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Milestones

Milestones

College news

The following local students at the Community College of Vermont earned associate degrees at the College’s 52nd commencement on June 1: Kathleen T. Bashaw, Elisha J. Bebey, and Joshua Gammon of Bellows Falls; Alyssa C. Corey, Matthew L. Delgatto, Bethany R. Howe, Margo C. Lafland, Amy E. Mulherin, Trina L. Reynolds, Alisha M. Scudder, Tifani L. Tasca, and Emmalee A. Waite of Brattleboro; Abigail L. Maken of Brookline; Mary A. Thompson of Grafton; Luke F. Cevoli of Jamaica; Gregory R. Edgar of Newfane; Ethan M. Amidon of Putney; Erin H. Ruth of Townshend; Rebecca Michaud of Westminster; and Tabitha A. Felisko of Wilmington.

• Elkanah Linder of Townshend, graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Studies from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Linder continues on in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. She was a member of the women’s tennis team and Alpha Lambda Delta, National Honor Society for First-Year Students.

• Michaela Shea-Gander of Brattleboro received a B.A. in Communication with a concentration in narrative journalism on May 18 from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She was also named to Denison’s Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester.

• Stephanie Louise Green of Westminster has been named to the President’s List for the spring 2019 semester at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

• Taylor Humphrey of West Townshend was named to the spring 2019 Dean’s List at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.

• Suzanne Allen of Stratton, a member of the Class of 2022 at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester, achieving Dean’s High Honors.

• Madison Derosia of Brattleboro, who is working toward a B.S. in Sport Management, and Rachel Sorrell of Newfane, who is working toward a B.S. in Criminal Justice, were both named to the Dean’s List at the University of New Haven (Conn.) for the spring 2019 semester.

• The following local students received academic honors from Castleton University for the spring 2019 semester. Named to the Dean’s List were Greer Bills of Wardsboro, Spencer Butter of Brattleboro, Saima Cassell of Westminster, Abby Chapman of Brattleboro, Jordan Gouger of Brookline, Joshua Hanson of Guilford, Olson Humphrey of Londonderry, Jenner Lyman of Grafton, Meghan Powell of Vernon, Scarlett Pugliese of South Londonderry, Laura Vogell of Springfield, and Cassidy Yrsha of Londonderry. Named to the President’s List were Gabrielle Carpenter of Vernon, Casey Gould of Brattleboro, Alison Josselyn of Londonderry, and Devin Millerick of Vernon.

Obituaries

• Raymond Ernest “Ray” Akeley, 77, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died June 9, 2019 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Born in West Halifax, Vt., on December 12, 1941 the son of William and Helen (Pease) Akeley, he was raised and educated in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1959. Ray had been employed as a stamper for The Book Press, which he retired from following 50 years of faithful service with the company. On a part-time basis, he worked as a bartender at the F.O. Eagles and at the American Legion. Active fraternally, Ray was a member of the F.O. Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445 and held membership in both American Legion Post 5 and VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034. He enjoyed playing softball with the greater Brattleboro Men’s Softball League, was active with the Brattleboro Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl, loved hunting, fishing and time shared with his family. He was an avid New York Yankees fan. In 1961, he married Sandra Kozyra, who survives. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of nearly 58 years, he leaves one son, Timothy Akeley of Hinsdale; one daughter, JoAnne Scott and her husband, Lawrence, of West Chesterfield, N.H.; two sisters, Minnie Mason and Edith King, both of Hinsdale; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves a longtime and very close friend, Lanny Haselton of Alabama and many nieces, nephews and several cousins. He was predeceased by a son, Mark Allen Akeley, who died on May 30, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va.; three brothers, Robert, Kenneth, and Lawrence Akeley; and a sister, Alice Akeley, who died in infancy. Memorial information: A memorial service was held June 18 at Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro. Donations to Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, P.O. Box 976, White River Jct., VT 05001-0976. To offer condolences to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Joseph Lawrence “Larry” Bober, 76, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly June 11, 2019 at his home, following a period of declining health. He was born in Brattleboro on Feb. 4, 1943, the son of Joseph F. and Stella M. (Bedard) Bober. He attended Brattleboro public schools and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1961. While in high school, he lettered in track & field. Following high school, he served in the Vermont National Guard. He had been employed at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, which he retired from in 2007. He later worked part-time at the hospital for the Stericycle Company. Larry also worked as a shipping supervisor for the former Famolare Shoe Company and previously had been employed at American Optical. He was a longtime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445, and was a communicant of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. He enjoyed gardening, fishing, and trips to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. He also collected cookie jars for many years that included an extensive collection of more than 150 containers. A loveable grouch with a kind heart, he will be missed by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. In 1974, he married Margaret Murphy, who survives. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of 44 years, he leaves one son, Lawrence J. Bober of Brattleboro; a daughter, Jennifer E. Bober and her fiancé, Kristopher Hamway, both of Colchester; one aunt, Hermine Bober of West Brattleboro; many nieces, nephews and several cousins. and his beloved cats, Lady and Bella. He was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Sandra “Sandy” Kane; and a special nephew, Bobby Kane. Memorial information: A memorial celebration of his life was held June 16 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to Rescue Inc., PO Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Marcia J. (Angell) Brown, 75, of Highgate Center. Died June 8 2019 at UVM Medical Center in Burlington. She was born on Feb. 21, 1944 in Brattleboro, daughter of the late Henry and Florence Angell. Marcia loved her family unconditionally and loved making wonderful memories with them. She looked forward to vacationing in Maine, gardening and preserving the bounty, antiquing, and camping. She leaves behind her loving husband, Robert Allen Brown; her children and their spouses, Lisa Arnold and her husband, Howard, of Londonderry, N.H., and Julianne Gray and her husband, John, and Michele Girroir-Magoon, wife of Tim Magoon, all of St. Albans; her siblings Raymond Adams and Christina Angell Robinson; nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and several close friends and neighbors. She was also predeceased by her father and stepmother, Henry and Ruth Angell; her mother, Florence; and brother Charles. Memorial information: Per Marcia’s wishes, there will be no services held at this time. The family invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com.

