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The Commons


Originally published in The Commons issue #140 (Wednesday, February 22, 2012).


Editor’s note: The Commons will publish brief biographical information for citizens of Windham County and others, on request, as community news, free of charge.

• Irene Nora Robinson Brooks, 79, of Newfane. Died Feb. 13 at Grace Cottage Hospital. Wife of the late Alfred Brooks for 45 years. Mother of Douglas Brooks and Susan Morse of Newfane, Daniel and Lynn Brooks of Newfane, Alfred Brooks, Jr. and Fay Smith of Wells, and William “Bill” Brooks of Newfane. Sister of Mary Laitres and her husband, Leo, of Brattleboro; Polly Casanova of Newfane; Louise McGourty and husband, Jack, of Epsom, N.H.; and the late Elizabeth “Betty” Druke, Sally Herring, and James Robinson. Born in West Wardsboro, the daughter of the late Travis Henry Robinson and Nora Effie Boyd Robinson, her early schooling took place in the one-room schoolhouse in West Wardsboro. Her family moved to Newfane in 1942, where she was nervous about attending the “big” two-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Leland & Gray Seminary in 1950. The Brookses made their home in Newfane, where she worked for many years as a housekeeper and caregiver for a number of families and businesses. She was a member of the Newfane Congregational Church, Parents with a Purpose, the NewBrook Fire and Rescue Auxiliary, and the Historical Society of Windham County. Her life revolved around her family, and she touched the hearts of all who knew her. She will always be remembered for her sweetness and gentle way. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. at the Newfane Congregational Church, followed by a reception at the NewBrook Firehouse until 3:30 p.m. Donations to Families First, 26 Elliot Terrace, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• Marie U. Brooks, 86, of Wardsboro. Died Feb. 14 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend. Wife of the late Ray Brooks. Mother of Charlotte Barrows, Linda Long, Kim Brooks, and the late Leslie Brooks. Sister of Evelyn Bills. Also survived by 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and many great-great-grandchildren. Born in Putney, the daughter of the late Vera and Lora (Burbee) Vose. She was a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 40 years. Memorial information: Graveside committal services and interment will take place at a later date in Wardsboro at the convenience of the family. Donations to Wardsboro Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 151, Wardsboro, VT 05355.

• Barbara Coffin, 81, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 17. Former wife of Elroy Coffin. Mother of Barbara Jean Coffin and Jenny (Stephen) Sherman. Sister of Otis and Daniel Rathburn, and the late Donald Rathburn. Born in East Topsham, she moved to the Brattleboro area in her early 20s. She co-founded the Vermont Maple Museum, where she and her then-husband produced a wide array of maple products for retail and wholesale customers, as well as running the gift shop. She also worked as the “Lady Meat Cutter” and “Jill of All Trades,” for Stockwell’s Store in West Brattleboro from 1976 until 1992, even delivering groceries to homes of customers. For the last 20 years, she had been employed by the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union as a “Lunch Lady” at the Academy School. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. at the West Brattleboro Congregational Church. A reception will follow.

