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Obituaries 09/18/08

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Betsy (MacMillan) Saunders

MIDDLEBURY — Betsy (MacMillan) Saunders, 90, of Middlebury, died at Helen Porter Nursing Home on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by her family.

She was born Betsy Ann MacMillan, Feb. 2, 1918, in Rochester, N.Y., the daughter of Donald J. and Suzanne M. MacMillan and the youngest of six children. After graduation from James Madison High School in Rochester she worked as a hematology technician at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. There her work contributed to the Manhattan Project. While working in the lab she met her future husband, Richard H. Saunders, Jr., and on May 19, 1944, they were married.

In 1950 she moved to Burlington, Vt., where she raised two children while her husband served as a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont. In later years she lived in Rochester, N.Y.; Bronxville, N.Y.; Gladwyne, Pa.; and Grafton, Mass.. Upon her husband’s retirement in 1989 she moved to Middlebury where she lived until 2001. From 2001-2006 she and her husband were residents of the Willows in Westborough, Mass., before returning to Middlebury.

In her married life she developed a particular love for travel, gardening, and numerous crafts, including rug hooking, quilting, and tole painting. She was also an active volunteer during her adult life, particularly for the Unitarian Church, Grafton, Mass., and Round Robin and the American Red Cross, Middlebury. But above all she was a loving mother and wife. Nothing brought her greater joy than family and she took special pride in a marriage of almost 65 years and frequent visits from children and grandchildren.

She was particularly proud of her Scottish heritage and in 1977 traveled to the family cottage of her forbears in Macrihanish, Argyleshire, Scotland.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Richard; daughter Ann Warrington and son-in-law Robert Warrington, of Burlington; son Richard Saunders and daughter-in-law Barbara of Middlebury, sister Merle Gay of Virginia Beach, Va.; three grandsons: Jeff Warrington and his wife Heidi of Great Falls Church, Va., Greg Warrington and his wife Jill, of Hillsborough, N.C., and Christopher Saunders and his wife Beth, of Washington, D.C.; two granddaughters: Elizabeth (Saunders) Kervick and her husband Drew of Needham, Mass., and Katherine Saunders of Washington, D.C.; as well as three great-granddaughters and seven nieces and nephews.

Her family would like to express particular gratitude to the staff of the Helen Porter Nursing Home, Middlebury; Addison County Home Health and Hospice; and The Arbors, Shelburne, who provided care and kindness during her last months.

A private memorial service will take place later this month. Interment will be at a later date.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Addison County Walk-Middlebury, Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont Chapter, 172 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641 or www.alz.org/memorywalk.


Gwendolen Elizabeth Pearce

HINESBURG — Gwendolen Elizabeth Pearce, 83, died on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, with her daughters by her side in Fletcher Allen Health Care. She was born on July 13, 1925, in Evanston, Ill., daughter of Mabel (Kline) and Bishop William Pearce.

She grew up in Titusville, Penn., and Evanston, Ill. She graduated from the Mary Burnham School in Northampton, Mass., and from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., in 1948, with a B.A. in English. She attended the Middlebury Language School for two summers of intensive French instruction. She moved with her family to Vermont in 1969.

Gwen was above all a strong-minded, independent thinker. She was active in politics during her younger years and always maintained a sharp awareness of current affairs. She chose her own path in life and always surrounded herself with the things she loved and valued: her family, friends (including animal friends), and beauty in all its forms.

Her soul had a deep resonance with her beloved brick house, and with the spirit of the land in Vermont. Before raising a family, she worked as an office manager for an ophthalmologist’s office.

After moving to Vermont, she worked on various historical projects at the Lincoln Historical Society, the Hinesburg Town Hall, the Rokeby Museum, Shelburne Museum, and Vermont Folklife Center where she collected oral histories.

She worked with the community through Chittenden Community Action, the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging, the Kingsland Bay Attention Program, and was a surrogate parent and educational advocate for at-risk children. She drove a school bus and delivered mail.

At home she managed the family farm of Jersey cows, a large menagerie of other animals, a market garden, and bee hives. Her volunteer activities included reading in French for a blind graduate student, and acting as chairman of fundraising for the American Cancer Society in Hinesburg.

She is survived by her three daughters, Ann Catherine Pearce of Burlington, Margaret Elizabeth Seidenberg-Ellis of Cornwall, Penn., and her husband, John Ellis; and Catherine Pearce Seidenberg of Huntington; by her grandson, Alexander Pearce Ellis of Cornwall, Penn.; and several cousins, including Bruce and Kneldrith Kline of Wichita, Kan., and Rosemary Stickney of Lake Stevens, Wash.

