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Obituaries 10/22/09

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Lena DeLage

MIDDLEBURY — Lena E. (Lapierre) DeLage, 101, died peacefully Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury. She took her last gentle breath in the presence of her physician Dr. Diana Barnard, her niece Janet McKinnon, and Ron McKinnon.

Lena was born in Central Falls, R.I., Feb. 16, 1908, the daughter of George and Delia (Brousseau) Lapierre.

In her youth, she attended the Convent of Jesus Marie School in Woonsocket, R.I., and the Garden Street School in Pawtucket, R.I. At age 16 she became employed in the textile industry as a “warper.” She retired from the Valley Warping Co., Valley Falls, R.I., after a very long career. Later in life she would often say, “I loved my work so much. You know, I still dream about searching for and fixing the broken fiber ends of the warp.”

Lena married William N. DeLage on June 28, 1963, in Wrentham, Mass. They resided in Pawtucket throughout their marriage. Bill predeceased her on Aug. 23, 1974.

In her 80th year Lena moved to Middlebury to the home of her sister Cecile’s daughter, Janet McKinnon, where she lived for 22 years until recently when she suffered a serious fall and was hospitalized at Porter.

While she was able, she loved to go to the Russ Sholes Senior Center. She was a member of the Wednesday gathering of the Sew-Sew Girls. There she was able to continue practicing her lifelong skills of sewing, crocheting, embroidering and knitting. She loved making baby quilts, which were big sellers at the center. Since those days, she kept in contact with Edna Holzschuh and Lois Thorpe, who were among the many Sew-Sew Girls who became her friends.

Lena loved word games — especially crossword puzzles and Wheel of Fortune. She was an ace at cribbage as well, earning the name of “Lucky Lena” from her grandnephew Roy McKinnon. She also had a special affection for the three household Scottish terriers — Angus, Brindle and Kyle, all of whom were affectionately nicknamed “My Patooties.”

Although Lena never had children, and all of her siblings passed away long ago, she is survived by many nieces and nephews. She especially enjoyed visits from her nieces Alice Corcoran, Dorothy Lubera and Claire Gerrard. Many local folks who have befriended her have all come to call her affectionately “Aunt Lena.”

Lena will be interred at a later date where her late husband rests at the Notre Dame Cemetery in Pawtucket, R.I.

Contributions in memory of Lena may be made to Addison County Home Health and Hospice Inc., PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Donna Gaboriault

BRIDPORT — Donna M. Gaboriault, 45, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at her home in Bridport.

She was born May 28, 1964, in Middlebury, the daughter of Clement and Joyce Sunderland Gaboriault.

She was a member of Town Line First Response. She worked as a mail carrier for U.S. Postal Service in Bridport, Shoreham and Orwell for 10 years and she worked with her father for many years. She was a member of St. Bernadette Church in Bridport.

Donna is survived by her son Michael C. Gaboriault; her parents, Clement and Joyce Gaboriault; her sisters, Mary Jane and Dan Ingram and their children Bryan and Sarah (Blondie) Andrews, Brenda and Paul White and their children Kyle, Courtney and Adam; a brother, Paul L. and Lisa Gaboriault and their daughter Kaitlyn; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury. Interment will be in Bridport Central Cemetery. Friends may call at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Town Line First Response, Addison, VT 05491, or American Cancer Society, 55 Day Lane, Williston, VT 05495-1460.


Iola Griffin

SUDBURY/HONEA PATH, S.C. — Iola Frances Griffin, 85, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, in Anderson, S.C.

She was born in Shoreham on April 19, 1924. She was the daughter of Dayton and Cecil (Guyette) Dumas.

She married Richard Henry Griffin on June 25, 1944, in Orwell.

She received her early education in Shoreham and Orwell schools and attended Brandon High School. In her earlier years she worked at the Shoreham Apple Co-Op. She worked many years at Standard Register in Middlebury, retiring in 1988.

Her family says she was an avid CB operator. Her handle was “The Mule Skinner.” She enjoyed cooking, sewing and camping.

She resided in Honea Path, S.C., since retiring in 1988.

Surviving is her son Michael Griffin of Sudbury; two daughters, Jane Griffin and Mary Anne Roberts both of Honea Path, S.C.; a brother, Arnold Dumas of Randolph; two sisters, Nancy Forguites of Burlington and Barbara Townsend of Randolph; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband, Richard Henry Griffin, on July 6, 1994, and a grandson, Richard “Rick” Griffin, on Nov. 2, 2007.

