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The following local students were honored for academic acheivement for the spring 2020 semester at Champlain College in Burlington: Kaya Mulligan of South Londonderry, who is majoring in social work, was named to the Trustees’ List for achieving a 4.0 GPA. Named to the Dean’s List for achieving a 3.5 or higher GPA were Connor Greene, a communication major from Westminster Station; Alexander Houk, a professional writing major from Brattleboro; Jacob Lazarek, a game art and animation major from Westminster; and John Wright, a game art and animation major from Brattleboro.

• Hannah Kelly, a nursing major from Bellows Falls, has been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2020 semester at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.

• Grace MacFadyen of East Dover and Gabrel Vanni-Phillips of Newfane, were both named to the spring 2020 Provost’s List, which recognizes students who have earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

• Sophia Mark of Brattleboro and Kaie Quigley of West Wardsboro both completed their first year of studies at Lasell University in Newton, Mass.


Brattleboro Memorial Hospital welcomes Colleen Conway-Edwards, APRN, to Brattleboro Internal Medicine. Originally from New England, Conway-Edwards comes to Brattleboro via Oregon, where she worked at the PeaceHealth Senior Health and Wellness Center in Eugene. Before that, she lived in Nashville, Tenn., where she worked at several medical facilities in that area. She received her master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. When not seeing patients, Conway-Edwards says she enjoys hiking and kayaking with her spouse and three children as well as listening to music and trying new foods. They also love to spend time at the Retreat Farm visiting with Carlos the Ox.

• Karen Fortier, the manager of Brattleboro Savings & Loan’s Main Street branch, recently graduated from a rigorous 10-month program in collaboration and community impact from Leadership Southeast Vermont, a program that brings together organizational leaders from around the area to discuss and strategize ways to grow the vitality of southeast Vermont’s communities.


• Richard J. “Dick” Curtis, 87, formerly of Brattleboro. Died July 16, 2020 in Roswell, Ga. Born on Sept. 20, 1932 in Lebanon, N.H., he was the son of the late Fred and Rose (Allard) Curtis. Dick grew up in Lebanon and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1950. He married his beloved wife of 65 years, Dolores “Dolly” (Zullo) Curtis, in 1953. Dick worked for Allstate Insurance in Brattleboro for 35 years and got to know many Brattleboro-area residents. He and Dolly spent most of their married life raising their family in Brattleboro before retiring to Spring Hill, Fla., in 1996, then later to Roswell, Ga. Dick served in the Navy from 1951 to 1955 as a radar technician on the battleship USS New Jersey. He often reminisced about his adventures and his time in Japan. Dick was a longtime member of the Brattleboro Elks #1499. He was an avid Red Sox fan and was the best popcorn maker ever. Every Friday night was popcorn night with his family. In the past year since his wife’s death, Dick enjoyed Poker Night in Roswell, Ga., before moving to a care facility in February. In addition to his wife and parents, Dick was predeceased by two brothers, Donald and Fred, his sister Marie, and son-in-law Mike Elliott. Surviving family members include son Michael Curtis and wife Rebecca of Canton, Ga., and daughters Terri Curtis Elliott of Plymouth, Mass., and Lynn Curtis and husband, Terry Portman, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; as well as three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held July 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta, Ga., followed by burial with full military honors at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton. Donations to Catholic Charities.

• Rita M. (Blaney) Guarino, 90, of Keene, N.H., formerly of Guilford. Died July 8, 2020 at home, surrounded by her family. Rita was born the daughter of the late Selena (Cotnoir) and Albert Blaney on Sept. 26, 1929, in Millis, Mass. She graduated from Bethlehem (N.H.) High School. She graduated from Plymouth (N.H.) State Teacher’s College, where she met the love of her life, Anthony “Tony” Guarino. Later in life, she earned a master’s in educational administration at the University of New Hampshire. In 1951, she exchanged vows with Anthony. They had been married for 68 years and had five children, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Rita taught elementary school for a short time in Warren, N.H., then stayed home caring for Tony and the children. Rita was passionate about reading and writing and developed that in the family. She relished thoughtful conversations that explored questions about the world. She returned to teaching elementary school, with stints in Lisbon, Maine, and Brentwood, N.H. She instilled in her students the importance of fine literature, producing plays of Shakespeare. She retired from teaching in 1983 to work with Tony at his home insurance agency. They both retired in 1991 and in retirement, they traveled and watched their families grow. An avid writer and journalist, she contributed to the Brentwood Newsletter and in 2004, self-published a novel, The One Eyed Dragon, a commentary about her nemesis, television, and its negative impact on children. She grew beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and walked or biked miles every day. Rita is survived by her husband and her five children and their families: Michelle Kareckas and husband Jack of South Berwick, Maine, Jovana Guarino of South Burlington, Jennifer Guarino and husband, Ed Delhagen, of Randolph, Michael Guarino of Lee, N.H., and Susan Guarino of Brattleboro; and a sister, Marjorie Blevins of Mendon, Mass. In addition, she leaves three sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Rita was predeceased by an infant daughter, Mary; a granddaughter, Alexa Cioffi; and her brothers, George and James Blaney. Memorial information: In keeping with Rita’s wishes, burial will take place later and privately. Donations to your local library or to the charity of your choice.

