Obituaries March 22, 2017

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Gerald L. Currier

Gerald L. “Jerry” Currier, 72, of Newport died on March 14, 2017, in Newport.

He was born on October 25, 1944, in Newport to Lance and Marguerite (Ellsworth) Currier. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

He married Bettyanne Hanson who predeceased him. Mr. Currier was a sales clerk for the Pick and Shovel in Newport for many years. He was a member of the American Legion Post #21 in Newport. He was an artist in pencil drawing, primarily of birds. He enjoyed playing bingo, hunting, fishing, going for walks in the woods, and taking rides on back country roads.

He is survived by his son Mark and his companion, Erica Emmons; by his siblings: Janice Blais, Allen Currier and his wife, Lynn, Robert Currier and his wife, Denise, Brian Currier and his wife, Claudine, Michael Currier and his wife, Lisa, and Loren Currier; and by several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister and brothers: Nancy Percy, Donald Currier, Bruce Currier, Timothy Currier and Thomas Currier.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport. Friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday from 1 p.m. until the hour of the funeral. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Mary Wright Halo Foundation, 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855. Online condolences can be shared at curtis-britch.com.

 

Paul H. Gavin

Paul H. Gavin, 81, of East Charleston, lived a brilliant life of benevolence, serenity, sensitivity, and industriousness. Mr. Gavin died on January 17, 2017, in Durham North Carolina, after a brief illness, with his family by his side.

He was born in Wettingen, Switzerland on June 7, 1935, the son of Henri Louis Gavin, and Violette Gavin (nee Clerc). He grew up in Yverdon, on the Lac de Neuchatel, north of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). His father, an electric-power engineer, electrified the Yverdon-St. Croix railroad. His mother was a teacher of French, history, and geography. As a child he strived at the violin and in his early teen years played with friends in small string ensembles at his home. At the age of 18 he moved with his mother and his two brothers, Jean-Louis and Pierre, to the town of Pully, near Lausanne, where he continued his study of violin and taught himself enough electronics to design and build a vacuum-tube radio and transistor amplifier. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering on June 27, 1959, with a certificate in atomic engineering on July 16, 1960, and his doctorate in nuclear reactor engineering on November 7, 1968, from the Ecole Polytechnique de l’Universite de Lausanne. While a member of the choir of the Cathedrale de Lausanne, he met Eleanor Ingram of Hingham Massachusetts, an alto in the choir, who was in Lausanne to study nursing at La Source. Charles Dutoit, the conductor of the choir at that time, introduced them on the Pont Bessiers — truly a fairy-tale start to their relationship. They were married at The Scots Kirk, Lausanne, on May 18, 1963. They moved to Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1966, and Mr. Gavin began his 32-year career of service to Combustion Engineering, Windsor Locks.

He analyzed and designed reactor refueling processes for combustion engineering power plants. He gave technical seminars on the subtleties of this process in the U.S. and in South Korea. His analyses of the technical aspects of nuclear reactor physics and his technical guides remain in use today. The engineers he mentored respected him enormously. One recently noted, “If it was a tough problem, it was assigned to Paul.” Mr. Gavin was recognized in 1979 with a professional service award for his contributions to the start-up of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant. His understanding of reactor physics and the legacy of nuclear power led him to support Mrs. Gavin in a successful grass-roots campaign to retire plants that had passed the end of their original design life.

He refined his talents in drawing, precise communication, music, carpentry, and cabinetry by embarking on projects of increasing complexity throughout his life. He designed and built wooden toys, puzzles, and playhouses for his sons and grandchildren. He designed and built home additions and fine cabinetry for his family. His inclination toward original designs and his success in creating things with precision inspired his sons to embark on ambitious projects. He became fascinated by the possibilities of designing sundials to indicate the time of day and the day of the year for any point on the globe. In the 1980s he and his family designed and built a home on Echo Lake in East Charleston. The Gavins retired there in 2002, and in his last years in Vermont, he hand-built a beautiful violin, with which he performed.

Mr. Gavin felt music deeply. His mother was an accomplished pianist and his parents sang in choirs at Yverdon and Lausanne. He played violin with many ensembles, including numerous groups of friends, the Connecticut String Orchestra, the Simsbury Light Opera with his son Marc, and most recently for the Newport Area Community Orchestra. He encouraged and supported musical interests in his sons from their childhood to adulthood.

