Florence H. Desrochers, 82, of Sheffield died on June 8, 2015, at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital.
She was born on June 7, 1933, in Sheffield, daughter of Everett and Evelyn (Gilman) Simpson.
She enjoyed watching old Western movies, going out to eat, and spending time with family (especially playing with Dominic, her great-grandson), and her cat.
She is survived by her daughter Debra Renaudette; her son Dale Johnson; her sister Ila Albright; four grandchildren: Christine, Samantha, Kolten, and Jasmine; three great-grandchildren: Brooklin, Alexianna, and Dominic; one soon-to-be great-granddaughter in July, Khrystaliah; several nieces and nephews; as well as Dawn Marshall, who was like a daughter, and her husband, Pete, Omi Larrabee, and Jadyn Newland.
She is predeceased by her siblings: Cora Heath, Shirley Simonds, John Simpson, Harry Simpson, and baby Everett; a son-in-law, Chris Renaudette; and by a nephew, Leslie Heath.
A graveside service was held at the Dexter Cemetery in Sheffield on June 13.
Michael D. Frizzell, 68, of Newport died suddenly on June 12, 2015, in Newport.
He was born on February 1, 1947, in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire, to Francis and Rowena (Brockney) Frizzell.
On October 4, 1969, he married Suzanne Leblond, who predeceased him on March 14, 2013.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War in the 1960s. He was supervisor for Ethan Allen Manufacturing in Orleans.
He enjoyed gardening, the company of his black lab, and he loved being with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his daughters: Melissa Frizzell and Angela LaPlante and her husband, Dana, all of Newport; his brother Stephan Frizzell and his wife, Jeannie, of Antrim, New Hampshire; his sister Laurie Frizzell of Derby; his special companion, Terry Grenier; and by several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call on Thursday, June 18, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 4670 Darling Hill Road in Newport, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newport, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 55 Day Lane, Williston, Vermont 05495.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Jessica L. MacDonald, 30, of Derby Line died suddenly on June 11, 2015, at her home.
She was born on September 15, 1984, in Kokomo, Indiana, to Kim MacDonald Lague and Dominque Gervais.
Her life was spent caring for her three children, whom she adored with all her heart. She put all others ahead of her own needs and was always a pillar for everyone in her life to lean on and count on. Her kindness and compassion for all people knew no bounds and was a force that brought a special light into this world for us all.
She is survived by her parents: Kim MacDonald Lague and her husband, Ray, of Colorado, and Dominque Gervais and his wife, Donna, of Coventry; her children: Connor, Madison, and Parker Russell; her longtime companion, Doug Russell, of Derby Line; her sisters: Melissa MacDonald of Missouri, and Jennifer Vitalis and her husband, Randy, of Connecticut; her brothers: Keith Gervais of Vermont and Christian Gervais of Newport Center; her grandparents: Gilbert Gervais of Connecticut, Josianne Downs of Kentucky, and Keith and Ann MacDonald of Missouri; her stepsisters: Holly Larose of North Carolina, and Meghan Gervais of Newport Center; and by Douglas Russell’s parents and sister: Brian and Kim Russell and Tracy Russell, all of Derby.
Funeral services were held on June 16, in Newport.
Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be sent to Tracy Russell, 583 Sunset Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855, for her children.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Mary Ann Merrill
Mary Ann Merrill of Craftsbury, 66, died on April 23, 2015, in Charlestown, New Hampshire.
She was the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Merrill.
After graduating in a class of ten students at Craftsbury Academy, she attended the University of Vermont. She graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1971.
For over 20 years she was a secretary at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. Later, she did volunteer driving for senior citizens and was a private duty caregiver.
As a member of the fourth generation, she worked on the family farm. She spent many happy summers at her camp, which her father built.
She belonged to the United Church of Craftsbury, Ladies Union, and Homemakers.
She is survived by her sisters: Nancy Merrill and her partner, Robert Lambert, and Jane Linck and her husband, David; her niece Jennifer Linck and her partner, Cedar, and their daughters: Posey and Alice Hannan; her nephew Robert and his son Stig Linck, all of Craftsbury; her uncle and aunt, Everett and Phyllis Merrill of Cobleskill, New York; her aunt Beverly Merrill of LaCrescent, Minnesota; and by several cousins. She also leaves behind three very special longtime friends: Marjorie Stoddard, Fay Waterhouse, and Jean Anderson and their extended families.
She was predeceased by her parents; her sister Martha Jenkins; her uncle Leland Merrill; her uncle, aunt, and cousin: John, Jane Ellen, and Martin Wehncke.
