You may have wondered where I disappeared to. Hubs and I drove up to Vermont on Wednesday of last week, and returned Tuesday evening of this week. That’s the simple answer… The more complex answer is why we went. My grandmother (more fondly referred to as Nammy) battled cancer for a year and a half… and it was important for us to spend some of the last moments we could with her, so we raced up I-81. We were lucky to be surrounded by my large extended family and loved ones during this time. Our trip home during this sad and stressful time reminded me that my family is filled with people whose hearts are so big that you often wonder how their bodies can hold those hearts in!
I grew up with 7 houses between mine and my grandparents. Later, I lived in a neighborhood across the street and three houses up the road from them. They were a central force in my life. When I moved to Virginia, saying goodbye to my family was the hardest part of the move… Especially saying goodbye to my grandparents. They made 2-3 trips to Virginia to visit my husband and I. We were so lucky to spend such quality time with them. There are stories upon stories of how my grandparents, or even Nammy in specific impacted my life. I think the biggest part of it was they always accepted me with open hearts and open arms. My beloved Nammy passed away early in the morning on Wednesday, June 15th. I miss her dearly, but she is in peace now.
Nammy’s To-Be Published Obituary — Written by Ken Degree, Edited by Valory Degree
GLADYS RUTH DEGREE
One of the greatest angels to walk the earth has gone to her maker. Born Gladys Ruth, the daughter of Allen and Orrena (Cavanaugh) Provost, on January 11, 1933, she served everyone she met as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend. Coming from a large family taught her the patience needed to manage her own family. Gladys attended Irish Settlement Grade School in Underhill, and she graduated from Mt. Saint Marys High School in Burlington in 1951. She married her soulmate and love of her life, Harold Degree, on October 24, 1953 at St. Stephens Church in Winooski and they spent 57 wonderful years together.
Although she occasionally worked outside the home, ruling her brood was her chief occupation. She had six children of her own: Reggie, married to Valory, with children John and Anne, Kathleen, with daughters Lynsi and Melinda, married to Jon Grange, Kenneth, married to Lori, with daughter Juliet, Michael, married to Melinda, with sons Dustin, Ryan, and Aaron, married to Kristin with daughter Ella, Sharon, married to Mark Pakulski, with sons Joseph and Sam, and youngest son Robert.
Gladys also took in children of others to care for and made a name for herself among the friends of her children during her rewarding life. Most importantly, people need to remember that no matter what the problem, Gladys and Harold (Mom and Dad) would always be there to help.
She is survived by her husband Harold of Colchester and sisters Mary, married to Roger Boozan, and Eleanor Brown, and brothers Raymond, married to Marilyn, and Leon, married to Diane, and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, and her sisters Catherine Corse, Elizabeth Potvin, Dorothy Dyer and Mildred Smith, and her brothers Harold, Donald, Lawrence and James Provost.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gladys’ memory to the American Cancer Society, 121 Connor Way, Williston, or the American Heart Association, 434 Hurricane Lane, Williston.