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

Milestones

Obituraries

• Michael J. “Mike” Como, 78, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Dec. 24, 2019, following an extended period of declining health. Mike was born in East Liverpool, Ohio on April 29, 1941 the son of John and Edna (Clendenning) Como. He was raised and educated in East Liverpool and was a graduate of East Liverpool High School, Class of 1960. A proud veteran, Mike served in the Navy (1960-1964) on board the U.S.S. Willis A. Lee, DW-4, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. He was reinstated into the Navy in 1968 and served on board the U.S.S. Compton, DL-705, and the U.S.S. Damato, DL-871. In 1976, Mike transferred to the Air Force, serving two additional years until his honorable discharge in 1978. Mike had been employed at The Book Press in Brattleboro until the plant closed. He later worked for Bradley Labs in Brattleboro,which he retired from in 2016. On a part-time basis, he worked for the Chesterfield Recycling Center, a position he thoroughly enjoyed. He was a member of VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034, serving as post commander in 1994-95. He was active within the post as a trustee, member of the color guard, and chair of the Americanism Committee. He also held membership in VFW John Logan Post 6900 in Somerville, Mass., where he also served a term as post commander. On the state level, Mike served as District Commander in 1995-96, State of Vermont. Additionally, he held membership in American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro, F.O. Eagles, Keene Aerie 1413; and the Bellows Falls Moose Club. In 1989, he married Patricia L. Pollica, who survives. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of 30 years, he leaves a daughter, Rhonda Manning (Shawn) of Attleboro, Mass.; two step-daughters, Robin McDurfee of Keene, N.H., and Alicia Bleau (Robert) of St. Augustine, Fla.; a step-son, Robert Driscoll, Jr. of West Chesterfield; a brother, John Como of Pennsylvania, and a sister, Connie Mejia of California. Additionally, he leaves eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and siblings Betty, Sue, and James. Memorial information: A Liturgy of the Word service was held at Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro. Burial with military honors will be held in Chesterfield West Cemetery in the springtime. Donations to VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034 General Fund, or to the Post 1034 Auxiliary, 40 Black Mountain Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Timothy Patrick Curtin, 62, of Vernon. Died peacefully on Dec. 26, 2019, at Jack Byrne Palliative and Hospice Care Center in Hanover, N.H., after battling courageously for some time against several medical challenges. Tim was born on Sept. 1, 1957 in Burlington,, the son of Army Sergeant First Class James P. Curtin and Mrs. Ruth (Denning) Curtin. Tim spent his earliest years in Burlington, Frankfurt (West Germany), and Fort Monmouth (New Jersey), before his family settled in Burlington in 1964. He attended local schools, graduating in 1977 from South Burlington High School. After sampling a few other locations, Tim settled in the Brattleboro area. Tim’s father died in 1972 and his mother, who had returned to her native Brattleboro, died in 2012. Tim married Gerry Howland in 1993. The two met while working at Brattleboro’s Mole’s Eye Café. Gerry was the love of Tim’s life and his best friend. He greatly enjoyed spending time with Gerry camping in their RVs, attending musicals and movies, shopping, going to a casino, visiting with family and friends, and attending the Big E. Much to the chagrin of his New York Giants-loving brothers, Tim was a huge New England Patriots fan, a passion he shared with Gerry. Tim was a devoted fisherman and, in recent years, he had also discovered the joys of reading mystery novels. Tim was a dependable and conscientious worker, spending most of his career as a janitor or night watchman in various Brattleboro area businesses until a work accident in 2014 left him unable to continue employment. Among others, Tim worked at Sam’s, the Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Grace Cottage Hospital, Cersosimo Lumber, Allard Lumber, and the offices of several local doctors. In addition to his wife, Tim is survived by his brothers and sisters: David Curtin and his wife, Edna, of Barnet, Paula Tarrant and her husband, David, of Newton, Mass., Barbara Curtin of Burlington, and Michael Curtin and his wife, Gail, of Fayston. Tim loved his nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews, and always kept track of their activities. He loved animals and over the years had several dogs and cats. Memorial information: A memorial service was held Jan. 4 at Atamaniuk Funeral Home. Donations to Lucy MacKenzie’s Humane Society, P.O. Box 702, Brownsville, VT 05037. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Winifred Barrows Frost “Winnie” Duby, 91, of Vernon. Died peacefully on Jan. 1, 2020 at Vernon Green Nursing Home. She was born in Brattleboro on Jan. 9, 1928, the youngest daughter of Fred W. and Ethel (Smith) Barrows, and attended Brattleboro schools. She was employed at A.G. Spaulding, J.E. Mann and, for 23 years, as an inspector at American Optical Company. Winnie was past president of the now defunct Dorr Sprague Marine Auxiliary and past president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary, of which she had been a member for 55 years. Winnie enjoyed reading, needlework, gardening, hymns and organ music. Her first marriage to Clenn H. Frost ended in divorce in 1949. She married Edwin N. Duby in 1951, but was predeceased by him in 2007. She is also predeceased by: her son, Clenn A. Frost; her brothers, Cleon, Warren, Walter Raymond, Ralph and Earl; and her sisters, Ruth and Verna. Winnie is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Jane Duby of Brattleboro; her daughter-in-law, Mary Frost of Shaftsbury, as well as her grandchildren, Chris, Amanda, and Clenn; and seven great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Burial will be at the discretion of the family this spring in Dummerston Center Cemetery. Donations to Brattleboro Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary, 54 Chickering Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301 or to the Vernon Green Nursing Home Activities Fund, 61 Greenway Drive, Vernon, VT 05354. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Julio Galagarza-Pizzaro, 71, of Wilmington. Died unexpectedly on Dec. 23, 2019 at the Albany (NY) Medical Center. Mr. Galagarza-Pizzaro was born in Puerto Rico on Oct. 9, 1948 to Julio Galagarza and Dolores Pizarro. He had worked for many years as a building superintendent in New York City. He and his wife, Esther, enjoyed their vacation home in Wilmington for many years and eventually retired there, where they have many friends. He loved Wilmington and all of its people. He leaves his wife Esther, son Jules, and daughter Judy. Memorial information: There will be no services. Personal condolences may be sent to the family in care of the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363 or to info@sheafuneralhomes.com.