A memorial service will be held on June 27 at 2 p.m. at the United Church of Craftsbury on Craftsbury Common.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Church of Craftsbury, care of Cheryl Bailey, Treasurer, 181 Collinsville Road, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826; or to a charity of one’s choice.
Marilyn Bates Smith, 83, of Shelburne, formerly of Newport, died on June 13, 2015, in Burlington.
She was born on January 13, 1932, in Morgan, to Carl and Marion (Mudgett) Bates.
She graduated as Valedictorian of the Class of 1950 from Newport High School. In 1954, she graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.
On June 30, 1958, she married Robert Winfield Smith, who predeceased her on July 12, 2003.
She was a teacher in Randolph and Cabot, as well as a substitute teacher in Danville, St. Johnsbury, and Lyndon. She was first and foremost a devoted wife and mother.
She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association and an active member of the North Congregational Church. She loved cats and was a volunteer at the Frontier Animal Society.
She is survived by her children: Brian Carl Smith and his wife, Dawn, of Westfield, Massachusetts, and Alan Robert Smith and his wife, Susan, of South Burlington; her grandson Christopher Brian Smith and his wife, Krystle, and their three daughters: Zerviah, Matilda and Elphaba of Johnstown, New York; her two nieces: Sheri and Deborah; and by her five nephews: Jeff, Greg, Tom, Steven, and Craig.
She was predeceased by her sister Carleen Cummings.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 17, at 2 p.m. at the Curtis-Britch-Converse-Rushford Funeral Home, at 37 Lake Road in Newport.
Should friends desire, contributions in her memory may be made to the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter, 502 Strawberry Acres, Newport, Vermont 05855.
Online condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Richard James Urie, 80, of Livingston, Montana, died on Friday, June 5, 2015, at his home, with his family by his side.
He was born on March 31, 1935, in Albany, son of Leslie and Isabel (Anderson) Urie of Bonnie View Farm. He graduated from Craftsbury Academy and then earned a degree in agronomy from the University of Vermont. After college he worked for the Soil Conservation Service until he was drafted in 1958. He served two years in the United States Army, stationed in Germany.
Upon his discharge from the U.S. Army, Mr. Urie returned to Bonnie View Farm to work with his father. In December of 1965, he married Ellen Boyd and she joined him at Bonnie View Farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Urie enjoyed 29 years raising a family and farming together. He took great pride in the stewardship of the farmlands and improving their productivity. He also spent many hours teasing and playing with his four children, Wendi, Barb, Kelly, and Dan, and was well know for his sense of humor and enjoyment of a practical joke. The family’s “city cousins” and friends with summer homes all loved to visit the farm and to be part of the fun he created.
Mr. and Mrs. Urie retired from farming in 1994, traveled the country for a full year, and then settled in Asheville, North Carolina, where they lived for eight years. In 2003, they relocated to Livingston, to be closer to their daughters. Mr. Urie was immediately fascinated by Western farming and ranching, and especially irrigation. For a Vermont farmer the idea of not having enough water was completely foreign! Mr. Urie was also drawn to the mountain landscape and enjoyed hikes, bicycle rides, and snowshoe outings with his daughters and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Ellen; his favorite daughters: Barb and her husband, Jim Marshall, Kelly Elder, and Wendi and her husband, Mike Cimonetti; his siblings: Ellen Jane and her husband, Wes McGrew, Arthur, and Paul and his wife, Sue; and by his five grandchildren: Marissa, Jack, Abby, Hazen, and Caroline.
He was predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Isabel; his son Dan; and by his brother Andrew.
A celebration of his life was held on June 12, in Livingston. Interment will be at the Andersonville Cemetery in West Glover at a later date.
Memorials are preferred to Park County Senior Center, 206 South Main Street, Livingston, Montana 59047.
George W. Wells, 73, of South Burlington died at his home on Friday, June 12, 2015.
He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on January 11, 1942, son of the late Harland and Evelyn (Wallace) Wells.
Following high school, Mr. Wells entered into the U.S. Navy, starting a 20-year career, proudly serving his country on various submarines as Radioman Chief Petty Officer. He was a Vietnam veteran and was actively involved during the Cuban Blockade and Lebanon Crisis. His submarine duties included the USS Carp, USS Blenny, USS Entemedor, USS Seawolf, USS Kamehameha, USS Benjamin Franklin, USS Escape, and the USS Andrew Jackson. He was also a mortgage broker — he owned and operated Express Mortgage for ten years.
