September 30, 2009 Obituaries

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John Edward Coates


obit_j_e_coatesJohn Edward Coates with his son Holden Diesi.

John Edward Coates, 27, of Newport died suddenly September 23, 2009, in Burlington.
Mr. Coates was born August 2, 1982, in Washington Township, New Jersey, a beloved son of Alice S. Nicholson and stepfather Anthony K. Session and James N. Coates.
He graduated from Lake Region Union High School in 2000 and had just started school at Vermont Technical College’s Williston campus, where he was extremely happy.
For six years he was a corrections officer at the Northwestern State Correctional Facility in St. Albans.
He loved computers and all technology.  He was a Life Scout from Boy Scout Troop 862 of Barton.
He enjoyed hanging out with his friends, and most of all with his son Holden.
He is survived by his son Holden R. Diesi of Vergennes; by his mother, Alice Nicholson, of Newport; by his dad Anthony K. Session of Dillon, South Carolina; by his father, James N. Coates, of Hastings, Florida; by his maternal grandmother, Caroline Nicholson, of Newport; by two aunts, Sharon Palestino and Connie Pavlik of Florida; by his uncle Ralph Nicholson Jr. of Florida; and by his best friends:  Jeff Mayo of Maine, Kenny LaBounty of Essex, Cole Montague of Newport, and Matt Bent of Norwich.  He was predeceased by his maternal grandfather, Ralph Nicholson, in 2002.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 2, at the Church of God in Derby with the Reverend Laurence Wall officiating.
Should friends desire, contributions in Mr. Coates’ memory may be made to Vermont Technical College, for the John Edward Coates Fund, in care of Gay Gaston, development office, P.O. Box 500, Randolph Center, Vermont 05061; or to the Holden R. Diesi Trust Fund, in care of Alice Nicholson, 21 Pine Street, Newport, Vermont 05855.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Arrangements are by Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Homes.




Velma G. Curtis


Velma G. Curtis, 84, beloved wife of Roland “Curt” Curtis, died September 23, 2009, in Rutland.
Mrs. Curtis lived most of her life in Derby Line and Derby.
She enjoyed working at J.J. Newberry’s for a few years, but her favorite job was working at Brown’s Drug Store in Derby Line, working for Roland “Buzzy” Roy.
She and her husband spent 16 winters in Zephyrhills, Florida.
She enjoyed cooking, reading, crocheting, singing in the choir, and playing cards.  She was well known for her homemade doughnuts.  She was a member of the Canusa Club.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Curt; by her children Laurel Curtis Cadieux of Derby and Richard “Rick” Curtis of Pittsford; by grandchildren:  Shawn Flynn and his wife, Anne, Sara Holst and her husband, James, Scott Flynn and his wife, Heidi, Bethany Barton and her husband, Chris, and Ryan Curtis and his wife, Becky; by great-grandchildren:  Alyssa, Mariah, Cameron, Cassandra, Christopher, Julia Anne, Brittany, Nikia, Michaela, Julia, Riley, and Dylan; by sisters:  Gerry Barber and her husband, Louis, Phyllis Derick, Gertrude Cross, and Ruby Davies; by brother-in-law Don Curtis and his wife, Ferol; and by nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her parents, Effie and Glen Gray; and by her sister Vera.
Due to Mr. Curtis’ ill health, funeral services for Mrs. Curtis will be held in Proctor at the Union Church on Thursday, October 1, at noon.  Burial will be in the Derby Line Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
The family requests no flowers.
Condolences may be sent to Richard Curtis, 700 Corn Hill Road, Pittsford, Vermont 05763; or to Laurel Cadieux, 224 Shattuck Hill Road, C-8, Newport, Vermont 05855.



John Hart


John Hart died on Sunday, September 20, 2009, at his home in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, after a long illness.  He was 91.  He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Beryl (Braithwaite) Hart, and a daughter, Robyn Proiette.
He is also survived, and will be sorely missed, by Beryl’s four brothers and sisters (including Chris Braithwaite of West Glover) and their descendants.  When he married Beryl in 1957, John brought a touch of the California sun and the glamour of Hollywood into her Canadian clan.
John tried his hand at just about everything during his long life.  He once confided this motto to his much younger brother-in-law, Colin Braithwaite:  “Don’t die curious.”
One of his last, and most surprising, accomplishments was a cookbook, published in 2000.  We dug up the review we published at the time, and reprint it here as a memorial to its author.


