Obituaries May 10, 2017

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Zoe M. Brow

Zoe M. (Sweatt) Brow, 81, of Waterbury, Maine, and formerly of Craftsbury, beloved wife of the late Rudolph L. Brow, died on April 30, 2017, after a short illness, with her family at her side.

It is impossible to write of an amazing and strong woman in so few words. Born March 31, 1936, she lived a life full of happiness and compassion. Some of the fondest memories her family holds are picking apples, blueberries, and strawberries in the fields, her donuts and pie, and her ability to always know the right words. She resided in Waterboro, Maine, with her daughter, son, and granddaughter for the past ten years, and touched many lives in Maine. She will be remembered and greatly missed. The family holds her memory dear to their hearts, and those memories will never go away.

Mrs. Brow is survived by her sisters: Virginia Hagen, Carolyn Zamora, and Nita Potter; her brothers: Roger and Sonny Sweatt; her sister-in-law Beryl Sweatt; and her cousin Marion Gray of Errol, New Hampshire; by her daughters: Linda Johnson and Cathie Melvin; her sons: Douglas and Steven; her grandchildren: Esther and Earl, Jemiah, Amanda, Mike and Mikaila; and by nine great-grandchildren.

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Elwin T. Brown

Elwin T. “Brownie” Brown, 77, of Derby, died at his home in Mount Dora, Florida, on January 27, 2017, after a long, courageous battle with cancer.

He was born on November 8, 1939, to the late Donald and Margaret Brown. The last several years, he spent his time with his companion, Donna Higginson, who survives him.

Mr. Brown graduated from Derby Academy in 1957, as an avid member of the Future Farmers of America. He was part owner of a successful business, B and B General Repair, where he was a mechanic alongside of one of his greatest friends, Roger Buck. He always had a love for animals and farming, which led to him owning and operating the Brown Farm on the Beebe Road in Derby, along with his two youngest sons. When he retired from farming, he worked at Wright’s Enterprises until he moved to Mount Dora.

He is survived by his companion, Donna Higginson, of Mount Dora; by his children: Rex Brown and his wife, Megan, of North Carolina, Ellie Laperle of New Hampshire, Tina Simpson and her husband, Mark, of New Hampshire, Allen Brown and his wife, Theresa of New Hampshire, Greg Brown and his wife, Donna, of New York, Robert Brown and his wife, Jessica, of Derby, and Donald Brown and his wife Pamela of Derby. He is also survived by his sister, Effie Brown of Derby; and by a longtime close friend, Jim Zolko, of New York. He also leaves behind several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and all of Ms. Higginson’s immediate family.

He was predeceased by his parents Donald and Margaret Brown; his brother Charles Brown; nephew Jeff Lawson; and longtime friend Roger Buck.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, May 13, at 2 p.m., on the hilltop at the Brown Family Farm off Darling Hill Road in Derby.

Laura M. Gonyaw

Laura M. Gonyaw, 96, of Barton, died on April 27, 2017 at North Country Hospital in Newport, surrounded by members of her family.

Mrs. Gonyaw was born in South Albany on March 25, 1921, to Edward and Josephine (Bo) Gili. She grew up on the family farm in South Albany where she enjoyed a happy childhood. Later in life she commented often of the times spent working the farm.

In 1939 she married Ferdinand Gonyaw and the two spent a lifetime raising their family of 12 children. They purchased a house in Barton where she spent over 70 years building memories. Mr. Gonyaw predeceased her in 1988. She is also predeceased by her son Carl Gonyaw.

Mrs. Gonyaw enjoyed a full, rich, and healthy life. She was an avid quilter and produced beautiful quilts for most all of her family. She had a love of sewing and stitched clothing and altered many pair of pants for friends and family. She was a skilled cook and enjoyed preparing holiday feasts, especially delicious pies. Many days were spent working in her garden, growing flowers, and watching the birds. For a number of years she traveled to Florida to spend the winters with family. Above all else, she loved her family and enjoyed their visits and family gatherings. She will be remembered for her giving personality.

