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



• John Noller Baldwin III, 51, of Westerly, R.I. Died Dec. 30, 2018 in Providence, after a brave struggle with several conditions. John was the beloved partner of Frederick E. Mitchell, Jr.; they were together 29 years. John was born in Brattleboro, the son of Jack Baldwin, Jr. of Spofford, N.H. and Julia Baldwin of Mystic, Conn. He graduated from Brattleboro Union High School and received a B.S. from Xavier University, as well as an associate’s degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He worked as funeral director at Dinoto Funeral Home in Mystic, Conn., for 24 years. He loved his summers at Whispering Pines Campground in Hope Valley, R.I., where he had a loving extended family. Always an animal lover, John’s beloved dog, Schmidt, and cat, Shelby, will miss him terribly. Memorial information: In accordance with John’s wishes, visitation is omitted. A graveside service will take place in the spring. Donations to Stand Up For Animals, P.O. Box 1706, Westerly, RI 02891, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, TN 38101-9950.

• Dr. Arthur H. “Art” Copeland Jr., 92, of Halifax. Died Dec. 24, 2018 at his home. Known for his dry wit, exceptional courteousness, and his quiet intellectuality, Art Copeland was a mathematician, but he was also an ingenious do-it-yourselfer, a supporter of the arts, and a lover of tractors. Dr. Copeland, who held undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a professor of mathematics who retired to Vermont in 1998 after having taught at Purdue University in Indiana, Northwestern University in Illinois, and the University of New Hampshire. His field was algebraic topology, about which he used to say it had “something to do with bagels.” He was born on June 11, 1926, in the West family home in Columbus, Texas. His father, Arthur Herbert Copeland, Sr., was a mathematics professor, and his mother, Dorothy Eleanor (West) Copeland, was a gifted artist who designed the family’s ultra-modern house in Ann Arbor, Mich. He joined the Navy after matriculating early at the University of Michigan in a special arrangement with Cranbrook Academy, where he had been a scholarship student. The year was 1944, and he had just turned 18. He entered a Radio Tech program and was eventually sent to sea on a communications ship. Arthur and his wife of 71 years, Lynda (Peltz) Copeland, purchased their Vermont farmhouse in 1959, having been drawn to the area by the fame of Rudolf Serkin and his Marlboro Music summer festival. After their retirement to that comfortable yellow-painted, black-shuttered house in 1998, Art joined the festival’s board of trustees. Besides his wife, Lynda, whom he married in 1947, he is survived by three daughters: Julia (Bruce Bransby), Heidi (Tom) Schmitt, and Laurel (John Zeber), as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration is planned for summer 2019. Memorial contributions may be made to the Youth Orchestras of Fresno. Ker-Phaneuf Funeral Home and Crematorium of Brattleboro is handling arrangements. To view an online memorial, leave a message of condolence, or for more information, visit

• Audrey Louise Batchelder Ebbetts of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 28, 2018, surrounded by her family and best friend Kathi. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Carl C. Ebbetts; her daughter Sue Ann Thomas Tefft and husband, Richard, of Jacksonville; six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and her beloved cat Maybe. She was predeceased by her parents, Edna and Rodney Batchelder. Memorial information: There will be no calling hours, graveside services will be held at the discretion of the family. Memorial gifts may be made in her name to any local Humane Society through the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Wilfred Winslow “Bill” Franklin, 83, of Vernon. Died Dec. 28, 2018 at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., following an extended illness. Born in Brattleboro on Jan. 30, 1935, the son of Warren and Nancy (Scranton) Franklin, he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse in Guilford and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1953. He proudly served his country in the Army and was stationed in Germany prior to being honorably discharged from active service. He then enlisted in the Army Reserves and received a second honorable discharge at the rank of specialist second class in 1961. A dairy farmer for most of his working career, he was engaged in farming first in Guilford and later on the Franklin Farm in Putney. He later went to work for the town of Leyden, Mass., retiring in 2003 as superintendent of the Leyden Highway Department. Active civically, he served on several local school boards throughout the years that included Guilford, Putney, and Brattleboro Union High School, where he represented the town of Putney. He was also a member of American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro. He was known for his Yankee common sense, spirit of friendship, and good sense of humor, and enjoyed gardening, woodworking, travel, and reading. In 1957, he married Shirley Petrie, who predeceased him in 2004. He later married Shirley Kingsley. Besides his wife of 14 years, he leaves three sons, Stanley of Brattleboro, David of Guilford, and Donald of Dummerston; one daughter, Edwina Franklin of Charlotte, N.C.; four stepchildren, Kevin Kingsley of Pittsford, Keith Kingsley of Cartersville, Ga., Cindy Sheehe of Pittsford, and Candy VanNoordt of Forrest, Va.; a twin brother, Alfred Franklin of Guilford, and one sister, Elaine Petrie of Vernon. Additionally, he is survived by 15 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three brothers, Lawrence, Gordon and Russell, and a sister, Glenice Carter. Memorial information: Funeral services were conducted Jan. 4 at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro, with burial with military honors in West Brattleboro Cemetery. Donations to the Guilford Volunteer Fire Dept., 108 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT 05301.