Cowboys in the Kitchen, by John Hart.  80 pages.
Reviewed by Chris Braithwaite
At the outset, the reader deserves to be told why someone who doesn’t cook in northeastern Vermont would review a book about cowboy cuisine that has been self-published by a man who lives in southwestern California.
John Hart is my brother-in-law, married to my big sister, Beryl.
But that doesn’t really explain it.  I have had a deep affection for and fascination with John Hart ever since he joined the clan late in the 1950s.  He was starring as Hawkeye in the television series Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, an American show that was shot in and around Toronto, Canada.  Beryl, fresh back from England and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, had a bit part in an episode of the series.  They have been together ever since.
John was born and raised in southern California, and spent two high school summers herding cattle on ranches in that surprisingly rural state.  (It must have been particularly rural when John was at South Pasadena High School, sometime between 1931 and 1935.  He will be 83 in December.)
By 1937 John had gone to work in Hollywood, where they pay people to fall off horses.  One way and another, as stunt man, actor, post-production technician, sound man, director, producer, writer and I’ve forgotten what else, he earned his living in the television and motion picture industry for more than half a century.
He has his star on Hollywood Boulevard, and a fine collection of black and white studio stills of himself as the Lone Ranger (he filled in for 52 television episodes), Hawkeye, the Phantom, and Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy.
And now John has a cookbook.
I must quickly confess that I have tried none of his recipes, since I don’t cook.
But I recognize some of them, and know them to be very tasty, indeed.  Among them are one of Beryl’s best dishes, imperial chicken, and a couple from the Braithwaite family archives:  Scott Young’s spaghetti sauce and grandpa’s mustard.
Of the latter, he complains mildly, “This recipe has been passed down through several generations of my wife’s family and I can’t get anyone to give me exact proportions.”  I’ve had the same problem.
Although it includes recipes for cowboy coffee, beef jerky and son-of-a-bitch stew, John’s choices cover a great deal of other territory.
Noting that the earliest cowboys spoke Spanish, he opens with a fascinating discussion of Mexican cooking, and offers recipes for making tortillas from scratch, chili rellenos and menudo (hominy soup).
Nor are the recipes strictly of the he-man variety.  John has a good deal to say about the virtues of alfalfa sprouts, French onion soup, and his lifelong affection for artichokes.
But the real flavor of this book lies less in the recipes than the yarns the author uses to string them together.
His recipe for a rib dish called miner’s bones is preceded by a very funny story about a starving prospector who eats his dog.  It concludes:
“A little later as Pete finished gnawing the last succulent bite and dropped the bone on the pile at his feet, he paused a moment.  The food had restored him; he looked down at the pile of bones and said loudly: ‘Dadgumit, Rover would a loved them bones.’”
That might serve as fair warning that anyone who dips into this book is in for the occasional surprise.
John begins with a careful disclaimer:  “I certainly don’t claim to be a gourmet cook, and regard myself as an over-enthusiastic amateur.  I started fooling around in the kitchen and driving my wife nuts rather late in life.  I’ve had so much fun doing it and so much fun talking about it with others who enjoy cooking that I’ve been encouraged to share my pleasure and enthusiasm.”
Pleasure and enthusiasm are two things John Hart shares very well, and with great generosity.
He is the quintessential California guy and his book carries the flavor, not only of a great many dishes that look tasty, easy and fun to try, but also of that distant sun-drenched state and the people who love it enough to live there.




Barbara E. Headrick
Barbara E. Headrick, 57, of Albany died suddenly on Friday, September 25, 2009, at her home.
Ms. Headrick was born January 28, 1952, in Manchester, Connecticut, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Saksa) Kusmik.
She came to Vermont in 2000 to enjoy this lovely state and all it has to offer.  She was an outdoors person who enjoyed going for walks with her dog and snowshoeing.  She delighted in seeing moose and bear in the Albany area.  She liked to bake and enjoyed making all kinds of jams, which were shared with her friends.
She loved her job at Craftsbury Community Care Center as a licensed nurse’s assistant, working with the residents and staff.  A few months ago she fulfilled her dream of taking a trip to Alaska.
She is survived by her sons Douglas Headrick and his girlfriend, Ingrid Mahler, and Jeff Headrick of Florida; by her daughter Laurie Headrick of Connecticut; by grandchildren:  Christopher and Justin Gillespie of Connecticut and Zane Headrick of Florida; by her brothers William Kusmik and his wife, Elaine, of Maryland and Joe Kusmik and his wife, Gloria, of Georgia; by her sister Kathy McCole and her husband, Mike, of Morrisville; and by several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her brother Bob.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.
Should friends desire, contributions in Ms. Headrick’s memory may be made to Craftsbury Community Care Center, activities fund, 1784 East Craftsbury Road, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826.
Online condolences way be sent to the family at
Arrangements are by Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Homes.




