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Obituaries (06/12/08)

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Ellen Lamar Thomas

LENOX, Mass. — Ellen Lamar Thomas, 95, of 235 Walker St, Kimball Farms Retirement Community, former reading consultant at the University of Chicago and author of books on teaching reading, died May 22, 2008, at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center.

Born in North Tonawanda, NY, on Sept. 16, 1912, daughter of Ellen Beattie Thomas and Bernard Thomas, she was a graduate of St. Petersburg FL High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the College of William and Mary, attended Columbia University and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Wisconsin University.

Mrs. Thomas taught journalism and English in Florida and in the Panama Canal Zone, then became a reading specialist, spending much of her professional life in the Laboratory School of the University of Chicago, where she trained teachers and helped young people upgrade their reading. Her work there earned her the Master Teacher’s medal.

Her book, “Improving Reading in Every Class,” was selected as a Book of the Year in education. Upon leaving the Laboratory School, Ellen was honored by the senior class for being of special help to them during their high school years and, at their graduation, was awarded an honorary diploma, which became a prized possession of hers.

A free lance magazine writer, her articles have appeared in Parents Magazine, Mature Years, Mature Living, Living with Teen-Agers, Popular Photography, Catholic Digest, and a host of other publications.

A resident of Middlebury for several years, Ellen was active in community projects, writing slide shows for the United Way, being secretary for the League of Women Voters and Community Action, and writing publicity for Addison County Hospice, the Thanksgiving Food Drive, and the Christmas Shop.

She was an active member of the Orwell Congregational Church, authoring a brief history of the church and providing marketing leadership for the Steeple Fund and annual organ recitals. Ellen was an active member of the Orwell Sixty Plus club.

Mrs. Thomas was predeceased by her husband, Sydney Hale Thomas.

She leaves her brother William Bernard Thomas; two stepsons, James C Thomas and George M Thomas; two step-granddaughters; and a grandniece.

A memorial service will be conducted at a later date in Florida at the convenience of her family.

Donations in her memory may be made to Trinity Church in Lenox in care of the Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St, Lenox, MA 01240.


Charlotte Louise Stone

SALISBURY — Charlotte Louise Stone, 86, died Sunday, June 8, 2008, at her home in Salisbury. She was born in Wells on July 21, 1921, the daughter of Lawrence and Lula (Underwood) Cooper.

She received her early education in local Wells schools. In August 1946 she married Wilson Stone in Middlebury. She had been a resident of Middlebury for many years before moving to Salisbury to make her home with her daughter.

In earlier years she worked at Newton-Thompson Wooden Toy Manufacturing Company in Forestdale. She also worked as a waitress at Topps Restaurant and the Chipman House in Ripton.

She did volunteer work at Porter Nursing Home, Addison County Humane Society, and Project Independence. She was a member of R.S.V.P. and of the Leicester Church of the Nazarene.

She is survived by five daughters, Virginia L. Desrocher of Leicester, Jeanne E. Ploof of East Middlebury, Barbara A. LaFave of Salisbury, with whom she made her home, Cecilia D. Balogh of Coshocton, Ohio, and Annette Adams of New Haven; three sons, James E. Stone of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Berton Stone of Manchester, N.H., and Michael F. Stone of New Haven; 21 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband in 1986; a son, Robert Stone, killed in action in Vietnam in 1967; and a sister, Doris Kinney.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, June 16, at 2 p.m. at the Miller and Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon. The Rev. Gary Lewis, pastor of the Vergennes Congregational Church, will officiate. Following the service, the family will receive friends at the home of her daughter Barbara in Salisbury for a time of fellowship and reflection.

Private burial took place in the family lot in Prospect Cemetery in East Middlebury.

Memorial gifts may be made to Addison County Home Health and Hospice, P.O. Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Lois A. Rivait

VERGENNES — Lois A. Rivait, 78, died Friday, June 6, 2008, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury. She was born on Feb. 4, 1930, in Starksboro, the daughter of Morton and Ethel (Taft) Hill.

 She was a member of the Victory Baptist Church in Vergennes. According to family she had a love of knitting and gardening.

