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Milestones

Milestones

College news

Cadet 1st Class Jules Coltrane Schellenberg of Brattleboro graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on June 22.

The following local students were honored for academic achievement at Northern Vermont University for the spring 2019 semester: Victoria Higley and Rachael Trill of Brattleboro were named to the President’s List, and Dakotah Luebbert of Bellows Falls, Haley Frechette of Dummerston, and Michael Johnson of Stratton were named to the Dean’s List.

• Hannah Oxholm of Brattleboro was named to the 2019 Dean’s List at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. Oxholm is a member of the Class of 2020, majoring in psychology and Spanish & Hispanic studies.

• Madison Fortier, a member of the Class of 2021 from Brattleboro, and Carolina Curvo, a member of the Class of 2019 from Brattleboro, were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2019 semester at Regis College in Weston, Mass.

Obituaries

• Leslie C. “Les” Berg, 74, of Vernon. Died Aug. 3, 2019 at Vernon Green Nursing Home. Les was born on Sept. 22, 1944 in Newport, R.I., to Carl and Eleanor (Zimmerman) Berg. He was raised and educated in Brattleboro. He was a proud Vietnam War-era veteran of the Coast Guard and served around the world, including Japan, Hawaii, and the Arctic Circle. In 1969, Les married Mayda Jane Jasienowski, who predeceased him. In 1982, Les joined the team at C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. working in many positions. He found his niche working in Human Resources and retired in 2006. His passion was helping and serving others. He was a volunteer firefighter in West Chesterfield, N.H., and Vernon, and volunteered and worked with Rescue, Inc. for many years as an EMT. Les merged his love for skiing and helping others by serving on the Ski Patrol at Hogback Mountain, Maple Valley, and Berkshire East. He was a member of the National Ski Patrol since 1958. He was an avid Ham radio operator and instructor. Les created unforgettable memories riding motorcycles with his family and friends in a social club he co-founded in 1983, River Valley Riders. He was also a member for over 17 years of the Red Knights Motorcycle Club. Les and Mayda loved to dance and travel together. He disappeared to the woods every fall during hunting season in pursuit of that big whitetail. He was a jokester, loved to laugh, and was known to leave a mark if he stopped by to visit when you weren’t home. Les was predeceased by his wife, parents, and his son-in-law Adam Vergobbe. He leaves behind a son, Christopher Berg of Dummerston; a daughter, Emily Houle and her husband, Josh, of Vernon; a brother, Francis O’Donnell and his wife, Lois, of Seminole, Fla.; six grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Memorial information: A memorial service was held Aug. 11 at Vernon Advent Christian Church. Donations to Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• June Marie Bostwick, 57, of Brattleboro. Died July 22, 2019, after a battle with lung cancer. She was born April 18, 1962 to Fred and Dorothy Bostwick and leaves behind beloved twin daughters Justine and Jocelyn Pond, oldest daughter Alicia Apostoles and granddaughter Ivy Rae. June was a beautiful, fun-loving woman who had a powerful effect on everyone who knew her. Memorial information: A Celebration of Life service was held Aug. 10 at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brattleboro.

• Shirley Stanclift Collins, 97, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died Aug. 7, 2019 at Applewood Rehabilitation Center in Keene, N.H. Born in Hinsdale on June 26, 1922, the daughter of Clarence and Gladys (Robbins) Howe, she was a lifelong resident of Hinsdale. She attended Hinsdale public schools, including Hinsdale High School. She worked as a book binder at the former Book Press in Brattleboro, which she retired from. Previously, Shirley worked in the Hinsdale School Lunch Program at both the elementary and high school and was fondly known as the “Lunch Lady.” She also had been employed for many years at the former White & Washburn Paper Mill in Hinsdale. She was a longtime member of the North Hinsdale Community Church. Shirley enjoyed working in her flower garden, baking, and time shared with her family that including following her grandson’s sporting events. She was also an avid reader. Shirley was first married to Reginald Stanclift, who predeceased her. She later married Sherwin Collins, who is also deceased. Survivors include one son, Larry Stanclift and his wife, Ethel, of Hinsdale; a step-daughter, Gail Barnaby and her companion, David Hughes, of Wilder, Vt.; daughter-in-law Christine Stanclift of Keene, N.H. five grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, two great- great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by one son, Reginald “Jim” Stanclift; four brothers, William Howe, Clarence “Sonny” Howe, Kenneth Howe, and Robert “Butch” Howe, and three grandchildren, Tina Blood, and Jeffrey and Shawn Stanclift. Memorial information: Graveside committal services will be conducted Friday, Aug. 16, at 2 p.m., in Pine Grove Cemetery on Depot Street in Hinsdale. A reception will follow, to be announced at the close of the graveside service. Donations to Rescue Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Natt Lincoln Divoll III, 80, of Rockingham. Died Aug. 6, 2019. He was born on Jan. 13, 1939, the son of Natt and Josephine (Knox) Divoll. He preferred to be called Lincoln — a name the family started using in the 1800’s after President Lincoln bestowed a postal commission to Josiah Divoll of Rockingham. Lincoln was a 1957 graduate of Bellows Falls High School, a 1958 graduate of Vermont Academy, and a 1967 graduate of the University of Vermont where he studied agriculture and small business. He lived in Rockingham his entire life where he ran the family dairy farm until a fire in 1980. He continued to harvest hay, corn, and young heifers into the 1990s. He worked in the hay fields until 2018. He was also the owner and operator of Walker Insurance Agency in Bellows Falls for 34 years and involved in local politics for many years. In 1968, he married Margaret Groszczyk, who predeceased him. He is predeceased by his parents and his brothers Knox and Scott Divoll. Surviving is his daughter Lisa Divoll-Painter, son-in-law John Painter and his grandchildren Louisa and Lincoln Painter, all of Starksboro. Additionally, he is survived by his sister Marcia Divoll of Nahant, Massachusetts, and his best friend Dorothy Judd of Hanover, N.H. Memorial information: Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

