MILTON — Elsie Jean La Belle, 76, died peacefully early Saturday morning, July 16, 2016, surrounded by her loving family, following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Elsie was born on Dec. 27, 1939 in Eden, the daughter of Rossie and Hazel (Gifford) Bidwell.

Elsie met her future husband, Bill La Belle in 1958 and they married on Sept. 17, 1960, in Milton.

She and Bill raised their daughters Connie, Kathy and Kelly in Milton and were very active in the community. She loved to dance whether at the Cobb Web, the Grange Hall or Turner’s Dance Hall. They enjoyed snowmobiling, traveling and camping, especially with the Cherokee Club, forming many lifelong friends. She was a longtime volunteer at the Milton Family Community Center and also enjoyed watching the news, reading, cross word puzzles and loved reminiscing with family and friends.

In earlier years, Elsie worked at Green Mountain Power, the Milton Co-op Creamery, the Milton Elementary School, and retired as a Unit Medical Secretary at the Fanny Allen Hospital.

In addition to her loving husband Bill, Elsie is survived by her children Connie and her husband, Ralph III “Mickey” McSweeney of Georgia and their children Tiffany Davis and her husband, Beau, and great granddaughter Paige, and Ralph IV “Chip” McSweeney and his wife, Mariah; Kathy Lavoie and her husband, Eugene, of Swanton and their daughter Angela Ross and husband, Chad, and great granddaughters Elaina and Whitney, and their sons Ross Lavoie and Maria and Ryan Lavoie and Jasmine; Kelly Poquette and her companion, Mark Hayes, of Fairfax, and children Anthony Poquette and Amanda, Nicholas Poquette and wife, Alyssa, Courtney Poquette and Colin, Kayla Wright and husband Michael and their sons Bryant and Bryce, and Karissa Hayes and Jason Pidgeon and their daughter Kinlee.

Elsie is also survived by her brothers Richard Bidwell and his wife, Donna, Walter Bidwell and wife, Ella Mae, and by her “adopted sister” Ruth Bombardier, by her special longtime close friends Dick and Jeannie Corriea, and Joyce and David Fifefield, several in-laws, nieces, nephews and numerous other close friends and family members, whom each held a special place in her heart.

She was predeceased by her special sister and brother-in-laws Ruth and Norman Smith, whom she traveled with and Ronnie La Belle.

Elsie’s family would like to give special thanks for the excellent care given to her by the doctors and staff at the Northwestern Medical Center and the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Memorial contributions in Elsie’s name may be made to the Milton Family Community Center, 23 Villemaire Lane, P.O. Box 619, Milton, VT 05468.

Visiting hours will be held on Tues. July 19, 2016 from 4-8 p.m. in the Minor Funeral and Cremation Center in Milton.

A Funeral Service will be held on Wed., July 20, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the United Church of Milton with burial following in the Milton Village Cemetery.

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