The graveside committal service and burial will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, at 2 p.m. at the family lot in Pine Hill Cemetery. Family and friends will share in the service.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Brandon Area Rescue Squad, PO Box 232, Brandon, VT 05733.


Peter Holm

CORNWALL — Dr. Peter J. Holm died peacefully on Oct. 14, 2009, at his home in Cornwall after a brief illness.

He was born in Cadillac, Mich., on Sept. 16, 1941, the son of Dr. Benton and Miriam (Lorimer) Holm.

He attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and then entered the medical school at the University of Iowa. He completed his surgical internship at the University of Vermont, after which he was drafted into the U.S Army, where he served a year as a battalion surgeon in Vietnam and a year as an army doctor at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.

He returned to Vermont for a residency in radiology at UVM after which he became the first full-time radiologist at Porter Hospital.

He lived with his family in Cornwall, where they say he enjoyed gardening and many other outdoor activities, including working with his horses.

He was a staunch supporter of Porter Hospital and was dedicated to the care of his patients and helped provide the radiology department with new technology. He also worked tirelessly for several years for the Addison County Humane Society and was instrumental in the campaign to build the new animal shelter on Boardman Street in Middlebury.

He was a firm believer in self-sufficiency and renewable energy. In addition to his attempt to resurrect an abandoned hydroelectric facility in downtown Middlebury, his Icelandic horse farm was a pilot site for Earth Turbines prototype windmill and tracking solar panel array.

He is survived by his wife Elisabeth; his sons, Anders and wife Andrea Fossati, and Erik; his brothers Lory and Brian, his sister Gretchen and their spouses; two grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews and their children.

A memorial celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be addressed to Porter Hospital or the Addison County Humane Society.


Mary McHugh

LEICESTER — Mary Valentine McHugh, 76, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at her home in Leicester.

She was born in Jersey City, N.J., on Sept. 22, 1933. She was the daughter of Valentine and Sally (Frangillo) Meisse.

She grew up in Dumont, N.J., where she graduated from Dumont High School, class of 1951.

She worked in New York City in the banking industry before her marriage. She and her husband Bill initially made their home in Dover, N.J., then Berkshire Valley, N.J., and finally Wharton, N.J.

She retired to Vermont in 1999 moving from Wharton, where she had lived since 1958. She had driven a school bus for special needs children in the Roxbury, N.J., school district and also had provided home child care for many years. She enjoyed traveling, hiking, gardening and cooking and was also involved in community service, philanthropy and political activism.

Surviving is her husband, William Joseph McHugh of Leicester, whom she married Nov. 19, 1955, in Haworth, N.J.; children Kevin McHugh of Winthrop, Maine, Teresa McHugh-Bevis of Columbus, Ohio, Sharon Riccio of Manlius, N.Y., Katheline Lauffer of Shepherdstown, W.V., Stacie Swierczyna of Hamilton, N.J., Mary Iman of Greensboro, N.J., Billy McHugh of Sparta, N.J., Gary McHugh of Wantage, N.J., Michael McHugh of Succasunna, N.J., and Nicole Schubert of Basking Ridge, N.J.; two sisters, Ida O’Brien of Vineland, N.Y., and Ann Halvorsen of Barnegat, N.J; 24 grandchildren; one great-grandson; and a multitude of nieces, nephews and cousins.

The funeral service “In Celebration of Mary’s Life” was held Monday, Oct. 19, at the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon.

Additionally, a service and celebration will take place in New Jersey on Friday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. at St. Francis, at 19 Pocono Rd. in Denville, N.J. For more information contact Nicole Schubert at (908) 295-5973.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Addison County Food Shelf, 282 Boardman St., Middlebury, VT 05753.


Norma Miner

HINESBURG — Norma Dwyer Miner, 80, died Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury.

She was born July 10, 1929, in Bristol the daughter of Dayton and Abbie Gove Dwyer.