• Robert Henry “Bob” Karg Sr., 86, of West Dummerston. Died Aug. 6, 2019 at Thompson House in Brattleboro, following a period of declining health. Bob was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 27, 1932, the son of Henry and Frances (Emberger) Karg. He was raised and educated in Bloomfield, N.J., graduating from Bloomfield High School. He went on to proudly serve his country in the Navy as a Seabee during the Korean War, stationed in the Philippines. Following his honorable discharge from active service, he returned home and continued his education, earning his B.A. degree in education from Jersey City State College. In 1954, he married Betty Beam. His faithful and devoted wife of almost 60 years predeceased him in 2014. Bob taught building trades at Brattleboro Union High School, from which he retired following over 25 years as a member of the faculty. Previously, while residing in New Jersey, he had been employed as a carpenter for several building contractors. He was involved with the Habitat for Humanity Program, was a member of the West River Valley Lions Club, and held membership in the American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro. With his wife, he was a longtime member of the Newfane Congregational Church. He enjoyed square dancing with his wife and was a member of the former Green Mountain Squares Square Dance Club. Bob loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing, cutting wood, puttering around his home, and time shared with his family. Survivors include: one son, Robert Karg Jr. of Dummerston; one daughter, Susan Dimick and her husband, Alan, of Marietta, Ga.; one brother, Jack Karg of Gig Harbor, Wash.; four grandchildren and two nephews. Memorial information: In keeping with Bob’s final wishes, there will be no formal funeral service. Donations to the West River Habitat for Humanity Program, P.O. Box 40, Jacksonville, VT 05342. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Tracy J. Leavy, 37, of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 2, 2019 at her home. She was born in Springfield, Mass., to William Leavy and the late Kathleen (Butler) Leavy. She was a 2000 graduate of Westfield (Mass.) High School and received an A.S.W. degree from Holyoke Community College. Tracy had been working as a social worker aide for the past four years at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She loved to play softball and watch the New York Yankees and New York Giants. Tracy enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her friend, Jill Lanehart. Tracy is survived by her father and his wife Libby of South Carolina; her sister Sarah A. Leavy and her wife, Lauren, of Westfield; and her brother Edward W. Leavy and his fiancee, Brittany, of Blandford, Mass. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Aug. 9 at St. Mary’s Church in Westfield, with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Donations to the Jack Jonah Foundation, 42 Sean Louis Circle, West Springfield, MA 01089, or Groundworks Collaborative, 60 South Main St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, where Tracy enjoyed helping the homeless.

• George Gardner “Gardy” Loring Jr., 66, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died unexpectedly at his home on July 7, 2019 from a cardiac event. George — a.k.a. “Gardy” to his family, and “Jed” to friends, was a pianist and teacher. He studied at Phillips Andover Academy, Eastman School of Music in Rochester, Harvard University (B.A. cum laude in music), and the New England Conservatory of Music (Master of Music in Piano Performance with honors, studying with Jacob Maxin and Victor Rosenbaum). He taught at St. Paul School, was on the faculty for two decades at Keene State College, and maintained a private piano studio until his retirement some years ago. He had an active performance career as piano soloist with ensembles in New England, around the country, and at least a dozen European cities. He performed on New Hampshire Public Radio and TV, accompanied community groups including the Monadnock Chorus and Keene Pops, and directed diverse musical and theatrical productions. He was past president of the American Matthay Association for Piano, a member of the Music Teachers National Association, served twice as president of the New Hampshire Music Teachers Association, and was a former board member of the New England Piano Teachers Association. George was frequently sought after as an adjudicator for state and regional competitions and festivals. His most recent project was archiving the music and papers of his late mentor, the legendary virtuoso Dusi Mura. He leaves his mother Sally and father George; his sisters Helen, Laura, and Susan; four nieces and a nephew; his two former life partners; and his longtime companion, Charlie. Memorial information: There will be a memorial gathering this fall at a date to be announced.