• Wayne M. Gagne, 67, of Nashua, N.H. Died Dec. 29, 2018 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He leaves his heart and spirit with the love of his life, his wife Gigi (Grace Sanville); his children: Wayne and his wife Robin of Nashua, and Jodi Callinan and her husband, Steve, of Litchfield, Conn.; and four grandchildren. Wayne was born in Brattleboro, the son of the late Homer and Nettie Gagne. He is also predeceased by his brother, Gary Gagne. He is survived by siblings Carlton Sheldon, of Georgia, Vt., Doris Gero of Brattleboro, and Patricia Brown of Winchester, N.H., as well as a large, extended family of sisters- and brothers-in-law, and several nieces and nephews. Wayne graduated from Brattleboro Union High School and then worked as a typographer for The Book Press in the early 1970s before being employed in the railroad industry from 1972 until 2011. Wayne began his railroad career as a trainman, working his way through the ranks in various capacities: conductor, engineer, teacher of federal operating rules and federal airbrake rules, and road foreman of engines, He retired as an engineer. After retirement, Wayne & Gigi spent their winters in Kissimmee. Fla., where he trained and qualified for umpiring high school baseball and softball. In 2013, Wayne began working for the Hillsboro County Sheriff’s Department as a court officer. He loved everything about his job there and gained so many good friends. He will be remembered as a loyal, moral, dedicated and hardworking family man, a man who deeply loved his family, loved people, and loved to laugh, and a man who set the bar high for himself. He always encouraged the younger generation to be all they could be, and was happiest being with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He loved gadgets, electronics, troubleshooting, carpentry, and baseball (he and Gigi held Red Sox season tickets for nearly three decades). He courageously battled non-alcoholic fatty liver cirrhosis for several years and was on dual transplant lists at Mass General as well as The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. Wayne was so very proud when his loving granddaughter, Caitlyn Callinan, ran the Boston Marathon at age 18 and raised nearly $12,000 for the American Liver Foundation, honoring him and bringing awareness to this devastating disease. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Jan. 4 at The Parish of Resurrection, in Nashua. Donations to the American Liver Foundation.

• Veronica Elizabeth “Ronnie” Waggoner Johnson, 76, of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 25, 2018 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, surrounded by family and friends. She was born on Oct. 14, 1942 in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Hyatt Howe and Louise Feather Waggoner. Her family moved to Barrington, R.I., where her father taught at Brown University, in 1956. The family spent every summer at Red House, their grandparents’ 19th century farmhouse in Rochester, Vt. Ronny graduated from Middlebury College in 1964 and moved to New York City to attend NYU, receiving an M.A. in English Literature. After graduate school, she worked as a copy editor in New York. She met Edward Darlington “Ted” Johnson, whom she married in 1967. Their son, Christopher Bradford Johnson, was born in 1972. Her family moved to Brattleboro in 1984 where Ted and Ronny pursued freelance editing careers. Ronny was very active in the town of Brattleboro. She was a member of the Brattleboro School Board, served as a Library Trustee, and was on the Charter Review Commission, the Planning Commission, and the Development Review Board. She was also a Justice of the Peace and a longtime Town Meeting member. As a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, she served on many parish committees, including the Vestry. Gardening gave Ronny much joy. Her exquisite garden on Wantastiquet Drive was on the Southern Vermont Garden Tour. Her love of music led her to become a committed member of the Brattleboro Community Chorus. She also served as Trustee of the Brattleboro Music Center. Ronny was a loving companion to her cats and dogs including, most recently, Fergus, Mitzie, and Dusty. She will be remembered by many as an avid reader and a member of several book groups. She was a complicated person with strong opinions about many matters, public and private, which she was unafraid to express. She was a loyal friend and loving mother. Ronny was predeceased by her husband, Ted, in 2002 and her son, Christopher, in 2017. She is survived by her sister, Jane LoMonaco, her niece, Marcia LoMonaco, and good friends, Jane Southworth, Nancy Barber, Peggy Outcalt, Naida McSherry and Diana Bingham, among many others. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Brattleboro on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. Burial will take place in the spring in the family plot in Rochester. Donations to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, Brooks Memorial Library, 224 Main St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit

