Obituaries September 4, 2013

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obit CyrIrene B. Cyr

Irene B. Cyr, 71, of Newport died on August 26, 2013, at the home of her daughter in Newport Center.

She was born on September 2, 1941, in Newport, the daughter of Cleon and Alice (Prevost) Wells.

She was interested in arts and crafts, going to church, going for walks, fishing, and she enjoyed the grandchildren and great-grandchildren visits.

She is survived by her children:  Linda Wells and her companion, Robert Rivera, of Connecticut, Edward Cyr of Newport, Michael Cyr and his wife, Doris, of Brownington, and Angelina McAlister and her husband, Don, of Newport Center; 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; her sister Doris Johnson of Lancaster, New Hampshire; her very special niece Lisa Johnson Brown; and by her dog Lilly.  She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husbands, Manuel Cruz, and Edward Cyr Sr.; her brothers:  Rene, Gerald, and Don; as well as by several nieces and nephews that she thought a great deal of.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

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

William G. Buchanan

William G. Buchanan, 54, of Irasburg died on August 27, 2013, at his home.

He was born on May 5, 1959, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Janice (Flannery) Buchanan and the late William E. Buchanan.

He was a self-employed diesel mechanic.  He enjoyed playing cribbage, fishing, snowmobiling, walking in the woods, riding on country roads, working on cars with his sons, and he loved horses.  He will be missed by his good friend Roy Stevens and his horse Image.

He is survived by his children:  Steven Buchanan and his wife, Rachelle, of Irasburg, and Brian Buchanan and his companion, Alicia, of Plymouth, Massachusetts; his two grandchildren:  Shaughn and David; his mother Janice Buchanan of Attelboro, Massachusetts; his life partner Kathleen Johnson of Irasburg and her sons:  Thomas and Andy Foren; his siblings:  Scott Buchanan and his wife, Donna, of Massachusetts, Michael Buchanan of South Dakota, Denise Sawicki and her husband, Edward, of Massachusetts, and Tara Buchanan and Matthew Zunagar of Rhode Island; and by many nieces and nephews.  He is also survived by his aunts:  Annie Wescom and her family of Vermont, Alice Marckres and her family of Vermont, and Virginia Donovan and her family of Massachusetts; his uncle Michael Flannery and his family of New York; and by his faithful canine companions, Bear and Nellie.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

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

obit danielsWilliam Ray Daniels

William Ray Daniels, 66, of Newport died suddenly, at home, on August 21, 2013.

He was born on April 12, 1947, to Elwyn J. Daniels Sr. and Bernice (La Rock) Daniels in Hardwick.

He graduated in 1965 from Hardwick Academy.  In 1968, he graduated from Champlain College.

Most of his life was spent living and working in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  However, for a time, he did leave, traveling to Wyoming, then Idaho and Washington.  In 1976, he returned to Vermont to work at the Sam Daniels Company for his brother where he stayed for many years.  He went west again for about seven years then returned to live in Brownington for many years, with his sister and family.  He worked in many places in the Northeast Kingdom.

As a youth, he was in the Boy Scouts of America.  He continued until he completed the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

For the last several years, he had lived in Newport.  He was an active member of the VFW auxiliary and served as president for several years.

He is survived by his brother Elwyn James Daniels Jr. and his wife, Lorraine, and their three grown children:  Jayne and her husband, Billy Collins, and Kevin and Michael; his nephew James Daniels and his wife, Donna, and their daughter, Abby; his niece Janice and her husband, John Guilmette; his sister Lesley D. Moore and her husband, Michael Moore, and their two sons:  Robert M. Moore and his wife, Kim M. Moore, and their daughter Michelle and their two sons, Dalton and Michael Moore, and James C. Moore and his three daughters:  Mariah Moore, Kristen Moore and Kayah Moore.

He was predeceased by his parents Elwyn and Bernice (La Rock) Daniels.