• Donald Albert “Don” Day, 91, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 10 at Thompson House. Wife of Phyllis Jones Day for nearly 64 years. Born in Greenfield, Mass., the son of the late John and Elizabeth (MacDonald) Day, he graduated from Greenfield High School, Class of 1939. He went on to attend the Franklin Technical Institute in Boston. He served in the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Omaha, He was stationed in the Atlantic/Mediterranean Theater of Operation, and took part in the Battle of Southern France in 1944. After the war, he worked as a draftsman and mechanical engineer, first at the Estey Organ Co. in Brattleboro, and later at Miniature Precision Bearing of Keene, which he retired from in 1983 following 25 years of service. He also owned and operated Wheelock Rug Cleaners in Brattleboro. He was an accomplished swimmer and competed regionally and, more recently, in several senior meets up until the age of 88. He also enjoyed gardening, and camping in Wells, Maine and Lake St. Catherine. Memorial information: Funeral services were held Feb. 15 at Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro, with burial in Saxtons River Cemetery. Donations to Rescue Inc. P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05301; Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal St., Brattleboro, VT 05301; or to Bayada Hospice, 23 Marlboro Rd., Suite 101, Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Robert W. “Punky” Deyo, 81, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 15 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Husband of Hazel Marrion Deyo for nearly 60 years. Father of Robert Deyo and his wife, Sandra, and Michael Deyo and his wife, Bonnie, all of Windsor Locks, Conn. Brother of Thomas Deyo and his wife, Janice, of Vernon, and the late Harold Deyo and Barbara Putnam. The son of the late Harold and Grace (Thomas) Deyo, he graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1948. After graduating, he went to work for First National Store and then was employed by R.H. Brown Hardware Co. as a bookkeeper and clerk. He served in Navy from 1952-1956 during the Korean conflict aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway. After his Naval service, he went back to R.H. Brown. He later went to work at Deyo’s Laundry as a partner with his brother Thomas and parents Harold and Grace Deyo, and managed a furniture store warehouse in Connecticut. There, he also went into real estate. In 1998, he retired and lived with his wife in Lake Wales, Fla., until 2010, when they moved back to Brattleboro. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Feb. 21 at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro.

• Richard F. Gottlieb, 76, of Guilford. Died Feb. 15 at his home. Husband of Carol Levin for 32 years. Father of Reuben Gottlieb of Guilford and his long-term foster care son Kevin Styles of Somersworth, N.H. Born in Bronx, N.Y., the son of the late Jacob and Esther (Richter) Gottlieb, he was raised and educated in the greater New York City area. He graduated in 1958 from Columbia University with his B.S. in Engineering Mechanics. He later attended Goddard College in Plainfield, earning his master’s in solar energy in 1977. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy, and did an internship at the Naval Research Laboratory. He ran for governor of Vermont in several elections as a Liberty Union candidate, gaining more votes with each election, but not sufficient to win the office of governor. He owned and operated Sunnyside Solar which he established in 1979 in Guilford. Previously, he operated his own car dealership, Richard’s Citroen, located in the Bronx. Even after becoming established in the field of solar and renewable energy, he maintained his love of fixing old French cars. One of his career highlights was his participation in working on the very first Vanguard satellite. This was his initial experience with photovoltaics, as he was involved in putting the solar cells on the satellite. In 2002, he was honored by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association with the Distinguished Service Award. He was a member of many regional and national solar organizations. Memorial information: Funeral services were held Feb. 17 at the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community Synagogue, Shir-He-Harim, followed by burial in Brattleboro Area Jewish Community Cemetery at Morningside in Brattleboro. Donations to to Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, P.O. Box 2353, West Brattleboro, VT 05303, or to Guilford Cares, Inc., 756 Packers Corners Rd., Guilford, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Albert E. Jaquith, 91, of Dummerston. Died Feb. 12 at Vernon Advent Christian Home. Husband of the late Iris (Wrisley) Jaquith. Father of Francis Jaquith and Bonnie Chamberlin. The son of the late Roscoe and Dorothy Jaquith, he attended schools in Brattleboro and served in the Army as a military policeman. He worked for Minshall Organ before starting his own business in the wholesale florist industry. Later, he was an electrician with Dompier Electric. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. He was a member of the American Legion and, after retirement, he developed a hobby of CB radio. Memorial information: Services were private, with burial in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to the West Dummerston Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 40, West Dummerston, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Harry “Bus” Austin Plumb Jr., 83, of Erie, Pa., formerly of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 4 at Springhill Retirement Community in Erie. Husband of Bea Bardo Plumb for 32 years and the late Terry Caskin Plumb. Father of Sister Mary Ellen Plumb, OSB, Cathy Johnson, Sharon Sparacino, Barbara Sanders, Theresa Brechbill, Tina Geis, and Jennifer Plumb. Stepfather of David Bardo and V.J. Bardo. Brother of Steve Plumb, Cynthia Terzariol, and the late Mary Ellen Plumb. Born in Brattleboro, the eldest son of the late Harry and Eleanor Plumb, he graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1946 with honors, served for two years in the Army in Korea, and went on to earn a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Hampshire. For nearly 50 years, he worked for General Electric, designing and building speed variators. Memorial information: Services were held in Erie on Feb. 11.