She is survived by her children: Marie Moeykens, Lillian Gonyaw, Edward Gonyaw, Richard Gonyaw, Dean Gonyaw and his companion, Denise Marshall, Priscilla Sicard, Wayne Gonyaw and his companion, Carol, Bruce Gonyaw and his companion, Lynn Benoit, Linda Maclure Covington and her husband, Charlie, Marion Cook Irvin and her husband, Greg, Fran Dempsey and her husband, Fred; by her 26 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters Margaret Wright and Rena Young; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; her son Carl; and also by her brothers: Ernest and John Gili; and by her sisters: Marie Chevetti, Rose Sanville, Alice Voyer, Louise Macroy, and Bertha Shortsleve.

Calling hours for friends and family will be held on Friday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home located at 12 Elm Street in Barton. A funeral service will follow directly after at 1 p.m., with the Reverend Evelyn Coupe officiating.

Flowers may be sent to the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, 37 Lake Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the: Orleans-Essex VNA and Hospice, Inc., 46 Lakemont Road, Newport, Vermont 05855. Online condolences may be shared at


Norman L. “Jitney” Lewis

Norman L. “Jitney” Lewis, 88, of Danville, educator (1952 to 1983), cog railway engineer (1950 to1967) and entertainer (1928 to 2017) died of natural causes in the early morning hours of May 4, 2017, at the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.

Mr. Lewis, the youngest of five boys born to Albert Arthur and Eunice Mattie (Colby) Lewis of Lunenburg, was proud to say he was born on 8/8/28 at 8 p.m., at home. He went to school in Lunenburg, Gilman, and graduated from Lancaster Academy in 1946. He followed his brothers into the military and served in the U.S. Army of the Occupation in Germany. Discharged and back home working on the town road crew, he took the milk truck driver’s advice and went to Lyndon Teachers College because, as Gob Streeter told him, “They’ll take anybody!”

At Lyndon, he was part of the first class to move up to the Vail Manor campus, and pitched for the baseball team. Active in campus politics, he made sure the hornet became the college’s mascot, and with his friend got in trouble for risqué cartoons in the campus newspaper. His roommate, George Trask (responsible for the “Jitney” nickname due to Mr. Lewis’ jitter-bugging ability at the local dance hall) introduced him to Colonel Henry Teague at the Mount Washington Railway, and thus began a summer job he went back to for 18 seasons — first alone then with his family.

Mr. Lewis met his partner at college. Barbara Jean Whitney was from South Royalton, and upon graduation the pair married in June 1952. Their teaching careers centered around Chester, Springfield, Newport, and Derby. Mrs. Lewis focused on elementary education, and Mr. focused on teaching and providing students guidance, before moving into administration as a principal, and then the superintendent’s office until he retired 1983. They had two children: Tim Lewis (a former broadcast journalist now teaching at his parents’ alma mater), and Cintra Hazen (a retired IBM employee now working part-time at the Northwestern Medical Center in human resources). Mrs. Hazen and her husband, Richard, provided Mr. and Mrs. Lewis with a granddaughter, Erica (a social service worker helping troubled youth in Chittenden County). The grandparents were glad Erica had two older half-brothers she could count on — Rick and Rob Hazen. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis moved to Danville in November 1995. Mrs. Lewis predeceased her husband in 2000 after 47 years of marriage.

Mr. Lewis was able to nurture his childhood desire to work in vaudeville by writing and producing original school plays that put every student on stage. He combined his vaudeville tendencies with his interest in politics, and orchestrated the perennial and constantly unsuccessful campaign of Representative Danny Gore of Avery’s Gore for more than 35 years and 1,500 appearances around the state, the region, and even in Colorado. Luckily the Gore family and the Lewis family got along well and provided much needed support for Mr. Lewis’ creativity. In 1994, Representative Gore followed U.S. Senator George Aiken’s Vietnam era advice that, “When in a hopeless campaign — declare victory and go home.” Even after withdrawing from the campaign, Mr. Lewis continued to monitor the political scene. He was glad he had lived long enough to see a black man be elected president, and had hoped to see Mrs. Lewis’ dream of a female chief executive fulfilled. He had trouble believing what he was seeing, and would shake his head while monitoring the new administration in D.C.

