Obituaries September 11, 2013

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obit tatumMartha Corinne Seaton Tatum

Martha Corinne Seaton Tatum died peacefully on August 30, 2013, at home in Derby, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

She was born on December 28, 1919, in Topeka, Kansas, and grew up mostly in Kansas City.  As a girl, she was the best roller skater in her neighborhood and did not like school or schoolteachers.  Her favorite place was her grandmother’s farm in Burlingame.

She did excel, however, as a psychology major in her last two years in college, motivated in part by a desire to help a cousin.  During World War II, she interrupted her work for the war department to learn to fly in hopes of serving in the WASPS (Women Airforce Service Pilots), although as it turned out she was unable to gain enough weight to pass the physical.

She had a lifelong love for music, dance, and horses, and a later attachment for dogs (especially three German shepherds), undoubtedly heightened by her own accomplishments with each.  She also loved butterflies, birdcalls, and weaving, and was an expert knitter.  From her college days, she had a deep attachment for the Chesapeake Bay, where her parents kept a small log cabin that remains a gathering place for family to this day.  And her avid interest in architecture contributed to raising her family in an architect-designed house with a flat roof and glass walls in the woods of Connecticut.

A person of astonishing strength and gentleness, she always met the world with empathy, compassion, and kindness.  She was a person of great wisdom and extraordinary grace, steadfast and selfless in her central devotion to family and friends.

It is difficult to imagine a finer angel in God’s heaven than she was on this earth.

She is survived by her oldest son Liston and his wife, Donna, of Orleans, and Liston’s daughter, Shanti, and her family; her middle son Jesse of Derby; her youngest son’s wife, Miriam, and their two sons, Steven and Owen; and by her sister Jane Harrell of Atlantic Beach, Florida, and her four children.

She was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Liston Tatum, on May 5, 2012; and by her youngest son, Dr. Brent W. Tatum, on March 10, 2013.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Vermont Public Radio Classical, a touchstone of beauty for her in both bright and dark hours.

obit royerPriscilla B. Royer

Priscilla B. Royer, 91, of Derby Line died peacefully on September 7, 2013, in Newport.

She was born on August 27, 1922, in Newport, to Ernest and Malvina (Bernard) Leroux.  On June 2, 1941, she married Victor Royer, who predeceased on August 3, 1989.

She was a life member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Newport and the Daughters of Isabella, where she held all of the officers’ positions.  She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, a longtime member of the Forever Young Club and an honorary member of the North Country Swingers Dance Club.

She and her late husband, Vic, enjoyed traveling, going to area dances, and playing cards, especially cribbage.  They owned and operated Paul’s Market on Indian Point Street and later owned Royer’s Market on East Main Street for several years.

She is survived by her children:  David Royer and his wife, Diane, of Orleans, Jane Flynn and her husband, Urban Jr., of Derby, and Gerard Royer and his wife, Patricia, of Derby; her grandchildren:  Cathy Bell and her husband, Chad, of Orleans, Mark Royer and his wife, Lynn, of Orleans, Paula Hollander and her husband, Peter, of Ludlow, Peter Mason and his wife, Tonya, of Milton, Christopher Royer and his wife, Jamie, of Newport, and Adam Royer of Burlington; and by 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, September 11, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, with the Reverend Yvon Royer celebrating a Mass of Christian burial.  Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Bel-Aire Activities Fund, 35 Bel-Aire Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

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

Glenna F. Murphy

Glenna F. Marie Murphy, 95, died on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at Maple Lane Nursing Home in Barton.

She was born on June 6, 1918, in Troy, to Edward and Ada (Place) Field.  On September 2, 1938, she married Francis Murphy, who predeceased her on October 29, 1981.

She graduated from North Troy High School and was a licensed nurse assistant at North Country Hospital and also spent many years working for the Orleans County Hospital.  She loved spending her time with her family, knitting, crocheting, gardening, snowshoeing, fishing, completing crossword puzzles, and cooking.  She also enjoyed teaching her grandchildren about life and she adored her pets.

She is survived by the following:  her daughter Carolyn Arel of Lowell; her grandchildren:  Patrick Arel and his wife, Gina, of Lowell, Laura Staib and her husband, Lonnie, of Alaska, and Shannon Driver and her husband, Jason, of Jay; her great-grandchildren:  Jill and David Legacy of Lowell, Andrew and Jenna Arel of Swanton, Kylie Gelo of Alaska, Holly Gelo and her fiancé, Jeff, of Pennsylvania, and Kortni and Olivia Driver of Jay; her great-great grandchildren:  Lauren and Rebecca Legacy; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brothers:  Marshall and James Field; and by her sisters:  Kathryn Squires and Alice Dunn.

A funeral service and interment were held at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Lowell on September 9.

In lieu of flowers, should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 434 Hurricane Lane, Williston, Vermont, 05495.