She is survived by her husband, Lee A. Miner of Burlington; six children, Craig Miner and wife Susan of Vergennes, Sherry (Miner) Yandow and husband George of Williston, Kirk Miner and wife Annemarie of Colchester, Cindy Rickes and husband Lee of Essex Center, Steven Miner and wife Claudette of South Burlington, Vonda Cunningham and husband Brad of New Hampshire; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Gladys Hunt of Colchester.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Hinesburg United Church. Interment will be in Maple Cemetery in Lincoln. Friends may call at Hinesburg United Church on Saturday from 1 p.m. up to the hour of the funeral.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bixby Memorial Library, 258 Main St., Vergennes, VT 05491, or Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, 30 Porter Drive, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Genevieve Nuttall

ADDISON — Genevieve A. Nuttall, 78, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury.

She was born May 1, 1931, in Shoreham.

Genevieve is survived by her three children, Robert A. Nuttall and wife Lilliane of Vergennes, Barbara Provencher of Vergennes, and James Nuttall and wife Sandra of St. Albans; seven grandchildren; a sister, Veda Haskins of New York; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband Arthur Nuttall in 1994; three sisters, Geraldine Trudo, Ruth Jerome and Bonnie Abbey; and two brothers, Harry Newvelle and Kenneth Newvelle.

Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 19, at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes with interment in Lakeview Cemetery in West Addison.

Memorial contributions may be made to Addison Volunteer Fire Department, Addison, VT 05491, or Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, PO Box 11, Vergennes, VT 05491.


Eileen Smith

BRISTOL — Eileen R. Smith, 88, died Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, at Helen Porter Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury.

She was born March 20, 1921, to Daniel and Sadie Root. She attended Bristol schools and graduated from Bristol High School and Burlington Business College.

She married John Carl Smith June 17, 1943. She spent several years in Burlington while he was serving with the military as a secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They later moved to Bristol.

She worked 33 years at First National Bank of Bristol, then the Merchants Bank. She was a member of the Federated Church.

She is survived by a sister, Beatrice R. Speer of Richford; a sister-in-law, Rosamond Shepard of Bristol and her family; two nieces; and two nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband John and a sister, Helen R. Tatro of Hartford, Conn.

There will be no calling hours. Private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Memorial donations may be made to the Federated Church of Bristol.


Donald Stearns

MIDDLEBURY — Donald Roy Stearns, 76, of Middlebury, died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on Oct 16, 2009.

The son of Roy J. and Gertrude (Hanmer) Steams, he was born on the family’s farm on Chipman Hill on July 23, 1933.

After graduating from Middlebury High School in 1951, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, where he met his first wife, Yaeko (Ueno). They moved back to Middlebury in 1955 and started a family. Together they had four children: two daughters and two sons.

He started his career in 1956 at Simmonds Precision’s aerospace division, where he worked his way up from stockroom clerk to contracts manager. He left Vermont in 1969 with his family to further his career.

After several moves throughout the U.S., he returned to Middlebury with his second wife, Janice (Delaney) and their son. It was at this time that he also returned to work for his former employer, Simmonds Precision. He retired from Simmonds (now BF Goodrich) as a senior contracts manager in 1994.

Throughout his adult life, he continued to serve his country as a member of the National Guard for 22 years, including the Vermont NG 5l1h Eng Battalion, the Arkansas NG 10rJh Army Band, and the Vermont NG 4dh Army Band.

He was called back to active duty from 1961 to 1962 during the Berlin crisis. For his service he received the Korean Service Medal, the UN Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

He had a great passion for music, particularly jazz. He spent a good deal of his military career in the army band but his family says for him “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” He was involved in music his entire life and was a well-known and respected saxophone player throughout the Northeast.

He performed professionally in numerous bands, most recently the popular Dick Forman Jazz Group. Even though he was a successful businessman, when asked what he did for a living he always answered, with a big smile, “I’m a horn player, wanna hire a band?”

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, and the love of his life, Janice (Delaney); daughters Amy Langston and her husband Randy of Memphis, Tenn., and Julie Hoffman of Portland, Ore; sons Richard Stearns and his wife Dana of Little Rock, Ark., James Stearns of Englewood, Colo., and Robert Stearns of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a brother, Melvin F. Stearns and his wife Linda, of Lincoln; and a sister-in-law, Augusta (Ginger) Stearns of Middlebury. He is also survived by his mother Gertrude Irene (Hanmer) Stearns, as well as eight grandchildren.

He was predeceased by a brother, Carroll Lynn Stearns, and a grandson, Eric Langston.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Commemorations can be made to Addison County Home Health and Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753; Hospice Volunteer Services, PO Box 772, Middlebury, VT 05753; or Project Independence, PO Box 581, Middlebury, VT 05753.

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