• Carrie Gest Blum, 59, of Northborough, Mass. Died unexpectedly Jan. 2, 2020 at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass. Carrie was born in Pittsfield, Mass. on June 18, 1960, the daughter of John Hodge and Nancy (Hart) Markgraf. She was raised and educated in Williamstown, Mass., graduating from Mount Greylock Regional High School, Class of 1978. She attended Middlebury College where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology. She went on to earn her PhD in Psychology from the University of Vermont. At the time of her death, she was a research scientist for the Sunovion Pharmaceutical Company in Marlborough, Mass. Previously, she worked for the Merck Corporation in New Jersey and had taught at the University of Texas in Houston and the University of Miami. Most recently, Carrie had the distinguished honor of being appointed president of the Safety Pharmacology Society, where she held membership for the past 16 years. While residing in New Jersey, Carrie was a founding member of the New Jersey Brain Bee, an advocacy educational group to introduce and inspire children into the field of science. Carrie was an independent, strong and well-organized woman who was known for her kind, gentle and giving spirit. Professionally, she was well respected by her peers and colleagues in the pharmaceutical field. She was a lover of animals, enjoyed traveling and time shared with her family. In 1989, she married Philip C. Blum, who survives. She leaves one sister, Sarah Markgraf of Weehawken, N.J., one aunt, and several uncles and nephews as well as a host of friends. She was predeceased by her son, Justin Philip Blum, in 2019, and her parents. Memorial information: A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, Jan 25, at 11 a.m., at the Guilford Community Church in the Algiers section of Guilford. A reception will follow the services to be held in the church’s fellowship hall. Donations to Baypath Humane Society, 500 Legacy Farms North, Hopkinton, MA 01748. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.
• Gary D. Chase, 66, of Rockingham. Died Jan. 11, 2020 at his home, following an illness. He was born Jan. 23, 1953, in Springfield, Vt., the son of Charles and Elizabeth (Hodgdon) Chase, and was a graduate of Springfield High School, Class of 1971. In 1975, he married Denise Douglas. Gary was a cabinetmaker and worked for Vermont Custom Cabinetry in Westminster for 40 years prior to retirement. He loved working with wood, especially creating unique cutting boards, and building. He enjoyed cutting his own firewood and considered it therapeutic. He also enjoyed reading and especially loved spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Shannon Chase of Washington, Vt., Ashlynn Chase of Chester, and BrieAnn Chase and fiancé Nick Wardwell of Rockingham; a sister, Sandi Crilly of Barre; three brothers, Greg Chase and his wife, Kathy, of Rockingham, Charles Chase Jr. and his wife, Addie, of Athens, and Dana Chase and his wife, Nola, of Springfield; his stepmother, Janice Chase of Springfield; and two grandchildren and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Memorial information: A celebration of life service will be held at Crown Point Country Club in Springfield on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 3 to 7 p.m. Donations to the Melanoma Research Fund, in care of Megan Daniels, MGH Development Office, 125 Nashua St., Boston, MA 02114.
• Evelyn C. Greene, 91, of Wilmington. Died peacefully at home on Jan. 7, 2020. She was born July 20, 1928 in Wilmington, the daughter of Ralph and Maude (Temple) Canedy. After graduation from Wilmington High School, she married her high school sweetheart, Robert L. Greene, in 1946. Together, they raised their family in Wilmington and ran their family business, Greene’s Service Center, from 1963 until they retired. Evelyn was involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sunday School, and church choir. She even officiated field hockey games. As a teenager, Evelyn could be seen riding her horse around town. Evelyn and Bob enjoyed traveling, mostly driving to their destinations, including Alaska and Canada, to the southwest and much time spent at their camp in Kennebago, Maine. Evelyn enjoyed learning about Native American cultures from these areas through an extensive library of books. Evelyn and Bob enjoyed sugaring and being involved in the community, including the Eastern Star, Masons, and Wilmington Historical Society. Evelyn was a loving mother to many generations, always with a home-cooked family dinner and an apple pie waiting. She was predeceased by her husband in 2018; their son, Joel N. Greene, in 2006; and her two brothers, Jean and Craig Canedy. She is survived by her children; Robert and his wife, Robin, of Bennington; Susan and her husband Robert Cann, of Allenstown, N.H.; John and his wife, Beth, of Wilmington; and Peter of Williamsville; Joel’s wife, Sandra Bolduc, of Wilmington; 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and her sister, Joyce Boyd of Wilmington. Memorial information: Services will be private, in the spring. Donations to the Wilmington Historical Society and VNA/Hospice Care in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.