For the last two years, he and his son have worked to complete a manuscript first begun in 1962 of an operating manual for the Mount Washington Railway steam locomotives during the Jitney years of 1950 to 1967. While Jitney’s technical manual and eyewitness story-telling section was completed early on, his son morphed the document into an extensive memoir, and with the help of Jitney’s Cog family, it became an in-depth look into the little-known employees and events during the New Hampshire tourist attraction’s lifetime. The fourth draft was completed at the hospital the night Mr. Lewis died.

No service is planned at this point. Rep. Danny Gore said he and the Avery’s Gore Historicity Committee will hold a celebration of the life of his longtime campaign manager Norm Lewis this summer in Avery’s Gore. Mr. Lewis fully endorsed Representative Gore’s stance that kindness was the key to success in a community, and so those wishing to make donations in his memory should select a local organization — food shelf, historical society, or school program — that puts kindness and dignity for all the world’s people at the top of their agenda.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at


Herbert H. Newton Jr.

Herbert H. Newton Jr., 73, died on May 3, 2017 at the Union House in Glover. He was formerly of Rutherford, New Jersey, and Brownington.

Mr. Newton was born on February 16, 1944, in Kearny, New Jersey. He was the son of Herbert and Dorothy (Price) Newton.

He graduated from North Arlington High School in North Arlington, New Jersey, and from Delhi University in upstate New York. He enjoyed working on his classic Monte Carlo and showing it at Bergen County, New Jersey, car shows. He also enjoyed playing guitar and attending family gatherings with his nieces and nephews.

He is survived by his siblings: Doug Newton and his wife, Patricia, of Brownington, Glenn Newton of White House Station, New Jersey, and Carol Robb of New Egypt, New Jersey; as well as by numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother-in-law Richard Robb.

A private service for the family will be held in New Jersey at a later date.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Newton’s memory may be made to the Epilepsy Association of Vermont, 92 Ethan Allen Avenue, Winooski, Vermont 05404.

Online condolences may be shared at


Anna Rebecca Powers

Anna Rebecca “Becky” Powers, 95, of Irasburg, died on April 30, 2017, in Newport.

She was born on July 27, 1921, in Irasburg, to Clarence and Merle (Duckles) Fisher. On April 25, 1942, she married Raymond H. Powers who predeceased her on April 28, 2011.

Mrs. Powers was town clerk and treasurer in Irasburg for many years and a Dairy Herd Improvement Association milk tester. She was a member of the Farm Bureau Association, and lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was the matriarch of the family, and she enjoyed baking, playing bingo, gardening, knitting, crocheting, maple sugaring at the sugar house on her property, and taking care of family.

She is survived by her children: Beverly Slack and her partner, Karl Tilden, of Thetford Center, Stephen Powers and his wife, Carolyn, of Anderson, South Carolina, Rachel Powers of Tampa, Florida, and Sharon (McCormick) Fortin and her husband, Raymond, of Derby Line; by her grandchildren: Elwyn Brooks and his wife, Penny, Carolyn Kanalos and her husband, Marc, Deborah McCormick and her fiancé, Russ Ingalls, Cynthia Royer and her companion, Noel Pixley, Jeffrey Brooks and his wife, Susan, Susan Larose and fiancé, Chad Robey, and Jennifer Foster and her husband, Doug; by her great-grandchildren: Shelby, Amber, and Autumn Brooks, Becca and Jessica Kanalos, Brad and Emma Brooks, Emily Grace, Tallulah Person, Randi Alison, and Devin Royer; and by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, especially the Fisher children.

She was predeceased by her brother Philip Fisher.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 15, at the Irasburg Cemetery, with Pastor Rick Shover officiating. Following the service, a gathering will be held at the United Church of Irasburg. Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to United Church of Irasburg, 4714 Route 14, Irasburg, Vermont 05845, or spend quality time with someone special. Online condolences can be shared at

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