to several generations of medical students and young doctors, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, scholar and extraordinarily gifted clinician — would go unsuspected when he visited patients at the consultation clinic he ran for years in Newport. Many of us old enough to have grandchildren will remember bringing their babies and children to him to his clinics at the old Visiting Nurse Association office on Main Street, or the old clinic building on Seymour Lane. Dr. McKay travelled several times a month from Burlington to Newport for many years in the 1960s and 1970s to assist the local general practitioners with care of difficult cases. In those days, a trip to Burlington for specialty consultation for a sick child was an enormous undertaking, and many children went undiagnosed or undertreated. Quietly, without much fuss and always respectful of the knowledge and contributions of the local doctors, Dr. McKay would see both well and sick children and provide state-of-the-art care for conditions not usually seen outside the medical center. Over the years, I have heard from parents about how he cared for a child with life-threatening erythroblastosis fetalis (Rh disease), a malady now thankfully seldom seen today because of advances in preventative medicine; juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; and many other rare and common conditions. It was considered a treat for medical students to accompany Dr. McKay to Newport, a visit which helped some of us decide that rural medicine was for us. Dr. McKay’s distracted driving to and from Newport sometimes was punctuated by side excursions for a spot of trout fishing; those who saw these trips as a chance to enjoy his company while learning medicine and seeing what pleasure could be had in the countryside imbibed a lesson in both medicine and life that guided some to choose a satisfying career away from the attractions of academic medicine or well-paying suburban practice.
Dr. McKay evidently decided toward the end of the 1970s that North Country Hospital needed a pediatrician, just like all the other smaller community hospitals around the state. He had successfully encouraged many of his students to return to communities like St. Albans or Middlebury, but Newport had never had a pediatrician for any appreciable period. One night in 1980, he unexpectedly appeared in the intensive care nursery in Connecticut where I was doing my residency; he was in town for a meeting and purposefully sought me out to tell me that he thought that I ought to consider making my life in Newport. Although I had been there a few times, my most poignant memory from medical school was camping near Island Pond in late June when my wife and I were treated to five days of rain and one of snow; I can’t say that we had ever seriously considered coming to Newport until he explained to me that the community needed me in a way. It was hard to say anything, but I said I would give an honest look. He then made sure that the local doctors, who really didn’t see the need in the way he did, would give me a fair chance to prove myself one way or the other.
And that, as they say, was that. For the next 32 years, I have had many occasions to call Dr. McKay for advice about the care of patients, suggestions for difficult diagnoses, and sustenance when it was just plain lonely to be in a solo practice. As an esteemed friend and colleague has said, his greatest gift was to make us want more than anything else, “to be like Jim,” and know that while we are not wholly up to the task, his inspiration has made us better physicians and human beings.
Rupert Webster Sr., 68, beloved husband of April (Rivers) of Brownington, died on March 5, 2013, surrounded by his family, in the home he built, after a long courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on November 13, 1944, in Brattleboro, the second son of Henry Sr., and Genevieve (Boyd) Webster.
He was an ordinary old-time Vermonter who could do anything that would be needed to survive in this beautiful state — everything from milking cows, to working with his horses, to building a house. He was very skilled, loved, and appreciated by all who were fortunate enough to know him. He loved his family immensely and was very compassionate to any animal in need. He also enjoyed his coffee time with his friends in Island Pond on a daily basis until he was no longer able to drive. Life was an adventure; he traveled and lived with his family in various places across the U.S.
He is also survived by his children: Tami Sykes and her companion, Nathan Kane, of Newport, Rupert Jr. and his wife, Traci, of Brownington, Vaughn and his wife, Gretchen Lewis, of Derby Line, and Cheyenne and her husband, Michael Hatin, of Newport; by his grandchildren: Tyler, Spencer, and Hunter Sykes, Kyle and his wife, Belinda, Tausha and Leaunna Webster, Ryley, Blair, and Beckett Webster, Mariah, Tannor and Renee Fortin, and Jessica, Jason, Jackie, Jenna and Joseph Hatin. He is also survived by two great-granddaughters: Cadence and Angelica; his sister Joyce and her husband, David Howe, of Bradenton, Florida; his sisters-in-law: Christine and her husband, Robert McGivern, of Lyndonville, Anita and her husband, Eugene Austin, and Susan and her husband, Clifford Humphrey, all of East Haven; by numerous nieces and nephews across the country; and by his former son-in-law Ronald Sykes of Holland. He was predeceased by his parents and the following siblings: Henry Jr., known as “Suni”; Diane Hunt; John Sr.; and Vaughn.
He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.
Funeral services were held on March 9 in Newport.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to Mary Wright Halo Foundation, in care of Community National Bank, 4811 U.S. Route 5, Newport, Vermont 05855.