• Kathleen Barbara Gates, 63, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly at her home on Dec. 21, 2019, following a period of declining health. Born in Warwick, N.Y., on Nov. 13, 1956, the daughter of Walter and Aileen (Ingham) Kurz, she was raised and educated in Yardley, Pa., graduating from Pennsbury High School with the Class of 1974. She went on to attend the former Windham College in Putney, earning her Bachelor’s degree in history. Kathy had been employed as a secretary for several years at the law offices of Zwicker & Zwicker in West Brattleboro. Previously she worked as a waitress at the former Jolly Butcher Restaurant and former Walker’s Restaurant, both in Brattleboro. She was a member of the B.P.O. Elks, Brattleboro Lodge 1499, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie 2445. Kathy enjoyed time at the beach, shopping, vegetable and flower gardening, and time shared with her family and beloved pet dogs. In 1994, she married to David R. Gates, who survives. Besides her husband, she leaves one son, Christopher Gates of Brattleboro; two brothers, Patrick and Timothy Kurz; two sisters, Cindy Desko and Christine Thomas; and many nieces and nephews. Additionally, she leaves a host of friends. Memorial information: Funeral services are incomplete at this time and will be announced later in the springtime by the funeral home. Donations to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Mary Lou (Riedel) Gould, 80, of Bellows Falls. Died Dec. 26, 2019 at Vernon Homes, after a fulfilled and fulfilling life. She was born in Chicago on Aug. 25, 1939. She was married for more than 60 years to the love of her life, David Gould, who survives her. Also surviving are her children, Jonathan Gould of Levant, Maine, and Carla Gould of Astoria, Queens, N.Y.; two grandchildren, Sara Gould and Joseph Gould of Farmingville, N.Y.; and her sister Eleanor Rydin of Gold Canyon, Ariz. She was predeceased by her son, Eric Gould. Mary Lou was a multifaceted person — homemaker, wife, mother, financial manager, gardener, and artist. She handled each of her life roles with imagination, inspiration, grace, and love. Her spiritual strength came from her relationships with people and her interaction with the world that surrounded her. She found joy and life in the simple things. During her life, she held her head high often marching to her own drum beat, yet she continued to march onward and upward. She is already missed by her family and friends. Memorial information: A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are in the care of Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home of Bellows Falls.