• Catherine Corrigan Lowery, 90, of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 1, 2019 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Born Sept. 15, 1928 in Schenectady, N.Y., she attended parochial schools and enrolled in the first childhood education program at SUNY-Plattsburgh, graduating in 1950 with a B.S. in early childhood education. She began her career as a second grade teacher in North Babylon, N.Y.,and married Joseph Lowery, a fellow teacher. They eloped on Valentine’s Day, 1953. The family resided for many years in Brightwaters, N.Y. After the birth of her daughters, Catherine took a hiatus from teaching to raise her girls, instilling in them a love of reading, nature, the night sky, and music. Following the death of her husband Joe in 1978, the family joined daughter Ellen in Vermont. Catherine resumed her teaching career as a popular substitute in the Brattleboro schools, including a long stint at the Estyville Schoolhouse. She later worked as a Head Start field teacher in southern Vermont. This was followed by a long and happy time as a lead teacher at the initial opening of the Mulberry Bush Early Learning Center at the Brattleboro Retreat, retiring in 2003 at age 75. She affected the lives of hundreds of children, many of whom sent her letters and updates throughout her life. Catherine’s volunteer work included serving as President of the Good Samaritan Hospital Guild in Islip, N.Y., and, in her Vermont years, the League of Women Voters, serving as an enthusiastic greeter for Red Cross blood drives, and as president of the local AARP chapter. A lifelong Catholic, she was a communicant of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. She was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Sadie (Walsh) Corrigan, her step-brother George Ready, and her beloved husband. Survivors include her daughters Ellen Anne Sarah, of Brattleboro, Patricia Heather of Lynn, Mass., and Katherine “Katie” Corrigan of Queens, N.Y. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Aug. 8 at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. She will be laid to rest next to her husband Joe, in the Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island, N.Y. Donations to Friends of Acadia, a place she dearly loved, or the Mulberry Bush Independent School of the Brattleboro Retreat. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Wellman C. “Bud” Muzzey, 86, of Westminster. Died Aug. 6, 2019 at the Jack Byrne Center for Pallative Care in Lebanon, N.H. He was born at home on the family farm in Westminster on March 6, 1933 to Percy and Eunice (Smith) Muzzey. Bud worked for Frank W. Whitcomb for 44 years as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator until his retirement in 1995. After that he continued working as a heavy equipment operator for Zaluzny Excavating, Cersosimo Lumber, and United Construction. Bud loved country music and loved to dance. He met his wife, Shirley (Allen) Muzzey, at Benson’s Barn in Saxtons River. They chose to settle in Saxtons River, where they lived for many years as they raised their four children. When their children were older, they bought the farmhouse where Bud was born to be closer to the working farm that he and his brother, Warren operated. Bud and Shirley spent many years enjoying square dancing, fair going, and exploring the back roads of Vermont. After Shirley died, he sold the farmhouse and moved to Danville where he made many friends, continued square dancing, and spent time snowmobiling and woodworking. A few years ago, Bud moved back to Westminster to be closer to his family. Bud loved his family and was very proud of his children, David (Charlene) Muzzey of Pensacola, Fla., Karleen (Gary) McKenney of White River Junction, Paul (Lisa) of Rockingham, and Scott (Penny) of Westminster. He especially adored his eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In addition to his loving wife, Shirley, he was predeceased by his brothers William, Walter, and George, and a sister, Constance Kelton. His surviving siblings include Charlotte Kurkul of Westminster, Virginia Cryan of Essex Junction, and Warren Muzzey of Westminster. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Aug. 11 in the Saxtons River Cemetery. Donations to Westminster Cares, P.O. Box 312, Westminster, VT 05158 or the Jack Byrne Center, D/H Giesel Office of Development, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756.