She is survived by five children, Stephen and Nancy Rivait of Ferrisburgh, Donald and Peggy Rivait of Shoreham, Alvin and Tammy Rivait of West Addison, and Susan Rivait and Mark Rivait, both of Vergennes; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a brother, Wallace Hill of Starksboro; two sisters, Winoa Mitchell of Burlington, and Esther Trudeau of Bristol; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Charles Rivait, on May 9, 1980; three brothers; and five sisters.

 Funeral services were held Monday, June 9, at the Victory Baptist Church in Vergennes. Interment was in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Vergennes.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 434 Hurricane Lane, Williston, VT 05495.


Dalton S. Oliver

MIDDLEBURY — Dalton S. Oliver, 86, died Friday, June 6, 2008, surrounded by his family at his home in Middlebury. He was born in Medina, Tenn., on Jan. 8, 1922, to George W. and Maggie Lou (Cole) Oliver.

The son and grandson of country doctors, he graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1945. After practicing family medicine for three years in the coal-mining area of southeastern Kentucky, he obtained specialty training in ophthalmology at Harvard and Oxford Universities.

He practiced ophthalmology in Baton Rouge, La., from 1954 until he retired at age 70 in 1992. He was also on the faculty of the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans for fifteen years. In 1962 he served on the hospital ship HOPE in Peru.

As president of the Delta Eye Foundation, he frequently travelled to Montserrat in the West Indies and Honduras to provide voluntary eye surgical care to a rural populace. In 2004 the Dalton S. Oliver Scholarship was established to honor promising students specializing in primary care at the LSU School of Medicine.

From private in the U.S. Army during World War II, he rose to major general in the Air Force Reserve, serving at the Pentagon as reserve assistant to the surgeon general, and eventually becoming assistant to the chief of the Air Force Reserve. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, and Air Forces Reserve Medal.

A part-time and later full-time resident of Middlebury since the late 1970s, he served on the board of fellows and the board of trustees of Norwich University in Northfield for many years. He was the first president of the Partridge Society, the University’s development organization. In 1999 he established the Dalton Oliver Lectureship in the Humanities.

A long-time Episcopalian, he was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury. He also served on the Deployment Board of the National Episcopal Church.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Dorothy (Johnson) Oliver of Middlebury; three children by first wife Irene (Manning) Oliver, Victor of Baton Rouge, La., Nancy Hutchinson of Coronado, Calif., and Lucy Scheffy of Dallas, Texas; and two daughters by second wife Dorothy, Amy Beaupre of Middlebury, and Jill Oliver of Los Angeles, Calif.

He is also survived by three stepdaughters, Sandra Bigner of Mebane, N.C.; Pam Davis of Middlebury; and Ann Solar of Baton Rouge, La.; a niece; a nephew; 10 grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

He was predeceased by two brothers, Weldon and Wilbur Oliver.

The funeral service was held Monday, June 9, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury, with the Reverend Terry Gleeson officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Medina, Tenn., on Saturday, June 14.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 223, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Joan Ruby (Cobb) Lattrell

BRISTOL — Joan Ruby (Cobb) Lattrell, 68, died Thursday, June 5, 2008, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury.  She was born in Ticonderoga, N.Y., on July 31, 1939, the daughter of William and Ruby (Winchell) Cobb.

She was a known crafter in the Addison County area, known for her intricate beadwork and beautiful dream catchers.

According to family she loved to go to local powwows and felt a strong connection to her Native American heritage. She loved nature, some of her favorite animals being the wolf and birds. Her hobbies included shopping and puttering in her flower gardens, her favorites being her iris and peonies. Throughout the years she was adopted as Mom by many children.

 She is survived by her two daughters, Lisa Kleinfeldt and husband Jonah, and Christine Jerome and partner Eric Peters; a son, Mike Thompson and wife Nardy; four granddaughters; two grandsons; and a brother, David Cobb of Florida.

She was predeceased by her husband, Leon Lattrell, and a daughter, Christine Towne-Lattrell.

 Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 10, at the Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Bristol. Interment will be in Maple Cemetery in Lincoln.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Addison County Food Shelf or any local food shelf.


