ALBURGH - Marybelle (Mason) Singer of Alburgh died May 23, 2012, at the age of 90. Born Oct. 25, 1921, in Carthage, Mo., she was the daughter of Hugh and Lillian Mason and the wife of Russell Singer who predeceased her in 2009.
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A writer from a very early age, Marybelle became a newspaper reporter in Lincoln, Neb., after graduating from Cornell College in 1942. She met her future husband Russ while he was stationed in Lincoln where he served as an air inspector of bombers in the Army Air Corps. They were married Feb. 26, 1945. After World War II, they settled in Rhode Island, where they raised four children. During this time, Marybelle started a typesetting and editing business and then, with Russ, a weekly newspaper, The Blackstone Valley Reporter. In 1973, with their children grown, they left their jobs and traveled throughout the U.S. and Mexico, eventually settling in Tompkinsville, Ky., As part of the early back-to-the-land movement, they ran a small farm and started a natural foods cooperative called "Peace and Plenty."
In 1984, while in Vermont for their daughter's wedding, they spotted an abandoned farmhouse overlooking Lake Champlain and settled in Alburgh, becoming involved with many of the town's activities. The arts and books were Marybelle's loves and she became an ardent supporter and 15-year board member of Island Arts. After realizing that the town's library had limited open hours, she took on the task of expanding the hours as well as the book selection. She applied for and received grants for computers and initiated many programs for both children and adults. She held the position of library director until her death. She put all of her energies into the job and made it her passion. She was proud of her adopted town and enjoyed interacting with townsfolk, summer residents, and readers from neighboring towns and Canada. She is survived by her sister Charlotte Bull of Cassville, Mo. and by her four children, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. They include Mason Singer of Calais and his partner Heidi Broner; Noel Singer of Celina, Tenn. and his partner Debra Tinsley; Gay Palazzo and her husband Tony of Lebanon, N.H.; and Julie George and her husband Bill of East Montpelier.
The family and library are hosting an open house for friends and neighbors to get together in her memory. All are invited to drop by the Alburgh Library Sunday, June 17, from 1-4 p.m. Services will be private. Online condolences may be made through www.kiddermemorialhome.com. Memorial gifts may be made to the Alburgh Public Library, PO Box 388, Alburgh, VT 05440 or to the organization of your choice.
In February 2012, Marybelle was featured by WCAX in the Super Senior section of the news. In that story she shared a poem she wrote that ended with "My home is anywhere I am, my heart is everywhere you are." She will be missed by many.
To offer online condolences please visit: kiddermemorialhome.com
Published in Times Argus on May 30, 2012