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Obituaries 5/7/09

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Judith Webb

RIPTON — A funeral service for Judith Webb, 71, who died April 14, 2009, will be held Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. at her home, 1132 Lincoln Rd. in Ripton.


Roland M. Vayer

VERGENNES, Vt./FEEDING HILLS, Mass. — Roland M. Vayer, 94, formerly of Vergennes, died Feb. 24, 2006, in a nursing home in Feeding Hills, Mass.

Born in St. Odilon, Canada, he lived in Vergennes most of his retirement years, moving to Feeding Hills in 2001. He worked for over 20 years as an electrical engineer for the Department of the Army, retiring in 1974.

He was instrumental in the mechanization of facilities for the modernization of the U.S. Postal Service, in particular, the bulk mail system. He was a World War II army veteran and a member of the Capital Radio Engineering Institute, and he twice received the Vermont National Defense Medal.

He is survived by a brother, Charlemange Veilleux of Newport; a sister, Gisele Lamoureux of Feeding Hills, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Inga Vayer, and by a sister, Martha Veilleux.

A memorial Mass will be held at St. Peter’s church in Vergennes at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2009. Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.


Stewart Sumner

BRISTOL — Stewart Sumner, 87, formerly of Bristol, died Sunday, May 3, 2009, at Helen Porter Nursing Home in Middlebury.

He was born May 11, 1921, in South Bristol, the son of Berley and Anna (Hallock) Sumner.

He worked at farming in Addison County for many years, as well as for Ralph Baslow on roadwork, for Kailin in Monkton, for Drake & Smith, and at Mount Abraham Union High School as a janitor.

He is survived by two sisters, Betty Cyr and Catherine Sibley; five brothers, Tracey, Stanley, Tex, Sunny and Phillip; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Crystal Lee; three sisters, Barbara, Marjorie and Beatrice; and two infant brothers.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 7, at Victory Baptist Church in Vergennes. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Bristol. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Helen Porter Nursing Home, 30 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753, or Bristol Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 227, Bristol, VT 05443.


Robert S. Rule

VERGENNES — A graveside service for Robert S. Rule, 78, of Vergennes, who died Dec. 15, 2008, will be held May 16, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Lakeview Cemetery in Shoreham. A casual-dress potluck gathering to celebrate his life will follow at Whispering Pines Campground in Panton.


Edward B. “Hap” Phillips

BRISTOL — Edward B. “Hap” Phillips, 79, formerly of Bristol, died Monday, Dec. 8, 2008, at Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington.

He was born May 5, 1929, in Lincoln, the son of Charles and Mildred (Poland) Phillips.

A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, at Maple Cemetery in Lincoln.


Dan Humphrey

MIDDLEBURY — A service celebrating the life of Dan Humphrey, 26, who died Jan. 8, 2009, will be held at Middlebury College’s Mead Chapel Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m.

A music scholarship has been established in his honor to allow a student from Middlebury Union High School to attend a summer music camp. Donations can be mailed to the Dan Humphrey Music Scholarship, 402 Thompson Hill Rd., Weybridge, VT 05753.


David H. Hotte

FAIRFAX — David H. Hotte, 64, died unexpectedly Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at his home in Fairfax.

Born in Cornwall on October 26, 1944, he was the son of the late Simon J. and Edith (Naylor) Hotte.

He was employed as a project superintendent for Pizzagalli Construction Co. for 36 years. He was a graduate of Middlebury Union High School and a member of St. Albans Elks Lodge No. 1566. His family says he enjoyed watching a variety of sports, cooking, gardening and working in his yard.

He is survived by his daughter, Kristi Newton and her husband Bradley of Rutland; three brothers, Stanley Hotte of Vergennes, Fred Hotte of Bristol and Reggie Hotte of Saratoga, N.Y.; a sister, Theresa Wright of Vergennes; two grandsons; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.  

A graveside funeral service will be held Saturday, May 16, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Middlebury, with the Rev. Robert Whalen officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Vermont Chapter, 434 Hurricane Lane, Williston, VT 05495, or the American Diabetes Association, Burlington VT-NY Office, 1 Kennedy Drive, Suite L8, South Burlington, VT 05403. Private online condolences may be made through www.healdfuneralhome.com.


Marie Highter

MIDDLEBURY — In the early dawn hours of May 5, 2009, Marie Highter gently passed from this world into the Lord’s waiting arms. She was born in St. Vincent, Ark., on May 10, 1920, to Henry and Bertha Kaufman and was a graduate of St. Vincent’s Academy. In 1940, she met Robert Highter in Washington, D.C., and they married June 29, 1946. Together, they raised six children on South Munger Street in Middlebury.