Mr. Wells was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He treasured time spent with his family. He took great pride in his brother, son, grandson, niece, and nephews, and swelled whenever he spoke of their service to our country. He enjoyed family hunting trips to Jay Peak, and salmon fishing in Pulaski or Anchorage, Alaska. He adored his grandchildren. He was an avid Red Sox fan, enjoyed working in the yard, grilling, and “sharing” recipes, but not the grilling duties.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth (Emmerson) O’Keefe-Wells of South Burlington; his children: Karol Leggett and husband, Creg, of Birmingham, Alabama, Karl Wells and his wife, Jeannie, of Beaufort, South Carolina, Timothy O’Keefe and his wife, Melissa, of Albany, New York, Kathleen O’Keefe of South Burlington, and Patricia Cutler and her husband, Matthew, of Albany, New York; his eight grandchildren: Richard Hunt, Daniel O’Keefe and his partner, Caitlyn Ribeiro, Zachary Wells, Ryan O’Keefe, Emma Leggett, Tessa Leggett, Emily O’Keefe, and Connor LeClair; a great-granddaughter and his pride and joy, Amelia O’Keefe; his brothers: Edward Wells and his wife, Joanne, Harland Wells and his wife, Carol, and Roger Wells and his wife, Barbara; his sisters-in law and brothers-in-law: Sandra Hemenway and her husband, Hale, Thomas Emmerson and his wife, Anna, Betty Emmerson, Ernest Emmerson and his wife, Diana Emmerson, and Micki Ann and Ronald Thomas; and by his very special aunt, June Windhold.
He was predeceased by his brother Richard Wells.
A celebration of life with reception to follow will be held on Thursday, June 18, at 11 a.m. in the Trinity Episcopal Church, at 5171 Shelburne Road in Shelburne. Burial will be held later at the convenience of the family in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newport.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Vermont Chapter, 300 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 128, Williston, Vermont 05495.
Violet Ruth Wolfgram died on Monday, June 8, 2015, at Artisan Assisted Living in DeForest, Wisconsin.
She was born on March 5, 1930, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Known as Peachy to her parents and siblings on Cape Cod, and as Ruth when she raised her children in Vermont, she became Ruthie and Grandma Ruthie as the days went by and she moved to Rotterdam, New York, and finally to Wisconsin.
Ms. Wolfgram always had an artistic flair and an entrepreneurial drive. Her artful creativity showed up in the form of charcoal and pencil sketches of family members, pets, and interesting strangers; she also dabbled in oil painting, created hundreds of dried flower arrangements that she called “beautifuls,” and later moved on to pressed flower, fern, and leaf pictures under glass.
Her entrepreneurial side found its expression in the world of sales. From her earliest married days, she worked with her husband, Dick, as a traveling saleswoman. Together they sold a variety of goods, but they particularly enjoyed and did well in the photography business. When they moved with their children Cory and Steve to Vermont in 1960, they ran a photography studio and Ms. Wolfgram started a sign painting business, G&W Signs, with Libby Garneau. The sign business allowed her to use her artistry and her sales abilities, and she and Ms. Garneau had a great time creating designs and painting everything from signs outside of businesses to school buses and oil delivery trucks.
The stories she told in her final years often focused on the time that she was living in Rotterdam, in the cute little house owned by her brother Gerry and his wife, Mac. She reminisced about her grandchildren, Chad and Erica, and her great-grandchildren, Andrew, Amber, Cierra, and Cydney. Some of her most animated stories came from her years as a salesperson for Under Cover Wear, the lingerie firm for which she conducted home parties. As part of her compensation as one of the top sales people in the nation, she won vacation trips to Australia, Rome, Hawaii, and Thailand. She was so successful that on many of her trips, she won two tickets and was able to take along a second person.
Told with eyes wide and arms flailing, she would joyfully recount how, on the trip to Australia while seated in first class, her guest and in-law, Ann Frost, told the flight attendant as they approached the equator crossing that they should have a glass of whiskey. The flight attendant brought Ms. Wolfgram and Ms. Frost the bottle, and left it. While she struck a more respectful tone when talking about her trip to Rome and looking up at the Pope from Vatican Square, her tales from Thailand were rollicking — from the locals staring and pointing at her bright red hair — she loved it — to the “mild” soup that set her mouth on fire, and finally to her riding the mother elephant while Cory rode the baby elephant.
She is survived by her brothers and sisters and their spouses: Gerry and Eleanor Pierce, David and Barbara Pierce, Eleanor and John Cunningham, and Carol and Willie Nobre. She is also survived by her two children and their spouses: Cory Wolfgram and John Burton and Steve and Jane Wolfgram; numerous nieces and nephews; her grandchildren: Andrew, Amber, Cierra, and Cydney Wolfgram, and Carter Webster and Kai Williams; her great-great-grandson Cayden Wolfgram; and by her former daughter-in-law Jo, who stayed in close touch with her over 40 years.
At her request, a simple family ceremony is being held on Cape Cod in the fall.