She was predeceased by her half-sister, Emily D. Klaus, in 2007.

Gwen’s daughters invite you to join them for a celebration of her life on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., in the United Church in Hinesburg.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Hinesburg Land Trust, P.O. Box 137, Hinesburg, VT 05461.

Arrangements are in the care of Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service, Shelburne.


Henriette Lerner-Hahn

MIDDLEBURY — Henriette Lerner-Hahn, 84, died on Aug. 25, 2008, from injuries sustained in a single-car accident in New Haven. She was born on April 10, 1924, in Queens, N.Y.

The eldest of three children, she grew up and attended public school in Queens. She attended Hunter College, Cooper Union Art School and was a long-term member of the Art Student’s League of New York. She eventually made her living in the field of advertising and editorial art.

She moved to Middlebury in 1986 and continued her art. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in New York and Vermont and is held in numerous private collections.

Family reports that, from an early age, art was her passion. She drew early inspiration from the diverse colors, textures and designs of various garments from her mother, who ran the family’s sewing business. She earned praise for her skill and remarkable creativity at the sewing machine.

She is survived by her sister, Frances Lerner, of Queens, N.Y.; and by her brother, Milton Lerner, of Alexandria, Va.

She was predeceased in 2007 by her husband, the artist Joseph Hahn.

The Hahns have bequeathed their estate to charitable organizations whose missions reflect the humanitarian values they valued.

A public burial service took place on Sept. 2 at the Middlebury West Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Volunteer Services, P.O. Box 772, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Franco Ciccone

MIDDLEBURY — Memorial services are planned for Franco Ciccone at Middlebury College’s Mead Chapel on Sept. 26, 2008, at 4:30 p.m., with reception following in Forest East and West Lounges on campus.

Franco, 58, passed away in peace, surrounded by his mother, brother, daughter, and wife, at his residence in Middlebury on Dec. 23, 2007, of complications of sarcoma. Funeral services were held on Dec. 29, 2007, at St. Nicholas Church, with interment following at Lake Park Cemetery, in Youngstown, Ohio.

He was born July 3, 1949, in Pacentro, Italy, a son of Carlo and Maria Avolio Ciccone. He graduated as valedictorian and National Merit Scholar from Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1968. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English summa cum laude from Notre Dame University in 1972.

He was an English teacher, tennis coach, and yearbook and newspaper advisor at Cardinal Mooney High School from 1972 to 1975. He studied for a Ph.D. in the department of English and worked as a teaching assistant and advisor to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington, from 1975 to 1982.

In 1978, he earned an M.A. in English and in 1981, he completed his Ph.D. qualifying exams in English at Indiana.

He was part-owner and manager of Demitasse Café in Middlebury from 1982 to 1986. From 1986 to 1995, he was a software systems engineer at Electronic Data Systems in Dayton, Ohio. From 1995 to 2000, he was an LT consultant at Bombardier Capital in Colchester. From 2000 to the time of his death, he was an independent LT consultant.

He participated fully with his wife, Professor Patricia Zupan, in Middlebury College academic and social activities on campus, and as the “Head Spouse” of the Cook Commons House on South Street.

Franco was also president of the Middlebury Community Players, 2004-2006, and occasionally participated from 2000 on as an actor, with his daughter Marisa, or as a producer of their events.

He was noted locally as a gourmet cook, a gracious and jovial host, a devoted friend, a beloved mentor to college students and graduates, an avid tennis player, a master of College Bowl and trivia competitions, and a genius wit and punster.

Franco was preceded in death by his father, Carlo Ciccone. He leaves behind his mother, Maria, of Struthers, Ohio; his wife, Patricia Zupan, originally of Cleveland, Ohio, whom he married Nov. 24, 1979; his daughter, Marisa Zupan-Ciccone, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his brother, Sergio Ciccone, of Charlotte, N.C.; and his cousins Lilia Ciccone and family of Struthers, and Carlo, Tonino, and Nino Corsetti and families of Detroit, Mich.

His passing is also mourned by his in-laws, Rudy and Carole Zupan, of Cleveland; his brother- and sister-in-law, Dan Zupan and Mary Susan Convery and nephew, Dan Convery-Zupan, of Wellesley, Mass.; and our Pizza Night friends and their families of Middlebury.

Patricia and Marisa offer their loving thanks for the unfailing support of all of these family members and friends. The family also thanks those in Struthers who made the funeral service so profoundly moving and memorable: Rev. Martin Celuch, who officiated; treasured boyhood friend Tony Rucci and beloved cousin Sonia Salvino, who delivered eulogies; and beloved cousins Josie and Michael Homsey, Michael Salvino, and Lilia and Marina Ciccone, who helped with arrangements for the funeral and related dinners.