• Frances M. “Mike” Lavender, 79, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Jan. 10, 2020 at Thompson House, with his family at his side, following a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Waterbury on Feb. 5, 1940, the son of Francis P. and Amelia (Lamb) Lavender, his father was killed in action in World War II during the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 24, 1944. His mother eventually remarried and Mike was raised by Anthony J. Blanchette. He attended St. Michael’s Parochial School and was a graduate of St. Michael’s High School, Class of 1958, where he played basketball and baseball. He proudly served his country in the Air Force, and was stationed in Montana and abroad in Turkey. Following his honorable discharge from active service in 1962 he returned home and went to work at the former Case Brothers Company. Mike later was employed by the Brattleboro Retreat in the maintenance/building department and retired in 2008 as Facilities Director & Fire Safety Coordinator following over 43 faithful years with the Retreat. During his employment he received his Master Electrician certificate, an accomplishment he was proud of. He was a longtime communicant of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church and was a lifetime member of the B.P.O. Elks, Brattleboro Lodge #1499. On a state level, he served as State Chaplain for the Elks organization, 2007-08. He was also a longtime volunteer supporting the Elks bingo. Mike was active for more than 25 years with the Greater Brattleboro Men’s Softball League playing for various local teams. He also coached a number of Brattleboro youth baseball and basketball teams. A quiet and unassuming man, Mike was known for his spirit of friendship. He was a dedicated volunteer, always assisting his wife Claire in many fundraising events that included the BMH Clambake, bi-annual auctions, and other various events. His greatest love was watching his five grandsons’ sporting events and other activities. When he wasn’t watching his grandsons, he was an avid New England sports fan. In 1967, he married Clara Marie “Claire” Finnell. His wife of 51 years predeceased him in 2018. Survivors include his two children, son Michael Paul Lavender and his wife, Cindy, of Marblehead, Mass., and Melissa McAuliffe and her husband, Paul, of Brattleboro. He also leaves one brother, Paul Lavender and his wife Debbie of Mount Vernon, Maine, two sisters, Betty Worden and Rosalyn Enos, both of Brattleboro, and five grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves many nieces, nephews, in-laws, and other family and friends. He was predeceased by two sisters, Mary Sanborn and Joanne Wheeler. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Jan. 17 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, with committal rites and burial with military honors in St. Michael’s Parish Cemetery. Donations to St. Brigid’s Kitchen, 38 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or to the Oncology Department, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit www.atamaniuk.com.