Following Bob’s death in 1975, Marie found strength and courage in her deep faith in Christ and continued to share her life and wisdom with her children. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury. Throughout her life, Marie enjoyed various employment, especially her work at the Vermont State Craft Center, but found her greatest gift was nurturing her grandchildren. She enjoyed her many travels to Hawaii, Alaska, Germany, Paris, Rome and beyond. Marie was a compassionate mother and grandmother and loved gardening, the mountain views from her deck and she anxiously awaited the return of her bluebirds each spring.

Later in life, Marie found great pride and pleasure in operating her bed and breakfast, “A Point of View,” and enjoyed welcoming travelers from around the world into her warm and comforting home. She was a wonderful hostess and continued opening her home to guests until the time of her passing.

Marie is survived by her beloved family: constant daily confidante and sister Betty Thines, brother and sister-in-law Leo and Beth Kaufman, as well as sisters-in-law Margaret, Theresa and Lou Kaufman and many nieces and nephews, all of Arkansas.

She is also survived by her devoted children and their spouses: Ron and Mary Ann Highter of Salisbury, Jer Highter and Annapurna Rosalli of Ripton, Ray Highter of Middlebury, Al Highter and Madeleine Quesnel of New Haven, Donna and Rene Audet of Cornwall and Deb and Rich Dessureault of New Haven. Also, her treasured grandchildren Carla, Josh, Erin, Jared, Eric, Tylor, Dylan and Sierra and great-granddaughter Isabelle. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her parents and brothers Fred, Ben, Carl, Clem, Louis, Herman and Floyd.

Her family wishes to extend gratitude to Dr. Smith, Dr. Holmes and the devoted staff at Porter Hospital and Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center for their sensitivity and compassion and for allowing her large family the privacy to be constantly by her side. Also, to Marie’s many faithful friends and neighbors, you were truly a blessing to her.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 13, at St. Mary’s Church, Middlebury. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, her family requests those wishing to make donations to St. Mary’s Church or St. Mary’s School, Shannon Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

With strength and guidance, she was the anchor of our family. Her presence enriched all who knew and loved her and she will be deeply missed. God bless you Mom. Rest in peace.


Donald I. Gale Sr.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Donald I. Gale Sr., 86, a native of Salisbury, died Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Winter Haven, Fla.

He was born Sept. 12, 1922, in Salisbury, the son of the late Howard and Grace (Johnson) Gale. He graduated from Middlebury College and on Sept. 29, 1945, married Martha Elizabeth Sammons of Whiteville, Tenn., who survives him.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served in WW II at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He was a nuclear physicist with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, retiring after 30 years of service.

From 1976 to 2000, he lived in Whiteville, Tenn., where he was deacon and choir member of the Whiteville First Baptist Church. He lived in Winter Haven, Fla., the past nine years. His family says he was a caring and loving husband and father and dedicated member of his local church and community.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Dr. Don Gale Jr. of Orlando, Fla.; Dr. John Gale of Golden, Colo.; and Dr. Timothy Gale of Flowery Branch, Ga.; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Monday, May 4, in the Shackelford Chapel in Bolivar, Tenn. Interment was in the Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery near Whiteville, Tenn.

Donations in his memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice.


Verna Mae Evarts

VERGENNES — Verna Mae Evarts, 102, died April 29, 2009, in the care home of Sue and Carl Laberge in Vergennes.

She was born Feb. 5, 1907, in Salona, Penn., the daughter of B. Franklin and Mary C. Long. She graduated from Lock Haven High School and attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1929.

She taught school in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and for 18 years at Vergennes High School. Her last years there were as librarian at the Vergennes Union High School. After retiring, she worked many years as librarian at the Bixby Memorial Library.

She was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, having served several years as a member of the vestry and as treasurer. Active in the community as well, she served as a ballot clerk for many elections in Vergennes. In 1959, she became a member of Otter Creek No. 74 Order of the Eastern Star. She served 12 years as its treasurer and 29 years as Electa.

She is survived by two sons, Lloyd and wife Sabina of Shelburne and Dale and wife Andree of Hemet, Calif.; five grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews in Vermont and Pennsylvania.

She was predeceased by her husband, Lloyd R. Evarts, in 1956; her brothers, Jesse and Jacob; and her sister, Frances.

A celebration of her life will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Vergennes, Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church or Bixby Memorial Library.


Waverly J. Carl

MIDDLEBURY — A graveside service for Waverly J. Carl, 68, who died Jan. 16, 2009, will be held Saturday, May 9, at 10:15 a.m., in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Middlebury.


Henry Lewis Bissette

BRANDON — Henry Lewis Bissette, 78, died Sunday, May 3, 2009, at his home in Brandon.

He was born in Brandon on Nov. 7, 1930, the son of Truman and Myrtle (Jones) Bissette. He received his early education in local Brandon schools and graduated from Brandon High School, class of 1950.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as a repeater man and in carrier equipment installation and maintenance during the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge he returned home to Vermont. He worked for his father at T.R. Bissette & Sons and later took over following the death of his father. He ran the family business for 38 years.

