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


College news

• Molly Marie Gurney, of Brattleboro received first honors on the Dean’s List for the spring 2018 semester at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

The following local students have begun their first-year studies at Castleton University: Haley Brown of South Newfane, Kyle Derosia of Vernon, Lucy Lawlor of Saxtons River, Jenner Lyman of Grafton, Benjamin Nelson-Betz of Dummerston, and Jordan Wright of Brattleboro.


• Harold Aither, 73, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 29, 2018 at his home in Ludlow. He was born March 25, 1945 in Brattleboro, the son of Gordon and Florence (Brown) Aither. He attended school in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School. He then served in the Navy. Most recently, he worked several years as a warehouse manager with Comcast, working in Claremont, N.H. Previously, he worked for Precision Valley Communications in Springfield. He lived most of his life in the Brattleboro area, moving to Ludlow only recently. He is survived by a son, Timothy Aither of Ripon, Wis.; a daughter, Jessica Aither of Boston; two brothers — Richard Aither of Walpole, NH, and Robert Aither of Newfane, Vt. two grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents; a son, Jeffrey Aither; one brother, Gordon “Sonny” Aither; and two sisters, Rebecca Lambert, and Marion Hallway. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Sept. 5 at Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend.

• Lyle H. Frink, 78, of Vernon. Died Sept. 2, 2018 at his home. He was born in Westminster West on May 19, 1940, the son of Lyle S. and Katherine (Cowdery) Frink. He was educated in Westminster schools and furthered his education graduating from Elim Bible College in Lima, N.Y. In 1964, he married Joan (Morgan) in Patterson, N.J. He loved hunting, fishing, and motorcycling. Most of all, he loved his family. He was a member and deacon of the Advent Christian Church in Vernon. He was known in the area as the local handyman. He is survived by his wife of 44 years and a son, Tim Frink of Nassau, N.Y. and his sisters: Ruth Chickering of Vernon, Marion Cushman and her husband, Allen, of Chester, and Eleanor Babbit of Putney. He is also survived by three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Theodore; a brother, William; and a sister, Alice Rogers. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Sept. 14, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Advent Christian Church. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Donations to the Advent Christian Church, 4554 Ft. Bridgman Rd. Vernon, VT 05354.

• Timothy John, 71, of Vernon, Conn., formerly of Brattleboro. Died at home on Sept. 9, 2018, after a period of declining health. Born on Aug. 8, 1947, he was the third son of Amelia and Samuel John and lived most of his life in Brattleboro. A full obituary will appear in an upcoming issue of The Commons.

• Robert E. “Buster” Kathan, 68, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 29, 2018 in Ludlow. He was born Oct. 22, 1949 in Brattleboro, the son of Phyllis (Kenerson) and Robert E. Kathan Sr. He graduated from Black River High School in 1967, and Albany School of Business in 1971. He was employed in various businesses, most recently with Hunter Engineering for more than 10 years. He was a member of Vermont Soccer Officials Association for more than 30 years and the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials for more than 40 years. He officiated and coached area sports for over 25 years, and enjoyed racing his #13 coupe at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford. Survivors include his mother, and his longtime companion, Carol Laundry, both of Ludlow; a daughter, Shannon Kathan of Proctorsville; three sons, Tyler Kathan of Lebanon, N.H., Tim Olesky of Andover, Christopher Olesky of Ludlow; siblings Gregory Kathan, Michelle Stinson, both of Ludlow, Cynthia Murray, of Belchertown, Mass.; three grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Sept. 8 in Pleasant View Cemetery in Ludlow. Donations to the BK13 Fund for the Coupes at Bear Ridge Speedway, 1058 Kidder Road, Bradford, VT 05033.

• Ernest R. “Ernie” Martel, 95, of Brattleboro. Died Sept. 4, 2018 at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Jaffrey, N.H., following a lengthy period of declining health. Born in Brattleboro on July 25, 1923, the son of Henry and Edmee (Cormier) Martel, he was raised and educated in Brattleboro and had attended St. Michael’s High School. A proud veteran of World War II, he served his country in the Army in the Asiatic/Pacific Theater of Operation. Upon his honorable discharge from active service, he returned home to Brattleboro. He worked for many years as custodian at St. Michael’s School. He previously worked at the former Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates and for C.F. Church Co., in Brattleboro, On a part-time basis, Ernie was a school bus driver. On July 25, 1942, he married Ethel Benjamin. His faithful and devoted wife of 68 years predeceased him on Sept. 25, 2010. With his wife, he was a communicant of Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. He enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, spectator sports and time shared with his family. Survivors include one son, Michael Martel and his wife, Maria, of New Ipswich, N.H.; a daughter, Annette Mondeau and husband William of Fuquay Varina, N.C.; nine grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two sisters, Irene Cembura and Marcia Mears. Memorial information: Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m., at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home with his son, Pastor Michael Martel, officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in Saint Michael’s Parish Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home from noon until the start of the services. Donations to Rescue Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence to the Martel family, visit