• Charles Rosier “Chuck” Millar, 74, of Richmond, Calif. Died Dec. 15, 2019, at his home next to Marina Bay, after a life of many adventures and achievements, including 12 years of hard work and discipline to try to heal from cancer. Chuck made a living as an editor, a counselor/psychotherapist, a leader of community projects and organizations, and an educator. He was also a writer, an artist, a minister, a lover of nature, a windsurfer, a motorcyclist, a dedicated volunteer, a seeker of truth, an activist, a leader, an appreciative listener, and a friend who loved sharing ideas and his heart with people of every age, background, and situation. Chuck was born May 23, 1946, to Elizabeth Hope Wickersham Millar and Joseph Hamilton Millar III, in Salem, Mass., and throughout Chuck’s life, he either lived in or came back as frequently as he could to the Cape Ann area. At Kimberton Farms Waldorf School in Pennsylvania, his father, Joe, met a fellow teacher who would be the mother Chuck knew for most of his life, because his own mother had died when he was five years old. Ann Beaver Millar, of whom it was said in her obituary that with her there were no “step’s” and no “ex’s,” outlived her husband Joe by 38 years, dying in the family house in Gloucester, Mass., in 2018. Chuck went to Amherst College for two years, and then transferred to Marlboro College and graduated with a B.A. in English, minoring in art. His further schooling included a master’s degree in international administration from the School for International Learning (SIT) in Brattleboro and a PhD in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. During the time he lived in the Brattleboro area, Chuck volunteered at Hotline for Help in Brattleboro, where he discovered that he loved counseling. He also worked at Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) as a project leader and at Community Action Brattleboro Area (CABA) as its director. He also taught at The Grammar School in Putney and the SEVCA Youth Corps, as well as at SIT. On the West Coast, he worked as an editorial consultant at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and as a proofreader, and later editor at Apple, in Cupertino, Calif. He also was a freelance editor of mental health books for W.W. Norton and did pro bono editing of books and other content for his church, friends, and causes he believed in. His work also took him to Africa, where he was director of Palapye Development Trust in Palapye, Botswana, where he wrote grant proposals to gain funding, petitioned for land from the tribal land board for a center, recruited and hired staff, and led the building and operation of a center to provide training to youth and needed community services. Chuck was predeceased by his daughter, Anne Posey Dimakatso Millar Desmond in 2018. He is survived by his wife Marilala “Laila” Campbell Millar of Richmond, Calif.; his son, Rowan Campbell Millar, of Capitola, Calif.; his grandson, Finnegan Jacob Millar Desmond, and son-in-law, Timothy Ambrose Desmond — both of Alstead, N.H. — and by his five brothers: Joseph Millar of Richmond, Calif., and Raleigh, N.C.; Andrew Millar of Sherman, Conn.; James (Shamis) Fastook of Orono, Maine; John Millar of Princeton, N.J.; and Harrison Millar of Gloucester, Mass. Memorial information: A memorial gathering took place at the First Methodist Church of Richmond on Jan. 18. A celebration of Chuck’s life will take place on his birthday, Saturday, May 23, at 2 p.m., at the Annisquam Village Hall at 34 Leonard St., Gloucester. RSVP by email to Laila Millar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the Institute for Individual and World Peace (www.iiwp.org).
• Walter Thomas “Chip” Raleigh, 68, Died peacefully at his home on Jan. 9, 2020, surrounded by his beloved wife and children, after a nearly three-year battle with cancer. He was born Dec. 15, 1951 to Walter D. and Alyce Raleigh, and grew up in Monson, Mass. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served on a submarine in the Pacific Ocean from 1969 to 1973. Following his honorable discharge, he moved to Wilmington to work at Mount Snow. He met his wife Brenda (Adams) there, and they were married in 1978. Chip was a man of many talents. After Mount Snow, he worked for the Vermont Highway Department and Adams Plumbing, and was a lab operator for the Dover Water District, a nuclear security office at Yankee Rowe and, for most of the last 20 years, was a trailer-truck driver. With his own irreverent humor and his huge heart, he made friends everywhere he went. He remained close to his childhood Boy Scout leader, Al Wilcox, and several troop mates all his life, even getting together for reunion camping trips in recent years. He loved his Patriots, and coached every game from his recliner, right up to their last game of the season on Jan. 4. If there was no football on, he was reading the latest Clive Cussler novel and adding it to his collection. Another passion was trout fishing; he had “his” spot and his fishing buddies that gave him many hours of enjoyment. He loved sharing his 3 lb. catches with friends over a campfire. Above all else, he loved his family. He adored his wife Brenda, and his children David (and Ashley) Raleigh, and Rachel (and Jason) Sprague; his grandchildren Thomas and JoAnna Raleigh and grandchildren-at-heart Alyzsa and Isaac Sprague. Special memories include years of fishing the remote brooks in Somerset, jack-jumping at Mount Snow, a cross-country trip in the big rig with daughter Rachel, being Boy Scout leader for his son Dave, Sunday coffee with the boys at C&S, scuba diving, playing piano, learning to fly airplanes with Bob North, and especially the years of road trips and camping with his family and enjoying the outdoors. He will be sorely missed by many. Memorial information: At his request, there will be no services. Memorial donations can be made to either Deerfield Valley Community Cares, P.O. Box 5, Wilmington, VT 05363; Whitingham-Halifax Lions Club, P.O. Box 217, Jacksonville, VT 05342 or Deerfield Valley Rescue Inc., 22 Stowe Hill Rd Wilmington, VT 05363 To view Chip’s online obituary, send condolences to the family, or for more information, visit www.csnh.com.
