Obituaries March 16, 2016

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Gary H. “Bear” Birchard

Gary H. “Bear” Birchard, of Troy died on March 1, 2016. He was 65 years old.

He was born on February 23, 1951, in Newport. He was a son of Harold and Rita (Deferia) Birchard.

He loved hunting and fishing and especially his dog Angel. He was an awesome chef at many local restaurants.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Harris; his three stepchildren: Laura Fricke of Bothell, Washington, Scott Fricke of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and Stephen Fricke of Oakdale, Connecticut; seven grandchildren: Natasha, Suzanne, and Lilly Krasle, Rothana and Kailyan Fricke, and Kyler and Caleb Fricke; his brother Dean Birchard and his wife, Bonnie, of Newport Center; and by his nephews: Matt Birchard of Newport Center, and Adam Birchard of Troy.

He was predeceased by his parents.

Upon his request, there will be no formal services.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres Road, Newport, Vermont 05855; or to the Green Mountain Conservation Camp Endowment Fund, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, Vermont 05620-3702.

Online condolences at

obit-GeiselWilliam H. “Howie” Geisel

William H. “Howie” Geisel of Derby died on March 8, 2016, just two months shy of his ninety-fourth birthday.

He was born in New York City on May 5, 1922, in what he described as “a cold water flat.” All who had the good fortune of knowing this kind and gentle man walked in the presence of one who exemplified selflessness, caring, and humility. He always put the needs of others before his own. As a young man he took care of his aging parents and later welcomed his mother-in-law into his home after he and Dorothy (Murphy) Geisel married in 1946. He was the constant loving and attentive caretaker to his wife when she developed significant physical disabilities during her life. He was always there for those who needed him. When his wife died in 1998, he became a volunteer at North Country Hospital in Newport and greeted patients at the visitors’ desk. He could be found there most Monday afternoons, out on the golf course at Newport Country Club in the summer, or in the company of his children and grandchildren.

He retired from Verizon as an electrical engineer in 1985, having spent 43 years working for American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and its subsidiaries. His attention to detail and his strong analytical mind informed his approach to problem solving when helping someone in need. He never met a mechanical, plumbing, or electrical problem that perseverance and focus couldn’t solve.

He was extremely proud of his children and spoke glowingly of their contributions to the educational community to all who cared to listen.

He is survived by his son Rick Geisel and his wife, Laura; his daughter Robyn McCarthy and her husband, Bill; his daughter Roni Murphy and her husband, John; and by his nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends and acquaintances.

The family invites friends to join them at his house at 40 Roberts Drive in Derby on March 26 from 3 to 5 p.m., to remember his long life well lived. The family also invites people to share their memories and condolences by visiting

obit-powersPeyton E. Powers

Peyton E. Powers of Albany died unexpectedly on Thursday, March 10, 2016. He was three months old.

He was born on December 3, 2015, in Morrisville. He was the son of Jesse and Morgan (Hollen) Powers.

He is survived by his parents; his sister Grace; his grandparents, Jerry and Cheryl; and by all of his extended family.

Peyton no longer has to fight and his body is now healed.

A memorial service will be held at the Albany elementary school on Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m., with the Reverend Alden Launer officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Ronald McDonald House, 16 South Winooski Avenue, Burlington, Vermont 05401.

Online condolences at

obit-williamsRobert O. Williams

Robert O. Williams, 82, of Burke Hollow died peacefully at his home on Friday morning, March 11, 2016.

He was born in Freeport, Maine, on June 7, 1933, to the late Howard Everett and Elizabeth Rose (Bean) Williams. He was raised and educated in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and later attended the Worcester School of Business Science. He proudly served eight years in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s as a boiler tender second class.

He married the former Jane Mary Carrigan and they shared 50 years together. They made their home in Northborough, Massachusetts, before moving to Barton and then Burke Hollow in 2003.

He enjoyed antique gasoline engines and was past president of the Vermont Gas and Steam Engine Association. He was not one to sit idle for long and was incredibly talented and motivated to create in so many ways. He loved to restore unique antiques and any kind of small, old engine. He built beautiful furniture from boards out of old barns, and loved to be out in the woods, cutting down and sawing out lumber on his little sawmill. He loved spending time on the coast of Maine with his family, going to yard sales and auctions, and he was an avid reader. He owned and operated a milk transport business in central Massachusetts and later owned and operated the Black River Lumber Company in Irasburg, before retiring and moving to Burke Hollow.

In addition to his beloved wife, Jane, he is survived by his two daughters: Carol Mason and her husband, KC, of Lyndonville, and Tedi Shoemaker and her husband, Ned, of Millis, Massachusetts; a brother, Daniel Williams, and a sister, Thelma Williams, both of Grafton, Massachusetts; a granddaughter, Elizabeth; and by several cousins, nieces, and nephews, and many longtime engine show friends.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m., on Sunday, March 20, at the Guibord Funeral Home at the corner of Main and Center streets in Lyndonville. Friends may call on the family from 1 to 3 p.m. for visitation at the funeral home prior to services on Sunday. A spring committal service will take place in May with the family.

Condolences may be shared privately with the family at

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