He served his communities with skill, wisdom, and generosity. In Simsbury, he and Mrs. Gavin welcomed Laotian refugees and international students to live in their home. They were active members of the Simsbury United Methodist Church and the First Unitarian Church of Hartford. In Vermont, the Gavins served on the boards of the NorthWoods Stewardship Center and the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line. Members of his church remember him as “one of the pillars upon which our church stood for the past couple of decades,” both “doing things in his quiet way” and leading many special projects. His co-workers from Windsor remarked that he was wise, equally skilled in theory and real-world problems, professional, modest, and human. These comments resonate with his family, for whom he leaves memories of simplicity, modesty, warmth, gentleness, and great courage.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor (Ingram) Gavin of East Charleston; two brothers: Jean-Louis of Coppet, Switzerland, and Pierre of Pully Switzerland; three sons: Henri of Durham, North Carolina, Marc of Seattle, Washington, and Daniel of Eugene, Oregon; and five grandchildren: Benjamin, Eric, Meredith, Ingrith-Rose, and Leo.

A memorial service is planned for July 1 at the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line.

 

Daphny Murray Meagher

Daphny Murray Meagher, 69, of Derby died unexpectedly on March 11, 2017.

She was born on May 20, 1947, in Springfield. She graduated from Richmond High School in 1965, and attended Lyndon State College. She worked as a unit secretary at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont where she also served as the first poison control operator. She was a consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics for 25 years. Mary Kay was her passion and inspiration. Mrs. Meagher was an avid singer and former member of Harmony Incorporated. She sang for a number of years with the Champlain Echoes and then the Georgia Peaches.

She married Russell Meagher on March 17, 1998. They resided in Lawrenceville, Georgia from 1993 until March 2016. While in Georgia, she worked at Emory University Hospital and Gwinnett Medical Center before semi-retiring to be a fulltime Mary Kay consultant. In March of 2016 they said goodbye to “Georgia” but it would always be “on their minds.” Mr. and Mrs. Meagher returned home to where the “Moonlight in Vermont” was calling them to be closer to family. She was an amazing caregiver for her husband, Russell, who suffers from a rare neurological disease called progressive supranuclear palsy.

Mrs. Meagher is survived by her husband; her son Patrick Martell and his wife, Denise; her daughter Jennifer (Martell) Hemsted and her husband, John; grandchildren Dale Martell and his fiancé, Morgan Oeschger, Elizabeth Martell, Dylan and Emily Hemsted; sisters Peggy Shadel and her husband, Derrick, Veronica Cassetta and her husband, Greg; cousin Martha Teer and her husband, Phil; aunts Betty Stanley and Peggy Pratt; stepsons Jeremy Meagher, and James Meagher, and his wife Rebecca, and their daughter Finley; nephews Timothy and Andrew Shadel; and niece Kara Shadel Muri. She is also survived by her beloved kitties Murray and Fiona. She was predeceased by her father, Stephen Murray, and her mother, Dorothy Conant.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 31, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 44 Second Street, in Newport at 1 p.m., with a burial to be determined in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully appreciated for continued respite care of her beloved husband, Russell. Please make checks payable to CurePSP and mail to Diane Seegull, CurePSP, 30 Padonia Road #201, Timonium, Maryland 21093. Indicate on the check, “Cherie Levien Fund,” or direct donations to https://www.psp.org/cherie-levien-quality-life-legacy-fund/.

Online condolences may be made at www.curtis-britch.com.

 

Joanne B. Nolin

Joanne B. Nolin, 68, of Derby, died suddenly on March 13, 2017, as the result of an automobile accident.

She was born on February 9, 1949, the eldest daughter of Clarence and Domina (Balich) Nolin. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1967 and Johnson State College in 1971.

Ms. Nolin taught at Canaan Elementary School for two years before returning to Newport to raise her children. Her son Christopher was born in 1976 and her daughter Laura in 1980. She devoted her life to raising her children.

Ms. Nolin worked in the daycare field and operated a daycare center in her home before teaching religion for several years at Sacred Heart School in Newport until it closed. She loved teaching children about the Catholic faith that meant so much to her and loved sharing her faith with them. Her love of her children led her to work at St. Edward’s Preschool in Derby Line until her health forced her to retire. She was a former member of the Daughters of Isabella and a very active member of Mater Dei Parish in Newport.

