Mary Agnes Root Zerby
LEXINGTON PARK, Md. — Mary Agnes Root Zerby, 63, born Dec. 28, 1945, resident of Lexington Park, Md., died peacefully at her home on Sunday, Feb. 8. Mary was born in Underhill to Edna M. Root of Monkton and the late Edward Root.
She has resided in many states as a Navy wife to retired USN Master Chief Kermit R. Zerby. Mary has been a resident of Maryland for 34 years since 1974. Mary retired on July 31, 2006, after 27 years and 4 months of dedicated service to the USN, DOD.
During her career, which began in March 21, 1979, she accepted a temporary position as a telephone operator in the Communications Department at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. On Nov. 4, 1979, she converted to a Career Conditional Appointment in the Communications Department where she received several promotions. On Nov. 19, 1989, she accepted a management analyst position and was again promoted in that position in 1990, 1991 and 1992. She became comptroller in 1994 and was reassigned to the Customer Support Branch for TACAIR Programs in 1995. In May 1997, she was promoted to a GS-343-12, management and program analyst and in January 2004, she was promoted to GS-343-13, management and program analyst, in support of the Program Analyst and Support Branch. She was a strong, positive and professional influence on her customers and team members.
Mary, the oldest of five girls, leaves behind her husband of 42 years, Kermit R. Zerby; her mother, Edna M. Root; and her sisters and their families: Valerie Cantwell and her husband John of Springhill, Fla., and nephew John Cantwell Jr. and his wife Mehl and their children Jessica and Jason, niece Kim Yana and her husband Kenny and their children Aaron and Adam, niece Kerry and her daughter Miranda, niece Angie and her son Mason; sister Laura Yana of Burlington and her son Jordan and daughter Rebekah; sister Bernice Mattison of Starksboro and her daughter Daniele and son Gabriel; and sister Cindy Root of Lexington Park, Md., and her partner Ann Bolduc and their son Nicholas and daughter Morgan.
Mary also leaves behind many beloved friends and family members, especially her 27 godchildren. Mary was an active member of the Ladies of the Moose, Fleet Auxiliary, Holy Face Church and other charitable organizations. As a giving and talented woman, she will be missed.
The family received friends on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, in Leonardtown, Md. A funeral service was held on Friday, Feb. 13, with Father Joseph Sileo officiating. Interment followed in Charles Memorial Gardens in Leonardtown.
Contributions may be made to the National Fibromyalgia Association, 2121 South Towne Center Plaza, Ste. 300, Anaheim, CA 92806.
LILLIAN, Ala./BRANDON — Henry Ransford, 77, a native of Pittsfield, Mass., and a resident of Brandon, Vt., and Lillian, Ala., passed away Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, in Lillian.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Ransford of Brandon and Lillian; two sons, Lawrence Ransford of Canton, Mass., and Douglas Ransford of Burlington; two daughters, Laura Craddy of Somers, Conn., and Elaine Fisher of Homer, N.Y.; two brothers, Britton Ransford of Sequim, Wash., and Stephen Ransford of Syracuse, N.Y.; two sisters, Martha Nilson of Pittsfield, Mass., and Judith Bowers of Syracuse, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Bixby Library in Vergennes or the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Fla.
Tina Lena “Sissy” Mohan
BRANDON — Tina Lena “Sissy” Mohan, 35, died Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, at Porter Hospital in Middlebury.
She was born in Middlebury on April 3, 1973, the daughter of Kenneth and Crystal (Sears) Dukette. She received her early education in Leicester and Whiting schools and graduated from Otter Valley Union High School, class of 1991. She was a stay-at-home mom until beginning work as a cashier at Champlain Farms and later at the Brandon Discount Store. She worked as a home health-care aide for the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association. She most recently was the manager at the Brandon McDonald’s while caring for her grandmother. She was a member of the Dunmore Hose Company Ladies’ Auxiliary. She was very actively involved with her children’s sports. She enjoyed reading, photography and lawn sales. Her family was her life.
She is survived by her husband, Joshua Mohan of Brandon, whom she married Oct. 14, 2006; one son, David Bruce of Brandon; three daughters, Chelsea Bruce, Danielle Bruce and Callie Bruce, all of Brandon; her mother, Crystal Sears of Leicester; her father, Kenneth Dukette of Brandon; four brothers, Jason Dukette of Leicester, Shawn Sears and Steven Sears, both of Kentucky, and Kenneth Dukette Jr. of North Carolina; two sisters, Melissa Cole of Leicester and Brenda Dukette of Rutland; her paternal grandmother, Lena Dukette of Brandon; her maternal grandmother Aleida Kenny and her husband Harold of Brandon; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was predeceased by her paternal grandfather, Leonard Dukette; her maternal grandfather, Harold Sears; and two brothers, William “Willy” Dukette and Curtis Sears.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Brandon Congregational Church. The Rev. Richard White, pastor, will officiate. Following the service the family will receive friends in the church hall for a time of fellowship and remembrance.