• Dr. Loren Anthony Landis, 67, of Brattleboro. Died March 13, 2018 at his home of cardiac arrest. In the spirit of Loren, his obituary was written more than a year after his death, and will be longer than most, as he was rarely one for doing things the traditional way, keeping things brief, or for meeting deadlines. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, on Feb. 4, 1951 to Phyllis Patchersky Landis and Bernie Landis. He was the deeply loved “Papa” of his two daughters, Shayna Landis and Alyse Landis-Denton and son-in-law Miquel Denton. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Jean Davis, his sister Ruthie Landis, his brother-in-law Ed Letchinger, and hopefully, all his patients. He was a good friend to many, and an active member of the Brattleboro community, volunteering when he could, and rarely missed a Farmers’ Market. He worked as a psychiatrist with a private practice in Brattleboro, where he specialized in working with patients struggling with ADHD and addiction. Loren had a brilliant mind, and he had a strong interest in almost everything and everyone around him. He loved learning about history and culture, Judaism and other religions, politics, social justice activism, films, music, sports, and comedians, just to name a few. He always had knowledge to share and jokes to tell. He loved food, and loved sharing food with others. He loved finding connections with people through conversation, and was genuinely interested in what people had to say. He was complex and, at times, very difficult, but it is important to mention the various challenges he had to contend with. He was born and lived with painful fallen arches and a fused ankle bone and a club foot. He also dealt with having Asperger’s (very high functioning) and severe ADHD before much was known about either disorder. From the start of his life, he was not going to fit in to any box designed and imposed by others. He loved all things absurd and, most often, embodied absurdity himself. This was his magnificent way of coping. In 1971, while an undergrad at Toledo University, he ran for Homecoming Queen. At first, he was denied entry, but with the help of a lawyer friend, he won the appeal and set a new precedent. When asked why he was running, Loren said, “The Homecoming Queen is a campus leader. I thought to myself, none of this year’s candidates have mustaches. Many leaders did: Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara, Commander Whitehead. Therefore, I throw my upper lip into the ring.” All this may have begun just as a way to get a laugh, but it evolved into something with a greater social outcome. It challenged gender roles in society. It educated people on their rights as citizens and as students at the University. It increased participation in the democratic process by offering an alternative to tradition and challenged an institution that took itself too seriously. He would continue to challenge the status quo for the rest of his life, and encourage others to get involved in the political process. He cared deeply for others and was dedicated to serving those truly in need as best as he could in his role as psychiatrist. He graduated medical school at Ohio State in 1977, and finished his medical residency at the University of Vermont in 1981. He then moved to Shiprock, N.M., to work as a drug and alcohol psychiatrist for the Indian Health Service until 1985. He married Jean Davis there in 1982, and his oldest daughter Shayna was born there in 1984. In 1985, the family packed up their Volkswagen van and drove cross country to live in Dummerston, where their second daughter, Alyse, was born in 1987. He worked at the Brattleboro Retreat from 1985 to 1996, and then moved on to his private practice. The Southwest was a very special place for Loren. He found great peace within the natural world which informed his love for gardening throughout his life. His creative whimsy, wit, and social commentary found much of its expression in his garden “scenes.” Though Loren’s personal struggles allowed him the insight to be there for others when no one else would, they also made things extremely challenging for him. He never learned to put his needs first, and to get the help he needed in order to be healthier and an even greater doctor, so he could be around longer to help those he served. He never gave up trying to help. He was climbing those stairs to his office to see patients up to the last day of his life. Our Papa lives on through those whose lives he saved, and the lives they may save. He lives on through people he touched, even in a single conversation (which was most likely a very long conversation). Memorial information: After Loren’s death, there was a small service with family and close friends at Brattleboro Area Jewish Community and burial at the Shir Heharim Jewish Cemetery in Brattleboro. His footstone unveiling ceremony will be held Friday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m., at Morningside Cemetery on South Main Street in Brattleboro (follow signs for Shir Heharim cemetery). To honor his love for sharing things with people, and his non-traditional ways by spending money on Shabbat, the Landis Family will have a yard sale on Saturday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 43 Organ St., Brattleboro. After the yard sale, there will be a potluck dinner, honoring his love for food and good company, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, 151 Greenleaf St. Feel free to bring a potluck item you know he would have enjoyed. All who knew and cared for Loren are welcome. Donations to Turning Point of Windham County, 39 Elm St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Any remembrances or stories about Loren may be sent to Alyse Landis-Denton, P.O. Box 844, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or alyse.m.landis@gmail.com.

