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Obituaries (05/22/08)

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Capt. Harry F. “Cap” Wiseman

MIDDLEBURY — Capt. Harry F. “Cap” Wiseman, 96, of Middlebury died Friday, May 16, 2008, at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington. He was born March 2, 1912, in North Troy, N.Y. (formerly Lansinburgh), the son of the late Captain Roger and Hilda Horton Wiseman.

He was employed by the Sun Oil Company for 37 years, becoming a captain on oil tankers at the age of 21, where he piloted ships on the east coast from Marcus Hook, Penn., to the N.Y. Canal System to the Great Lakes. During World War II (1941-1945) he served under the U.S. Coast Guard (Merchant Marines).

After his retirement in 1966, he started a CB radio repair business called the Captain’s Radio Shack in Hampton, N.J. A CB’er and Amateur Radio operator since childhood, he made many friends on the CB channels in the New York, New Jersey and Vermont areas.

His early passion for electronics led him to have the first TV set in the Capital District of Albany in 1939. Reporting his program reception helped General Electric and NBC develop their TVs.

After spending many summers of his youth on Lake Champlain and proposing to his wife, Ethel Olga Appenzeller, on the shores of Lake Champlain, he returned with his wife to the North Country in 1970. His hobby of recording weather data became well known, and in 1980 the National Weather Service made him an Official Weather Observer.

His ideal location in South Lincoln made him the third highest weather reporting station in the Eastern United States. He retired from the Vermont Acid Rain Monitoring Program and the NWS in April 1995. During those sixteen years he made many friends with news reporters, weather personalities and both local and national weather offices such as Stuart Hall and Sharon Meyer.

According to family, he “never knew a stranger,” and during his long life met many TV personalities, news correspondents, band directors, and even Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife and his sons just after the election in 1932. He also met Winston Churchill and Guy Lombardo.

He is survived by his companion of 24 years, Margaret E. Samuel; his daughter, Lynne E. Wiseman of Harpers Ferry, W.V.; a sister, Rowena, of Vernon, Texas; a nephew and a niece.

He was predeceased by his wife of nearly forty years, Ethel, in 1983.

Graveside funeral services will be at the convenience of the family.

Memorial donations may be made to Middlebury Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 153, Middlebury, VT 05753.


Avis Orchid Whitty

VERGENNES/ HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Avis Orchid Whitty, 96, died Friday, April 18, 2008, at Bradford Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hopkinsville, Ky., after a long illness. She was born Jan. 14, 1912, in Hancock, Mass., the daughter of Russell and Rosemond Tyrell Whitty.

 She was a Vergennes resident for more than seventy years, and then moved to Hopkinsville in 1998. She was a graduate of Vergennes High School class of 1929. She was employed by Simmonds Precision and retired from Hercules in 1977.

 She is survived by a nephew, Neldon V. and his wife, Kathryn Sue Whitty of Hopkinsville, Ky.

 A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. on Friday June 6, at Prospect Cemetery in Vergennes.

Memorial contributions may be made to charity of choice; Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 11, Vergennes, VT 05491; or American Cancer Society, 121 Conner Way, Williston, VT 05495.


Russell H. Whitney Sr.

MIDDLEBURY — Russell H. Whitney Sr., 91, of Middlebury passed away on May 20, 2008, at Porter Medical Center. Russell was born Dec. 19, 1916, in Salisbury, the eighth of 10 children, to Fred C. and Lizzie B. (Vincent) Whitney.

He grew up in and attended schools in Salisbury. On Nov. 18, 1944, he married Ernestine Tyrrell and together they raised four children. She predeceased him on Jan. 6, 1991.

He was a farmer for a big part of his life, first with cattle and then with chickens. After a fire destroyed his chicken operation in 1964, he moved on to other occupations including driving a truck, working at the Weyhouser Plywood Company in Hancock and at Simmonds Precision.

In the 1970s, he took a job at Middlebury College taking care of the lab animals and retired from there. Never one to sit around, he volunteered his time to take care of the West Side Cemetery in Salisbury until his health would no longer allow him to continue.

Russell was an avid hunter and trapper. As a believer in natural remedies, he spent many hours in the woods searching for ginseng.

He is survived by his two daughters and their husbands, Janice and Donald Fisher of Starksboro, and Susan and Thomas Record of Cornwall; a son, Michael Whitney of Salisbury; a granddaughter and her husband, Jennifer and Timothy Lavigne; a grandson, Justin Whitney; and a very special great-granddaughter, Gillian Lavigne.