Ms. Nolin enjoyed reading, watching Jeopardy! on TV, and was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. Most of all, she loved her family. She was a very loving and caring mother and grandmother whose life revolved around her children, grandchildren and her Catholic faith. Her deep faith and love of the Lord strengthened her during the difficult times of her life.

Ms. Nolin is survived by her daughter, Sister Laura Fidelis Nolin of the Daughters of St. Paul in Alexandria, Virginia; and her son Christopher Nolin, and his wife, Nancie; and by her beloved grandchildren: Elias, Nathalie, Micah, and Cecilia Nolin, all of Conroe, Texas. She is also survived by two sisters: Mary Nolin of Derby, and Patricia Nolin of Reston, Virginia. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A Mass was celebrated at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport on March 21. Spring interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to Mater Dei Parish, 191 Clermont Circle, Newport, Vermont 05855, or to the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul’s Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130.

Online condolences may be shared at curtis-britch.com.

 

Dale F. Pierce

Dale F. Pierce, 78, of Barton, died on March 13, 2017, at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington.

Mr. Pierce was born on December 13, 1938, in St. Johnsbury. He was one of four children born to the late Frank and Marion (Miltimore) Pierce.

He was a veteran of the Korean War. On December 31, 1961, he married Marguerite Hardie, who predeceased him on May 28, 2005.

He loved fishing, hunting, woodworking, drawing, and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his children: Pamela Stevens and her husband, Jeffrey, of Barton, Kimberly Gosley of Barton, Teresa Diette and her husband, Peter, of Barton, Ritchie Pierce and his wife, Sue, of Barton, Christine Martin and her husband, David, of Island Pond, and Katherine Jacobs of Colchester. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Travis and his wife, Julie, Robbi and her husband, Kenny, Tyler, Corey, Kristen, Taylor, Derek, Nicholas and his wife, Nichole, Devon, and Abigail; by his great grandchildren: Danica, Riley, Cooper, Cale, Kallie, and Ellie; by his sister Pearl Marko; his special companion, Gloria White; and by many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife; his brother Donald Pierce; his sister Elva Fisher; by his son-in-law Alan Jacobs; and by his grandson, Brandon.

Per request of the family there will be no public services at this time. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Mr. Pierce to the Dale and Marguerite Pierce Granite Bench Fund: In care of Kimberly Gosley, P.O. Box 225, Barton, Vermont 05822.

Online condolences may be made at www.curtis-britch.com.

 

Lawrence Scarpa

Lawrence “Larry” Scarpa, 86, of Barton, died on March 14, 2017, surrounded by his family.

Born and raised in Newfield, New Jersey, he moved to Vermont in 1997.

Mr. Scarpa is survived by his wife, Mary (Campbell) Scarpa, also of Barton; his children: Mary Alimenti of East Vineland, New Jersey, Lori Petronglo of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, Vicki Lolli, of Minotola, New Jersey, Lorraine Phillips, of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, and Lawrence Scarpa of Clayton, New Jersey; his sister Annette Charlton; 15 grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Kandi Grieser; and by his sisters Sarah Van Hook, and Lorraine Blackshear, all of New Jersey.

Mr. Scarpa was an accomplished man in many areas and well known for his strong opinions. His first love was cooking. No meal was too much of a challenge, he absolutely loved to bring people together through the art of cooking. He was an avid fisherman, no matter if it was on the ocean or ice fishing, he would be there. He was a successful electrical contractor, and for some time, a distributor of Smith and Wesson police equipment. Later on in life he became an accomplished wood carver and was a lifelong ham radio operator; his call sign was K1ON. He was a member of CW Operators Club and Straight Key Century Club. In his youth he served in the U.S. Coast Guard and later in life belonged to the American Legion Post #76 in Barton. Mr. Scarpa was a deputy game warden for more than 20 years, a volunteer position, with the New Jersey Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife. He enjoyed his vegetable garden and was a gifted storyteller. He helped to found of the Newfield Ambulance Corps in Newfield. He loved to paint, and technology was something he excelled in. Selftaught, he was building computers in the ’80s when they were still in the infant stage. Needless to say, he was a man of many talents with a plethora of interests and was highly respected. What he loved the most though, were the holiday parties on Christmas Eve and July Fourth with his family — they were the highlight of his year. He will most definitely be missed by his family and friends.

