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Obituaries 12/13/07

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William Emery Simmons

LINCOLN — William Emery Simmons died at home on Dec. 5, 2007, in the loving company of his family and friends. Bill was born on Feb. 11, 1930, in Rockland, Maine, to William Adelbert Simmons and Margaret Harris Simmons.

On Jan. 12, 1952, he married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Mary Watts. Darlene, their three children and spouses (William M. Simmons and Jessica Albrecht of New Haven, Janie Simmons and Eric Metcalf of Rockaway Beach, N.Y., Barbara Olesen of Castaic, Calif.); seven grandchildren (Danny, Billy, Dusty, Belen, Matias, Mikkel, and Mika); as well as Ken Schoen, honorary son; hold him in our hearts. He is also remembered by many close friends too numerous to mention.

After growing up in the seacoast town of Port Clyde, Maine, Bill eventually returned to the sea as the captain of the Galatea, and then the Tioga, a 70’ research vessel designed to his specifications and built with the aid of a shipwright and many loyal friends.

His love of Vermont was a result of his earlier excursions selling electronics throughout the state. These experiences ultimately brought him back to Vermont during the late ’80s. In Lincoln he built a beautiful house on a hill with the assistance of local craftsmen who also became close friends.

After completing his home, Bill decided to try his hand at carving. Following the tradition of his grandfathers and great-grandfather, who had all built scale models of the sailing vessels of their time, Bill also knew his passion was to make things that were “not square.”

He expertly carved sea birds and sea creatures, combining his knowledge of the ocean and his love of wood. He enhanced his interpretive work by using the wood’s grain and was skilled at making invisible joints. His creations of exciting sea life with a velvety finish always invited a touch.

Bill was “old school” in the sense that he was a jack of all trades and master of most. He shared his “how-to” knowledge humbly and freely with friends of all ages. His gift of knowing the opportune moment to impart his skills and teachings enabled an enthusiastic and thankful reception.

Bill was a member of the United Church of Lincoln; the Green Mountain Woodcarvers, where he served as president; and Birds of Vermont, where he served on the board. He had also been a volunteer fireman and a Boy Scout leader for many years prior to moving to Vermont.

Bill was loved for so many qualities. He was a mentor and true friend who touched the hearts of people through his generosity, sense of humor, and willingness to teach his many skills. His selfless example of his essential human goodness allowed his family and friends to love him “as is” which serves as a guiding light for all of us.

A memorial service will be held at the Lincoln United Church on Friday afternoon, at 2 p.m., Dec. 21. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to contribute, please donate to Hospice of Addison County. Their love and compassionate support went beyond all our expectations.


Harley G. Shepard

FLETCHER, N.C./BRISTOL — Harley G. Shepard 81, died Friday Dec. 7, 2007, in Park Ridge Hospital in Fletcher, N.C. He was born in Burlington on Dec. 26, 1925, the son of Mary Grupe Shepard and George Shepard.

Harley graduated from Burlington High School in 1943. He served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated from the University of Vermont Medical School in 1951.

Harley married Adelaide Parent of Richmond in August 1950.

Harley started his medical career in Bristol in 1953. He moved with his family to New Jersey in 1958 to continue his career in industrial medicine. He served on many civic and professional boards and committees during his 30 years in New Jersey.

He was a member of the Bristol Libanus Lodge 47 F&AM and Shrine and Shrine Clown Club.

Harley and his wife raised five sons who all became Eagle Scouts and he was made an honorary Eagle himself. He retired in 1986 and resided in North Carolina, where he was a member of Fletcher United Methodist Church.

Harley is survived by his wife; his five sons, Michael Shepard of Uniontown, Pa., Gary and Janet Shepard of Easton, Conn., David and Stephanie Shepard of Brooklyn, N.Y., Steven and Barbara Shepard of Lewisville, N.C., and Timothy Shepard of Atlanta, Ga., eight grandchildren; a great-grandchild; his sister Marion Crowe of Summerfield, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral was held Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Bristol Federated Church. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery in Bristol.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bristol Libanus Lodge 47, Bristol, VT 05443.


Christine “Gussie” Levarn

BRISTOL — Christine “Gussie” Levarn, 89, of Bristol died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, at the home of Mike and Deb Orvis. She was born with her twin brother Bill on June 15, 1918, the daughter of Carlton and Annabelle (Hannon) Bostwick of Hinesburg.

