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College news

• The following local students graduated from Vermont Technical College’s Practical Nursing program in the spring 2019 semester: Mariah Barnett of Saxtons River; Ivy Bingham of Brattleboro; Tana Cutting of Brattleboro; Sage Hall of Newfane; Erin Hammond of Williamsville; Iyla MacArthur of Brattleboro; Emily Mleczko of Putney; Abigail Molina of Westminster; Megan Peters of Landgrove; Lauren Punger of Bellows Falls; Christina Quinn of Brattleboro; Rebecca Snow of Brattleboro; Alexus Vergobbe of Vernon; and Matthew Wright of Brattleboro.

The following local students recently graduated from the University of Connecticut: Madeleine Fulkerson of Bellows Falls, B.A. in Anthroplogy; Grace Willingham of Brattleboro, B.S. in Psychological Sciences; and Micah Hardy of Vernon, B.A., American Studies.

• Benjamin Knapp of Guilford recently received his B.S. in Engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

• Jason Frederick of Brattleboro has earned a Doctor of Psychology degree from Springfield (Mass.) College for studies completed in 2019.

• Madison Derosia of Brattleboro received a B.S. in Sport Management from the College of Business at the University of New Haven in May.

• Danielle Wood, a therapeutic recreation major from Putney, was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester at Springfield (Mass.) College.

• Hannah Block, a visual arts major from West Dover, was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J.

• Cesar Augusto Rabello Borges Filho of Brattleboro was named to the Dean’s List at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology for the spring 2019 semester. Rabello Borges Filho is in the biomedical engineering program.


The following area residents were recently appointed to several state boards and commissions by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott: Cynthia Grubb of Londonderry, Vermont Community Development Board; David DeAngelis of Brookline, Vermont Council on Homelessness; David Larson of Wilmington, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors; Jesper Brickley of Brattleboro, Board of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons; Michael Bucossi of Brattleboro, Governor’s Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council; and Whitney Nichols of Brattleboro, Statewide Independent Living Council.

• Don Freeman has joined Brattleboro Area Hospice as their Taking Steps Brattleboro Program Coordinator. Freeman will oversee the organization’s Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive activities for anyone in Windham County interested in receiving these services. Freeman has been an Advance Care volunteer for three years, and also leads patient self-management workshops for people living with chronic diseases. He has many years of professional experience as a hospital administrator, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Director, and working with youth.


• Elizabeth “Betty” Cembalisty, 83, formerly of Brattleboro. Died June 25, 2019. Born to the late James and Mable (Rickert) Callahan in Brandon on March, 9, 1936, she was the oldest of five children. She would spend most of her life in Brattleboro and graduated from St. Michael’s Catholic High School in 1955. She remained a devoted Catholic all her life. Betty married Edward Cembalisty in 1957 and resided in Brattleboro until 2001, when they moved to Nampa, Idaho, and then in March 2019 to North Carolina. She is survived by her husband and two sons, Evan of Princeton, N.C. and Mark of Boise, Idaho; siblings Sarah Swartzentruber and Michael Callahan; three grandsons and several nieces and nephews. Betty devoted her professional life to caring for others, in which everyone could see her passion. After attending the Thompson School of Nursing, she worked at Hillcrest Nursing Home and Eden Park Nursing Home, where patients quickly recognized her devotion, compassion, and the manner in which she brightened the lives of patients, even opening her home to them on holidays. Later, she was employed by Dr. Rene LaPlante as receptionist and assistant until his retirement, remaining at the practice with Dr. Joseph Santry until her retirement. After retirement, she volunteered her time to work at St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store in Nampa. Betty was a very involved parent. She was a Cub Scout den mother for both of her boys and involved in any activity they undertook. Betty enjoyed reading, sewing, cooking, and cake decorating. She was a loving person who will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held July 10 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Nampa, followed by a private family burial in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise.

• Terri Lee Harris, 61, of Athol, Mass. Died unexpectedly at her home on June 27, 2019. She was born in Orange, Mass., on Feb. 22, 1958, the daughter of Terry Macomber and Rochelle Baldick, and attended Orange schools. Terri worked in the dry cleaning business and, later, as a bartender for many years. She enjoyed traveling to Maine and going to flea markets and country fairs. She enjoyed listening to country music, was a New England Patriots fan, and enjoyed spending time with her family. Terri is survived by her husband, Kenneth Harris of Athol, whom she married in 1992; her daughter Amy Lee Stevens of Athol; brothers Larry Macomber and his wife, Lisa, of Orange, Mass., and Tony Macomber of Agawam, Mass.; sisters Leanne Piskor and her husband, Tony, of Florida, Lori Hamlet and her husband, Jim of Athol, and Alicia Rice and her husband Fred of Florida, and five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her son, Michael Stevens, and grandchild Brooke Stevens. Memorial information: Funeral services were held July 6 at Covey-Allen and Shea Funeral Home in Wilmington, with interment in Riverview Cemetery. To send the family personal condolences, visit sheafuneralhomes.com.