Services were held at Luisi-Demarco Funeral Home in Vineland, New Jersey, on March 19. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 4473 Barton Orleans Road, Orleans, Vermont 05860.

 

Lewis Sheltra

Lewis Sheltra, 93, of Barton, died on February 14, 2017, at the home of his daughter Colleen. He was with Colleen, and his priest, Father Timothy Naples, was giving him his last rites of passage.

He was born in Westfield, the son of Julius and Emily (Shover) Sheltra, on April 24, 1923.

He served his country in World War II in the Air Force, as a member of the Flying Tigers in the Pacific, China, Burma, India. He helped build the Burma Road. He married Bertha Lafoe in 1947. They had two daughters: Patricia and Colleen.

Mr. Sheltra worked on several construction jobs including the Moore Dam, and the work over the Quechee Gorge in Woodstock. He worked some winters at the Black River Mill in Irasburg where they lived until 2005 when they moved to an apartment in Barton. He worked for Munson Earth Moving, Inc. until retirement.

He operated the Citgo Garage in Lowell for a few years. Mr. Sheltra was a lifetime member of the VFW Post #798, where he was the commander for several years. He was a member of the Newport Legion where he played tournament darts for about 35 years.

He and his wife spent many years at dances at venues such as Buzzie’s in Westfield, Warner’s Dance Hall in Lowell, and then Paul’s Sugarhouse in Derby.

Mr. Sheltra enjoyed going to The Meeting Place in Newport, spending time with friends.

Surviving Mr. Sheltra are his daughter Colleen Belanger and her husband, Charles, of Sutton; grandson Peter Belanger and his son Andrew of Sutton; his grandson Claude Poitras and his son Jason, and Jason’s twin sons, of Maine; his granddaughter Sheila Poitras and her daughters Vanessa and Rebeckah, and son Travis Kohl of Connecticut. He is also survived by Vanessa’s two sons; and Rebeckah’s daughter; and Travis’ daughter; and by many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He was predeceased by his mother and father, and by all 13 of his siblings; his wife Bertha in 2008; and daughter Patricia (Sheltra) Poitras Twombly in 1998.

There will be no visiting hours at this time but in July there will be a committal service at the St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell. Contributions in his name may be sent to The Meeting Place in Newport

 

Robert J. “Bob” Wheeler

Robert J. Wheeler, 85, died on March 12, 2017, in Orange Park, Florida.

He was born on June 26, 1931 to parents Julian T. Wheeler and Evelyn E. (LeClair) Wheeler in Mt. Kisco, New York. Mr. Wheeler was a longtime resident of Holland and Derby before moving to Florida in the fall of 1987.

He served his country honorably in the United States Army during the Korean War and was a Navy Reservist, retired. He was a master plumber for the state of Florida and retired in 2002.

Mr. Wheeler was a handyman and could fix about anything he put his hands on. He could turn trash into treasure.

He married Teresa M. Choiniere on June 9, 1951. They had three children: Richard, Kathy, and Bruce.

Mr. Wheeler volunteered for the Red Cross at the Jacksonville, Florida, naval hospital as a shuttle driver. This was something he loved to do — talking to people who were never strangers, but immediate friends. He enjoyed fishing and the outdoors. Though he never missed those Vermont winters, he and Teresa enjoyed going back for the summers. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose in Orange Park, a member of the Elk’s Lodge in Derby, and a member of the VFW.   He participated in the annual Mayor’s Walk in Jacksonville for many years.

Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler moved into the Moosehaven retirement community in Orange Park, on February 15, 2017.   He was only present there for a short time, but he made a lasting impression with his new neighbors. He was an unsung hero who gave up everything for the love of his life, Teresa. He showed his family, as well as the staff and residents of Moosehaven, the true meaning of unconditional love, caring about the happiness of others without any thoughts of himself.

Mr. Wheeler was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Lucille Flynn, of Vermont. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Teresa Wheeler; his son Richard A. Wheeler and his wife, Suzie, of Newport; his daughter Kathy W. Boyles and her husband, Richard, of Edgewater, Florida; his son Bruce J. Wheeler and his wife, Cory, of Kingsland, Georgia; by five grandchildren and their spouses; and by one great-grandchild.

Funeral services were held on March 17 in the Moosehaven Chapel with military honors by the United States Navy. The Reverend Helen Taylor officiated. Interment of his ashes will be at a later date in Jacksonville National Cemetery.

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