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Thyra Stannard "Tessie" Laird

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RUTLAND -- Thyra “Tessie” Stannard Laird moved on peacefully from this world on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2005. As was the essence of her being she fought hard against the cancer that had taken up residency in her body.

She was born in New York City on April 20, 1924, to Gerhardt Erk and Thyra Ceclia Anderson. She came to Dorset with her mother when she was very young and they lived with John and Lucy Stannard, the parents of her first husband, James P. Stannard Sr., who preceded her in death 28 years ago.

Those who had the privilege of knowing her came to realize quickly that she was exceptionally strong of character and easily adored. In her early years she enjoyed skating, horseback riding, singing and her friends who joined her in her ceramic studio. She was a friend to those in need, generously volunteering her time to the Red Cross, driving much younger people to doctor appointments, and of course, playing her piano. She performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of 14.

She loved her three sons, James P. Jr., Bob (or Bobby as she insisted on calling him) and Curt with all her heart, which was irreparably broken when Curt passed away on Dec. 13, 2001.

On Aug. 24, 1991, she had the good fortune of marrying the last love of her life, Carleton “Dick” Laird. Two people were never more perfect for each other. They spent many hours camping, fishing and sleeping in their truck.

She is survived by her two sons, Jim and Bob, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Perhaps she will best be remembered for her insistence on having her beautiful, red hair done to perfection, her grace and beauty, and her love of Teddy bears.

Funeral services will be held at the United Church of Christ in Dorset on Friday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. There will be no calling hours. Donations/contributions can be made to the Curtis A. Stannard Scholarship Fund, c/o Rutland Public Schools, 6 Church St., Rutland, VT 05701, Attn: Randy Roberts.
Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 8, 2005
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