Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006


College news

• JoJo McDonald of Londonderry was one of more than 250 first-year University of Vermont students, led by 80 upper class leaders, that began their University of Vermont experience as part of TREK, a unique, seven-day first year enrichment program sponsored by UVM’s Department of Student Life.

• Grace Rizio of Wilmington has joined the University of Vermont’s Honors College. Rizio is one of 212 student to join the Honors College’s Class of 2022.

• Olivia Zschirnt of Whitingham joined the incoming Class of 2022 this fall at Lasell College in Newton, Mass.

• Kiley G. Owen of Dummerston has made the Dean’s List for the summer 2018 semester at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.


Vermont Gov. Phil Scott recently appointed the following local residents to serve on a state board or committee: Robert Pelosi of Wilmington to the Governor’s Community Violence Prevention Task Force; Richard Holschuh of Brattleboro to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs; and Bob Leach of Brattleboro to the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Council.

The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) has hired Christy Betit as its Community Based Education and Flexible Pathways Specialist. In this role she will serve as the coordinator and program lead for the Pipelines and Pathways Project, a BDCC program that will be available to every high school student in the Windham Region’s participating schools, and is separate from (but works collaboratively with) existing Career and Technical Education programs offered at the Windham Regional Career Center. This program will be designed to help every student prepare for their life after high school. Betit is a seventh generation Vermonter and a graduate of the former Whitingham High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Theatre Arts from the University of Vermont and a master’s in theater education from Emerson College.


• Carl M. Lynde, a vice-president at TD Bank and a long-time commercial banker in Brattleboro, recently received the 2018 Outstanding Community Service Banker Award from the Vermont Bankers Association (VBA). The VBA recognized Lynde for his deep commitment to and support of businesses and non-profit organizations in Brattleboro and across southern Vermont over more than three decades serving in his community.


• Anne Kopko Capen, 98, of Rockingham. Died May 17, 2018 in Florida. Born on Dec. 21, 1919 in Easton, Pa., she was the daughter of Michael and Anna (Leszio) Kopko and grew up in Yonkers, N.Y. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert Capen, and two sons, Michael and John Capen. She leaves four daughters and two sons: Ellie Barnett of Hickory, N.C., Liz Morehead of Winter Park, Fla., Mary Anne Howe of Oviedo, Fla., Judy Capen of Bennington, Robert Capen of Lincolnton, N.C., and Frank Capen of Rockingham. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Oct. 6 at St. Joseph’s Church, with burial in the Rockingham Meeting House Cemetery.

• Timothy J. Fitzgerald, 70, of Putney. Died July 13, 2018 at his home. He had been in hospice care since late June, first at the Jack Byrne Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and then at home. He had been dealing with cancer for several years and had never let it get him down, although it did slow his customary energetic pace a bit. As recently as mid-May, he and a friend went for a 15-mile mountain-bike ride. He worked for 35 years at the Meadows Education Center at the Brattleboro Retreat and is warmly remembered by his co-workers and former students. He worked right up to the last day of this spring’s term, June 20. Tim was born on Dec. 20, 1947 in Bangor, Maine, and grew up in Kenduskeag, Maine. As a young man he was an athlete and a power-lifter in high school and at the University of Maine at Orono. His passion for fitness never left him, and it fueled the energy he brought to all his interests. Every day, he did meditation and yoga. In his fifties he became an avid cyclist, both on and off-road. At 70, he was out on his bike whenever his strength allowed. He lived his life with enthusiasm, sailing, riding his bikes, working with children, making music, and visiting family and friends. He enjoyed going to concerts and listening to music. His open heart, mindfullness, and good nature were the basis of warm relationships, many spanning decades. He was a thoughtful, gentle, modest man whose insights were valued by those with whom he shared them. He is survived by his daughter, Eva Fitzgerald; his son-in-law Leif Johnson and his beloved granddaughter, Leyli Johnson, of Portland, Maine, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, many of whom he spent time with on a regular basis. His network of friends extends throughout New England and across the United States. His was a very special spirit, whose presence will be deeply missed, but whose uplifting influence and grace and generosity will endure. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held at Stonewall Farm, 242 Chesterfield Rd. in Keene, NH, on Sunday, October 21 at 11 a.m.