Calling hours will be held at the Holcomb-des Groseilliers Funeral Home, at 97 Church Street in Hardwick, on Wednesday, September 4, from 4 to 7 p.m.  A graveside committal service will be held at the Main Street cemetery in Hardwick, on Thursday, September 5, at 2 p.m.

Should friends desire to make contributions in his name, they may be sent to the Newport VFW.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through [email protected].

Roland Mathais Fortin

Roland Mathais Fortin, 89, of Derby died peacefully on August 28, 2013, in Newport.

He was born on February 23, 1924, in Holland, the son of Philippe and Merilda (Poulin) Fortin.  On August 3, 1946, he married Colombe Faucher who survives him.

During his lifetime he was a dairy farmer.

He is survived by his wife Colombe Fortin of Derby; and by his children:  Rosaire Fortin and his wife, Brenda, of Derby, Joseph Fortin and his wife, Lillian, of North Troy, Andre Fortin and his wife, Kathy, of Coventry, Francine Martin and her husband, Earl, of Island Pond, and Gilles Fortin and his wife, Mary, of Chazy, New York.  He is also survived by his son-in-law Reginald Smith of West Charleston; 12 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and by numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two children:  Norman and Rolande; and by the following siblings:  Jules, Gerald, Henri, Louis, Albert, and Joseph Fortin, and Jean Marie, Albertine Amyot, and Albina Brodeur Sr., Julienne Fortin and Candide Blais.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Friday, September 6, at the Church of God on Crawford Road in Derby, with the Reverend Laurence Wall officiating.  Friends may call at the church on Friday, September 6, from 1 p.m., until the hour of the funeral.  Interment will follow in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Derby Line.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Church of God, 295 Crawford Road, Derby, Vermont 05829.

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

obit frenchArthur Palmer French

Arthur Palmer French died on August 26, 2013.

“…these trees shall be my books

And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;

That every eye which in this forest looks

Shall see thy virtue witness’d everywhere.

As You Like It, act 3, scene 2, quoted by Mr. French in Gateway, Northfield Mount Hermon’s yearbook, in 1949.

Although born in New York City on May 9, 1929, Mr. French lived much of his life across from a glacial lake in Westmore.  Together with his identical twin brother Wayne, he attended a one-room school, learned to swim and fish in the summer, and ski and skate in the winter.  Living through the Depression, he remembered working lumber mills at Lake Willoughby and when ice was harvested for sale.  He and his brother posed for paintings by regionalist painter Paul Sample and cycled seven miles to Barton each week to participate in Boy Scouts.  He knew many local trails, leading hikes up Wheeler and Mount Pisgah when he worked at Camp Songadeewin near Willoughby’s North Beach.  As a teenager, he attended dances at the Westmore Community Hall and Shadow Lake Dance Hall.

In 1945 he left with his brother to attend Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts, where he excelled in sports.  Winning letters for skiing, cross-country and track, he was later nominated for the Northfield Mount Hermon Athletic Hall of Fame.  He and his twin brother graduated in 1949 to enter the University of Vermont (UVM), where they continued to be involved in sports.  While on the ski teams at both Mount Hermon and UVM, the twins took pleasure in posing together for team photographs, a Rorschach mirror image with their identical faces and identical black and white reindeer sweaters placed side by side in the center.

During summers he worked at the Ethan Allen Furniture Mill in Orleans, where he met Mary Karlene Dawson.  They married in 1952, the same year Mr. French joined the Navy to study electronic communications.  His daughter Katherine was born in 1953 while he was stationed at Treasure Island near San Francisco, California.  Assigned for a two-year tour of duty to Japan, he took advantage of an available darkroom to become a gifted amateur photographer and traveled through the Japanese countryside as a tourist.  Pursuing youthful interests, he went skiing in Honshu and climbed Mount Fuji, purchasing the customary walking stick to obtain wood burned stamps to mark his progress on the way to the summit.  Returning to the United States, he and his family lived on Skaggs Island, California, a former center for top secret radio surveillance before coming back to Vermont.