• Etta Jane Mattison, 88, of Brattleboro. Died Sept. 1, 2018 at Pine Heights Nursing Home following a period of declining health. Born in Brattleboro on July 12, 1930, the daughter of Raymond and Ida (Davis) Simonds, she was raised and educated in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro High School with the Class of 1948. For many years, she was an optometrist assistant for the late Dr. Rene LaPlante. In retirement, she worked for Business & Tax Consultants in Brattleboro. In 1964, she married T. Howard Mattison. They shared 52 loving years together before he predeceased her in 2016. With her husband, Mrs. Mattison attended the First Universalist Church of West Chesterfield, N.H. Active civically, she was a life member of the VFW Auxiliary, served as president of the Brattleboro Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary, and was a member of the Brattleboro Ski Patrol. In her spare time, she enjoyed cross country and downhill skiing, dancing, horses, and attending family gatherings. She will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and spirit of friendship. She leaves many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Besides her husband, she was predeceased by a son, Alan, who died at birth, and two brothers, Robert and Edward Simonds. Memorial information: Graveside committal services will be conducted in the Mattison family lot in Chesterfield West Cemetery on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow the services to be held at the B.P.O. Elks on Putney Road in Brattleboro. Donations to the Brattleboro Fire Department Benevolent Fund, 103 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or to Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send messages of condolence, visit

• Charles Gilbert “Charly” McLoughlin, 67, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at home on Sept. 4, 2018. He was born and raised in East Orange, N.J, to Margaret Hill and Thomas F. McLoughlin. He and his younger siblings, Anne M. Robinson (Scott) of Tully, N.Y., and Thomas P. (Elizabeth) Spatuzzi of Brattleboro, have shared many memories of a “Leave it to Beaver-like” childhood experience, including many adventures with the Hill cousins. He married Mary A. Gibbons in 1972 and they raised two children, Sean T. (Emily Jerard) and Meghan A. (Chad Pacheco), who surrounded Charly with love throughout his 17-year disagreement with cancer. Grandkids Vivien, Gavin, Brayden and Madison were precious to Charly and they enjoyed personalized fist bumps with Grampa right to the end. “Uncle Charly” developed special and caring relationships with his nieces and nephews who will miss his humor and interest in their lives. Growing up, Charly played baseball, basketball, and football, and was an All-State quarterback. He attended Colgate and, upon returning home, coached at his alma mater, Essex Catholic, where he was a member of the Hall of Fame, and at Our Lady of The Valley in Orange, N.J. The family moved to Brattleboro in 1979, where he worked at the Brattleboro Retreat and, briefly, at the Chamber of Commerce. He switched back to teaching at Brattleboro Union High School. For 16 years, he taught and coached with passion, dedication, and a strong belief that his job was to bring out the best in each student or athlete. One wrote, “I’ll never forget the time you told us,‘You need to wake up every morning and love what you do, or it’s not worth doing.’” Coach Mac was proud to have coached the 2005 football team through an undefeated regular season, and he knew how to remind his teams of the important life lessons in losing with class. Another player/student wrote, “Charly told me to ‘stay strong, be my own person, and stand up for my beliefs and decisions.” Charly played Rec League softball and basketball, coached women’s softball and girl’s basketball. He loved music; performing and writing with his dear friends and students in various configurations over the years. He also loved playing golf with friends and, more recently, had taken up fantasy football. Whatever his pursuit, he expended 100 percent of his energy to do it well and competitively. Memorial information: A celebration of Charly’s life will be held on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Guilford fairgrounds. If you want to pay it forward in Charly’s name, please donate to your favorite charity.

• Lawrence George “Larry” Wright Sr. 93, of Brattleboro, Died Sept. 1, 2018 at his home, following a brief illness. Born at home in East Dover on July 25, 1925, the son of Harold and Leona (Powers) Wright, he was raised in East Dover attending school in a one-room schoolhouse. During World War II, he proudly served his country in the Navy, stationed in the Pacific Theater of Operation. Upon his honorable discharge from active service, he returned home to his beloved Vermont and worked as a grain mixer at the former Crosby Milling Company in Brattleboro, which he retired from following nearly 30 years of service. Of his local memberships, he was a member of both the American Legion Brattleboro Post #5 and the V.F.W. Carl M. Dessaint Post #1034. He liked the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a skilled bowler active for many years with the Greater Brattleboro Senior League. One of his favorite activities was playing Bingo and socializing with his many friends. He was first married to Marilyn Harris and later to Mary Stewart, both of whom are now deceased. Survivors include one son, David Westine of Orlando, Fla.; a daughter, Linda O’Neill of Brattleboro; his loving and devoted companion, Elizabeth “Betty” Harper of Brattleboro and her family; 19 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by one son, Lawrence Wright Jr.; a daughter, Diane Ashworth; and five brothers and four sisters. Memorial information: Graveside services will be private for the immediate family in the family lot in Locust Ridge Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence to the family, visit

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 #476 (Wednesday, September 12, 2018). This story appeared on page C2.

Related stories