• Roberta A. “Burt” Gauthreaux, 69, formerly of Wardsboro. Died Oct. 1, 2018 in Napoleonville, La. Born Jan. 17, 1949 in Wardsboro, she was raised in Wardsboro and graduated from Leland & Gray Union High School in 1967. She worked in the medical field and office administration before moving to Louisiana in 1975. She resided with her husband, F. J. “Phil” Gauthreaux, outside Napoleonville for the past 42 years. She worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk and retired after 26 years of faithful service. She was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Alta Cole; her sister, Francis Lucier; and her twin brother, Robert Cole. In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sisters, Ruth Slade and Joan Stiab and one brother, William Cole Jr.; a son, Phil M. Gauthreaux and his wife, Stephanie; a daughter, Samantha L. Coker and her husband Shawn; a stepdaughter, Lisa A. Gauthreaux; and three grandchildren. Burt’s life was all about her family. She was totally devoted to her children and always encouraged and expected the best from them. She was very much a people person who always spoke her piece and let you know what was on her mind. Although she grew up in Vermont, she was a true transplant to Louisiana if ever there was one. She quickly adapted to the Cajun culture and she could cook Cajun dishes with the best in the area. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Oct. 6 at St. Anne Catholic Church in Napoleonville.

• Edward “Ed” Hescock, 59, of South Newfane. Died Sept. 24, 2018 at his home. He was predeceased by his parents, Arvine and Marjorie Johnson Hescock; his brothers; Curtis Hescock, Robert Jalbert, and Douglas Jalbert. Survivors include Mike Hescock and his wife, Pamela, of Wilmington and Kevin Hescock and his significant other, Teri Kneeland, of Hinsdale, N.H., as well as many nieces and nephews. Ed was born in Townshend on Nov. 3, 1958. He attended the East Dover Elementary School and went on to attend Brattleboro Union High School. Throughout his life, he held several employment positions locally and, at the time of his death, was working for Jack Ridgeway. He enjoyed fishing, tag sales, flea markets, antiquing and good conversations. He was a skilled and talented woodworker, building cabinets and other wood pieces. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Oct. 6 at Mountain View Cemetery in West Dover. Donations to the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601.

• Beverly Ann Knapp, 84, formerly of Dummerston. Died in Aiken, S.C., on Oct. 29, 2017. She was raised and educated in Brattleboro, and resided in Dummerston for 42 years before moving to Aiken in 2015. She was a member of Talatha Baptist Church. She worked 33 years for the town of Dummerston as a Town Lister, Assistant Town Clerk, and Administrative Assistant to the Selectboard. She retired in 2012, and was well-known and highly thought of by many in Dummerston. Survivors include her brother, Tom (Penny) Brookes, of Montana; her sisters, Maude (Arthur) Higley, Elva Pogar, and Lillian Brookes of Vermont, and Margie (Dick) Robertson, of Texas; her daughters Sue (Ron) Schack of Florida and Joanne (Larry) Feutral of South Carolina; her son Peter (Coleen) Diemand of Massachusetts; and six grandchildren. Memorial information: A graveside memorial service at Dummerston Center Cemetery will be held at a later date to be announced by the family.

• Joyce A. Loomis, 81, of Wallingford, Conn. Died Sept. 29, 2018, at Midstate Medical Center. She was the devoted wife of Kline E. Loomis for 63 years. Born in Westminster West on Nov. 14, 1936, to the late Robert G. and C. Margaret (Simmonds) Austin, she graduated from Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1954. She went on to achieve a lifelong dream receiving an Associates Degree in Business Management at Middlesex Community College at the age of 55. Joyce was a purchasing manager at C&K/Unimax. She was a member of the First Baptist Church and loved her church community. Her greatest joy was spending time with her precious family and being a wonderful grandmother to her eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son Dean and his wife, Becky, of Meriden, Conn.; her four sisters, Shirley Walsh, Phyllis Graham, and Marilyn Loomis, all of Putney, and Gail Petruska of North Carolina; two brothers, Lyle Austin and Robert Austin, Jr, both of Florida, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son Darren, her grandson Dillon, and her brother Glenn Austin. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Oct. 4 at the First Baptist Church of Wallingford, with interment at In Memoriam Cemetery.

