Michael Ashley, 71, of Westmore, died peacefully at his home on August, 25, 2023. Michael was formerly of East Freetown and Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and was the beloved husband of Dawn. He built the home they shared himself.
Michael was born on March 5, 1952, in Acushnet, Massachusetts, to Emerson and Emelie (Protin) Ashley. Michael grew cranberries for work in Massachusetts. He had many hobbies: farming, beekeeping, tending to his goats, campfires, fireworks, and jet-skiing. Michael also served his country in the Navy and was a member of the National Rifle Association.
Michael is survived by his loving wife, Dawn (Hutchinson) Ashley; by his children: Michele, Jamie, and Jessica; by his step-children: Myles, Amber, and Shawn; by his brothers: Herbert and Jim and his wife, Roberta; by his sister Charlene; by his grandchildren: Willow, Lucas, Killian, Emelie, Rita, Stephanie, Rebecca, Katrina, Bryon Jr., Lily, and Sabrina; by one great-grandchild, and by his nieces Brittany and Alicia.
Michael was predeceased by his parents, by his sister Joan, and by his brother George.
A celebration of life will be held at their residence in Westmore on September 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the World Wildlife Fund to help save the bees.
Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.
Normand Fernand Auger
Normand Fernand Auger, 86, of Charlottesville, Virginia, born in Granby, Quebec, Canada, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, died August 26, 2023, at home, surrounded by family. He lived a wonderful and extraordinary life. He was the sixth of nine children of Catherine Leduc Auger and Urbain Auger, a Québécois dairy farmer, and immigrated with his family to North Troy in 1952.
The family’s first farm in Granby was tiny, with two cows, a plow horse, and a large garden. The farmhouse had no electricity and was heated with a wood burning stove. Running water was hand-pumped in the kitchen. Norm studied by a kerosene lamp, and when nature called, he went to the outhouse. There were two small ground-level bedrooms for the parents and three girls, and the six boys slept in the second-floor loft. Norm recalled waking up on winter mornings and finding a dusting of snow inside certain rooms in the house.
When Norm was 12 years old, he and his brother Robert joined the oldest brother Gaston in a trapeze and high wire act he had formed. The boys called themselves the Auger Trio, and they performed in fairs and circuses throughout Eastern Canada, including the Forum in Montreal. In the U.S., they performed in New England, and even went as far south as Virginia Beach. In their shows, they executed high wire tricks on foot and on bicycles and trapeze stunts culminating in the Dive of Death which involved someone leaping off a platform to be caught by breakaway ropes as high up as 85 feet in the air—all without a net. Often, after nights of such death-defying feats and the labor of breaking down the equipment, loading the truck and driving back home, Norm and Robert would head straight to the barn and back to work milking the farm’s cows. The Auger Trio performed for ten years, after which Norm went on to perform solo under the name of The Great Normand until 1964.
The Auger family prospered with the help of the boys’ earnings from the Auger Trio — young Norm gave his share to his parents — and when he was 15 years old, the family purchased a 300-acre dairy farm complete with a large house that had electricity and running water, in North Troy. With the family’s immigration to the United States, Norm began to speak English in earnest.
Norm’s education was remarkable, multifaceted, and driven by his curiosity and mechanical and mathematical instincts. He went from elementary school in a one room rural schoolhouse to Christ the King Catholic School in the town of Granby. When Norm was 13 years old, he transferred to trade school to become a carpenter. There, he learned carpentry, electricity, plumbing, and woodworking in addition to standard academic courses. Norm practiced the trades briefly, repairing his family’s home, making furniture, moving a silo, and nearly completed a full-size glider airplane. Always curious, and with a mind for machinery, he taught himself how to repair the farm’s vehicles. In 1957, Norm enlisted in the Army and served as a paratrooper in the elite eighty-second Airborne Division. He earned his GED while in the Army, and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
After growing up on the flying trapeze, and spending two years jumping out of airplanes, Norm was inspired to learn how to fly an airplane. He took lessons from Cecil Wright, the Newport airport manager and instructor, and earned his pilot’s license. His dream of becoming a test pilot was thwarted when it was discovered he had red/green colorblindness. Undeterred, Norm continued to fly his Cessna, Mooney, and Cherokee airplanes (which he owned at different times in his life) all over the U.S. and Canada until failing health ultimately made that impossible in 2011.
Norm met the love of his life at a dance in Newport. Thérèse Riendeau was sitting with three friends, and Norm had to decide which girl he’d ask to dance. Providentially, he chose his future wife, Thérèse. She realized there was something special about him later that evening when he walked her out of the dance and carried her in his arms over a large snowbank. They started dating and married five years later. Their first child Diane was born nine months and ten days after their honeymoon at Niagara Falls.
