Around Town: June 15, 2023


Dale Lockwood Caldwell photo for obituary
Dale Lockwood Caldwell

Dale Lockwood Caldwell
Dale Lockwood Caldwell of Charlotte died on May 28 in his home at the age of 58. Dale was born in West Palm Beach, Fla., to Garth Lockwood Caldwell and Mary Ann Caldwell who moved to Manchester, Vt., shortly after Dale’s birth.

Dale maintained a connection with Florida with his loyal support of the Miami Dolphins football team. He attended schools in Manchester and then attended the University of Vermont where he got his bachelor’s degree. He spent more than 30 years at Gardener’s Supply working as a network administrator.

Dale was deeply loyal and found the greatest joy when he was with his friends and family. His greatest source of pride was his two children. Dale was the absolute source of obscure comic book facts and was famous among his family and friends for his great joy of conversation and his sharp, cynical wit.

He is survived by his two children, Phoenix and Ace Caldwell, and his wife, Kristine Bryan Caldwell, his mother, his brother, Christopher Caldwell, and three nieces, Robyn, Nicole and Savanna Caldwell. He was predeceased by his father.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Homeward Board: Addison County Humane Society.

(An earlier version contained a misidentified photo for the Rev. Anne Melendy Hancock.)

Rev. Anne Melendy Hancock
It is with sadness that the family of the Rev. Anne Melendy Hancock, 94, previously of East Charlotte, Vermont, announce her death on June 3 at the Arbors in Shelburne, Vermont.

She was born May 2, 1929, in Burlington to Horace and Dorothy Melendy. She grew up on Shelburne Road, where one of her favorite activities as a little girl was sitting with her dad on his Vermont State Police Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle. As a teenager she was a fine equestrian and loved to ride her horse, Starr, through the woodlands and meadows around her home. She graduated from Burlington High School.

Rev. Anne Melendy Hancock

In 1949, she married John E. Hancock, a handsome farmer from East Hardwick. After one cold winter in a poorly heated farmhouse with a newborn

daughter, that career path ended. They moved back to Shelburne Road before moving to Proctor, Vermont, for several years, later settling in East Charlotte where they would live much of the remainder of their lives.

After her four children were grown, she began her years of academia. In 1976, at the age of 47, she attended Trinity College in Burlington, graduating summa cum laude. In 1984, she graduated from St. Michaels College with a master’s in science and counseling degree.

During and after her years in school, she was also a licensed lay minister with the United Church of Christ, serving many churches in Vermont. She was one of three women in Vermont to establish the order of St. Luke’s Healing Ministry with the United Church of Christ, an ecumenical ministry of healing, prayer, the laying on of hands and the sacraments. She had absolute faith and experience that prayer healed. Deciding to become an ordained minister, she studied and worked under the tutelage of Rev. John Nutting, and on April 30, 2000, at the age of 71, she earned the title of Rev. Anne Hancock at the Cornwall Church. She continued to serve as their pastor for three more years, retiring at the age of 74.

Our mom was a beautiful seamstress, community leader and ardent supporter of women’s rights. She was passionate about serving the underprivileged, whether it was hosting a Fresh Air child, fostering children, welcoming all the folks her children brought home from Camp Jened or supporting Heifer International and Save the Children. Never to be forgotten are the summer vacations in Wells, Maine, where she and our father gathered all their children and grandchildren together for some of the best and most memorable times of their lives.

Anne is predeceased by her husband of 62 years, John Hancock (2011), her second husband, Gene Rothman (2018), her brother, Irving Melendy (2021) and her longtime companion, her little dog Willy.

“Nonny” is survived by her children Betsy Hartman (Ed), John Hancock, Stephen Rose and Melissa Hancock (Toby). Her grandchildren: Radiance Vafai (Shahin), Etienne Hancock (Jill), Jalali Hartman, Elise Hancock, Anna Dyer (Kelly), Juliette Volk (Nick), Michael Fitzgerald, Kate Fitzgerald, Julia Sumner (Tom), Maliyah Kent (Kevin), Brookes Clemmons, Luke Clemmons, Olivia Clemmons and Emile Hartman. She is also survived by 13 great grandchildren: Munir, Bashir, Nabil, Brooke, Sasha, Celia, Hadrian, Pharah, Niri, Theron, Lila, Eva and Riley.

Services were held June 6 at the Charlotte Congregational Church, where she was a lifelong member. She was interred in the Grand View Cemetery. Donations can be made in her memory to the Vermont Food Bank or the charity of your choice.

“The progress of the human spirit in the divine world after its connection with the physical body has been severed, is either purely through the grace and bounty of the Lord or through the intersession and prayers of other human souls, or through the significant contributions and charitable deeds which are offered in its name.” Abdu’l-Baha

James Lawrence
James Lawrence

James M. Lawrence
James Merton Lawrence of Shelburne, Vermont, passed away peacefully on May 7, 2023, with family at his side.