• David Phillip “Big Dave” Kissell, 58, of Westminster. Died Dec. 18, 2018. Born July 11, 1960 in Bellows Falls, the son of Marilyn (Sawyer) and the late Phillip F. Kissell Sr., he attended Bellows Falls Union High School. David worked with his father at Kissell Farm on Pine Banks Road, milking dairy cows, logging, and sugaring. He married Tammy (Wilson) Kissell in 1993 and they shared nearly three loving decades together as soulmates and best friends. Tammy has often said she feels that she would not be who or where she is today without the love and support of David. Together they had two children, Caroline and David Jr. In 2006, the family started their own beef and hay business at their home on Daigel Road in Westminster. To say Dave was one of those all-American farmers would be an understatement. He was a John Deere man through and through. He had a laugh that was contagious, a smile that could warm any room, and a heart three times as big as his huge hands. He was a gentle soul with a willingness to help others and a love for all living things. His heart seemed to expand even more when he was with his family as he made many great memories with his children and grandchildren as he watched them continue on with his passion. He is survived by his daughter, Caroline (Kissell) Brodeur and her husband, Robert, of Westminster. Their three children, Olly, Sawyer, and Neil, were one of his greatest pleasures. He loved nothing more than being their Papa. You could always find him cheering on Olly and Sawyer, both 9, during their football and basketball games or while riding through the fields on their dirt bikes. Neil, who is 2 1/2, has his Papa’s passion for tractors, cows, and all things farming. This made Dave so proud. Caroline will forever be grateful for the time they had together and never forget that sparkle in his eyes. He will always be her first love, and she will always be her Daddy’s little girl. He is also survived by his son David Jr., also of Westminster, who shares his father’s passion for all things motorized, as well as an innate ability to find “diamonds in the rough” at auctions. Junior, as he was fondly called by Senior, also shares his father’s infectious smile. He is proud to be his father’s son and will continue to keep his spirit alive for all to remember. Memorial information: A pot-luck celebration of David’s life will be held Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1 p.m, at American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls. R.S.V.P. Ellyn Benson at 603-931-6108 or Toni Perry at 802-376-5905 and, if you attend the celebration, bring a dish and wear your finest flannel in honor of David. Donations to the Connecticut Valley Peewee Football League, P.O. Box 703, Bellows Falls, VT 05101.

• Joseph Anthony Palladino, 49, of West Dover. Died unexpectedly Dec. 30, 2018 at his home. Born in Long Branch, N.J. on July 28, 1969, the son of Ralph A. Palladino, Sr. and Helene Gale Leonard, he attended school in West Branch, N.J., graduating from Shore Regional High School. Joseph worked as a carpenter for many years. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in New Jersey. He loved fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, listening to rock and roll music, and spending time with his family. He also had a big sweet tooth and was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He is survived by his mother, of West Dover; brother Ralph Palladino, Jr. of Long Beach, N.Y., sister Alison Palladino of Newport, R.I., niece Olivia Ernest and nephew Raphe Palladino. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington. Interment will be at a later date. There are no visiting hours. Donations to the Deerfield Valley Rescue Squad, in care of Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Charles “Charlie” Potvin, 68, of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 25, 2018 at Pine Heights in Brattleboro, where he had been receiving rehabilitation during a months-long battle with cancer. He was born the fourth of seven children on December 8, 1950, in Montgomery, Vt., to Ernest and Louise (Larrivee) Potvin. He attended school in Montgomery until the family relocated to Brattleboro in 1962, where he then attended St. Michael’s High School until it closed; he graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1970. In his younger years, Charlie was employed by Emerson’s Furniture and then by the Brattleboro Housing Authority. He was later employed by Westgate Housing until his retirement. He loved jigsaw puzzles and spending time at the family camp, “Camp David,” in Enosburg. He is survived by his son, Matthew Potvin of Plainfield, Conn.; three sisters, Marie Potvin of Williamstown, Carolyn Moore of Vernon, and Mary Potvin of Guilford; two brothers, Norman Potvin of Keene, N.H., and David Potvin of Vernon; two nieces, Michelle Rondeau and Sara Ensey; and a grandnephew, Corbin Rondeau. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Lou (Jarvis); his parents; and a brother, Frank Potvin, of Rifle, Colo. Memorial information: In accordance with Charlie’s wishes, there will be no services.

• Marie Christine Suponski, 69, of South Newfane. Died Dec. 29, 2018 at her home after a brief battle with cancer. She was born on August 10, 1949 in Shenandoah, Pa., and was the cherished wife of Frank Suponski, who fondly referred to her as “Ree.” They got married in 1970. Marie loved listening to the brook and watching for wildlife on the pond on her property. She enjoyed flea markets and antique centers, where she found many treasures to decorate her beautiful home. In addition to her husband, Marie is survived by her loyal shih tzu, Sadie Mae; her daughter, Nancy Suponski of South Newfane; her son, Stephen Suponski and his wife, Shelly, of Wilmington and grandchildren Lilly and Ryder; her mother, Wanda Katiewicz; her brother, Joseph Chatcavage and his wife, Gail, of Seymour, Conn.; her brother-in-law David Suponski of Stratford, Conn.; and several nieces and nephews, all of Connecticut. She was predeceased by her father, Joseph Katiewicz; her sister, Christine, her brothers, David and Dennis, and her nephews, Todd and Joey. Memorial information: There will be no calling hours at this time. The family will do a celebration of her life in the spring when her remains will be buried at the Suponskiville Cemetery. Donations to Bayada Hospice in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

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.

Add Comment

* Required information
How many letters are in the word two?
Captcha Image
Powered by Commentics

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!

Originally published in The Commons issue #492 (Wednesday, January 9, 2019). This story appeared on page C2.

Related stories