Norm worked for a time at Kraft Foods testing farmers’ milk, where a friend suggested that he go to college. As a result, Norm became the first of his family to pursue higher education. At first, his family disapproved of his stopping work to attend college, but it wasn’t long before they took pride in his academic accomplishments. Thérèse worked as a bookkeeper to support the family, while Norm started school in 1963 at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville. In a year, he transferred to the University of Vermont where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1966. He immediately started working on his master’s degree and teaching math at Lyndon State College.
During that time, the Apollo program was heating up. On a longshot, Norm applied for a job in the NASA Apollo program and was hired. Norm, Thérèse, and Diane moved to Cocoa, Florida, where they lived for a year, before NASA decided to send Norm back to the University of Vermont for a semester to finish his master’s degree. Norm and the family returned to Cocoa, where he worked from 1967 to 1972 for the Apollo program, training the astronauts to use the controls in the lunar excursion module (LEM) and started work on his Ph.D. in applied mathematics, which he completed in 1977.
It was a magical time for the family in Florida. Getting to work personally with the astronauts who were flying to the moon, and watching the Apollo launches from Cape Canaveral was a dream come true for the farm boy from Quebec. Norm would often marvel at how in a short span of 17 years he moved from life as a farm boy with no electricity to a mathematician training astronauts how to land the lunar module on the moon. Diane remembers her father waking her up from a sound sleep to watch a television broadcast of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon. Florida became a favorite destination for the extended family, most of whom made annual treks from Vermont and Quebec for large holiday gatherings. During their years in Florida, two boys were born to Norm and Thérèse: Erik and Michael.
When the Apollo Program packed up in 1972 and headed to Houston, Norm thought that was too far from his family in Vermont and Quebec, and transferred to the Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Virginia, moving the family to Fredericksburg, Virginia. There he worked on research and development of various Naval gun fire systems, heading the development of the AEGIS DDG-51 Gun Weapon System, becoming principal mathematician for the Weapons System Department, and serving as technical director of the NATO AAW Weapons System Program. He earned the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1986. In addition to NSWC, Norm commuted to Washington, D.C., to work for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). After he retired in 1994, Norm worked as a defense contractor for FMC for five years. Norm would sometimes say he never worked a day in his life because he loved what he did so much. In 2005, after Erik and Michael moved to the Midwest with their families, Norm and Thérèse left their Fredericksburg home of 34 years to be closer to Diane and her family in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Norm was a devoted father, husband, and provider. Once he began working at NASA, Thérèse was able to retire from work and be a full-time homemaker and earned her PhT (Put Hubby Through) degree. Norm put all three of his children through college, and as their built-in tutor, he made sure they thoroughly understood their mathematics. Diane remembers the many times she would need help with a math problem and Norm would patiently sit with her and explain complex (or at least what seemed so to Diane) math concepts over and over again. Confused, she would sob and weep in frustration, but Norm would persist until she would have a breakthrough and could smile through her tears saying, “now I get it!” Norm had a dream that all three of his children would become mathematicians but was only 66.6% successful; one of the children chose a different academic path, opting to “be content to do arithmetic for the rest of his life!” as Norm wryly put it.
When Diane joined the cross-country team in high school, Norm would jog with her and help her with training. He would later run in many long-distance races such as the 10-miler in Belmont, New Hampshire, and the famous Marine Corps Marathon, which he frequently ran with his brother Robert. When his boys were old enough to play Little League, he became the team coach. And when they fell in love with bike racing, he would ride with, train, and coach them. Erik, Mike and Norm’s brother Robert fondly remember their great bike adventure, riding from Fredericksburg to Newport in 1994.
Norm was also an avid auto mechanic. He purchased an old antique Mercedes Benz and completely restored it. He pulled the engine and the transmission, repaired them, and reinstalled them. He did the body work himself, learning how to putty and paint cars. He serviced and repaired his own cars for most of his life, often noting that “he who takes care of himself is well taken care of.” His kids always knew where to go when they had mechanical issues. Norm also got into personal computers early on and became the family’s one-man Geek Squad, going from one family member’s home to another’s fixing computer problems.