James was born on November 11, 1946, in Binghamton, N.Y., the son of the late Merton Grover Lawrence and Anne (Sperniak) Lawrence.

The first in his family to attend college, James enrolled at Cornell University intending to pursue a veterinary career. After taking an elective class in Communication Arts he fell in love with the field of journalism. Upon graduating in 1969 he joined the Peace Corps and worked in Putumayo, Colombia for two years.

Returning home, James enrolled in a magazine journalism program at Syracuse University graduating with a masters in 1974. With family ties in Canada, he landed a job as a reporter for The Kingston Whig Standard, moving from police reporting to editing the op-ed page and doing investigative journalism.

The start of James’ incredible entrepreneurial career was in 1976 with the kitchen table launch of a back-to-the-land style magazine titled Harrowsmith, after a nearby Ontario town. The first issue had the eye-catching cover of a large green tomato imprinted with a lipstick kiss and the cover line: “Kissing Supermarkets Goodbye.” This was followed in 1981 with the launch of Equinox, The Magazine of Canadian Discovery. Both titles earned prestigious Canadian national magazine awards.

James had big ideas and the determination to bring them to life through a combination of hard work and the unerring ability to find and convert talented people to his cause.

Two affiliated book-publishing companies, Camden House Books (Canada and U.S.), produced titles in the fields of natural history, gardening, food, country skills, astronomy and ecology.

With an eye towards a larger audience and to establish a U.S. base of operations, James and his family moved to Charlotte, Vt., in 1985 where he launched Harrowsmith Country Life. In 1990, EatingWell Magazine was launched, riding the growing interest in healthful eating and reliably delicious recipes. After an acquisition, the new parent company shuttered the magazine in 1999.

James went on to open a new book-publishing venture and beautiful destination bookstore in Shelburne, Vt., both called Chapters. Chapters Publishing was the winner of various awards, including the James Beard Award and Julia Child Award for Excellence in Cookbook Publishing.

The ups and downs of publishing led to the next adventure, Microcosm Books, specializing in publications about the natural world, notably ocean life and aquarium-keeping, both long-time personal interests. During this period the opportunity came to reacquire the EatingWell brand and the magazine was successfully relaunched in 2002. In this second life of EatingWell, James personally won a James Beard award for food journalism.

Separating from EatingWell in 2006, he then established Reef to Rainforest Media and launched the highly respected Amazonas and CORAL magazines. His most recent project was editing the memoirs of the late Dr. J.E. (Jack) Randall, a world-renowned ichthyologist, to be published in partnership with the Bishop Museum in Hawai’i.

He is survived by his partner Judy Billard; his daughters Bayley Freeman (Nicholas), Kerry Healey (Michael), Jessica Lawrence (Shawn); their mother and his former wife, Alice Z. Lawrence; and his grandchildren Zoe, Owen, Maya and Fiona. Also, by Judy’s sons Craig Bunten (Callie), Alex Bunten (Britta) and Will Bunten (Kathy) and her grandchildren Eliza, Phoebe, Edie and Warren.

James’ many interests included cooking, barbecuing, gardening, travel, ecology, ocean life, warm sandy beaches (especially on Antigua), snorkeling, aquarium-keeping, train sets and music.

A complex, intelligent man with intense interests and the optimism of an entrepreneur and inventor, James had a profound and lasting effect on the people with whom he worked and lived. He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered.

In James’ memory please consider donating to World Central Kitchen or the Vermont Food Bank. Private services will be held to celebrate his life at a later date.

Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County. To send online condolences to her family please visit their website.

Norman Riggs
Norman Riggs died peacefully at the University of Vermont Medical Center on Monday, May 22, 2023, shortly after his 80th birthday. His family grieves the loss but is grateful he is at peace after battling several maladies that impacted his quality of life.

Born in Topeka, Kan., in 1943, Norm grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and later settled in Vermont with his wife, Sandy, following their retirement. He was an accomplished athlete at Roosevelt High School and graduated with top honors from Drake University.

Throughout his more than 30-year career as Community Development Specialist at Iowa State University, Norm was respected and beloved for his acumen in supporting Iowa’s small towns and agricultural and urban communities in adapting to socioeconomic change. Norm had a strong moral compass and spent time volunteering to help people who were homeless. He would often rise at 5 a.m. to hit the streets of Des Moines in a support van to feed and assist people in need, and in his retirement in Vermont he was a regular volunteer in a similar capacity. He was quiet and humble about his service, rarely mentioning it to others.