Re-enrolled at UVM, he graduated in 1959 with a degree in agricultural economics and lived in Burlington for the next four years while working at General Electric.  His children Melanie, David and Daniel, were born in 1956, 1959, and 1962, respectively.  In 1963 the family moved to Concord, New Hampshire, where he found work at Sprague Electric and then for the state of New Hampshire in professional positions related to economics and statistical analysis.  However, vacations and many weekends were spent at the house where he’d grown up.  He taught his children to ski and took them on hikes, sometimes tracing locations described by Robert Frost.  Like many Vermonters, he loved the woods and went deer hunting.  His idea of a perfect vacation was to spend two weeks cutting enough wood to feed the cast iron stove that heated his house.

After suffering a second heart attack, he returned to Vermont in 1992 where he took retirement seriously as an active member of the Westmore community.  Serving at town lister and member of the zoning committee, he helped chart the exact location of the original county road, completed a geological survey with oversize aerial views, and amazed fellow listers with his ability to locate boundary markers.  As a volunteer at the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington, he would greet visitors to explain about early tools and farm implements.  Interest in genealogy resulted in a well-documented family history that explored lines of immigration from Halstead in southern England during the 1500s, as well as his father’s service in the trenches of France during World War I.

Mr. French finished what he started and did so thoroughly.  Picking up a copy of Return of the Native at the Westmore Attic Auction, he regretted not completing the book in high school, and became a diligent Hardy scholar, reading not only the complete works, but also viewing every film inspired by the books.  Remembering a teacher reading aloud from Northwest Passage, he researched every piece of information he could find about Rogers Rangers, convinced that the party beat its retreat from Canada along Vermont Route 5A.  “They must have walked past the house,” he’d remark.  “But we can’t be sure.  I wasn’t home at the time.”

However, residents of Westmore observed that Mr. French was often at home, watching the sunset between hanging pots of red geraniums from the front porch of the house where he’d lived as a child.

Survived by Mary, his wife of 60 years, as well as his twin brother Wayne and his wife, Nancy, all of Westmore, he is also survived by his children:  Katherine French and Tim Hamilton of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Melanie French of Westmore, David and Jeannie French of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and Daniel French and Diane Curtin of Concord, New Hampshire; and by his grandchildren:  Mary Hamilton French of Cambridge, England; Leah Hamilton French of Houston, Texas, Ben Kindregan of Boston, Massachusetts, Billy and Matt French of Hopkinton, and Nicholas Curtin French of Concord.  He is also survived by his niece and nephews:  Steve and Kathy French, Tori and Ralph Fletcher, and Mike and Karyn French; and by his grandnieces and nephew:  Jason and Megan Fletcher and Tabitha French.

Funeral services were held at the Westmore Community Church on September 1.  Commemorative services and a celebration of his life will be held next summer, dates to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Arthur French may be made to the Westmore Community Church, Hinton Hill Road, Lake Willoughby, Orleans, Vermont 05860.

obit martinDonald I. Martin

Donald I. Martin, 86, died peacefully on on September 1, 2013, at the Country Village Assisted Living Home in Casco, Maine.

He was born in Plainfield in 1926.  He served in the United States Navy during World War II.

He married Florence Couture in 1946, and they shared love and life until her death in 2011.  They lived for many years in Orleans, where he operated an auto repair business.  He was active in many local organizations, including scouting and the Lions Club.

In the mid-1960s they moved to Ballston Spa, New York, and Mr. Martin started a new career as an auctioneer.  He excelled in that profession working at auto auctions throughout the Northeast.  In 1970 he started, along with his sons, Martin and Sons Auction Sales and Service, Inc.  He continued to auctioneer into his 80s.  He was past president of the New York State Auctioneers Association, a lifetime member of the Vermont Auctioneer’s Association and a member of the New York State Auctioneers Hall of Fame.  He was known for his engaging chant, abundant charm and a bit of a playful mischievous streak.  Mr. and Mrs. Martin retired to their homes in Craftsbury and Port Charlotte, Florida.