When Norm retired, he fulfilled another of his dreams, to build a house for himself with his own hands on 20 acres in Newport Center, near the old farm in North Troy. Norm did an enormous amount of the labor himself at the young age of 61, borrowing labor where he could from family members and friends, but always running the job himself. Norm and Thérèse would go on to spend 22 summers from May to September in their Vermont home, which became a summer mecca for the whole family. Most summers there would be a family reunion including now-adult children, their spouses, grandchildren, and extended family. The family shared many happy days sitting on the porches and enjoying the views of Jay Peak, the neighboring Vermont farms, and their green pastures, hills, and valleys; and having boisterous conversations, and holding competitive cornhole tournaments in the backyard.
For all of his adventures and accomplishments, the most important thing in Norm’s life was family, and the rock and foundation of his family life was Thérèse. Together they were a true partnership. They shared the burdens and joys of marriage and family life beautifully, raising their family in the Catholic church and creating an example of Christian marriage for all to be strengthened and nourished by.
Their children do not remember any fighting, only deep friendship. In his last years, Norm willingly turned over his care to Thérèse, who monitored, guided, nursed, and loved him in the most beautiful way. His last gesture was to take her hand and kiss it to share how deeply he loved and appreciated her.
Norm is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Thérèse Auger; by his daughter Diane and her husband, Garrett Smith, and their three children: Lloyd, Minor, and Catie Claire; by his son Erik and his wife, Laura Auger, and their three children: David, Nolan, and John; and by his son Michael and his wife, Janet Auger, and Mike’s four children: Isabel, Maggie, Sam, and Annie; and by his three remaining siblings: Robert Auger, Claudette Chalifoux, and Philippe Auger, and many nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his family. Norm was blessed with a truly wonderful life, and in turn blessed all who knew and loved him.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated for Norm at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport on September 5. Visitation will take place at 10 a.m. at the church, followed by Mass at 11 a.m. Committal will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery following Mass.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Matthew James Caron
Matthew James Caron, 37, of Lyndonville, died unexpectedly August 29, 2023. Matthew was born January 21, 1986, to Albert and Patricia (Maynard) Caron.
He was a graduate of Lyndon Institute and went on to work as a carpenter in construction in Vermont. Matt loved life outdoors, spending as much time as he could hunting and fishing and sharing his adventures with family and friends. He will be lovingly remembered for his infectious smile and kind soul.
Matthew is survived by his mother, Patricia Gage, and by his father, Albert Caron; by his brother Dana and his wife, Tonya Caron, and their children: Jaydon Caron and fiancée, Cameron, and their daughter Everest, Brittney Caron and fiancé, Keagon, and Miranda Caron. Matt also leaves behind his grandmother Gwen Maynard, as well as many relatives and friends.
A celebration of life was held September 4 at the Lyndonville Outing Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Matthew’s memory may be made to Northeast Kingdom Human Services suicide prevention at nkhs.org.
Beverly Ruth Barry Chapdelaine
Beverly Ruth Barry Chapdelaine, 94, of Brownington, died September 3, 2023, at her home. She was born on April 12, 1929, in West Glover, to the late Maurice and Lois (Magoon) Barry.
Beverly worked at Ethan Allen in Orleans for many years before opening her own greenhouse with her late husband, Robert. She enjoyed gardening, baking, cribbage, crocheting, painting, drawing, and writing poetry. She was a member of the Orleans American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, Orleans Federated Church and the Women’s Club.
She is survived by her children: Gerard Chapdelaine and his wife, Susan, Merri Boisvert and her significant other, Joe Donna Sr., and Shari Vasquez and her husband, Trinidad; by many, many grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; by her dog and companion Sugar, as well as many other extended family and friends.
She was predeceased by her husband, Robert Chapdelaine; by her sons Wilfrid, James, and Michael Chapdelaine and daughters Katherine Young and Iris Chapdelaine.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral at 11 a.m., on September 7, at the Orleans Federated Church, 24 School Street in Orleans, with the Reverend Alyssa May officiating.
If friends desire, memorial contributions in Beverly’s name may be made to the Orleans Federated Church, 24 School Street, Orleans, Vermont 05860.
Online condolences may be made at curtis-britch.com.
Arthur S. Judd Jr.
Arthur S. Judd Jr., 92, of Derby, died August 23, 2023, in Newport. He was born March 10, 1931, in St. Albans, the son of Ethel (Tirrill) and Arthur Judd Sr.
Arthur was a graduate of Derby Academy, class of 1949. While attending Derby Academy, he was a member of the basketball team and played the clarinet and saxophone in the orchestra. He was also a member of the Star Dusters band, which played at local venues.
Arthur was a United States Air Force (USAF) veteran and spent time in England while serving during the Korean War. After serving in the USAF, he went to school in Boston, Massachusetts, to train for refrigeration repair.