Friends may call at the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon on Friday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made, in her memory, for the benefit of her children, to the Tina Mohan Memorial Fund, c/o Lisa Munger, 1254 Delorm Road, Leicester, VT 05733.
Frederick V. “Buzz” Martin Jr.
MIDDLEBURY — Frederick V. “Buzz” Martin Jr., 78, of Cornwall, died Feb. 17, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury.
Born at home Dec. 30, 1930, in College Point, N.Y., Buzz was the son of Frederick V. Martin Sr. and Marian Ruth Morrison Martin. Buzz was entrepreneurial from an early age. His first venture involved ferrying groceries in his red wagon from the grocery store to the homes of local housewives for a nickel a trip. He would later work in his father’s gas station after school, and during weekends and summers. His free time was spent on the New York streets and fields in Flushing playing stickball, stoop ball and baseball.
Buzz was advised in Flushing High that college would be a waste of time for him and was encouraged instead to look for employment after graduation. Buzz continued work at the gas station, but in addition enrolled in night school at Columbia University. He then applied and was accepted at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point to study engineering. After graduating in 1953 with the class distinction as the most improved cadet, Buzz accepted a commission with the U.S. Navy. He often said the only reason he ever joined the Navy was to fly. He became a fighter pilot, flying F6F Hellcats and F-86 Sabres. Flight was an unparalleled joy for Buzz, and his keen interest in aircraft spanned his lifetime.
Upon leaving the USN, Buzz began his professional career as an executive and business owner. He entered the aerospace industry, working for Grumman Aircraft Engineering and Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation in the 1960s. Buzz was a member of the Grumman team that won the contract to build the Apollo Lunar Landing Modules for NASA in 1962. Sponsored by Fairchild, Buzz earned his MBA at MIT’s Sloan School in 1965 as a Sloan Fellow. Later recruited by Dictaphone, he served as vice president international, based in London.
Following a short period with Macmillan Publishing, Buzz opened a Peterbilt trucking franchise, Trucks America, in the early 1970s in New Jersey. He reengaged with his passion for flight, and after a brief consulting stint in the aerospace industry he joined the helicopter firm, Agusta Aerospace, as vice president of marketing. In the mid-1980s Buzz broke from Agusta to start his own firm based in New York, US Aviation, specializing in helicopter sale/leaseback ventures. Buzz retired to Cornwall with his family in 2000 after selling his final entrepreneurial endeavor, a Sylvan Learning Center in Middletown, R.I. In addition to flying, Buzz enjoyed fine cars, woodworking and crossword puzzles. He was a loyal fan of the New York Giants, and his youngest sons’ sports, particularly Middlebury youth and high school lacrosse.
Buzz was blessed with two families. He was married to Madeline Powell Martin, his high school sweetheart, in 1955 and raised their four children in Maryland, Stoneybrook and Pound Ridge, N.Y. Madeline passed away in 1988. In 1991, Buzz married Hope Wittman Martin and they have raised their two sons in Tiverton, R.I., Cornwall and Middlebury.
Frederick is survived by his friend and wife, Hope; their children, Colin Wittman Martin and Ian Morrison Martin; and children from his first marriage to Madeline Powell Martin, Frederick V. Martin III and wife Lisa of Mendham, N.J., Thomas J. Martin of North Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Caroline C. Gedney and husband George of Queensbury, N.Y., and Matthew P. Martin and wife Katie of Medford, Mass. Buzz had seven grandchildren: Brandon Martin, Madeline Martin, William Gedney, Emily Gedney, Stephen Gedney, Jackson Martin and Aiden Martin. His eighth grandchild, a boy, is expected in July. Buzz’s sister, Patricia McCutcheon, resides in Phoenix, Ariz.
A funeral service is being planned for Saturday, Feb. 21, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Middlebury Youth Lacrosse Club, c/o Grover Usilton, National Bank of Middlebury, 30 Main St., Middlebury, VT 05753.
Robert E. Collins
MIDDLEBURY — Robert E. Collins, 73, of Middlebury died on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009, after a battle with cancer. He was born Feb. 22, 1935, in Middlebury and spent his career working for the Soil Conservation Service.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Feb. 20, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury, with a reception for family and friends to follow.
A full obituary will appear in a future edition of the Independent.
Genes C. “Pat” Begnoche
VERGENNES — Genes C. “Pat” Begnoche, 82, died Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury.
He was born Nov. 4, 1926, in St. John, Canada, the son of Dieudonne and Marieange Beatrice (Campbell) Begnoche.
He is survived by a sister, Muriel Blythe of Courtland, Va.; a brother, Lawrence Begnoche of Middlebury; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by two sisters, Paulette West and Huguette Sangster, and a brother, Fermin Begnoche.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Friday, Feb. 13, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Vergennes. Interment was in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Vergennes.