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Obituaries 9/24/09

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Earl Blackmer

RUTLAND — Earl Winslow Blackmer, 78, of Rutland, died Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, at Rutland Health & Rehabilitation Center.

He was born in Brandon on Aug. 15, 1931. He was the son of Neil and Chloie (Moore) Blackmer.

He received his education in local Brandon schools.

He joined the U.S. Army in June 1952 and served in combat in Korea, where he received the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Following his honorable discharge he returned home and began a career as a truck driver. He drove service trucks, logging trucks and delivery trucks all his life. He was forced to retire due to illness in 1989.

He was a resident of Rutland for over 50 years. His family says he was an avid hunter and fisherman. He belonged to American Legion Post 31 in Rutland.

He is survived by his wife Pearl (Wheeler) Blackmer of Rutland, whom he married June 12, 1954, in Brandon; one son, Richard Blackmer of Londonderry; two brothers, Neil Blackmer Jr. of Granville, N.Y., and John Blackmer of Wardsboro; three sisters, Ruth Stevens of Bellows Falls, Glendean Gould of West Rutland and Mary Proulx of Rutland; three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousin.

He was predeceased by a brother, George Blackmer, and two sisters, Helen Aines and Casse Hesse.

A graveside committal service will take place on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. at the family lot in Pine Hill Cemetery in Brandon. The Rev. Margaret Fletcher, rector of St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal Churches, will officiate.

There are no public calling hours.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Earl Blackmer Memorial Fund, c/o Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home, 26 Franklin St., Brandon, VT 05733.


Robert Cole

ABILENE, Kan. — Robert P. Cole, 78, of Bennington, Kan., died Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, at the Village Manor in Abilene, Kan.

He was born July 10, 1931, in Middlebury, the son of Frank and Pauline (Preston) Cole.
He was a dairy farmer in Ottawa County, Kan., for many years. He also worked on a family farm in Saline County, Kan., until he went to the nursing home in Abilene, where he remained until his death.

He is survived by six children, Paul and Candy Cole of Bennington, Kan., Bill and Bea Cole of Maryville, Tenn., Keith and Pam Cole of Minneapolis, Kan., Frank and Sandra Cole of Bennington, Kan., James and Julie Cole of Clay Center, Kan., and Marilyn and Cory Connelly of Tescott, Kan.; a brother, Bill Cole of Middlebury; two sisters, Barbara Smith of Shelburne and Patricia Conner of Dalton Gardens, Idaho; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his sisters, Virginia Edson and Jean Ann Carter; a grandson, Michael Cole; and a great-grandson, Ethin Cole.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Bennington Bible Church in Bennington, Kan., with the Rev. James Byers officiating.

Burial with military honors followed in the Bennington Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Village Manor or the Bennington Playground Fund and may be left in care of Wilson Shields Funeral Home, www.wilsonshields.com.


Elizabeth Collins

MIDDLEBURY — Elizabeth R. Collins, RN, 92, passed away suddenly Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009, at Porter Medical Center surrounded by her loving family.

She was born May 25, 1917, in Waterbury, Conn., the daughter of the late Domenic and Agnes (Campbell) Rinaldi.

Elizabeth was chosen from her eighth-grade class as a state delegate to attend a nationwide conference of young people in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth graduated from Crosby High School in Waterbury, Conn., and graduated from the Waterbury Hospital School of Nursing, Waterbury, Conn. When Elizabeth was a nursing student and Ray was an intern at Waterbury Hospital, their eyes met as she was descending the stairs and Ray was walking down the hallway. It was love at first sight. They were married on June 29, 1940, in Middlebury, Conn. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this June.

She loved caring and cooking for her family and writing to them bi-weekly. Her hobbies were tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, knitting, reading and listening to VPR and opera music. Her favorite pastime was listening to and watching the birds.

Elizabeth was a member of the Porter Hospital Auxiliary and the Middlebury Congregational Church where she was a Sunday school teacher for many years.

Elizabeth leaves behind her beloved husband, Ray W. Collins, MD; their daughters, Elizabeth “Betsy” Mack and husband Lewis Noble, of Granby, Conn., Louise Boutwell and husband “Reg” of Randolph, N.Y., and Nancy Collins, MD, and husband Brian Mahoney, MD, of North Oaks, Minn.; her sister, Isabel Simonds, RN, of Washington, Conn.; her grandchildren, Betsy Anne Vinton, PhD, and husband Griff of Rochester, N.Y., Katie Mahoney, MD, of Charlotte, N.C., Meredith Mahoney of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Dan Mahoney of Milwaukee, Wis.; her great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Audrey, and Natalie Vinton of Rochester, N.Y.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Sidney Rinaldi.