His decision to change careers led him to banking. During his early years in banking, he attended Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and was president of the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Banking. In the later years, he was elected president of the Vermont Bankers Association. During his 33-year career in banking, he held several positions, the last of which was the president of Community National Bank, a position he held for many years.
After retiring from the bank, he opened an antique shop. He was active in his community and enjoyed taking part in church functions and serving on various boards and committees (church, hospital, and school). He was a member of the American Legion Post 21, Lions Club, and Masons.
Arthur had a playful and adventurous spirit. He enjoyed taking fishing trips, flying to remote lakes in Canada with his sons and friends, fishing the Indian Stream area in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, with his father and sons, and fishing on Lake Seymour with his grandchildren. For many years, he enjoyed hunting at Camp 57 with many of his friends. In 1967, he and his father set up their own hunting camp.
He enjoyed traveling, whether it be in the United States or to other countries. He also enjoyed playing cards and golf, dancing, skiing, and watching baseball on television. His hobbies included collecting antiques, coins, and stamps. He was willing to try new things like whitewater rafting, canoeing the Allagash River in Maine (twice), building a log home from a kit, and making dandelion wine and maple syrup. He loved and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, often entertaining them at the cottage on the lake, boating, building campfires with his grandchildren, and telling funny stories. So many wonderful memories were created, so many wonderful adventures and experiences were had.
On May 28, 1955, he married Carol A. Soutiere, who predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his son Colin and by his first wife, Wendy, and great-grandson Milo Jewell.
On January 9, 1998, he married Carolyn Rowell Therrien, who survives him. His stepson Steven Therrien also predeceased him.
He is survived by his children: Scott Judd and his wife, Debbie, of Grafton, New Hampshire, Kevin Judd of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and Carol Griffin of Havelock, North Carolina; by his daughter-in-law Ann-Marie Judd of Sharon; by his grandchildren: Aleah Judd, Rease Judd, Hunter Judd, Jessica Griffin McQuaig, Kylee Griffin, Cody Griffin, and Morgan Judd; and by his great-grandchildren: Trevor and Connor McQuaig, Cosmo Tsolakidis, and Merida Griffin.
He also leaves his sister-in-law Marilyn Taplin, his stepson Kenneth Therrien and his wife, Marcia, his stepdaughter Lynda Sheltra and her husband, Jack, his step-daughter-in-law Luann Therrien; his step-grandchildren: Andrew Therrien, Jeremy Therrien, Jacob Therrien, Cassandra Graham, Jennifer Graham, Seager Therrien, and Baily Therrien; and his step-great-grandchild Paxton Therrien.
A memorial service will be held September 16, at 11 a.m., at the Curtis-Britch and Bouffard Funeral Home at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, with the Reverend John Genco officiating.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Dailey Memorial Library, 101 Junior High Drive, Derby, Vermont 05829, or to the Palliative Care Fund, Attention Wendy Franklin, North Country Hospital Foundation Office, 189 Prouty Drive, Newport, Vermont 05855.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Ernest Raymond Lord
Ernest Raymond Lord died August 25, 2023. He was born at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on October 8, 1930, to Ernest and Bertha (Hawley) Lord. He was raised in the Hartland and Woodstock area, and finished school there before joining the Air Force in 1951. There he served for four years during the Korean War as a pilot and mechanics instructor. He spent a year in the VA hospital as a result of an aircraft accident, and subsequently served another 31 years with the air training command as an instructor and branch chief.
His chosen field of study was mechanical engineering, but his first love was being a pilot. He completed over 50 air training courses, ranging from supply and procurement management to nuclear weapons. He taught one of the first computer systems on the Univac, which occupied an entire building.
He was a man of many talents, mostly self-taught. He was also a private pilot, flying his Bonanza throughout the U.S. and Canada. His passion for flying, golf, antique cars, and friendship to many will be remembered. He was a board member of the Vintage Antique Car Club, vice president of the Lake Parker Association, volunteer for the Punta Gorda Police Department, and member of the Jaguar Club.
Ernest was a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He married his beloved wife, Colleen Brunelle Lord, who survives him, on April 5, 1952, in Northfield. They were married for 71 years.
He is also survived by his beloved daughter and son-in-law Eileen and Darrell Carpenter of Rexford, Montana; by his grandchildren: Katherine Koontz, Jacob and Camille Greer, and James and Bianca Carpenter; and by his great-grandchildren: Keaton Koontz, Kaylee Koontz, Jamie Greer, Casey Lerch, and Macie Carpenter.