• Winifred Bruce “Wini” Luhrmann, 83, of Westminster. Died Aug. 29, 2018 at her home. She grew up as the youngest child of a Baptist pastor, Frederick Bruce and his wife Mildred, in the white clapboard house he built himself in Staffordville, Conn. She would speak fondly of their goats and the woods she played in around the house, but one reason for the goats was that she grew up in the poverty of the Great Depression, and the goats supplied the family’s milk. She attended Boston University, majoring in philosophy, and was a member of the Harriet Richards House. While in her third year, she met George (Skip) Luhrmann, whom she married upon graduation. After college, the two moved to Xenia, Ohio, where George was in the Air Force, and then Dayton, where her first daughter was born. They moved to New York City when George entered medical school. There she worked for a number of publishing houses. One of them put her to work on The Book of Knowledge, an encyclopedia for children, for which she wrote several pieces. In 1966, the young family, now with two daughters, moved to New Jersey, where a third daughter was born two years later. Wini (as she was known) published her first book in 1968, The First Book of Gold. But it was in New Jersey that she began to write fiction. There she also became an avid gardener, a passion that gave her great joy and one passed on to all three daughters. She surrounded the family’s Englewood home, on Winthrop Place, with what seemed like endless garden beds full of bulbs and colorful perennials. Wini had a knack for making a home seem alive, and all her houses were beautiful. An insatiable reader, bookshelves lined the walls. Whether writing, reading, or working in her gardens, she always had at least two dogs at her side. Wini published her first novel, Only Brave Tomorrows, in 1989. It told the tumultuous story of an English teenager who came to the new American colony in the late 17th century. She was fascinated by early colonial New England. Both of her parents descended from 18th century Scots immigrants to the area, and family tradition held that each line had some Native American blood. She wrote upwards of 20 other novels, some set in early New England, some in more recent times. She said that she would see the story like a movie, and just write it down. But she never published them. She was an active member of several church communities over her life, and spent the last 20 or so dedicated to the Walpole (N.H.) Unitarian Church. Wini was predeceased almost two years to the date by her daughter, Anna Dewdney, the well-known author and illustrator. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, George Luhrmann; her eldest daughter, Tanya Luhrmann, married to Richard Saller of Stanford, Calif.; her youngest daughter, Alice Laughlin, married to Joshua Laughlin of Putney, and their children, Leighton and Ledlie; and daughter Anna’s girls, Cordelia and Berol Dewdney, and Anna’s partner, Reed Duncan, in Chester. Her sister Betty Harris is also still alive, but her sister, Evelyn Waterson, died shortly after Wini’s death. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Oct. 21, a 3 p.m., at the Walpole Unitarian Church followed by a reception in Hasting House. Contributions in her memory may be made to Westminster Cares.

• Joseph “Joe” Munn, 64, of Wilmington. Died Sept. 26, 2018. He was born in Bayonne, N.J., and was a graduate of St. Andrews Grammar School, where he played drums in the renowned St Andrews Drum & Bugle Corps. He later was a drummer in the Sweet Willie Jam Band with his childhood best friend (and now Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer) Clem Burke. A graduate of Marist High School in Bayonne, Joe attended Johnson State College in Vermont. There, he was an infamous late night DJ “music aficionado” on WJSC 90.7 FM, doing what he loved: turning people on to music — Zappa, Coltrane, Beefheart, Dead, Miles, Hendrix — that was worthy and hip, be it any genre, grooving to the cosmic vibrations, and sharing far out stories from far out experiences. He loved Vermont; it was his magical place that he loved to talk about with his creative beautiful homage in unique descriptive ways that were all Joe. He was genuine and a genius, a “one of a kind” personality that took it to a whole other level to be remembered forever. He worked locally in Wilmington as a cook and chef in some of the fine eateries including, most recently, the Roadhouse. He is survived by his loving aunt Marion Fitzgerald, his cat “Belew” (Adrian), siblings Mary Ann and Denis, niece Kathleen, nephew Tommy, his bandmates and the rest of us reading this. Memorial information: A toasting ceremony to Joe was held at the Roadhouse in Wilmington on Oct. 3 and 4. To send the family personal condolences, visit

• Donald Everett “Donnie” Powers, 75, of East Dummerston. Died Sept. 26, 2018 at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. He was born on June 23, 1943, the eighth child of Leon and Gertrude (Johnson) Powers of Vernon. In 1962, he married the love of his life, Kathleen Rose Boyd, and had four daughters together. Sadly, their oldest daughter died when she was 12, and his beloved Katie died in 2008. Donnie, as he was known by his family, served in the Army from 1960 to 1968. This included a 14-month tour in Vietnam. He received many awards, certificates and medals during his time in the service, including the Good Conduct and Army Commendation medals, and he qualified as a sharpshooter on the M-14 rifle. He leaves his three surviving daughters, Brenda and John Burnett of Hinsdale, N.H., Bobbi Powers of Turners Falls, Mass., and Donna and Ken Drake of Hinsdale; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; a sister, Phyllis & Ernie Hoerich of Illinois; two brothers, Howard and Eleanor Powers of Florida and David Powers and Marie Castine of Massachusetts. Besides his wife and daughter, he was predeceased by two sisters, Helen Chelsea and Beverly Grout, and one brother, Martin Powers. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Oct. 6 at Tyler Sunset Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care at