• Mary Thelma (O’Brien) Nicholas, 94, of Brattleboro. Died on May 31, 2019 at Pine Heights Nursing Home. She was born on July 23, 1924, in New Haven, Conn., the daughter of Dennis and Thelma (Harrison) O’Brien. She became a resident of Brattleboro in 1937, and attended Brattleboro schools. In 1945, she married Edward W. Nicholas Jr. She was employed by Holstein Association, Estey Organ (where she made bomb boxes during World War II), Montgomery Ward, Sterling Drug, and Brattleboro Vending Co. She was also food service manager for manual operation at Brattleboro Union High School and a manager for Trico Vending Services. After retiring, she worked part-time for the Town Crier and the Brattleboro Reformer. She enjoyed her membership in American Legion Post 5, BPO Elks Brattleboro Lodge #1499, and VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034. She enjoyed dancing and spending time with family and friends. She leaves a son, Bradford Nicholas and his wife, Luray, of Townsend, Mass.; three daughters, Kathleen Sugg of Como, Miss., Donna Borst and her husband, Raymond, of Putney, and Michelle Millerick and her husband, Jack, of Guilford. She also leaves six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, her brother Arthur O’Brien, her sister Thelma (Patsy) Witalis, and a nephew, J. Peter Witalis. Memorial information: There will be a graveside service on June 22, 2019, at 1 p.m., in Morningside Cemetery.

• James A. Plumley Jr., 55, of St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of Brattleboro. Died Friday, May 31, 2019, after a long battle with heart disease and diabetes. Born Jan. 6, 1964 to Marie Plumley in Norwich, Conn., James loved to travel, so it was no surprise he found himself a job that would allow that. He worked many years for a carnival company out of Florida, where he could take his love for travel on the road. He saw most of the western part of the United States. He is survived by his mother, of Guilford; his sister, Margaret Dowley, also of Guilford; his sister, Debra Plumley of Townshend; his brother Todd of Massachusetts; and several nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Memorial information: There will be no services. As per his wishes, he will be cremated and his ashes spread at sea.

• Gail Lee Mascolo Stankiewicz, 79, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on June 8, 2019 in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her family, following an extended illness. Born in Hartford, Conn., on Nov. 27, 1939 to John J. and Gertrude L. (Harris) Mascolo. She grew up in Avon, Conn., where she attended parochial school and was a 1957 graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy in West Hartford. Gail went on to attend Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., where she received her B.S. degree in Business Administration, Class of 1976. She worked most of her career in the insurance industry, employed as an insurance executive for New England Life Insurance Company in Boston from 1976 to 1985. She later worked for Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro, retiring in 1994. Prior to moving to Brattleboro, Gail resided for several years in Brookline, Vt. She was an active member of the Daughters of Isabella, Ave Maria Circle #128 and the Emblem Club, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Auxiliary #2445. A devout Catholic, Gail was a communicant of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Brattleboro. She enjoyed antiques, playing cards, travel and spending time with her friends. Her life centered around her family and she especially cherished time spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. On May 20, 2000, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, she married Michael P. Stankiewicz, who survives. Besides her husband of 19 years she leaves: one son, Edward A. Robbins, Jr. of Chesterfield, Va.; two daughters, Hope E. Robbins of Brattleboro and Trudy R. Cihak of Red Lion, Pa.; one brother, Harry R. Mascolo of Stamford, Conn.; and two sisters, Lynda R. Kulikowski of Tavares, Fla., and Donna M. Isaac of Worcester, Mass. Additionally, she leaves eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother, John L. Mascolo and a granddaughter, Meghan S. Cartner. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held Friday, June 21, at 11 a.m., at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. A reception will follow the service at VFW Carl Dessaint Post 1034 on Black Mountain Road. Friends may call on the family at the church on the day of the services from 10 a.m. until the start of the Mass. Interment will be at St. Ann Cemetery in Avon, Conn. Donations to Families First, 18 Austin Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301, in care of Joshua Kussius. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #515 (Wednesday, June 19, 2019). This story appeared on page C2.

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