July 6, 2015

Obituaries

DAVID C. MORENCY

David “Dave” Charles Morency, educator and beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, died at his home in Williston on Saturday, June 27, 2015, after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his family and buoyed by the support of his much-loved sister and brother, as well as many other relatives, friends and colleagues. Dave was born in Salem, Mass., on Sept. 11, 1938, to the late Joseph and Irene Morency. He grew up in a loving extended family that included his two siblings and two cousins. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and St. John’s Prep High School, where he graduated in 1956. Dave was appointed to the US Naval Academy in 1957, and went on to become an officer in the United States Navy. He served with distinction on the surface ship USS Keppler (DD-765) until 1962, at which time he was interviewed and selected by Admiral Rickover to be an officer in the Nuclear Submarine program. Dave served on the USS Lafayette (SSBN-616), and then on the USS Lapon (SSN-661), a nuclear submarine on which he was a member of the commissioning crew. In later years, he enjoyed sharing stories about his naval career, including his ship’s involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis and our country’s relationship with the Russians during the Cold War. In 1969, Dave left the Navy to pursue a career in teaching. He received a Master’s degree in Mathematics at the University of Cincinnati, and began his teaching career at the University of Vermont in 1973, where he initiated an Operations Research course and taught Calculus and other undergraduate classes for many years. Dave had a genuine love of teaching, and was excited by the questioning minds of his students; he found great satisfaction in mentoring and guiding them. In addition to teaching, Dave oversaw the College of Technology Co-op Program, was involved in VMI (Vermont Math Institute) and helped to conduct the annual Math Prize Exam held by the Math Department. Dave retired from UVM in 2001, maintaining close friendships with many colleagues and students. Throughout his life, Dave was drawn to the ocean, lakes and streams. As a boy, he fished from his rowboat in Salem Harbor. Afternoons were spent swimming or playing baseball, an idyllic life for a young boy. His lifelong love of fishing and of the Red Sox developed at that time. The fishing excursions continued with his children, and then with his friends. They explored the rivers and streams of Vermont and Nova Scotia over the years, packing up fishing gear and taking well-folded maps on many quests for new fishing holes. Another passion in Dave’s life was music. His meticulously curated CD collection included everything from Brubeck to Prokofiev, and bluegrass to pop/rock. His final days were spent listening to his favorite jazz and classical pieces; even in his sleep, his fingers were moving to the music. Dave was married to his best friend and loving wife, Elinor “Ellie” (nee Bowes) for nearly 53 years. Their friendship began in elementary school, where they both sang in the boys’ and girls’ choirs. Together they raised four children in a busy, laughter-filled house. Dave was extremely proud of his children and of the caring and compassionate adults they have become. His love and pride extended to his children’s spouses and to his four grandchildren. He enjoyed being with his family, just relaxing or celebrating the important events in all their lives. Dave is survived by his wife, Ellie of Williston; son, David and wife, Tracy Drake, and their son, Eamon, of Burlington; son, Steve of Williston; daughter, Elise Minadeo and husband, John, and their children, Nick, Marisa and Dominic, of Essex; daughter, Anne and husband, Dave Mulleady, of Co. Longford, Ireland; sister, Sylvia Wahl and husband, Ted, and his children, Michelle and Wes, and their families; brother, Joseph and wife, Pauline, and their children, Liz and Joe; and cousins, Irene Sullivan and Betty Rectanus, and their families. He is also survived by many other relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed. A remembrance of Dave’s life will be held at All Souls Interfaith Gathering, 291 Bostwick Farm Rd., Shelburne, at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 6, 2015, with a reception to follow. The family wishes to thank Dr. Steven Ades and his staff at the UVM Medical Center, Dr. Zail Berry, and the nurses and staff at the VNA for their compassion and care.

ROSCOE C. STEVENSON

Roscoe C. Stevenson, 80, of Williston, died on Friday, June 26, 2015, in UVM Medical Center. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 1, 1934, the son of the late Roscoe and Virginia (Higgins) Stevenson. He served two years with the U.S. Navy. Roscoe received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and his master’s degree from St. Michael’s College, both in education. He worked for 31 years as a sixth grade math teacher for Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington. Roscoe is survived by his wife, Alfreda Stevenson of Williston; two sons, Kyle Stevenson of Bethesda, Md., and Derek Stevenson of Albany, N.Y.; step-daughter, Alfreda Barber of Vernon, Conn., and stepson, Tom Barber and wife, Lee, of Willimantic, Conn.; grandson, Eric Stevenson; step-grandchildren, Jeni and husband, Randy, and Joshua and wife, Alicia; step-great-grandchildren, Cadence, Evelyn, and Joslynn; sister, Mary Lou Rogers; brother, Todd Stevenson and wife, Ruth; and nephew, Tim and wife, Amanda, and their daughter, Sofia. Visiting hours were held on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service Mountain View Chapel in Essex Junction. There will be no service. Burial will be at the convenience of the family in Connecticut. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.readyfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in Roscoe’s memory may be made to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, 72 E. Concord St., Suite C3, Boston, MA 02118.