He served on the Brandon Fire Department for 15 years. He was a member of the Neshobe Old Time Fish & Game Club and honorary member of the Neshobe Sportsman Club. Relatives say he enjoyed playing cards and camping with a special group of friends at Wyman’s Campgrounds for more than 30 years. And he enjoyed hunting and fishing and working on the Neshobe Sportsman Club annual fishing derby for more than 30 years. He worked with the Boy Scouts, the Webelos and Troop 111. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brandon.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine (Alger) Bissette of Brandon, whom he married Aug. 25, 1952; three sons, Neil Bissette and his wife Connie of Forest Dale, Tony Bissette and his wife Ann and Steve Bissette, all of Brandon; one daughter, Gay Marie Carmichael and her husband Scott of Brandon; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by an infant daughter, Ann Marie Bissette, and two brothers, Richard and Perry Bissette.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 9, at 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brandon. The Rev. Joseph Romano, pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Pittsford, will be the celebrant. The graveside committal service and burial, with military honors, will follow in the family lot at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon on Friday, May 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to the Fishing Derby, Neshobe Sportsman Club, P.O. Box 321, Brandon, VT 05733, or to the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, 7 Albert Cree Drive, Rutland, VT 05701.


Wilfrid R. Bilodeau

WEYBRIDGE — Wilfrid R. Bilodeau, 87, of Weybridge died Saturday, May 2, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury.

Born in Rochester, May 16, 1921, he was the son of the late Wilfrid P. and Josephine (Corriveau) Bilodeau.

Wilfrid was predeceased by his beloved wife, Antoinette (Salvator) Bilodeau, on Sept. 23, 2000. He shared his life with her and a passion for nature, particularly birding and gardening.

He grew up in Johnson and graduated from Johnson High School in 1939 and then worked with his father at Johnson Talc Mill. During WW II he proudly served in the United States Navy. He received his college degree from Johnson State College and his master’s of education from Michigan State University.

Mr. Bilodeau taught in Vergennes for six years and for 22 years at Middlebury Union High School, retiring in 1983. In addition he did auditing for the town of Weybridge and served as justice of the peace.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his sons, and was known as someone who could fix anything.  Wilfred was also an accomplished carpenter, having built a home in 1947 for his parents’ retirement years. He was very proud to have passed on so many of his skills and interests to his sons, their wives and his greatly loved grandchildren.

Wilfrid took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and he was tremendously proud of them all. He loved to hear their stories and share his with them. They will miss their beloved Pepere dearly.

Wilfrid kept busy with his many dear friends, doing projects and enjoying great conversation. He was always made to feel part of his extended families.

Family members include three sons, Blaise of Waltham, Mass., Lawrence and his wife France of Rutland, and Joseph and his wife Wendy of South Burlington; four grandchildren, Mark Bilodeau and his wife Amy, Natalie Bilodeau and her fiancé Michael Grady, Leslie Langevin and her husband Eric, and Kelsey Bilodeau; two great-grandchildren, Emma and Grace Bilodeau; his sister, Cecilia “Dolly” Sinclair and her husband Robert; and many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and cousins.

In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his parents, three sisters and their husbands.

The family wants to take this opportunity to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at Fletcher Allen Healthcare and Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, and all his personal physicians who provided him with such wonderful care. We are indeed fortunate to have such wonderful caring people for our loved ones.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 7, at St. Mary’s Church in Middlebury, with the Rev. William R. Beaudin, pastor, as celebrant. Interment with military honors will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Lamoille View Cemetery in Johnson.

The family would be pleased to have those wishing, to make donations to Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 30 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Donald R. Bannister Sr.

WILDWOOD, Fla. — Donald R. Bannister Sr., 68, of Wildwood, Fla., died Sunday, May 3, 2009. He moved to Florida in 1994 from Brandon.

He was retired from Omya Inc. and was a U.S. Army veteran.

He was a member of the American Legion Post 55, the Lions Club and Boy Scout Troop 111, all in Brandon. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge in Rutland.

He is survived by four sons, Donald R. Bannister and his wife Gail of St. Albans, Leonard Bannister of Alburg, Neil Bannister of Alburg, and Kenneth Bannister of Brandon; one daughter, Helen Columbs and husband Tim of Enosburg Falls; two brothers, Douglas Bannister of Layton, Utah, and Carl Wixon of Roswell, N.M.; four sisters, Augusta “Ginger” Stearns of Middlebury, Beverly Devino of Forest Dale, Barbara Spear of Bristol, and Mary Jensen and her husband Mike of Forest Dale; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents, Kenneth and Augusta Bannister; one son, Tommy Bannister; one brother, Kenneth C. T. Bannister; and one sister, Debbie Lowell.

Memorial contributions may be made to Boy Scout Troop 111, c/o Trent Taylor, 2228 Grove St., Brandon, VT 05733. Online condolences may be left at www.bankspagetheus.com.

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