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John Harvey Sigafoos “Sigger” or “Sig”

Published: 10/16/2019 6:49:06 AM
Modified: 10/16/2019 6:48:59 AM

QUECHEE, VT — John Sigafoos passed away unexpectedly on October 7, 2019. Sigger was a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” born July 4, 1955 in Philadelphia, PA, to Frederick Michael Sigafoos, Sr. and Elizabeth Menige (Wright) Sigafoos, the youngest of five children.

Sig was educated at Philadelphia schools, Amherst Regional HS, and some college.

An adventure athlete, his playground was the Adirondacks. He attended the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid as an alternate on the U.S. nordic ski team. As a spelunker, he loved the purgatory pit in Danby, VT. He was an avid mountain climber, climbing Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, both before and after the eruption, did ten winter ascents on Mt. Washington and six ascents on Mt. Rainier.

He worked in the restaurant business in Lake Placid, NY, and in Massachusets before coming to Vermont in 1985, where he started cooking for Bentley’s restaurant in Woodstock. Representing Bentley’s, his chili won the chili cook-off on Woodstock green for many years in a row.

Sigger’s first loves were music and fishing. His earliest influences in music were the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, and his songbook was largely Americana. He was a founding member of the Gully Boys, started when he lived at the “Gully House” on the back side of Suicide Six, in 1995. The Gully Boys’ first gig was at Bentley’s, and his last gig with the band was October 5, 2019.

Aside from the Gully Boys, Sig played with The Hangover Blues Band and Wayward Soul, with the late Paul Davidson. He was a bard of a thousand campfires, playing with a large number of local musicians as well as others from far away. Always welcoming to guest musicians, he and his guitar will be sorely missed by all his musical friends and fans.

He was a hunter, and a proficient and avid fisherman. With his fiancee, Kim Lycett, he caught many trophy-sized freshwater fish in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, and loved to fish for saltwater fish and dig clams at Montauk, Long Island.

His pride and joy was the camp he built in Barnard Chateauguay, where he hosted a hunter’s brunch for more than twenty years, serving venison, chili and clam chowder. He loved to cook for his friends.

Sigger was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Frederick M. Sigafoos, Jr.; and an infant daughter, Christy Jo.

He leaves his fiancee, Kim Lycett of Quechee, VT; sisters Elizabeth Trynosky of CT, Mary Jane Clement of FL and Linda Lightbourne of FL; plus nine nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his countless loving and well-loved friends. In the words of one of his closest friends, “He was a father, brother, uncle, favorite cousin and best friend, all rolled into one.”

There will be a celebration of life on October 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Barnard Town Hall, with music and potluck. Donations to help with memorial expenses will be gratefully accepted.

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