Ernest had several “surrogate children” who treated him like their father and were also beloved by him: Barbara Buchanan, Gary Grigsby, Cindy Royer, Lori and Randy Moran, Amy and Albert Stringer, John and Wendy Maniatty, Lesley Rogan and Daniel Goode, Mike and Rena Abair, and Noel Pixley, as well as very special friends Sandy and Richard Corrigan, Margaret Marcum and family, Juanita Carter, Phyllis Williams, Mary Butler and Dan Hebert, Linda and Aime Cloutier, Diana Davis, and Dennis Hayden.
He is also survived by his sister Margaret Smith of Windsor and his brother Earl Lord of Manassas, Virginia, and by many beloved nieces and nephews.
Ernest was predeceased by his daughter Linda Greer and son Ernest Lord III, as well as by his brother Arthur Lord and sisters Amber Stebbins, Gladys Stanley, Doris Lord, Barbara Carbino, and by his parents, Ernest and Bertha Lord.
There will be a celebration of life in Newport at a later date to be announced.
If friends desire, memorials may be sent to the Hospice of Marion County, 6126 State Road 200, Ocala, Florida 34476, or online at hospiceofmarion.com.
Mark Christopher Meredith, M.D.
Mark Christopher Meredith, M.D., 59, a North Country Hospital general and vascular surgeon, died August 21, 2023.
Dr. Meredith had humble beginnings in rural Indiana, graduating from Butler University in 1986 with honors in zoology. He had a lifelong passion for animals of all varieties. He obtained his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1990, and completed a surgical residency as chief resident at Saint Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan.
Dr. Meredith published papers on new surgical techniques he helped develop and presented his findings at national meetings. He arrived in Derby in July 1995, where he became a pillar and fixture of the local community, working tirelessly to heal the sick and wounded in northern Vermont.
He pursued his passion for motorcycles as a classic motorcycle racer, competing throughout the U.S. and Canada with USCRA. The colder seasons would find him enjoying the more tranquil pursuits of woodworking and guitar.
He is survived by his son Christopher, his daughter Abigail, his mother, Gertrude, his father, Terry, his brothers Rob and Pat, his stepfather Harold, as well as his faithful dog Ollie and his charming cat Little Man, along with a host of friends, colleagues, and companions who grieve his tragic loss.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
George Liston Tatum III
It is with saddened hearts that the family of George Liston Tatum III announces his death, unexpectedly, at the age of 72, on August 13, 2023, in Derby.
Liston was the beloved father of Shanti Riordan, married to Patrick Riordan, and loving grandfather to Connor, Skylar, and Sawyer Riordan of Westbrook, Connecticut.
He leaves behind his wife, Donna Tatum, of Orleans, and her two sons Seneca Woods and Lance Woods, and Lance’s wife, Nikki, and their daughter Lucy Woods, of Charlotte, North Carolina. They treasured his presence in their lives, and he treasured them.
Liston is also survived by his brother Jesse Tatum, his sister-in-law Miriam Tatum, and his nephews Steven and Owen Tatum. He was predeceased by his parents, Liston and Corinne Tatum, and by his brother Brent Tatum.
Liston was a self-taught computer engineer who took great pride in his work. He took an avid interest in the environment and was very concerned about global warming. He became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Montpelier and found a closer connection to his spiritual nature.
His family lived life rowing the lakes and rivers, biking miles of mountains and valleys and skiing down the mountain slopes. His children remember that he always had the time and patience to explain the intricacies of global issues and the environmental crisis. The most kind and sensitive man, with compassion he taught the other side to all the stories. They see him in everything they do. They have so much love for their father that keeps them connected, even now he is in the stars.
His wife remembers that the day he asked her to marry him, she was planning to ask him. They remodeled their home in Orleans to grow old together, a shared dream. The projects he dreamed of completing will be completed in honor of his memory. He loved the open windows to look out at the beautiful gardens. Liston and Seneca challenged each other in climbing red rock mountains in Sedona, Arizona.
Liston helped Lance and Nikki enhance their home in Concord, where Lucy was born. He had fun with Lucy making apple pies and carving pumpkins. He helped her learn how to fly her monarch kite for the first time when she was four. Liston was the best oatmeal raisin cookie maker, and it was a welcomed addition to the many birthday presents sent to all grandchildren. Liston was good man with a gentle side to his complex nature.
Memorial services are yet to be announced.
Donations in Liston’s memory can be made to NorahBeads.com, and friends may join the Out of the Darkness walk on September 16 in Newport.
A celebration of life for Jeanne Prive, who died July 28, will be held on September 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Paul’s Sugarhouse in Derby.
A graveside memorial service by Father Francis Prive will be held at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph on September 11, at 11 a.m.