Mr. Martin loved people, and talking to people.  He loved the woods, especially around their cabin in Craftsbury.  He enjoyed traveling, boating and any activity that involved his family, in particular bonfires at the cabin and venison feeds at camp.  Most of all, he loved Florence.

He will be deeply missed by his six children:  Terry and his wife, Ruth, Keeseville, New York, Ronald and his wife, Susan, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Stephen and his companion, Paula Lapham, of Plattsburg, New York, Sharlene and her husband, Robert Spalding, of Casco, Douglas and his wife, Paula, of Sandown, New Hampshire, and Christopher and his wife, Janice, of Buena Vista, Colorado.  He will also be missed by his grandchildren:  Asa, Chase, Renee, Jeffrey, Nicholas, Danielle, Mike, Evan, Arlyss, Ryan, and Hannah; his great grandchildren:  Lindsay, Jasmine, and Starr Lynn; his siblings:  Arlene Nelson, Janet Chadwick, Charles, Robert, and Jackie Jacquis; his nephews:  Bruce, Roger, Paul, and Randy Martin; and by numerous relatives and friends.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 6, at the Curtis-Britch & Davis Funeral Home, 1321 North Craftsbury Road on Craftsbury Common.  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, September 7, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Craftsbury, with the Reverend Claverlito Migrino celebrating a Mass of Christian burial.  Interment will follow in the Craftsbury Common Cemetery on Craftsbury Common, with full military honors.

Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the Country Village Assisted Living Home, P.O. Box 600, Casco, Maine 04015.

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

obit StokesKenneth Blair Stokes

Kenneth Blair Stokes, 67, well-known journalist of Newport died suddenly on August 26, 2013, in Newport.

He was born on December 29, 1945, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Jone Clifford Stokes and Dorothy (Jewell) Stokes.  On August 9, 1967, he married Kateri Anne Laizer, who survives him.

He graduated from St. Mary’s College in Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology.  He later entered the United States Air Force.

He was an avid amateur astronomer, a passionate photographer and a gifted writer.  He was an adventurer and explorer at heart.  He was a man of faith who sought to guide his children, family, and friends in ways of the Lord.

He retired from the Newport Daily Express, where he was employed for many years.

He is survived by his wife Kateri Anne Stokes of Newport; and by his children:  Jason C. Stokes and Carolyn J. Stokes Walker.  He is also survived by his five-year-old “grand puppy” Bowser.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

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

Marcia B. Willet

Marcia B. Willet, 99, of Burlington, North Carolina, and formerly of Claremont, New Hampshire, died on August 16, 2013, at Peak Resources Care Facility in Graham, North Carolina, following a period of failing health.

She was born on June 30, 1914, in Danville, the daughter of the late Charles F. and Florence D. (Higgins) Burdick.  She had been a Claremont resident since 1940 before moving to North Carolina in 2006.

She had been employed as a hostess and front desk cashier in area hotels that include Colonial Hotel, King Arrow Hotel, Moody Inn, and Woodbine Cottages.  She was an active member of the Church of the Nazarene.

She was a true Burdick in every way.  She was proud of the fact that three of her father’s brothers (one of them was his namesake) had fought in the Civil War.  She loved her family and loved it when her cousin, Nick Burdick, would tell her of what the “younger” family was doing.  From working with figures to a job with the state, to real estate, reporting, furniture making, computers, and truck driving, she decided the Burdick name was doing well.

She loved visiting and loved it when family stopped in.  She would fill her cousin Nick in on the family as she knew it, and would show pictures of long dead family members.  She was a dear, sweet lady who was very easy to talk with.

Members of her family include two nephews, one niece, eight grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren, as well as many cousins.

She was predeceased by three sons:  Jerry C. Willett, Raymond J. Downing, and Robert J. Downing; and by a brother, Marshall E. Burdick.

Graveside services were held on August 24, at the family lot in the Mountain View Cemetery in Claremont.

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