She joined the Army Nurse Corps after graduating from the Mary Fletcher School of Nursing in 1943. She served extensively in the European Theater of War with the 59th Army Field Hospital, seeing service throughout the U.K., France, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Her twin brother was killed during the invasion of France.

 After returning from the war, she worked briefly in California then returned to Bristol and married Leonard “Rosie” Levarn on Aug. 10, 1948. She was a fixture at Porter Hospital and the Helen Porter Nursing Home.

 She also did private duty nursing. Two of her more notable patients were Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Gibb of Middlebury. But first and foremost, she was noted for her volunteering and never-ending service to Bristol and the surrounding community.

According to friends, she was an icon of the Bristol community. She participated in over 50 years of Fourth of July celebrations, including floats with her sister Juna, to her Apple Head Dolls and Teddy Bears. She also told astonishing stories of her life and life experiences.

 She was a member of the St. Ambrose Catholic Church. She was also a founding and lifetime member of American Legion Post 19 in Bristol and a member of VFW Post 7823 in Middlebury.

 Gussie is survived by her son Dana and his wife Terry of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; two grandsons; two sisters, Juna Perlee of Bristol and Georgia Jimmo of Salinas, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years; her brothers, Bill, Carlton, and Edric; her half-brother Harlan;  and her sisters, Flora and Mae.

 A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in St. Ambrose Catholic Church, with burial to follow in Mt. St. Joseph Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Bristol Rescue Squad or the Addison County Humane Society Shelter.


Arlene Johnson-Delliveneri

ELLENTON, Fla. — Arlene Johnson-Delliveneri, 94, died on December 10, 2007, at her home in Ellenton, Fla. She was born in Middlebury on June 25, 1913, the daughter of John and Pearl Morcombe.

She was the oldest of four siblings, so when her mother came down with tuberculosis she dropped out of high school to care for her family. Later Dr. Phelps, the family physician, taught her the basics of nursing. She passed the state nursing exam and became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Next she went to work for Dr. Frost of Brandon, who cared for the sick and poor of the early Great Depression. She delivered babies and cared for the sick and dying.

 After than she went to work as a staff nurse at the Preventorium in Pittsford, a facility for indigent children with life-threatening diseases. When she married Maurice Johnson and moved to his farm in Weybridge, Arlene turned their large farmhouse into a maternity nursing home. Later on it became a geriatric nursing home.

 In the early 60s she bought a 30-bed nursing home in Poultney. The Poultney facility eventually became difficult to maintain under new bureaucratic regulations. She sold the nursing home and moved back to Middlebury where she opened and operated the Johnson Community Care Home on North Pleasant Street. She stayed there until she retired.

 For the past 20 years she has lived in Florida, and for the past several years has been declining in health. Her daughter Jacquie, a retired Registered Nurse, has been her personal caregiver.

 She is survived by her sons, Robert and Larry, both of Vermont; her daughter, Jacquie of Ellenton, Fla.; her sister, Patricia Pratt of Bridport; six grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


Wayne R. Hobbs Sr.

VERGENNES — Wayne R. Hobbs Sr., 72, of Vergennes died Dec. 8, 2007, in his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Pittsford on Sept. 4, 1935, the son of Fred and Edith (Hier) Hobbs.

Wayne enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1953 and served for five years in Fort Dix and Japan. Upon his discharge from the Army he returned to Vermont and began work at Simmonds Precision in Vergennes. On Oct. 27, 1962, he married his wife of 45 years, Constance (Tucker) Hobbs. He retired from Simmonds/Hercules/Goodrich after 35 years of employment.

After retirement, his first part-time job was at the Addison County Transfer Station in Middlebury. He also worked part-time for the Addison Independent, delivering papers to the local businesses. He also worked for the Saint Peter’s Cemetery Association, maintaining the Catholic cemetery in Vergennes. He then worked for Bet-Cha Transit driving a school bus for the Addison Elementary School.

Wayne was also a longtime member of the Vergennes Volunteer Fire Department. At the time of his death he was also a member of American Legion Post 14 of Vergennes and the Eagles Club, Aerie 3801. He played in the Bristol softball league, pitching for the C & F LeBeau team. He later became an umpire for the league. He was also a member of The Otter Creek Choral Society.