• Scott D. Haselton Jr., 54, of Brattleboro, a lifelong resident of town, died Tuesday night, July 21, 2020 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., following a brief illness. Scott was born in Brattleboro on Sept. 21, 1965, the son of Scott and Carolyn (Rabideau) Haselton. He was raised and educated in Brattleboro and attended Brattleboro Union High School. He was a self-employed carpenter by trade and enjoyed doing small jobs for friends and neighbors. He enjoyed the outdoors, and loved fishing and spending time with his friends. He was also an avid New England Patriots fan. Survivors include: his father, Scott Haselton, Sr. and step-mother, Marcia Charlonne of Brattleboro; one sister, Tina LaFarr and her husband Ardell of West Brattleboro; a step-brother, Michael Charlonne; one niece, Becky LaFarr and a great niece Rylee; and four daughters, Stacy, Jessica, Ashley and Amber. Additionally, he leaves several aunts, uncles and cousins. Scott was predeceased by a daughter, Amber. Memorial information: Services will be private for the immediate family only. To share a memory or send messages of condolence to Scott’s family, visit

• Eloine Elsie (Foster) Holmquist, 90, of Brattleboro. Died July 23, 2020 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, surrounded by love. Eloine was born on Jan. 17, 1930 to Elsie (Ware) and Harold Foster. She was raised on Spofford Lake with her three brothers, Wallace, Harold and Stuart, who all predeceased her. She attended schools in Chesterfield, N.H., and Brattleboro. She spent her youth working at the family business, Foster’s Hotel, and at Wares Grove on the lake. In 1948, she married Kenneth Leroy Holmquist, who died in 2002. Both Eloine and Kenneth were Shriners and enjoyed their friendships that they developed though the organization. Eloine was a dedicated mother and grandmother first and foremost. If you were fortunate enough to have known her, you will know that her most natural talent of all was being a mother. She held many waitress jobs throughout her life, but her career and her utmost priority was to love and create a family bond that was insurmountable. She raised six children, all of whom loved her dearly and will never forget her tenacity, sarcasm, wit, charm, grace and undying love and caring for them. She was a beautiful woman who was adored by many. She leaves behind her children and spouses: Duane (Susan) Holmquist, Brenda (Arnold) Johnston, Scott (Lynne) Holmquist, Craig Holmquist, and Susan (Stephen) Kapral. She was predeceased by her son, Bruce Holmquist, in 2017; Bruce’s wife, Susan Holmquist, remained ever present in Eloine’s life and one of her biggest fans. She leaves 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren who all loved her immensely and have many memories of “Grammy,” especially making popcorn balls, twirly bread, and her famous spaghetti pie. She also leaves brothers-in-law Stanley (Estelle) Holmquist and Phillip (Dora) Holmquist and many nephews and nieces. One of Eloine’s fondest memories were Saturday night card games with the Holmquist brothers. Memorial information: Donations to the Grace Cottage Foundation, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353, for their Comfort Care Program; or Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. An announcement will be made at a later date for a family and friends celebration of Eloine’s life in August. To share a memory or send messages of condolence, visit

• Judith A. Marston, 74, of Vernon. Died July 18, 2020 at her home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Greenfield, Mass., on February 3, 1946, the daughter of Charles and Sybil (Kemp) Stafford. She attended Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield, Mass., and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School. She married Anthony Amato Sr. in 1964. She worked early in life at home, while the children were in school, as a daycare provider. She then worked at Vernon Elementary school in the kitchen, and then at the Franklin Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente in Greenfield, Mass., from which she retired. In 1986, she married Eldred Marston. They loved camping at Beebe Advent Christian Campground in Beebe, Quebec, which Eldred had operated in the 1970s. They also enjoyed quilting and gardening together. Mr. Marston predeceased her in 2004. Later in life, she worked at the Erving and Vernon Elementary Schools as a paraprofessional and also at the Vernon Advent Christian Nursing Home. Her family, especially her grandsons, were the pride and joy of her life. She loved cooking and working in her vegetable and flower gardens. She is survived by her two sons, Anthony Amato, Jr. and his wife, Kelly, of Northfield, Mass., and Todd Amato and his wife, Pam, of Vernon; and her grandsons Jacob of Northfield and Alex of Vernon. She is also survived by her sister, Eunice Stanley and her husband, Francis, of Greenfield; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and her church family. She was predeceased by her parents, and a brother, Gary Stafford. Memorial information: A private funeral service was held at Vernon Advent Christian Church, with burial in West Branch Cemetery in Colrain, Mass. Donations to Vernon Advent Christian Church, 4554 Fort Bridgman Rd., Vernon, VT 05354.