What’s Cooking? Fourth of July potato salad

By Lucy McCullough

Years ago, my mother-in-law’s favorite summer event was the Fourth of July celebration.

The festivities started shortly after the parade ended. Friends and neighbors knew they were always welcome to come join the party. They usually brought something for the grill and a little something to add to the table. The kids ran free and the adults would play horseshoes while others watched and socialized. The day ended after a trip to the hilltop to watch the fireworks.

Julia always contributed her potato salad. She took most of the day (or two) preparing this special salad. I have tried over the years to take shortcuts, but find my attempts could never compare. I have, however, managed to speed up the process, but the hot potato dressing is a must do.

Potato Salad

Wash and boil white potatoes, cooking until tender. Pour off water and let cool until easily handled. Peel the potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. Dress with vinaigrette dressing (Italian dressing works well here, as well). Add chopped onions, celery. Cool and let stand covered in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or overnight). Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add chunks of hard-boiled eggs, being careful not to mash the eggs too much. Chill. Serve as is, or place on a bed of lettuce and decorate with slices of hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes.

For a red, white and blue dessert, cut up watermelon into 1-inch pieces, add blueberries and top with yogurt (French vanilla Greek yogurt is my favorite).  Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Happy Fourth of July!

“Let’s Eat!”

Lucy McCullough and her husband, Jim, started Catamount Outdoor Family Center on the family farm in 1978 and have been operating Catamount’s B&B since 1996.

Little Details: Time to move on to the next chapter

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

The telephone call from the then-editor of the Williston Observer caught me a little off guard.

“Are you a writer?”

“No, I’m a…a…mom.”

“I don’t normally tell people this, but you write well…really well.”

I never thought of myself as a writer. I just always wrote. I was genuinely surprised when my CCV instructor suggested I submit one of my essays to a newspaper. It was 2004 and I was taking a writing class for fun. I was even more surprised when the editor of the Williston Observer responded by offering me a gig as a columnist.

Writing is my therapy. Writing is my way to make sense of the world. I fill journals with notes from news articles, identifying topics to learn more about. I compile lists of books to read and films to see. I jot down quotes that inspire and copy short excerpts from books, plays and poetry. I revisit those entries, taking time to fill in knowledge gaps.

In a world of electronic pings, tweets and Twitter, I still sit down to correspond with friends in old-fashioned ink. Forming letters in curvaceous cursive is a decidedly different experience from tapping on a keyboard. I can and must “do” social media, but placing pen to paper is my preferred modality.

When my daughter attended Allen Brook and, later, Williston Central School, I packed notes in her lunch bag along with sandwiches and animal crackers. Sometimes, I included quotes by Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt or some other strong woman—role models to ponder along with her peanut butter and jelly.

I leave notes for my husband on the kitchen counter all the time. Some are sweet. Others are entirely utilitarian, having to do with groceries, doctor’s appointments or even the dump.

At work, I prefer composing emails to telephoning. Email also creates a cyber trail, which, I’ve learned, can come in handy in sometimes sticky work situations.

I’d rather write a solitary grant proposal than work on a “group” project. It’s cool to think I’m paid to do research and writing—something I already do for free.

The first essay I submitted to this newspaper was a homework assignment about a chance encounter. I wrote of meeting an elderly man at a Burlington copy shop while making copies for an ELF (now, Four Winds) workshop on spiders at Allen Brook School. As I waited to copy various arachnid appendages, I was silently losing patience with the slow-moving, elderly man in front of me with stacks of papers to copy.

Then, we started talking. I learned he was copying historical documents relating to his older brother’s death at the Battle of the Bulge in France in 1944. His brother never came home. I told him American soldiers liberated my dad in Europe in 1945. Our bond was solidified.