Wayne leaves his daughter, Maria Brown and her spouse Lance; his son, Wayne Hobbs Jr. and his partner Frank-Philipp Graner; four grandchildren; his siblings, June Dragon of North Swanzy, N.H., Lydia Dragon of Winchester, N.H., Barbara Loomis of Hydeville, Maureen Lussier of Gansevoort, N.Y., Burton Hobbs of Pittsford, Bernard Hobbs of Rutland, and Albert Hobbs of Middlebury; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his siblings, Carolyn, Fred and Stewart.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Vergennes Congregational Church. Interment was in Prospect Cemetery in Vergennes.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 77 Hegeman Ave., Colchester, VT 05449, and Addison County Home Health and Hospice, P.O. Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753, and St. Peter’s Cemetery Association, South Maple St., Vergennes, VT 05491.


Mary L. Forrest

RANDOLPH — Mary L. Forrest, 76, of Randolph died Monday morning, Dec. 10, 2007, at Gifford Medical Center. She was born May 26, 1931, in Derby, the daughter of John and Bernadette (Chaloux) Duto.

She was raised in Derby and came to Randolph in 1951. She was married to Francis L. Forrest on March 24, 1973 in Rutland. She worked at VanRaalte in Randolph then Waterbury Plastics. According to family she enjoyed gardening, arts and crafts, bird watching, caring for animals, and being with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, Francis L. Forrest of Randolph; three sons, Mike Loomis and his wife Melisa of Royalton, David Forrest and his wife Robin of Shoreham, and Robert Forrest of California; two daughters, Pat Zeno Roberts of Weybridge, and Kathy Tarbell of Brandon; a brother, Bernard Duto of White River Junction; a sister, Irene Piche of Ware, Mass.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her son, Gary Forrest, and her daughter, Cindy Marie Loomis.

Funeral services were held on Thursday morning, Dec. 13, at the Day Funeral Home, with Rev. John Milanese officiating. Burial will be in the spring at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph Center.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Central Vermont, P.O. Box 687, Montpelier, VT 05601, or to White River Valley Ambulance, 3190 Pleasant Street, Bethel, VT 05032.


Clement “Clem” A. Cousino

NEWTON, N.C./BRISTOL — Clement “Clem” A. Cousino, 78, of Newton, N.C., died on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, at the Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley after a short battle with cancer. He was born on July 30, 1929, in Bristol, the son of Benjamin Cousino and Melinda Provoncha Cousino.

He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Newton, served as a sergeant in the United States Army in the Korean War, and retired after thirty-seven years as an engineer in the powdered metal industry. According to family he had a great sense of humor and was a master mechanic who enjoyed gardening and classic cars.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan Schott of Hickory; two sons, Michael A. Cousino and his wife Carol of Wallingford, Conn., and John Cousino and his wife Becky of Meriden, Conn.; five grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; two sisters, Theresa Lahue and her husband Morris of Maine, and Anna Schellhardt and her husband Virgil of Gainesville, Fla.; and two brothers, Glen Cousino and his wife Julie of Meriden, Conn., and John Cousino and his wife Sue of Fairfax.

He was predeceased by his wife of fifty years, Elizabeth “Betty” Jane Cousino; and two brothers, Ralph Cousino and Melvin Cousino.

A funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Newton with the Reverend Jim Collins celebrating. A committal service will be held at a later date at Mt. St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Bristol. Funeral arrangements in Connecticut and Vermont will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley, 3975 Robinson Rd., Newton, NC 28658.


Sierra Mae Butler

VERGENNES — Sierra Mae Butler, 3 died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury. She was born Dec. 4, 2004, in Burlington, the daughter of David and Olive (Gove) Butler.

 Sierra is survived by her parents, David and Olive Butler of Vergennes; three sisters, Amber, Ashley, and Robyn; two brothers, David and Zachary; a grandmother, Roxanne Montgomery; a grandfather, David Gove; an uncle, Bobby Gove; an aunt, Kimberly Nolan; and two cousins.

 Funeral services were held on Thursday morning, Dec. 13, at Vergennes Congregational Church. Interment was in Prospect Cemetery in Vergennes.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 11, Vergennes, VT 05491.

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