Norm was an outdoorsman and naturalist, as well as an esteemed gardener and backyard horticulturist. He holds the distinguished honor of being the first person to grow artichokes in Iowa after his university colleagues concluded it was futile and abandoned the project. He delighted in sharing his homemade preserves from his prized gooseberry and black currant patches and donating wagonfuls of excess garden bounty with neighbors and food banks. Norm spent his free time camping, trout fishing, and scouring the countryside for morel mushrooms. From his early childhood, he and his lifelong friend, Pete, developed a keen interest in butterflies, collecting and mounting prized specimens from all over North America, culminating in a highly valued private collection. His collection will be donated to Harvard’s Department of Entomology later this year.

“Stormin’ Norman” ran his first marathon with a very respectable time, crossing the finish line holding the second of two beers that he claimed were necessary to keep hydrated. He was a voracious reader, student of the English language, possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and music trivia, and was a prankster extraordinaire. Often content to linger in the background but always affable, people gravitated to his intellect, offbeat humor and gift for storytelling. His yen for adventure, combined with a healthy distrust of authority, was chronicled in his memoir “Curbing Across America in the Age of Innocence,” which detailed his summer adventures bouncing from city to city in the Western states, painting house addresses on curbs for donations to his college fund (often one step ahead of the municipal police). He regaled his kids and grandkids with tales of his service as a mess cook in the Army, instigating mischief at every opportunity. Handsomely grizzled and cantankerous with a soft underbelly, Norm lived life on his own terms. He had little regard for material possessions, social formality or conservative politics. His greatest pleasure was sitting quietly outside in the yard, surveying his gardens and the natural world.

He saved his greatest affection for his family, including his dogs, and is survived by his wife Sandy Meuwissen Riggs, brother Art Riggs of Oakland, Calif., son Chris Riggs (wife Elizabeth) of Ann Arbor, Mich., daughter Katrina Riggs Webster (husband Dan) of Shelburne, Vt., and his four beloved grandchildren: Hannah, Lucie, Hollis, and Colette.

Please honor him by stopping to pet a dog (the sillier looking the better) and quietly and without fanfare, help someone who is down on their luck. Donations in his honor will be gratefully received at the Charlotte Congregational Church,  the Committee on Temporary Shelter in Des Moines, Iowa, or the Xerces Society.

Donna Elizabeth Wark (McVetty)
Donna Elizabeth Wark (McVetty) died peacefully on May 30, 2023, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

She is survived by her daughters Dr. Rachel Polgrean of Bedford, N.H., her husband attorney John Polgrean and their three daughters, Brynn, Emma and Kallie; and Dr. Heather Wark of Northampton, Mass., her husband, Dr. Win Whitcomb and their two ch

Donna Elizabeth Wark
Donna Elizabeth Wark

ildren, Maela and Nicholas; and her brother, Alfred, his wife, Susan, and their children, Alfred, Tracey and Michael. Her sister, Lynda, predeceases her.

She was born in Stewartstown, N.H. on July 31, 1940, to Dr. Rufus McVetty and Santina McVetty (Bertotti). She graduated with an RN from Mary Fletcher School of Nursing, additionally obtaining her BSN and Master of Education from the University of Vermont.

Donna was a woman of diverse talents who was ahead of her time in many of the contributions she made to her community. She worked for decades as a nurse in the Fletcher Allen and University of Vermont health organizations and also started her own bakery business. She started the Charlotte Central School girls’ soccer team in the 70s, served as district commissioner of the Charlotte Pony Club, volunteered for the local 4H program, taught health education and volunteered for the PTA at Charlotte Central School.

In addition, she was an accomplished golfer, tennis player and horseback rider. Among her hobbies were painting, crafting, cross country skiing, hiking, travelling and sailing.

She was devoted to family, friends, co-workers and many others from the myriad circles in which she travelled.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the amazing community and staff of Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vt. She will be greatly missed by all. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association at


Cole Boffa of Charlotte has been named to the dean’s list at James Madison University for the spring semester. Boffa is majoring in industrial design.

Hana Couture of Charlotte was awarded a master of business administration degree in business administration during Salve Regina University’s 73rd commencement. Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Jakob Holm of Charlotte was named to the dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin –Madison. Holm is a student in the College of Agricultural & Life Science.

Katrina Elizabeth Fuller of Charlotte earned an associate degree at Community College of Vermont’s 2023 commencement.

Robert Turnau
Robert Turnau

Robert “Bob” Turnau of Charlotte has retired as vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) after seven years with the organization and a career in finance spanning nearly 40 years.

The company delivers health data for Vermonters.

“Bob will be greatly missed, as will his unique sense of humor and deep repertoire of accounting jokes,” said Beth Anderson, CEO.

Turnau directed all financial and human resources activities, including budgeting, grants and human resource management for 32 staff members at Vermont Information Technology Leaders.

Before joining, Bob worked in finance for B.F. Goodrich and then General Dynamics, where he oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars for the company, produced more than 1,500 proposals per year and secured a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract with the United States Army.