There will be no services at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Porter Hospital Auxiliary, c/o Porter Hospital Development Office, 115 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753, or to the Vermont Association of the Blind at VABVI Development, 60 Kimball Ave., South Burlington, VT 05403, or to Addison County Home Health at PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753.

Online condolences may be offered at www.sandersonfuneralservice.com.


Kathleen Easton

MIDDLEBURY —Kathleen E. Easton of Middlebury died Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, at Porter Hospital.

Born in Shoreham, she was the daughter of the late Russel J. and Florence (Fish) Easton.

She graduated from the University of Vermont and School of Retailing in Boston. In addition, she attended many summer sessions at New York University School of Retailing.

She taught home economics in Middlebury High School and retailing at Green Mountain College in Poultney. For several years she worked in Boston as director of personnel and training at Conrad and Chandler. When she returned to Vermont, she became executive housekeeper at Middlebury Inn.

Her family says she always enjoyed her work, wherever her career took her. She always felt fortunate to be in a position with good management, a good staff, good students, customers or guests.

She is survived by one sister, Jean McEdward of Middlebury; a cousin, Marjorie Douglas of Shoreham; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brother, Glenn Easton, and two sisters, Pauline Bridges and Lorraine Bridges.

Graveside committal services will be held at the convenience of the family at Lakeview Cemetery in Shoreham.


Irene Berno

CORNWALL — Irene May Berno, 80, died Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009, at her home in Cornwall surrounded by her loving family after a long illness.

She was born Jan. 2, 1929, in Northfield, the daughter of Frederick and Fern (Spooner) Roux.
She grew up in Northfield and during her school years she won awards for her writing. She married Wendell G. Berno on Oct. 17, 1949. They lived in Northfield and Waterbury before moving to Cornwall in 1964. Together they raised seven children. Following their retirement, they traveled to visit friends and family in Arizona. Irene loved many different arts and crafts, especially painting, needlepoint and making dollhouses.

She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is survived by her children, Lawrence of Ripton, Sandi of Cornwall, Paul of Middlebury, Vaughn and his wife Marie of Cornwall, Laura of Middlebury, David and his wife Dawn of Cornwall and Kevin and his wife Carla of Cornwall; 10 grandchildren, Jason Terk, Sarah Marcelle, Marci Terk, Casey Terk, Michelle Clark, and Tyler, Robyn, Adam, Brittany and Joshua Berno; and four great-grandchildren, Sadie and Kenny Marcelle and Kobe and Shae Terk. She is also survived by four brothers, Francis, Eugene, Andrew and Roger Roux, and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Wendell; a brother, Robert; and a grandson, Matthew.
A Mass of Christian burial will was celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury, with the Rev. Brian O’Donnell as celebrant. Interment followed immediately at Evergreen Cemetery in Cornwall. There were no public calling hours.

Irene’s family offers sincerest thanks to Dr. Brad Armstrong and Addison County Home Health & Hospice for their loving care and support during this difficult time.

Memorial contributions may be made to Addison County Home Health & Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Sarah Littlefield

GREENVILLE, R.I. — Sarah Peck “Sally” Littlefield died on Sept. 21, 2009, in Greenville, R.I.
She was born in 1927 in New Haven, the daughter of Earle H. Peck and Nita Osborne Peck. She graduated from Beeman Academy, and received a B.A. in English from Middlebury College and an M.S. in educational administration from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

She taught in a one-room rural school in Bennington and at North Bennington High School, and was a teacher in the English department in Goshen, N.Y., for 30 years, serving as chair for 10. During this time, she held leadership roles in multiple accreditation processes and played feature roles in numerous teacher musicals.

From 1982-1985, she wrote syllabi and texts for BOCES of Ulster and Orange Counties in New York. Among those texts, the fourth-grade “A Journey Through Time, a History of Orange County,” was published under the BOCES label.

Mrs. Littlefield was an active member of the Goshen (N.Y.) Methodist Church where she and her husband served in several different leadership capacities. Together they were instrumental in establishing the first day-care facility in town within the church facility.

Following a move to Shoreham in 1987, she served one year as interim principal at Shoreham Elementary School. Subsequent to her work in the Goshen and Shoreham schools, she served on their respective school boards.