Besides his wife, he was predeceased by a son, Russell Whitney Jr., in 2005; a grandson in 1979; seven brothers, Arthur, Norman, Clarence, Robert, Herbert, John and Howard; and two sisters, Viola MacIntyre and Helen Wimett.

Family and friends are invited for calling hours on Saturday, May 24, from 10 to 11 a.m., with the service immediately following at Sanderson’s Funeral Home, 117 South Main St., Middlebury. Burial will follow at West Side Cemetery in Salisbury.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Russell’s memory may be made to the West Side Cemetery Association, c/o Susan Record, 216 Delong Road, Cornwall, VT 05753.


H. Alton “Al” Pearson Jr.

RUTLAND — H. Alton “Al” Pearson Jr., 68, of Rutland died Saturday afternoon at the Eden Park Nursing Home following a long illness. He was born in Washington, D.C., the son of H. Alton and Alma (Moore) Pearson.

He spent his early years in Ardmore, Pa., graduating from the Haverford High School in 1958. He attended Wesley College in Delaware, where he was the president of his freshman class. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Al served six years in the U.S. Naval Reserves in Willow Grove, Pa.

Al had been employed as a manager for a fuel company, salesman of Computerized Degree Day Systems where he achieved top salesman in New England, and for many years was an electrician for General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division, in Groton, Conn.

In 1986 he relocated to Rutland, where he had been employed by several area companies and was the co-owner of Pearsonality Plus (bead emporium) in Mendon.

Thinking ahead of the times, in the 1970s he created and appeared in TV commercials promoting energy saving tips.

He was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, retired, and a past member of the Chittenden Dammers and the Green Mountain Snow Flyers.

Al was an avid camper and snowmobiler, loved to dance to old time rock and roll and especially loved Corvettes.

Survivors include his wife Jean (Bartell) Pearson, whom he married on Nov. 12, 1966, and their children, H. Alton Pearson III and his fiancée, Danielle McMahon, of Wallingford; daughter Kimberly Waterman and her husband, Lance, and their children, Jack and Kathryn “Katie,” of Weybridge; and daughter Susan Pearson of New York City, N.Y.

He is also survived by daughter Heidi Beiermeister and her husband, Karl, of Carol Stream, Ill.; his mother, Alma Pearson, of Ridgway, Colo.; sister Susan Huet and her husband, Timothy, of Ridgway, Colo.; sister-in-law Audrey Goodman and her husband, Harvey, of Shohola, Pa.; and brother-in-law Marshall Alling and his wife, Virginia, of Clinton, Conn.; a niece and several nephews.

He was predeceased by his father and a brother, Ronald E. Pearson.

A memorial gathering will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at the Chittenden Dam.

There will be no calling hours.

Arrangements are with the Aldous Funeral Home www.aldousfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Southwestern Council on Aging and Disabilities, 1085 U.S. Rte. 4, Unit 2b, Rutland, VT 05701, or to the Regional Ambulance Service Inc., 275 Stratton Road, Rutland, VT 05701.


Alice E. Blaise

CORNWALL — Mrs. Alice E. Blaise, 75, died Friday evening, May 16, 2008, at her home in Cornwall with her family by her side. She was born Jan. 29, 1933, in Hardwick, the daughter of Ernest and Isabelle (McAdam) LaPete.

She was a member of the Cornwall Congregational Church in which she served as a deacon and also on the business committee and was active in choir before her illness. She volunteered her time in earlier years as a grey lady at Porter Medical Center and was known as the grandmother of the town of Cornwall.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Arthur F. Blaise of Cornwall; her daughter, Elsie Johnson of Middlebury; her son, Brian of Cornwall; her sisters, Carolyn Lussier of Cornwall and Irene Kelly of Winooski; her brother, Wilfred LaPete of New Haven; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her infant son, Arthur F. “Skippy” Blaise II; her sister, Marion; and her three brothers, Ernest Jr., Warren and Maurice.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, May 22, at the Cornwall Congregational church, with the Rev. Sally Taylor and the Rev. Gordon Mitchenson officiating. Burial will follow in Cornwall Central Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Addison County Home Health and Hospice at P.O. Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753 or to the Cornwall Central Cemetery in care of Mary Green at Morse Rd., Cornwall, VT 05753.

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