• Hilaire Peter Hennessy, 61, of Chester. Died unexpectedly on July 5, 2019. Hilaire was the grandson of Dorothy Day and Forster Batterham, and the son of Tamar and David Hennessy. He was the eighth of nine children, preceded in death by Nicky and Susie, celebrated and mourned by Becky, Eric, Mary, Maggie, Martha, and Kate. Loving friend and husband to Erin, with whom he raised four remarkable children: Ivan, Riley, Tessa, and Neomi, in Perkinsville, Vt. Hilaire was born on Aug. 17, 1957, in Staten Island, N.Y. He attended East Hill School in Andover, Vt., where he met Erin Schuerger. The high school sweethearts married in 1978. Hilaire worked locally on family farms as well as traveling throughout New England and the Southeast as a sheep shearer. He was best known for his natural artistry in carving wood, bone, and antler; and for his kindness, generosity, and lifelong friendships. He was a loving father and cherished Pop-pop to five grandchildren: Blake, Penelope, Sawyer, Ada Jane, and Dominic, who will remember him for his spontaneous outdoor adventures, wild bedtime stories, and barbeque sauce. Memorial information: A celebration of Hilaire’s life will take place at the Weathersfield Center Church on Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. Donations to The Hilaire Hennessy Fund, a fund to “celebrate and support art enrichment in local schools,” in care of 501 Main St., Chester, VT 05143.

• Nelson H. Jillson, 80, of Dummerston, Died June 27, 2019, with his wife by his side, after a brief illness. He was predeceased by his parents, Elba and Lucy (Rogers) Jillson and by his sisters, Marion Jillson and Rita Griffin. He is survived by his siblings, Janice Jillson of Rio Rancho, NM, Lucinda Adams of Springfield, Vt., and Nancy Dulac of Barre. Nelson also leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Maralyn; his sons, Victor (fiancée Jen) and Kurt (wife LeeAnn); and his daughters, Ann (husband Harry), Denise (husband Rob), and Bonnie. Additionally, he leaves behind several nieces and nephews, six grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. Nelson graduated from Vermont Technical College in Randolph in 1957. He traveled with his young family to work on several farms. He was breeding cows when he moved his family to Dummerston in 1968. He was a jack of all trades. He went on to work at Rod’s Mobil as a mechanic, the Dummerston School as a janitor, and then worked for Agway for over 20 years. He later moved on to Universal and then RN Johnson for a brief time. He began his own business, Jillson’s Dairy Service, in 2001 after he retired! He was a hard-working man. For many years, he made sure that other farmers could keep their farms running, so they could enjoy farming as much as he did. He also had a working dairy farm called Whitney Lane Farm that he ran with his family since 1985. He served his community as a school board member, a justice of the peace, and a fence viewer for several years. Nelson was also a member of the Farm Bureau, serving on the board and the scholarship committee. His beliefs of the simple, yet hard-working ways, shined through with everything he did. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held at the Evening Star Grange, 1008 East West Road in Dummerston on Saturday, July 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. His burial will be held in Prosper Cemetery in Woodstock on Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. Donations to the Windham County Farm Bureau, 44 Hemlock Hill Drive, Dummerston, VT 05301, or to the Jack Byrne Center, D-H Geisel Office of Development, 1 Medical Center Drive HB7070, Lebanon, NH 03756 Attn: Jason Naugler. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit atamaniuk.com.

• Martha K. Poston, 84, of Brattleboro, Died June 30, 2019 at Pine Heights Nursing Home. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 21, 1934, the daughter of Carl and Elizabeth (Tenney) Kreiser. She was raised and educated in Glens Falls, N.Y., graduating from Glens Falls High School, Class of 1953. She went on to attend Green Mountain College in Poultney where she received her associate’s degree in 1955. Martha later received medical training to become a lab technician and was employed at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in the lab, retiring from BMH following over 25 years of faithful service with the hospital. She was a devoted homemaker and loving mother whose life centered around her six children. Martha had a deep love for horses and through the years owned several Morgans. Of her other pastimes and interests she enjoyed bowling, playing cards and just enjoying her retirement years and time shared with her family. Survivors include: three sons, Anthony Zwilling of Salem, Wis., Kirk Zwilling of Mt. Olive, N.J. and Matthew Poston of Brattleboro; three daughters, Susan Moore of Topanga, Calif., Jenifer Kruczek of Lake Zurich, Ill., and Pamela Seeman of Edenton, N.C.; and six grandchildren. She was predeceased by a brother, Charles Kreiser and her devoted companion of many years, Ralph Rhodes, formerly of Leyden, Mass. Memorial information: In keeping with her final wishes, there will be no formal services. Donations to the Pine Heights Nursing Home Activities Fund, 187 Oak Grove Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit atamaniuk.com.

• Charles Leslie “Charlie” Turner, 81, of East Dover. Died June 27, 2019 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro. He was born Nov. 8, 1937 to the late Elva Belle (Robbins) Turner and Leslie Charles Turner. He was a graduate of Dover Schools and the Vermont School of Agriculture. He served in the Army and Vermont Army National Guard for a total of eight years. He spent his life on the family farm in East Dover and especially enjoyed raising Hereford cattle. He was a past president of the New England Hereford Association, served as a Dover Town Lister, and enjoyed cooking and horticulture. He is survived by his sister, Susan (Turner) Oswald of New Cumberland, Pa., nieces and nephews Leslie Frederick Thiel of Morehead, Ky., Norman William Thiel of Jerseyville, Ill., Marcia (Thiel) Scott of Paola, Kans. Darva (Oswald) Kinney of New Cumberland, Pa., Walter William Oswald of Tampa, Fla., and David Turner Oswald of Sinking Spring, Pa.; and numerous cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Muriel Ola (Turner) Thiel, and brothers-in-law Frederick Thiel and Dr. George Oswald. Memorial information: Funeral services were held July 2 at East Dover Baptist Church, followed by committal services at the Dover Center Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home. To send personal condolences, visit sheafuneralhomes.com.


A funeral Mass for Anne B. Stuart will be conducted Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m.,. at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. Friends may call at Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Friday, July 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. Mrs. Stuart, 84, a resident of Guilford, died peacefully on May 26, 2019 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #518 (Wednesday, July 10, 2019). This story appeared on page C2.

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