• Henry Gilmer “Harry” Twombly, 66, of Sedona, Ariz. Died unexpectedly, while sitting in his favorite chair outside while reading and enjoying the view of his beloved mountains, on Sept. 22, 2018. He was born in New York City on Jan. 19, 1952, and grew up in Summit, N.J. He attended local schools before going to The Pingry School. He graduated high school from Phillips Andover Academy. He earned a B.A. in history/political science from Drew University and received an M.Ed. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He was a middle school social studies teacher in Florida and New York. He loved to travel, and lived in Hawaii before returning east to New York City, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. He moved to Sedona in 2008, where he hiked among the red rocks and loved to watch the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. It was a place he loved so much, and his spiritual growth flourished there. He had a diverse group of friends and was involved in many pursuits. He gave freely of his time and energy to many organizations. Harry volunteered his time at the Library, the Green Bag Food Collection for the Sedona Food Bank, the Sedona Arts Festival, and the Illuminate Film Festival. He loved Improv, writing and music, and he volunteered generously. He founded Anything Goes, an Improv group, eight years ago. Harry loved to research and write about local issues, and to share his knowledge about complicated subjects. He enjoyed raising public awareness about the government and how it affected everyone. In his passion to always uncover the truth, he co-founded Just Facts EDU (, a nonprofit charitable organization. Harry always came back to New Hampshire in the summers, as it was one of his favorite places. He loved the area and all the people, especially from Twin Lake Villa in New London, N.H. He loved hiking up the brook, swimming, sailing and spending time with his family and friends. He was a free spirit who was also known as “Zephyr,” “Uncle Z” and “Henry” to his friends in Sedona. He loved to play music with his friends and was a compassionate person and gifted writer. Those who knew him will remember him as a unique, original, creative, one-of-a-kind individual whose spirit will live on in all who knew him for his caring, kindness, and playfulness. Harry is survived by his brother, Dave Twombly, and his wife, Cindy; their two daughters, Emmie Twombly and Megan Stoner and husband, Chris, and their son, Will Stoner. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m., at the First Baptist Church in New London, N.H. Donations to Just Facts EDU, P.O. Box 3519, Sedona, AZ 86340.

• Martha Wallace-Jones, 67, of Brattleboro. Died Sept. 26, 2018, at her home, after a long illness. A lover of words, music, plays, cryptic crossword puzzles, and the Weather Channel, she was active in the Brattleboro performing arts community and a dedicated patron of the Brooks Memorial Library. She often read a book a day. Martha delighted her daughter and her nieces with her knowledge of pop culture, high fashion, and English royalty. She prided herself on never missing a royal wedding. Born Sept. 29, 1950 in Natick, Mass., the fourth daughter of Jack and Betts Wallace, she moved to Putney when she was six years old. She attended Putney Central School and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1968. After high school, Martha took a year off to study the organ before moving to California to attend Mills College in 1969. However, she spent more time at student protests than classes so she returned to Putney in the early 1970s, where she met and married her husband, Alan Jones, in 1973. Soon after her wedding, Martha and Alan moved to Mesa, Ariz., for two years where Alan studied and taught mathematics at Arizona State University. She loved the desert landscapes of Arizona, a love of scenic beauty that she passed on to her daughter, but the heat was too much for the New England-bred couple and they returned to Vermont, where Alan eventually took a job teaching math at BUHS and Martha began acting, directing and dancing in local productions. Their daughter Helen was born in Brattleboro in 1983. Married for 18 years, Alan died of pancreatic cancer in 1990. Martha worked for years as a typist, transcriptionist, and office manager for local publications and authors but she was most known for her performances in numerous productions for the Actors Theatre Playhouse, Brattleboro School of Dance, and the Brattleboro Center for the Performing Arts, including “The Gin Game,” the ballet “Cinderella,” where she stole the show as an ugly stepsister, and her role as Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” In addition to acting and directing, she was also an accomplished amateur musician. She played the organ, the piano and the clavichord, a beautiful wooden type of keyboard she built by hand. An avid reader, Martha especially loved mysteries. It was almost impossible to find a murder mystery she had not already read. You could often find her searching the stacks of Brattleboro’s book shops. The thing that made Martha proudest in life however, was her daughter Helen. They shared a love of art, music, and beautiful scenery. Martha loved going on adventures with Helen starting when Helen was very young, taking her to Georgia, South Carolina and the Virgin Islands. Their last big trip together was in 2017 through the national parks of Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia. She is survived by her daughter, of Portland Ore., her sisters Barbara George and Lynn Herzog of Brattleboro, and Jan Blodgett of Winooski; her nieces Jenny Backus, Anna George, Carey Backus, Sophie Backus, and Louise Herzog, and her nephew Thomas Herzog. In addition to her husband Alan Jones, she was predeceased by her sister, Meg Wallace; her mother, Betts Wallace, who died just 10 days before she did; and her father Jack Wallace, who died in 1994. Memorial information: The family will hold a private memorial celebration of Martha’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Windham County Heat Fund at

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.


We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #480 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018). This story appeared on page C2.

Share this story


Related stories