• James R. Sears Jr., 83, of Westminster. Died Jan. 14, 2020. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on June 11, 1936, the son of the late Dorothy (Anderson) and James Ross Sears, he attended high school in Bergenfield, N.J. He served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., during the Korean War. James was a truck driver for Bazin Brothers, Allen Brothers, and Hancor Trucking for many years. More recently, he drove a school bus for the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union. He was a member and trustee of the Community Christian Church in Athens. A great passion for Jim was his love of gospel music. He enjoyed producing and recording Christian music proclaiming his love for Jesus and creating videos for his own YouTube channel. He also loved to create his own original style of Folk Art, painting rustic scenes. Jim loved having family gatherings by the pool every summer. He also enjoyed watching the New England Patriots’ games with his wife, Alice (Kelly) Sears, the love of his life and soulmate. He is survived by his wife of 54 years; three sons, James Sears III and his wife, Michele, of Au Gres, Mich., Richard Sears and his wife, Christine, of Stoddard, N.H., and Jeff Sears and wife, Teeka, of Georgia, Vt.; his two daughters, Michelle St. Pierre and her husband, Gilles, of Rockingham and Kristina Allen and her partner Mark of Claremont, N.H.; sisters Dorothy May and Evelyn Collins, both of New York, and Martha Feder of North Carolina; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: There will be a memorial service on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m., at Community Christian Church in Athens. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are in the care of Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home of Bellows Falls.
• David E. Stewart, 75, formerly of Newfane. Died Dec. 15, 2019 at his home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, after a six-month fight against an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was born on Aug. 5, 1944 in Newport, R.I., to the late Francis E. Stewart and Barbara (Wagner) Stewart. He attended school in Littleton, Mass., where he graduated from Littleton High School in 1962 and married Jeanne Carroll Wilson. He then enlisted in the Army and spent a tour of duty in Germany as an intelligence officer. He spent 5 1/2 years on active duty, then served in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard before his honorable discharge at the rank of staff sergeant. He and his family ultimately moved to the Brattleboro area and had many jobs as a journeyman electrician, including stints at Dompier Electric and A.E. Tyler & Sons. He loved hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, and taught hunter safety courses for many years. He also served as a town constable in Newfane. In 2004, he moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. David had an incredible memory for all he learned and experienced. He was well-read, as well as being a talented writer and storyteller. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of many subjects, which few knew about, as he was as humble as he was discreet. He was an example of perseverance, steadfastness, patience, kindness, humility, and passion for living. He was a loving father and grandfather, a fun, protective brother, a devoted husband and partner, a valued employee and a loyal friend to many. His spirit of fun and adventure, his heart as wide, big, and warm as the sun, and his sweet, wide, tender smile with a mischievous twinkle is the legacy he leaves. David is survived by his fiancé, Eleanor Duggan, of Council Bluffs; his former wife of 42 years, Jeanne Stewart, of Hinsdale, N.H.; daughters Sherianne Stewart of Brattleboro and Laurel Stewart of Stow, Mass.; grandson Braden Lynn, of Stow, Mass.; siblings Willard J. Stewart and his wife, Harriet (Wilson) Stewart, of Westfield, Mass., Robert J. Stewart and his wife, Joyce (Brown) Stewart of Southgate, Ky., and Elizabeth A. Stewart and her husband, Jeff Bowman, of Renton, Wash. He also leaves behind many loving nephews, nieces, and cousins. Memorial information: Interment will be in the Omaha (Neb.) National Cemetery at a later date. A local celebration of David’s life will be held in early August at a time and place to be announced.