• Jesse Lee Hamilton, 47, of Marlboro. Died Dec. 30, 2019 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Brattleboro. He was born on Sept. 30, 1972 in Brattleboro, the son of Dean and Linda Hamilton. He was the husband of Jody Oakman-Hamilton. They were married on Feb. 9, 2013 in Marlboro. A 1990 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, he served with the Army Reserve in the transportation section of the 3rd battalion, 35th Infantry, 187th Infantry Brigade, located in Springfield, Mass. He was later assigned to the Headquarters section of the 187th Infantry at Fort Devens, Mass., where he served as a driver for the Brigade Commander. With the inactivation of the 187th in 1994, Sergeant Hamilton went on to serve several years with the New Hampshire Army National Guard. He was very proud of his military service and thankful for the lasting friendships that he formed in the Guard and Reserve. As a child, Jesse was a Boy Scout and volunteered as a Big Brother in his early 20s. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Marlboro Fire Department for 18 years and worked for the town Highway Department in Marlboro for nine years. He took pride in his work on the road crew, and was dedicated to his country, community, family, and friends. Jesse also took pride in his herb and flower gardens and making sure his yard was pristine. He also enjoyed cooking, experimenting with new recipes, making his own pasta sauce from his home-grown tomatoes and started making his own pickles. His joy was spending time with his family and family gatherings. He enjoyed watching anything about trains, heavy equipment, and trucks, and talking with his dad about them. He is survived by his husband, Jody; step-children Tristin Oakman (Cora Jordan), Rachel Richardson (Andrew), grand-daughter Adaline Richardson, his father Dean Hamilton and mother Linda Hamilton, sisters Jennifer Carpenter (Rick), Amy Fletcher (Adam), and Tina Crum (Jim), nephews Gavin and Owen Sullivan, Drew Fuller, Colby Crum, and nieces Gabrielle and Lauren Carpenter and Kiley Fuller. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held for friends and family on Jan. 18, from 2 to 6 p.m., at the Eagles in Brattleboro. Donations to Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department or Deerfield Valley Rescue in Wilmington. To view Jesse’s online tribute, send condolences to the family, or for more information, visit www.csnh.com.

• Guy Christopher Lueddeke, 63, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Dec. 31, 2019, with his family by his side, at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care in Lebanon, N.H. He was born in Coral Gables, Fla. on Nov. 11, 1956 to the late James D. Lueddeke and Judith M. Gibson of Sea Girt, N.J. He graduated from Laconia (N.H.) High School with the Class of 1974, and the Thompson School of Practical Nursing in Brattleboro. Guy was a kind, gentle and compassionate person who loved spending time with his family and friends. There was nothing he loved more than an interesting conversation and he could engage with anyone. Growing up at the Jersey Shore, Guy was an exceptional surfer and swimmer. He was an expert skier as well and enjoyed all sports. Listening to music, playing guitar, and jamming with friends was one of his favorite pastimes. He had a movie collection like no other. He had a flair for cooking, whipping up the healthiest and tastiest vegetarian dishes. He is survived by his parents and his siblings Leslie Lueddeke, Geoffrey Lueddeke, Doriana Donovan, Jamie Critchley and her husband Ray, as well as his nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A celebration of Guy’s life will be held at a later date in Weirs Beach, NH

• Douglas Arthur “Doug” MacMurtry, 72, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully, with his wife at his side, on Dec. 28, 2019 at Thompson House, following an extended illness. Doug was born in Bellows Falls on March 22, 1947, the son of Harold and Eugenia (Ellis) MacMurtry. He was raised and educated in Brandon, and was a graduate of Otter Valley Union High School, Class of 1965. He went on to attend the former Hartford (Conn.) Business College. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War in the Army. He enlisted in 1966 and was stationed in Korea. He was honorably discharged from active service in 1969. Doug worked most of his career as a service manager for several auto dealerships in the area which included R.S. Roberts, Auto Mall, Stacy Subaru and Toyota/Volvo of Keene. Previously, he was office manager for Central Vermont Public Service, initially working in the Rutland office before being transferred to Brattleboro. Very active with VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034, Doug served as post commander and was a past Vice Commander and also served as a trustee. Additionally, he was a member of the color guard/memorial unit and was in charge of the annual VFW Scholarship program. He was a dedicated volunteer of the VFW, spending countless hours of his free time. Doug was also a past member of American Legion Post 5. For several years he was active with the Greater Brattleboro Men’s Softball League and played for Brattleboro Savings & Loan. He also enjoyed playing billiards, bowling, golfing, and socializing with his many friends. He was previously married to Patricia Finnell, which ended in divorce. In 1999, he married Patricia (Rouleau) Duranty, who survives. Besides his wife, he is survived by: one daughter, Sarah Jones of Jacksonville, Fla.; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Duranty of Brattleboro; a stepson, David Duranty of Lake City, Fla.; one brother, David MacMurtry of Rutland; four sisters, Lynda Bonanno of Hingham, Mass., and her twin, Brenda Sheckter of Cummings, Ga., Noreen Babcock of Proctor, and Claudia Schroeder of Cummings, Ga.; many grandchildren and great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A memorial service in celebration of his life will be conducted at VFW Post 1034 on Black Mountain Road on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 1 to 3 p.m. Donations to VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034, P.O. Box 8233, Brattleboro, VT 05304. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

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.

Comments

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 #543 (Wednesday, January 8, 2020). This story appeared on page A4.

Share this story

Links

Related stories