Anna V. (Labor) Johnson


Anna V. (Labor) Johnson, 89, of Westmore and Oxford, Massachusetts, died peacefully in Westmore on September 25, 2009, with her family at her side.
Mrs. Johnson was born August 11, 1920, in Evansville, a daughter of William and Mary Adelaide (Bowden) Labor.
On March 3, 1948, she married Wilfred “Bill” Johnson, who predeceased her in December 1994.  They were married 45 years.
She and her husband built the Blue Anchor Cabins and Restaurant in Westmore in 1948.  The cabin business is still in operation after 61 years.  After closing the restaurant, they moved to Oxford, where they lived for more than 30 years; she and the boys spent summers in Westmore running the cabin business.  During the winters, she worked as a waitress in many excellent restaurants in the central Massachusetts area.
She moved back to Vermont in 1996 to be near her children.  She was a loving wife, mother, and friend and will be missed by all who knew her.
She was a member of the Westmore Ladies Aid, the Order of the Eastern Star of central Massachusetts, Oxford Methodist Church, Orleans Country Club’s Ladies Twilight League, and numerous bowling teams over the years.
She is survived by two sons, Christopher Johnson and his wife, Loretta, of Swanton and Kimball Johnson and his wife, Penny, of Westmore; by grandchildren:  Erik, Tyler, and Chelsea Johnson; by two sisters, Gladys Shover of Barton and Bev Royer of Calais, Maine; and by her brother Maurice Labor of Morgan.  She was predeceased by her son David; by her parents; and by siblings:  Alice Vinton, Bessie Lundeen, Marge Lafoe, Harry Labor, Harold Labor, and Fred Labor.
Funeral services were held September 29 at the Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Memorial Chapel in Newport with the Reverend Richard Whitehill officiating.  Interment followed in Lakeside Cemetery in Westmore.
Should friends desire, contributions in Mrs. Johnson’s memory may be made to the Westmore Ladies Aid Scholarship Fund, in care of Mildred Davis, Willoughby Lake Road, Barton, Vermont 05822.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Arrangements are by Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Homes.




James “Buddy” Loux


James “Buddy” Loux, 63, of Jay died peacefully September 23, 2009, at his home.
Mr. Loux was born October 25, 1945, in Boston, Massachusetts, a son of James and Helene Loux.
On May 9, 1987, he married the love of his life, Carol Loux.  They began a lifelong journey of love and togetherness.  Their relationship embodied the idea of two becoming one.
He moved to Jay in 1969, at which time he owned and operated the Schneehutte Dorm and then the Inglenook Lodge.  During the off season he owned and operated his own foundation business and built ski lifts in New Hampshire and Vermont.  He went on to become lift maintenance supervisor at Jay Peak Resort.
He retired from Jay Peak Resort in November 2007 after 20 years.  Upon his retirement he was presented the Career Achievement Award from the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
Following his retirement, he and his wife started their next adventure with a scuba diving business on St. Maarten.  He received his dive master certification in June 2008.
Besides his love of diving, he enjoyed his time skiing at Jay Peak.  His favorite thought was “ski hard and dive deep.”  He enjoyed many years of traveling through the United States; he traveled in all 50 states.  He loved the time he was able to spend with his children and grandchildren.
He said that the luckiest parts of his life were the people he knew and that they allowed him to be part of their lives.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; by their children:  Cynthia Willis and her husband, Donald, John Corsano, and Joel Corsano and his wife, Brenda; by their grandchildren:  Garrett and Bria Willis, John and Anthony Corsano, Denver Corsano, Joel Corsano Jr., and Christopher Peters; by his brother Christopher Loux; by his niece Gabrielle; by nephews:  Jason, Jeff, Chris, and Ryan; and by many special friends.  He was predeceased by his parents, James and Helene Loux.
There will be a Memorial Mass on Saturday, October 3, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Troy with Father Henry Mlinganisa officiating.
In lieu of flowers, he asked that people take an extra moment to hug the special people in their lives and make each moment together count.
Should friends desire, contributions in Mr. Loux’s memory may be made to the Jay-Westfield Ski Foundation Program, Jay-Westfield Elementary School, 257 Revoir Flats, Jay, Vermont 05859; or to the emergency fund of the Cancer Support Program, Box 64700, Burlington, Vermont 05406.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Arrangements are by Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Homes.




Charles W. Wallace
Charles W. Wallace, 78, of Wolcott died Thursday, September 24, 2009, at Copley Hospital in Morrisville.
Mr. Wallace was born in Newark on April 15, 1931, a son of True Wallace and Gladys (Baker) Wallace Whitcomb.
He attended grade school in Craftsbury while working on the dairy farm of Joseph Houston.  After leaving the farm, he worked in sawmills in Wolcott, Hyde Park, and Johnson.
He enjoyed tinkering on cars and racing cars at the old track in Morrisville as well as old cars in general.  He was an ardent New York Yankees fan.
In his later years he spent 20 years in Charleston, Rhode Island, with his companion, Anona Burrell, and worked as a custodian at a nursing home.  He returned to Vermont after Anona’s death in 2004, and had made his home with his daughter Debra in Wolcott.
He recently resided at Clark’s Residential Home in Hyde Park until his death.
Survivors include two sons, Douglas Wallace and his companion, Judy Latuch, of Hyde Park, and Richard Wallace of Johnson; five daughters:  Sue Grimes of Craftsbury, Carol Kellogg and her husband, Brian, of Morrisville, Laura Hoadley and her husband, John, of Hyde Park, Pamela Belknap and her husband, James Jr., of Hardwick, and Debra Davis and her husband, Frank, of Wolcott; two brothers, Everett Wallace of Hyde Park and Stanley Wallace of Johnson; half-sister Lena Baker of Montpelier; 17 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by a brother; by two sisters; and by his companion of 20 years, Anona Burrell.
A graveside service was held September 29 at the Hooper Cemetery in Hyde Park with the Reverend Alden Launer officiating.
The Malcolm R. Davis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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