Obituaries September 6, 2017

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Robert Savage Bigelow

Robert S. Bigelow died on September 1, 2017, at the Rutland Regional Medical Center.

He was born in Newport, the son of Helen (Savage) Bigelow and Rudolph Bigelow on April 28, 1925. He was predeceased by his brother Charles.

Mr. Bigelow enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and served aboard the USS Salinas in the Aleutian Islands. After the war, he attended Kimball Union Academy and Middlebury College where he excelled in football and skiing. He was also an avid tennis player and golfer.

He served on the Newport School Board, the Vermont State Highway Board, the Vermont State Current Use Board, and the Lund Center in Englewood, Florida.

He served on the board of directors for the Rutland Chamber of Commerce, the Rutland Country Club, the Rutland Hospital, VT-NH Blue Cross/Blue Shield, was a charter member of the Killington Ski Club, First Vermont Bank and Trust Company, Newport Country Club, and Associated Industries of Vermont.

After Middlebury College he managed Lakeside Plywood, which was founded by his father-in-law Arthur Roe, then Atlas Plywood in Newport. In 1957 he joined Henry Carris and in partnership formed the Rutland Plywood Corporation, Killington Wood Products, Tupper Lake Veneer Corporation and Bernhard Bay Veneer Corporation.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Jeanne Roe Bigelow; his three daughters: Barbara Barrett and her husband, Jack, and Nancy Canfield and her husband, Bill, both of Rutland, and Patricia Ritchey and her husband, Stan, of Carbondale, Colorado; three grandchildren: Sara McClallen and her husband, Greg, Ryan Canfield and Lyndsey Canfield; and six great-grandchildren: Bryn, Erin, Kaulah, Jared, Lex and Lena.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 80 West Street, Suite 202, Rutland, Vermont 05701, or to the Sunshine Fund at The Gables, 1 Gables Place, Rutland, Vermont 05701.

A private committal service will be held in Newport at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Tossing Funeral Home.


Robert W. Fenton

Robert W. Fenton, 96 of Orleans died on August 21, 2017, in Newport.

He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on January 5, 1921, to Robert and Matilda (Pippin) Fenton.

Mr. Fenton set out on his own at the young age of 15, leaving school and home to work in Conservation Corps camps and as a short order cook until he volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He enlisted in March of 1942, serving until October of 1945. He then moved to Barton, where he worked as a cook for the Pine Crest Motel and later for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

In April of 1948, Mr. Fenton once again volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, until March of 1952. He cherished the time he spent as a cook in the military and was very proud to have served under General George Patton in the “Big Red One” (First Infantry Division) as a member of the 774th Tank Destroyer Unit, earning the rank of sergeant. His duty in the Army sent him around the world. It included time in France, Germany, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. Germany quickly became his favorite as he made lifelong friends while there.

During his life after the military, Mr. Fenton was a cook and self-employed painter for many years.   He retired from the Warwick, Rhode Island School District as a custodian. After retiring, he moved to Orleans and became well known in the area for house painting, wallpapering, and furniture refinishing as he continued to work hard into his nineties. His last job was one he enjoyed very much, working part time for the village of Orleans and just being one of the guys. He will always be remembered for supplying many folks in town with his homemade pastries. He was always willing to help those in need, no matter the cause.

Mr. Fenton’s hobbies included stamp collecting, train memorabilia, and endless hours of enjoying music on his Victrolas and player piano. He also had a passion for building unique things by recycling unwanted items. From end tables to lamps to lawn furniture, his creative mind never stopped working.

He is survived by nieces Sandra Richardson and her husband, Wallace, of Morgantown, North Carolina, and Jane Ellis of Rockland, Massachusetts. He will be dearly missed by the LaPlante family, who adopted him as one of their own years ago as “Uncle Bob.” He was predeceased by his parents and brothers Ralph and Bernard.

Special thanks go to neighbors who helped with meals and acts of kindness over the past years and the staff at the Bel-Aire Center who cared for him so well over the past 18 months.

A graveside service was held September 5 at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Orleans with full military honors.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Activity Fund at the Bel-Aire Center: 35 Bel Aire Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be shared at


Edna Leland Mullins

Edna Leland Mullins died on August 15, 2017, at 79 years of age due to complications from diabetes.

She was born August 14, 1938, in Brownington, where she attended the one-room schoolhouse in Brownington Center.

In 1960, she moved to Long Island, New York, where she raised her daughter Barbara Blair Martin.

Her passions in life were sewing, camping, doing jigsaw puzzles, crocheting, and spending time with her family and friends.

She dedicated her life to being a home health care worker, and when she retired she moved to Oneonta, New York, and spent the last nine years residing at the Robynwood Adult Home.

She leaves her daughter Barbara; her son-in-law Harry; her granddaughter Nicole Wick and her husband, Cal; her grandson Michael Skala and his fiancée, Laura Brett; three great-grandchildren: Alaina, Carter and Sydney; her siblings Richard Leland and his wife, Joyce; Edith Leland Chase and her husband, Robert; William Leland and his wife, Linda, and Robert Leland and his predeceased wife, Lynne, along with their families. She also leaves behind her godson Daniel Leland; her goddaughter Sandy Pepin Owen; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews; and a large extended family.

She was predeceased by three infant children; her parents, Harold and Beatrice Leland; and son-in-law Joseph Skala.

Her ashes will be laid to rest next to her parents at the Brownington Center Cemetery.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 7, at 11 a.m. at the Brownington Center Cemetery.


Richard E. Valley

Richard E. Valley died on August 30, 2017, in White River Junction at the age of 78.

He was born on February 22, 1939, a son of Leon and Geneva (Sheltra) Valley in Barton.

Mr. Valley attended school in Barton and served in the United States Navy. For most of his working years, he worked for several different furniture manufacturing companies, including Ethan Allen.

He enjoyed playing board and card games, traveling, cooking, and family gatherings. He also was a member of American Legion Post #23.

Mr. Valley is survived by his children: Valerie Young and her husband, Leon, Laurie Poirier and her husband, Alan, Scott Valley and his wife, Janice, Marybeth Brochu and her partner, Steve Coe, and Renee McVey and her husband, Jerry; by eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his companion of many years, Jane Cutler; his brothers: Edgar Valley and his wife, Sandy, Maurice Valley and his wife, Ellen, and David Valley; by his sisters: Priscilla Parsons and her husband, Jerry, Madeline Krohn and Rachel Saulman; and by his sister-in-law Hilda Valley.

Besides his parents he was predeceased by his brothers Norman, Francis, Ernie, and his sister Lorraine.

Services will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Mary Wright Halo Foundation at 1073 Upper Quarry Road, Newport, Vermont 05855.

Online condolences may be made at

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