Marion P. Elliott

FORT COVINGTON, N.Y. — Marion P. Elliott, 81, of Ft. Covington, was dead on arrival at the Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, N.Y., on Thursday, June 5, 2008, after being stricken at her home. She was born on Nov. 5,1926, in New Haven, Vt., the daughter of the late Chester and Jennie Armell Briggs.

She graduated from Beeman Academy in New Haven in 1944. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Vermont, with a major in English and a minor in French.

On June 15, 1947, she was married to Donald J. Elliott in Plattsburgh, N.Y. They moved to Ft. Covington to make their home in 1952.

She taught school and then did substitute teaching for 15 years at Salmon River Central in Ft. Covington, and also in Massena and Malone for both English and French.

She was elected to the board of education for Salmon River Central School in 1985 and served as president of the board from 1987 to 1999, being the first woman to hold such a position at the school. She retired in 2006 with 21 years of service to the school district.

She recently served on the organizing committee for the 50th anniversary of Salmon River Central School.

She was elected to five two-year terms as director of the Area 6 New York State School Boards Association, representing school boards in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, and St. Lawrence counties. She was a member of the board’s executive committee from 1999 to 2004, and chaired the board’s distinguished service award committee.

She served as sole assessor for Ft. Covington for 23 years and also as Assessor for Bombay for seven years. She was a past member of the Franklin County Community Services Board for 23 years, and was a member of the New York State Assessors Association and the International Assessors Assoc.

She is survived by a son, Donald Elliott and his wife, Madonna Barney, of Fulton, NY; two daughters, Dr. Debora Elliott Ward, and her husband, Bernard “Jake” Ward of Carmel, Maine, and Diane Elliott, and her husband, Donald Strenk of Irvine, Calif.; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews; and a great-nephew in Middlebury, Vt.

She was predeceased by her husband on Dec. 18, 1980; four brothers, Ralph, Glenn, Sheldon, and her twin, Marvin Briggs; and a sister, Genevieve Wright.

Friends may call on Tuesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. in the First Presbyterian Church in Ft. Covington. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. in the church, with the Rev. Robert Simonds presiding. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vt., on Wednesday, July 2, at 12 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Library System Bookmobile, 33 Oak St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901.


Firmin Yvon Cloutier

FERRISBURGH — Firmin Yvon Cloutier, 73, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 9, 2008, at Fletcher Allen Hospital after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his loving family and close friends. He was born on Dec. 16, 1934, in Crysler, Ontario, Canada, the son of Theophile and Flora (Richer) Cloutier.

Firmin moved to the United States at the age of 18 and worked in various occupations including farming, logging, construction, a mill equipment operator at the White Pigment and most recently at Middlebury Union High School as a maintenance technician.

He loved to tinker in his garage on various types of equipment, which included his antique tractors, planting his gardens and visiting with his neighbors and friends. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and his pets.

Firmin was dearly loved and will be missed by everyone. He will especially be remembered for his good sense of humor and his “French ways.”

He is survived by his loving wife, Helen, of Ferrisburgh and their four children, Richard and his wife, Maggie, of Vergennes; Lisa Cloutier-Geh and her husband, Jamie, of Addison; Michelelenn (Missy) Bishop and her husband Merle of Ferrisburgh; Michael and his companion, Becky Brill, of Ferrisburgh; and his two granddaughters, Kelli-Jo and Rikki Cloutier of Vergennes.

He is also survived by four brothers, Armand and his wife, Cecile, of Ontario, Canada; Eugene and his wife, Fern, of Ontario, Canada; Lionel and his wife, Pauline, of Salisbury; and Roland and his wife, Judy, of Whiting; two sisters and one sister in-law, Cecile LeDuc of Florida, and Estelle Denis and Maryette Cloutier of Ontario, Canada. He also leaves behind many friends and his pets.

He was predeceased by both his parents, and two brothers, Hector and Ernest.

Visiting hours will be held at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes on Thursday, June 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Vergennes. Burial will immediately follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, Panton Road, Vergennes, VT 05491.

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