The family also wishes to extend profound gratitude for the expertise, compassion, and friendship of those who participated principally in his care and our support: Drs. Francis Homicek, Thomas DeLaney, David Harmon, Ann Fiore, NP, and staff, of Mass. General Hospital Orthopedic Oncology; beloved sister-in-law Mary Susan Convery, MSW, LICSW, also of MGH; Sharon Scott of Beacon House at MGH; Dr. Robert LaFiandra and staff of Middlebury; Dr. Chris Nunnink, Patricia Nunnink, NP, and staff of Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine in Colchester and Middlebury; Julia Child, PT, of Middlebury; RNs Lee Ann Goodrich, Tim Hanson, Angela Allard, Wedge Murdoch, Sara Audet, LICSW, and staff of Addison County Home Health and Hospice.

Friends of he Middlebury College community eased our ordeal and our loss: Rev. Laurie Jordan, chaplain; and Gus Jordan, acting dean of the College; Rabbi Ira Schiffer, associate chaplain; Linda Schiffer, coordinator of Cook Commons; and Amy Hastings and husband Larry Yarbrough, professor of religious studies and priest at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Larry will offer the eulogy at the memorial in Mead Chapel.

Special thanks is also offered for the providential support rendered by Middlebury College Facilities personnel; present and former faculty of the department of Italian; former deans David Edleson and Matt Carluzzo of Cook Commons; the faculty heads of Commons; and President Ron Liebowitz and the academic administration of Middlebury College.


Donald H. Ballou

MIDDLEBURY — Donald H. Ballou, a longtime resident of Middlebury, died on Sept. 15, 2008, at the age of 100.

Dr. Ballou was born March 28, 1908, in Chester, the son of the Rev. Henry and Carrie (Hubbard) Ballou. He attended Chester High School and graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1924. He was a graduate of Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year with a major in English.

In his senior year at Yale he was selected as part of the team representing Yale to participate in the first Putnam Competition. At the present time the Putnam Competition is recognized as the premiere competition for undergraduates majoring in mathematics. He pursued graduate studies in mathematics at Harvard University, where he received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

While at Harvard he began his teaching career in mathematics as a teaching fellow. Upon receiving the Ph.D. degree in 1934, he accepted a position on the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught for eight years. During that time he wrote two textbooks in mathematics with Frederick Steen that were widely used for several decades.

In 1942 Dr. Ballou joined the faculty of Middlebury College. He became chairman of the mathematics department in 1954 and was named a Dana Professor in 1971. One of his contributions at Middlebury College was to initiate the development of a program in computer studies in the 1960s.

In honor of his contributions to the computer curriculum at Middlebury College, the Computer Lab for the mathematics department has been named in his honor. He retired from the faculty of the college in 1973.

In retirement he retained an active interest in college activities in general and math department functions in particular and for thirty years continued to attend on a regular basis the weekly mathematics seminar.

For twenty-five years he served as the treasurer for the Friends of the Ilsley Library. Another of his interests was recycling, and for many years he was an active member of the Middlebury Recycling Committee. Around 1980 he began to collect pairs of homonyms (homophones), and he succeeded in identifying several hundred such pairs.

 He traveled extensively during his retirement and his overseas trips included the Galapagos Islands, Egypt, India, and Russia, among other places.

He was a member of the Middlebury Congregational Church for over 65 years.

He was married on Sept. 14, 1933, to the late Dorothy (Pollard) Ballou, herself a graduate of Middlebury College.

He is survived by a son, Donald Pollard Ballou, and his wife, Rhonda Ballou, of Delmar, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Jeffrey P. Ballou, of Boston, Mass., who is married to Lana Lee, and Lisa S. Ballou, also of Boston; and a great-grandson, Jaedon Lee Ballou.

There will be no public calling hours.

A memorial service will he conducted at 11 a.m., Saturday Sept. 20, 2008, at Mead Chapel on the campus of Middlebury College, with Rev. Laurie Jordan, college chaplain, officiating. Burial will be in Middlebury Cemetery.

Contributions in Don’s memory may be made to Shard Villa, 117 Shard Villa Rd., Salisbury, VT 05769; Elderly Services, 112 Exchange St., Middlebury, VT 05753; or to Middlebury College c/o Brenda Currier, 5 Court St., Middlebury, VT 05753.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home, 117 South Main Street, Middlebury.

On line condolences may be made at www.sandersonfuneralservice.com.

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