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Saturday, July 22, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Nathan R. Houghton of Lyndon passed away on June 20th at the Jack Byrnes Center in Hanover with his family by his side. He was born in Red Village on January 17, 1934, to Milo and Mary Houghton. He attended the Red Village School and Lyndon Institute, where he graduated in 1951. He worked for a year on the railroad and then signed on to serve his country in Korea in the Army, where he served for three years. In 1955 he married Francelia Perry and moved to Boston, where he attended the New England Institute of Anatomy. They returned to Vermont in 1956 and Nate began work as an undertaker. Nate worked many other jobs as well to support his growing family and eventually gave up undertaking as it didn’t suit well with family life.
Nate and Fran moved to Derby in 1964, bought a house and raised a family there. In his early years there he worked the third shift at Butterfields and morning chores at Hackett Farms. After educating himself as a bookkeeper, he left Butterfields for bookkeeping at several local businesses. He also did some undertaking and drove the school bus for twelve years. In the summers the family ran the Lion’s Club beach on Lake Salem. Then in 1969 he grew the gardens and ran Kelly’s fruit and vegetable stand with his wife and children.
Fran and Nate moved their family back to the Farm where he was born in 1975, to be near his widowed mother. With the help of his wife he built a new home on that farm where they lived together till his death. Nate started work for OCSA but soon became a mail carrier for the town of Lyndonville, where he also worked as a facilitator in later years. A full time job was never enough for Nate and his entrepreneurial spirit led him to open an ice cream stand across the road from the post office. Carmen’s Ice Cream employed many family members and young people for 19 years. It was a popular place for the public as well as family and friends to meet, and many family gatherings and celebrations were held there as Fran and Nate could seldom get away. Fran also ran a travel agency in the same building for a number of years.
Somehow, Nate found time to grow acres of corn and other vegetables to sell wholesale, picking and delivering early in the morning and late in the evening with the help of his family, and, as in all his businesses, workers who would become friends, and friends, who would become workers! Upon retiring from the ice cream business, Fran and Nate could be seen during harvest season selling vegetables from their cart in the same yard. As he retired from his other endeavors, he continued to work and love his gardens there on the farm where he was born and raised. His wife, children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren, as well as many other family members, have also worked by his side in the garden. We continue to meet there to tend the pumpkins that he left for us, planting to the end with a hoe and a cane, leaving a legacy and love we will carry with us always.
Nate and Fran did a lot of traveling in retirement and spent many winters in Florida with dear friends and family. Nate loved to read. He was keen on history, especially that of his ancestors and the community he loved. For over 45 years he served on the board of NCIC working to strengthen the economic future of the state he loved. Since he was a boy, Nate loved walking in the woods and enjoying all that nature had to offer, but most of all he loved his family.
He leaves behind his wife, Francelia (Perry), of 68 years, and 3 children; Vicki Okeefe of Island Pond, Buba Houghton and wife Claire of Morgan, and Carmen Houghton of Littleton, NH. He also leaves 4 grandchildren; Mattrew & Tara Houghton and family of Derby, Dan & Missy Houghton and family of Derby, Tom Okeefe and friend Kate of Alameda Ca., and Mollie Ducharme and family of Charlestown NH, as well as a special niece Alison Raymond of Claremont NH, a foster daughter, Barb Kilborn, of Derby, and many loved nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his son, Silas Milo, sister, Carolyn Johnson of Ascutney, and brothers, Silas of Derby, and Joe (Walter) of Kirby.
A celebration of life is to be held at 11:00 on July 22nd, at the Methodist Church in Lyndonville. Donations can be made to the Methodist Church for support of their continued growth and charities, or the Lyndon Institute Alumni Association.