WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Joan M. Smidutz, of Grout Ave., entered heaven Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, from Grace Cottage Hospital, Townshend, VT. Joan was born Sept. 21, 1931 in Burlington, Vt. to Armand and Margaret Lavigne. She graduated from Holy Name High School, Worcester, MA in 1949, Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA in 1952, University of Vt. Nurse Practitioner Program, in 1975 and University of N.H., receiving her BS in Health ED in 1985. Joan was active in the nursing profession, caring for others at: St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA, Mary Fletcher Hospital, Burlington, Vt., Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Bellows Falls, Vt., Vermont Department of Health, Brattleboro, Vt., Windham Central School District and Leland and Gray H.S., Townshend. In 1979 she was awarded WNEA Laymen’s Award, in 1987 she was awarded VSNA Nurse of the Year, and in 1993 she was awarded Vt. State School Nurse of the Year. She served on several boards of the Vt. State Nurses Assoc., Vt. State School Nurses Assoc., Vt. Licensing Board of Nursing, serving as Chairperson for six years, and the Brattleboro Walk-In Clinic. Joan was Co-founder of NPACE (Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education) and served the organization for twenty years. Joan was a Girl Scout Brownie Leader, Cub Scout Den Leader, helped run Westminster Youth Center, Member of Vermont Health Policy District Advisory Council, Member of the Rockingham Swim Team Board, the Westminster Fire Dept. Auxiliary, the Bellows Falls Booster Club and the Bellows Falls Lions Club. She was also a member of the Altar Rosary Society, taught catechism, volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and Westminster Cares. She was a loving and caring person, devoted wife, mother, Grammy and friend, always thinking of others first. Her God, Family and Profession were dear to her.
She married William Smidutz in 1954. Together they loved and raised five children. Left behind to cherish her loving memory include her husband William of Westminster, Vt.; her children: James and his wife Gail of Rockingham, Vt., Nancy and her husband Michael Harrington of Alstead, NH, Thomas and his wife Laurie of Alstead, N.H., Sandra and her wife Diane Ross of Westminster, Vt. and Mary Jo and her husband David Robbin of Bellows Falls, Vt.; 10 grandchildren: Amy and Derrick Smidutz, Meghan and Kady Harrington, Danielle Hubbard, Alexandria Hartnett, Brianna Smidutz, Mackinnon and Eryn Smidutz Ross, and Paul LaRoche; 4 great-grandchildren: Avery and Colton Hubbard, Liam Hartnett, and Grayson Ritchie; and numerous nieces. Joan is predeceased by her parents and sister Janet.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at the Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, Bellows Falls, Vt. from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church in North Walpole, N.H. A reception will follow the Mass. Burial will follow the reception in the Westminster New Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Mrs. Smidutz’s name to Brattleboro Walk-In Clinic, Westminster Cares, Kurn Hattin Homes or Grace Cottage Hospital.