La Vie en Rose, film by Natalie Stulz

Yvan Plouffe of Charlotte is a master rose gardener. Natalie Stulz made a short film about him and his attention to roses as well as his design and configuration of pottery in the Shelburne Craft School. Her film recently aired again on “Made in Vermont” on Vermont Public Television.

Yvan moved to Charlotte from Quebec with his family to a farm in East Charlotte. There, in addition to crops, he became fascinated with the growing of roses of many colors. He became very well known for sharing his rose bouquets around our area. One could recognize Yvan by the bright red rose on the front of his baseball cap. Check for this film at

Congratulations to Ava Rohbraugh of Charlotte whose poem “Smoke” appeared in the April 23 Burlington Free Press “Young Writers Project.” Ava says children learn a good deal from dreaming of smoke. They “learned to live in a chimney stack before they could count.” “Children born in smoke know how to light a fire,” which accounts for the direction of their lives.

Congratulations to Rose Lord of Charlotte whose poem “A ghost in the closet” was selected to appear in the May 14 “Young Writers Project” of the Burlington Free Press. Rose says that this year in quarantine has seemed liked a year in “dry monotony.” She says that a ghost lives in her closet and whispers in the dark. She thinks of ghosts as spirits, “ ‘cause what else could they be?” She fears they may be connected to her person, one part of her in the closet, another in her own head. “But the voice is mine, and mine alone,” and that’s what she dreads.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Theresa Hayden of Winooski who passed away May 1 at the age of 75. She worked at one time as a bus driver for Champlain Valley Union High School.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Kristina Oxholm, currently of Canton, New York, who passed away at age 60 on March 22. A public servant, Kristina volunteered for the Charlotte Rescue Squad as an EMT as well as serving as a member of the fire departments in both Charlotte and Shelburne. A fund is being established in her name. To contribute, please send donations to the Vermont State Firefighters Association, c/o Robert Schlachter, VSFA Treasurer, 10 Rutland Street, Rutland, VT 05701. Donors may also consider gifts in her name to Homeward Bound Animal Shelter, 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.

Sandra B. Lewis
Sandra Lewis (Byington), a life-long Shelburne resident passed after a hard fought battle with kidney disease on May 10, 2021.  She was born on “3-3-30” to Charles Keith and Mary Nancy Byington. Sandra grew up on Harbor Road, graduated from BHS, and settled on Falls Road, which quickly became a second home for neighborhood kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Sandra B Lewis

Sandra B Lewis

Sandra welcomed everyone with a huge smile, snacks, and an offer to help with anything. She was completely selfless and shared love unconditionally.

She cared deeply about her work and the friendships made over more than fifty years employed at the Town of Shelburne. She made delivering one’s tax/water/sewer check pleasant by guaranteeing a friendly face and bowl of M&Ms at her desk.

She worked until kidney failure forced her from her office directly to the hospital. She paid little attention to statistics about dialysis – she never gave up. She loved being part of her family’s lives – the milestones and the countless little moments in between – and rarely missed opportunities to watch “the kids” activities or join a loved one for a walk or car ride.

Regardless of her own worries or pain, she exuded a love more forgiving, enduring, and sincere than anything most could imagine. She nurtured a close-knit family and huge network of unofficial kids and grandkids.

Material stuff didn’t matter; She lived a simple life full of books, road trip adventures (aka wild goose chases – she’d never say no), shopping sprees (always for the kids), Red Sox and Celtics broadcasts, and casual days greeting neighbors from her bright red porch chairs.

Having proudly lived through the depression and many serious health issues, she believed in wasting nothing, recycling everything, and supporting others. She practiced what she preached and gave generously however she could. You were all that mattered when with her – she made everyone feel special and comfortable. She led by example in focusing on the positive, treating others as you wish to be treated, and laughing at yourself (a lot)! She made boring stuff fun and difficult stuff easier.

We will miss our ever-present confidant and cheerleader, steady and fiercely determined survivor, and most loving and positive role model.

Sandra was predeceased by her parents Keith and Nancy Byington, sister, Anne Wilkinson, daughter, Holly Galyean and daughter in-law, Mary Lewis. She leaves behind her son, Rick Lewis, daughter Nancy Longe (Randy), sisters Nancy Edmunds and Marsha Childers, grandchildren Kerri Wolynec, Ryan Lewis, Lindsay Longe, Caleb Longe, Nicole Martel, Wade Wood, Stevie Galyean (and their partners), 12 great grandchildren, and her beloved cat Squirt.

A celebration of life will be June 27th at The Old Lantern, 3pm. To honor Sandra’s loving nature, please join us wearing something red, her favorite color, and consider a donation to the Humane Society.

Sandra’s family is grateful for the Joy Drive Dialysis staff – a second family that provided abundant care and good humor three mornings a week for nearly a decade – and Brenda Dion and team at Birchwood for their recent support.