• Frances P. Thomas, 97, of Westminster. Died Feb. 9 at Pine Heights of Brattleboro. Wife of the late Arthur Thomas. Mother of Mona and husband, Clifton Bailey, of Berlin, Vt.; Winston Thomas and his wife. Laura, of Brattleboro; and the late Philip Thomas. Born in Newport, Vt., the daughter of the late Clayton and Veda (Dane) Parker, she graduated from Newport High School in 1935. In 1957, she moved to Westminster where she was active in the Westminster Mothers Club and the Westminster Congregational Church. Memorial information: At her request, there will be no service. Burial will take place in the spring at Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport.

• Lee F. Tiziani, 49, of Wilmington. Died Feb. 10 at home in Wilmington. Partner of Sara Bourn and her daughter, Amanda Lineweber of Washington, D.C. Son of Pat (Argenta) Tiziani of Stafford Springs, Conn. Brother of Glen Tiziani and his wife, Carol, of Colchester, Conn. He embraced life to the fullest and had a deep respect for friends and family. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1986 with a degree in Finance. He worked in financial services for 25 years, including 15 years at Peoples Bank where, as AVP, he managed branches in Hartford and Vernon. He also traveled internationally as a deposit consultant for Open Solutions in Glastonbury, Conn. Most recently, he combined his interests to help construct the new Bluebird Express chairlift at Mount Snow. He was an avid motorcyclist, and loved riding on New England back roads. He was a motorcycle safety instructor for the Connecticut Department of Transportation for 18 years. He loved the outdoors and photographing nature. He achieved his goal of summiting the highest peaks in each of the New England states. With the help of many friends, he finished building his dream home on Haystack Mountain in 2008, where he and his partner have been living since. Memorial information: Services were held Feb. 17 at the Introvigne Funeral Home in Stafford Springs, Conn. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. For online condolences, visit


• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hos­pital), Feb. 4, 2012, a daughter, Molly Ryan Kunkle, to Kimberly (Stone) and Stephen Kunkle of Brattleboro; granddaughter to Karen and Dana Zelenakas, George Stone, Kate Riley, Wayne Kunkle and Camilla Arnold.

• In Lebanon, N.H., (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center), Jan. 16, 2012, a son, Sovereign Haven Genesis Baker, to Serena Phelps-Baker and Michael Baker II of Bellows Falls; grandson to Karen Wolfe of Rockingham, and Michael Baker Sr. of Saxtons River.

• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hos­pital), Dec. 11, 2011, a daughter, Aubrey Alexa Hallock, to Chelsea (Dubois) and Joshua Michael Hallock of Brattleboro; grand­daughter to Donna Rockwell, Christine Hallock, Ivan Hallock and Michael Dubois.

College news

William Parker of Guilford, a freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and Ashley Morgan of West Townshend, a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering, were both named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2011 semester at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

• Monica Speranza of Vernon, a senior majoring in Communications/Journalism, and Carleen Busick of Wardsboro, a junior majoring in English/Literature Concentration, were both named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2011 semester at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The following local residents were named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2011 semester at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.: Daphne L. Kinney-Landis of Guilford received first honors, while Casey A. DeMarsico of Newfane received second honors.

• Amanda Bolduc of Whitingham, a freshman majoring in English, was named to the Dean’s List at Johnson State College for the Fall 2011 semester.

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