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Obituaries


REV. DONALD R. MORRIS
MIDDLEBURY — The Reverend Donald R. Morris died peacefully with his wife May by his side on Dec. 4, 2020, at Helen Porter Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Middlebury. He was 90 years old. Born in Schenectady, N.Y., he was the son of Ernest A. Morris and Carmen S. Morris. He graduated from Harvard University in 1951, where he was a member of the R.O.T.C. He subsequently served four years in United States Navy, including two years as an instructor in Naval Science at Yale University. Don served as an officer in the United States Foreign Service for ten years. He was an adviser to the U.S...

JANIDA JONES MURPHREE
MIDDLEBURY — Janida Murphree, age 90, died at 3:57 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, at her daughter’s home in Middlebury. She died peacefully, surrounded by family, love, and prayer, after a long decline from Alzheimer’s. Janida was born Aug. 6, 1930, to Robert Ezekiel and Ima Gaye Jones of Duncan, Okla. When Janida was a young child, her father owned and ran the Jones Brothers Dairy, which he was forced to sell during the Great Depression; he then picked up a paintbrush and traveled the country taking every job he could find, while Ima lived at and ran a National Youth Administration program for...
DUNELLON, Fla. — Steven Earl Simpson, 75, formerly from the Northeast Kingdom, Vt., and now of Dunnellon, Fla., passed away surrounded by his loving family following a valiant battle with cancer on Nov. 28, 2020. He is survived by wife, Claudia Simpson; his daughter, Cindy Myhre and her partner Miklos Repasi of Dunnellon, Fla.; his son, Bryce Simpson of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; his stepdaughter, Jane Simpson and fiancé Jeff Strogney of Merrimac, Mass.; his stepson, Jeffrey Simpson of Brownington, Vt.; his stepson James Simpson and wife Lori of Sutton, Vt.; and his grandsons, Justin Myhre of New...

RICHARD PATRICK URBANAK
BRISTOL — Richie left this world on Thursday, the third day of December, 2020, five days before his 33rd birthday. Life was not always easy, quite unbearable at times. Through it all he never gave up, he never stopped smiling and his crystal blue eyes never stopped shining. Richie had a huge love of music of all genres and could drop a beat and spin a table like a boss. He loved the river, the ocean and most of all our beloved grandma camp on Perch Pond.  More than everything he loved his family and his people.  “But my heart is not weary, it is light and it is free I’ve got nothing but...

GAIL BARRERA
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Gail Barrera of Framingham, Mass., passed away Nov. 8, 2020, at the age of 85 after a long battle with cancer. She was born Sept. 21, 1935, at Porter Hospital in Middlebury, Vt. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Joseph E. Barrera. She was predeceased by her mother, Alda Andrews; her father, Fletcher Marcielle; her stepfather, Dr. B.F. Andrews; a stepbrother, Dr. B. J. Andrews; and a stepsister, Elizabeth Andrews Goodro. Her early education took place in a small schoolhouse in Salisbury, Vt., followed by Middlebury Grammar School in Middlebury, Vt. She was a 1953...

EGBERT BEENEN
JAMESTOWN, Mich. — Egbert Beenen went to his heavenly home on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, at the age of 82. He was born July 1, 1938, to Gerrit and Johanna Beenen in Gramsbergen, the Netherlands. He married Deeny Rougoor, the love of his life, on March 11, 1960. Their wedding text was Exodus 33:15: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from this place.” In that spirit of faith, they immigrated to Vermont, where together they operated a dairy farm until his retirement, after which they moved to Michigan. Egbert loved Jesus as his Savior and Lord and served God in various ways...

CARL M. SMITH
RIPTON — Carl M. Smith passed away Nov. 29,. 2020, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire following a brief illness. Carl was born April 5, 1954, in Middlebury, Vt. “The tulips were blooming that day” he always told us. He was born to Nola May (Williams) and Kenneth Orrin Smith. He grew up in Ripton and went to school at Ripton Elementary and later at Middlebury Union High School. He was the second oldest of seven children. Kenneth Eugene Smith (deceased), Bonnie Swan, Gary Smith, Chris Smith, Douglas Smith, all of Ripton, and Cindy Savage of Montana. He spent his youth in the...
VERGENNES — Garry Steady, 61, the son of the late Leo Charles (Charlie) Steady Sr. and Anna Steady Smith, passed away after a short illness on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.  Garry was born in Middlebury, Vt., on Sept. 9, 1959. Garry enjoyed hunting, turning wrenches, tinkering on his trucks and being outdoors. He is survived by his two daughters, Jamie Lynn Merrigan and Ashley Steady; three sisters, Diana (Steady) Merrill and her daughter Tina Marshall, Tina (Steady) and Peter Bouvier and their children Kari (Bouvier) Jipner and Ryan Bouvier, and Dale Strong and Bill Masterson and her children...

CALEB R. TOUSIGNANT-BROWN
SHOREHAM — Caleb R. Tousignant-Brown, 18, passed unexpectedly on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Caleb was born at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin.  Throughout his journey through life, he was surrounded by much love and support. Many loving people opened both their hearts and their homes: Mary and Bob Searles, Denise and Bob Gonyeau, Kaitlin Zura, his grandparents Rich and Mary Tousignant, Chelsea Carl and Darren Young. At school, he was surrounded by caring and knowledgeable teams from SD Associates and GMBC, who helped him learn to navigate this world. He leaves behind a large team of...
ELLESMERE PORT, U.K. — Erik Walter Borg was born on December 13, 1945, in Washington, D.C. He died unexpectedly on November 12, 2020, in Ellesmere Port, United Kingdom. The distance between these two dates and locations was filled by a life of integrity, kindness, and passion. He will be deeply missed by his family on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Growing up in Oxon Hill, Md., he developed a deep love of the outdoors, which was reinforced through his time as an Eagle Scout. Living on the edge of the segregated South, he was deeply inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and participated in...

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Addison County Independent