She was a member of Pi State of Delta Kappa Gamma, having served as chapter president, and one of the first women invited to join the New Paltz chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an honorary educational fraternity.

She and her husband Evan led very active post-retirement lives. The couple traveled extensively within the U.S. and abroad, touring Central America, Russia, Western Europe, South Africa, Canada and Asia. In both their retirement homes in Vermont and Florida, they volunteered at local courthouses, for favorite political causes, and at friends’ local businesses. She and her husband also participated at numerous Elderhostel events.

She was a staunch Vermonter, an environmentalist, a charter member of the Lake Champlain Restoration Association and a loving wife and mother.

Survivors are her husband of 61 years, Evan; daughter Gail and husband Terry Doeberl of West Redding, Conn.; and son Gary and wife Tina of Cumberland, R.I. Grandchildren include Kyle, Cassie and Tory Littlefield and Kristin Doeberl. Mrs. Littlefield also has a niece, Lee Sparks of Texas. Cousins Ramona Morse, Sadie Stowe and John Peck live in Vermont.

She was predeceased by a cousin, Carolyn Lord.

Lifelong friends include Claire Coon, Peg Rambo, David and Mary Lee Reese, Doris and Bob Weinberger, Bruce and Ginger Cullen, and Tom and Ella Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the New Haven Congregational Church, Town Hill Rd., New Haven, VT 05472, or to Addison County Home Health & Hospice, PO Box 754 Middlebury, VT 05753.


Walter Munzberg

BRANDON — Walter Charles Munzberg, 59, died Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009, at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

He was born in New York City on Dec. 10, 1949, the son of Conrad and Alexandria (Allen) Munzberg.

He received his education in local New York schools and attended Flushing (N.Y.) High School and Eastern Military Academy on Long Island.

He drove trucks for Kirsch Beverage and several other companies in New York and had also been a taxi driver in the city. He had also worked as a mate aboard several charter fishing boats out of Montauk, N.Y.

His family says he was an avid scuba diver and enjoyed street racing in his younger years. He loved animals and enjoyed working on old trucks. He lived in Brandon since 1986, moving there from Brooklyn.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Munzberg of Brandon, whom he married in Montauk, N.Y., on June 10, 1979; two daughters, Heather Munzberg of Brandon and Cheryl Munzberg of Rutland; and his mother, Alexandria Allen of Warrensburg, N.Y.

He was predeceased by his father, Conrad Munzberg, and a daughter, Kathryn Munzberg.
A memorial service in celebration of his life was held Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, at 10 a.m., at the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon.

A private burial will take place at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Brandon Area Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 232, Brandon, VT 05733, or to the Rutland County Humane Society, 765 Stevens Rd., Pittsford, VT 05763.


Judson Severy

CORNWALL — Judson William Severy, 99, died Sept. 22, 2009, at his home in Cornwall.
He was born in Goshen to Ralph T. and Lena (Kinsman) Severy on Nov. 27, 1909.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1941, serving for four years in two campaigns in World War II in the Pacific Theater, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and other medals.

He married in 1951 Doris McNally and bought his beloved dairy farm, Everywind Farm in Cornwall, where they raised their children and farmed for 34 years. In his retirement, he served in various capacities in the town and church, amongst which he was a familiar character seen around town mowing and taking care of lawns until he was 97.

He was a frequent contestant in hand-mowing contests, served in town offices, and was an avid supporter of 4-H and FFA. He was a life member of 43rd Infantry Division Veterans Association, St. Paul’s Masonic Lodge in Brandon, VFW Post 7823 in Middlebury and the Cornwall Congregational Church. Relatives say he enjoyed traveling, gardening and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Doris; five children, Kendall and his wife Barbara of Middletown Springs, Robin and her husband John Sullivan of Orwell, Joseph and his wife Anne of Cornwall, Julia and her husband Wayne Reed of Cambridge, N.Y., and Matthew and his wife Donna of Cornwall; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; five nieces; and one nephew.

He was predeceased by his younger brothers, Hugh in 1966 and Elmer “Curly” in 1996.

There will be no public calling hours. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Cornwall Congregational Church. A reception will follow at the Cornwall Town Hall.

Donations in his memory may be made to VFW Post 7823 in Middlebury, the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department, St. Paul’s Lodge No. 25 of Brandon, Cornwall Congregational Church or the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association.

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