• Jean Stewart Robinson, 95, of Walpole, N.H. Died Aug. 5, 2019 at her home in Walpole, N.H. Her brother, Dr. David Stewart, would have said (and for that matter, insisted) she died of “old age.” Born in 1924, she was the daughter of New York City schoolteachers Pauline and David Stewart, the youngest of five children. She attended Hunter College in New York City and graduated with a degree in art education. In 1944, she married Naval officer Richard Robinson, eventually becoming the mother of three children, Jim, Jill, and Cathy. In the tradition of her ancestral Scottish clan, her family was what she loved most and held dearest. Her last days were filled with memories of good times with her siblings and future husband when they were all kids on Clausen Point in the Bronx. Memories of more than 70 happy years in Grafton, with four generations of the Stewart clan, brought a smile to her face and sustained her. She recalled fondly her relationship as surrogate mom to the informal adoptees she hugged to “the bosom of the family” as well. It was her beloved Grafton that was the most frequent subject of her oil paintings, pen and inks, and pastels. It was in Grafton in the 1970s that she established Thistledown Gallery, giving it the name her mom had given the family homestead of which it was a part. The gallery was a showcase for her own art, as well as the works of other New England artists and crafts people. For more than 20 years, Thistledown Gallery, next to the ‘”Old Tavern of Grafton,” was a popular attraction for tourists, local residents, and the extended family. Her work was reproduced for purposes both aesthetic and useful. It was featured on limited edition prints, fine art note cards and post cards, decorative ceramic tiles, and on clothing-like souvenir T-shirts and skirt and top outfits. Artworks by Jean Stewart Robinson were taken home by hundreds of visitors from around the world as reminders of their New England vacations. Jean’s long life in art allowed for many media and many roles. She worked in many different media and a great variety of materials. During the turbulent 1960s, her multi-media works were equally turbulent. They brought to mind the emotionally evocative political commentary her father had expressed in his cartoons decades earlier. In later years, Jean favored painting pastoral landscapes, and sculpting in clay and stone. Other roles included superintendent of Sunday School and director of the Art Department at her church in Westfield, N.J., where she and her husband were both ordained deacons and active members for many years. Jean was predeceased by her husband Dick; her four siblings Grace Spinella, Robert Stewart, David Stewart, James Stewart; and nieces Joan Heilenday Stewart and Judy Spinella. Jean is survived by her three children, James Stewart Robinson and his wife Patricia of Indianapolis, Jill Robinson of Walpole, and Cathy Robinson and her partner Melanie Zwolinski of Walpole. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Doris Dawn Hubert of Sugar Land, Texas. She will be missed by her six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 11 nieces and nephews. Memorial information: The family will have a private gathering at the interment.

• Arthur Stanley “Art” Snarski, 68, of East Dummerston. Died July 29, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer for nearly a year. He was born on Nov. 11, 1950 in Springfield, Vt., to the late Sophie (Antoniewicz) and John Snarski Sr. The grandson of Polish immigrants, Art grew up alongside his brothers John Jr., Bob, and Jamie in Cavendish. They lived a stone’s throw from their grandparents’ home, along the banks of the Black River. It was there, at the age of 11, he purchased and fixed his first car, learned to ski at Okemo, had many adventures as a boy, and as a teenager formed a band with friends. He attended the Duttonsville School, was initially a student at Black River High School and graduated from Chester High School in 1968. Art attended Castleton State College and it was there he met his future wife, Lynda. While she may have had to encourage him to focus on his academics, purchasing the latest album on vinyl and playing cards proved distracting. He ultimately graduated with a degree in criminal justice, and Art and Lynda were married in 1972. Together, they built their home in Dummerston, nail by nail and board by board. It was there they raised their three daughters and where Art was an exceptional husband, dad, and friend to his neighbors. Art had a long and successful career with the federal government, working for the Treasury Department, retiring in 2018. He was a skilled mechanic and carpenter and could master any task he wished to. He was well-liked and truly respected by everyone he met and worked with. He loved automobiles, skiing, blues guitar, target practice, and watching his garden grow. With a fishing pole in his trunk, he may have stumbled upon a fishing hole or two while traveling the back roads for the IRS. Art was always busy working in his shop and always ready to share a beer from his fridge. He is survived by his wife, Lynda Snarski; three daughters, Cara Stickney and her husband, Robert, of Putney; Erin Nelson and her husband, Ethan, of Ryegate Corner; and Anna Morrison and her husband, Jason, of Jarrettsville, Md.; brothers John Snarski Jr. of Bakersfield, Robert Snarski of Cuttingsville, and James Snarski of Bartonsville. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and a large extended family and countless friends. Memorial information: A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held on October 19, 2019, with details to follow. In the meantime, the family asks that you honor his memory by taking a few minutes to throw a steak on the grill, crack a beer, and spend precious time with family and friends. After all, in his words, he “put the ‘Arty’ in party."

Services

A Celebration of Life for Joe Mandell takes place Saturday, Aug. 17, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., at Williamsville Hall. A remembrance will start at 2 p.m., followed by finger foods and music by The Buzzards. Dr. Mandell, 87, died on Feb. 7, 2019, at his Williamsville home.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #523 (Wednesday, August 14, 2019). This story appeared on page C2.

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