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

obit McNealJoan M. McNeal

Joan M. McNeal, 76, of Newport, beloved wife of Brian McNeal of 57 years, died on September 2, 2013, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on February 24, 1937, in Newport, a daughter of Louis and Arlene (Turner) Rocheleau.  On February 4, 1956, she married Brian McNeal, who survives her.

She graduated from Sacred Heart High School.

She was a licensed LNA and was employed by Bel-Aire Nursing Home.  She was also a substitute teacher at the Canaan School District in Canaan.

She was also a Sunday School teacher and was on the executive board of the Newport United Methodist Church.  Her hobbies included oil and water painting on canvases, playing the piano and taking care of her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband Brian McNeal of Newport; her children:  Timothy McNeal and his wife, Brenda, of Mobile, Alabama, Brian C. McNeal and his wife, Vicky, of Theodore, Alabama, Jodi Baker and her husband, Brad, of Newport, and Kelly Meunier and her husband, Andre, of Newport; her grandchildren:  Meghan, Jenna, Chelsey, Britney, and Rianna; and by her great-granddaughter Emma Jane.  She is also survived by her sister Jane Comtois and her husband, Marcel, of Rochester, New Hampshire; and by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brother William Louis “Roach” Rocheleau, and by her sister Juanita Rocheleau.

Funeral services were held on September 10, in Derby.  Interment followed in Pine Hill Cemetery in Derby.

Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Hope Lodge, 237 East Avenue, Burlington, Vermont 05401; or 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

obit FalconerMichael G. Falconer

Michael G. Falconer, 45, of Brownington died peacefully on September 8, 2013, in Newport.

He was born on November 5, 1967, in Newport, to Fleurette (Dupuis) Falconer and the late Geoffrey Falconer Sr.

He graduated from Lake Region Union High School in 1986.  He was a sawyer at the Lamarre Sawmill in Evansville for over 25 years.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his nieces and nephews, and riding on country dirt roads with his chocolate lab Tucker.  He also enjoyed spending time with his family and visiting with numerous neighbors.  He loved his job working side by side with Robert at the sawmill.

He was a member of St. Theresa Catholic Church and a former member of the Knights of Columbus in Orleans.

He is survived by his mother Fleurette Falconer of Brownington; his brothers:  Geoff Falconer Jr. and his wife, Renee, and William Falconer and his wife, Angie, all of Brownington; nieces and nephews:  Tyler, Brittany, Michelle, Geoffrey, Kennedy, and Cameron; his paternal grandmother Emily Damon of Rock Island, Quebec; and by numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was predeceased by his father Geoffrey Falconer Sr. on June 20, 2008.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., on Friday, September 13, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Orleans, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by the Reverend Tim Naples.  Friends may call at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, on September 13, from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  Interment will follow in Pleasantview Cemetery in Orleans.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Chris Grenier Scavenger Hunt for cancer, care of Jessie Davignon, 15 Able Street, Newport, Vermont 05855.

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

Paul Arthur Curtis

Paul Arthur Curtis, 72, Newport died on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, in his home.

He enlisted in the Navy, after graduating from Newport High School.  He specialized in oceanography and received several awards for his accomplishments in this field.

Upon discharge, he opened Curt’s Autobody & Guns in Derby, with his father.  In 1978 they separated the business, and he opened Curtis Auto Repair Service in Newport.  In 1987 he migrated to Napa Auto Parts and worked as the outside salesman for several years, finally returning to carpentry and his own business of P.C. Enterprise and working as the superintendent of Pine Grove Cemetery Association.

He was an important member of his community.  Over the years, in his spare time, he was a member of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, the Newport City Police Department, the Newport City Volunteer Fire Department, the board of civil authorities, the development review board, and the school board.  He was also a justice of the peace, and a certified diver for the Vermont State Police.  He was also crucial to the following community events:  The International Skate (1984), the Vermont dog sled races (1985 to around 1989), and the Newport Aquafest.

He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed such activities as hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.  He was also a member of the Vermont Handgunners Association as a law enforcement marksman, and enjoyed competing in the “shoots.”

He was a special man, and very giving of his time.  He gave everything for his family, and always treated his friends like family.  He was a cancer survivor of 20 years from melanoma in his eye.

He was one of seven siblings, born to Samuel D. Curtis and Grace T. Curtis.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joan Scott Curtis; his two children:  “Pete” Paul Arthur Curtis II and Annie Jane Curtis Christoni and her husband, Thomas J. Christoni; and by one granddaughter, Samantha Jane Christoni.

He will be so missed by all his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Dr. Leslie Lockridge’s Let’s Care Lots Foundation, for cancer support services.  Dr. Lockridge was a huge part of Mr. Curtis’ life and he gave the family two years to enjoy life with him.  We are forever grateful.

Donations may also be sent to the American Cancer Society, Road to Recovery, in care of Tara Genzlinger, 55 Day Lane, Williston, Vermont 05495.

Services will be at a later date at the discretion of the family and will be announced for the public.

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

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