I realized this was far more than a “chance” encounter and felt compelled to write about it. My new friend finished his copies. We said goodbye. He returned several minutes later just as I was finishing with that final spider part; he handed me a bag of candies. “For your daughter,” he said. This kindly gentleman passed away a few years after our meeting and I was able to send his sister a copy of the essay he inspired.

This column has been about encounters—with people, places and history. Readers have accompanied me inside Vermont’s prison for women, along an impossibly long line for toilet paper in communist Poland and on a train crossing the imposing Berlin Wall. I’ve commented on elections and military interventions as well as the historical roots of fruitcake and gingerbread.

I wrote about topics that genuinely moved me, including the everyday nuts and bolts of trying to find one’s way in work, play and parenting. It’s been a privilege. An occasional note from a reader or comment in the grocery store made me smile. Most folks have been cordial, even if they disagreed with my liberal leanings. A kindly Williston Town Father of more conservative views told me the column made him “consider things” he might not have otherwise thought about. Isn’t that what we—in a civil society—should strive to do for each other?

My family’s decision to downsize and move to Burlington brings Little Details to its logical conclusion. Deadlines have been a gift—forcing me to write when “life” could easily have gotten in the way. My departure creates opportunities for new Williston voices to tell their tales as I ponder next steps in my writing. My final Little Details column will appear on Thursday, July 16.

I am reminded of a question from another Williston Observer editor who, upon his departure to move out West asked, “So, when are you going to write that book?”

Maybe now is that time.

Thank you for reading.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, is a former finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism for writings on civility.  Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Zero tolerance

By Lee Rosenberg

My husband and I used to traverse the many bike routes of Vermont with total peace of mind and pure joy, our senses exploding with all nature has to offer.  Now it is with a heavy heart that I write this editorial.

The recent, tragic deaths of three cyclists on Vermont’s idyllic roads have left me with a wide range of emotions and many sleepless nights. I cannot imagine coming upon the scene of my husband’s death, with my children in the car, as happened to the family of Dr. Kenneth Najarian recently on Greenbush Road.  Similarly, weeks before, Kelly Boe’s wife witnessed his death as they were biking in Weybridge. Also bearing mention is the loss of lives of both the driver, Joseph Marshall, and cyclist, Richard Tom, in a horrendous crash on Route 116.

My husband and I have cycled on all of these roads and I have, on more than one occasion, had to stop to gather myself as I was so overwhelmed by the beauty and tranquility of surroundings that were literally in our own backyard. We lost valuable and loved members of our community, two from the decision of individuals to drive under the influence and one as the result of excessive speed and reckless driving.

I have thought long and hard about what can be done to make our roads safe for all users. One thing I have never liked is having the traffic behind me as I cycle.  The widening and cleaning of bike lanes is not going to protect a biker from a car being driven well over the speed limit with loss of control, a person distracted by cell phone and the ubiquitous drunk driver. I feel I would have a fighting chance if I saw what was coming at me. The Hinesburg Chief of Police said it takes bravery to participate in a sport in which the traffic is behind you.

Education seems to be the route we have always taken to avoid catastrophes, such as we have experienced in the past weeks. I think we need more. Our roads lend themselves to speeding and are often curvy and poorly patrolled. When I was a teenaged driver in Massachusetts, we always knew what towns and what states not to speed in, not because we feared for our lives or that of others, but rather because we did not want to incur huge fines and loss of licenses. In Vermont, there are many towns with limited or no police coverage.

Lastly, I am tired of the slap-on-the-wrist attitude for first DUI offenders. If someone took a gun to the Burlington Square Mall and just shot it at the ceiling with no injury or death resulting, leniency would not be extended even for a first offense. When a driver gets behind the wheel drunk, he is armed, locked and loaded.

In summary, I would like to see bikers lawfully allowed to ride facing traffic in areas with minimal pedestrian activity, more police presence and ticketing with high fines, especially on high school routes such as 116 and the Shelburne Hinesburg Road (fines would more than pay for increased police salaries) and lastly a zero tolerance for drunk drivers, a law that would have to be carefully constructed.   

Vermont is one of the healthiest states in the Union, ahead of the game with GMOs and smoking bans. The state is not keeping up with creating laws that protect an ever-increasing population using main and back roads for multiple purposes in multiple ways. I would like to be able to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer, especially while cycling and not, as others have stated, wonder every time I go for a bike ride if it will it be my last.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to the families who recently suffered the excruciating, sudden loss of their loved ones and to let them know that we grieve with them.

Lee Rosenberg is a resident of Shelburne.