• Mary Louise (Garland) Robinson, 75, formerly of Dummerston. Died July 19, 2020. Mary was born in Dummerston on Aug. 8, 1944, the daughter of the late William Manley Garland and Gertrude Jenny Garland (Pond) who predeceased her. Mary had seven siblings, six brothers and one sister. Mary’s brothers who predeceased her were Merton Garland, Charlie Garland, Timothy Garland, Westley Garland. She was also predeceased by her spouse, Burns Robinson, in 1996. Mary is survived by her husband, William Carl Kohler of Greenfield, Mass.; and her siblings Natalie Lachance of Guilford, Arnold Garland and his wife, Roberta, of Dummerston, Carlton Garland and his wife, Bonnie, of Dummerston, and Beatrice Garland of Guilford.Mary was a 1963 Graduate of Brattleboro Union High School and worked for both Suburban Propane and Vermont Bread Company. Mary was an animal lover and had many cats throughout the years, which brought her so much joy. She also enjoyed her Cockatiel birds. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

• Genevieve Palmer, 68, of Brattleboro. Died July 10, 2020 after a sudden illness. She was born in Malone N.Y. on Oct. 10, 1951 to her late parents, Roy and Alice Robinson. She is survived by her beloved husband, Frank Palmer Sr. of Brattleboro; her son, Frank Palmer Jr and his spouse, Deb Briggs; her daughters Shelly and her spouse Roy, Faulkner, of Swanzey N.H., and Heidi and her spouse, Chris Ovitt, of Bennington; grandchildren Justin Stockwell, Ryan Faulkner, Jackie Palmer, Cameron Ovitt, Noah Ovitt, and Ashley Ovitt; and great-grandson Aiden Stockwell. She is also survived by two of her four sisters and one of her two brothers. She was a homemaker and a wonderful cook. She made sure everyone was well taken care of. She loved to camp, go fishing, and cherish every moment with her family. She loved to laugh and her love for animals was unbelievable. Memorial information: Services will be private.

• Richard Allen “Dick” Taylor, 77, of Westminster. He was born in Bellows Falls on July 9, 1943, one of five children of Paul Merrill Taylor and Anita Cheverier Taylor. He leaves behind his siblings Nancy (Wayland) Robinson of Perkinsville, David (Kay) Taylor of Bend, Ore., and Tina (William) Kissell of Vernon. His sister, Paula (Bonnie) Stetson, predeceased him in 2003. Dick met the love of his life, Barbara Ranzau, and they were married in Putney, April 5, 1969. They have one daughter, Bobbi (John) Kilburn of Westminster. He leaves two grandsons, Jacob and Ian Kilburn of Malden, and a granddaughter, Alexandra Kilburn Hoult. He also leaves his nephews Donald Robinson, Raymond Stetson, and Travis Kissell, and niece Nicole Kissell. He was predeceased by his nephews Stephen & David Robinson. Dick grew up in Putney, attending Putney Central School and received his GED in June 1984. He took classes at CCV, as well as Southern New England University. He has remained active in the Putney Central School reunion organization. In 1967, Dick was drafted into the Army and sent to Fort Benning, Ga. He trained as an instructor in ammunitions, serving six months on special duty in Panama. He then was sent to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., with top security clearance, to serve out his time. He and Barbara returned to Putney in 1970. Dick was hired in 1970 by Basketville to “hoop” baskets. He worked in all phases of basket making and design, transferring to the bucket area to work in the spray room. In 1977, he established the Turning Department, apprenticing under Romeo Renaud from Brattleboro. He continued there until building his own shop in 1984 in Westminster. As the “Wood Taylor” he performed custom carpentry in the area, woodcarvings and turning until just recently. Dick studied Acanthus Scroll carving under the tutelage of Arthur Bergstrand, the once-head of the Norwegian Carving Guild. His Acanthus relief carved chest won him Second Best of Class and First in category at the 1991 Mohawk Valley Carving Show. He continued to take classes as well as participate in shows and competitions up and down the East Coast. He said “most carvers have a specialty. It may be animals, or cigar-store Indians, or Santa Clauses. I haven’t decided yet what my specialty is, so I do a little bit of everything.” And he did. He was a president and member of the Green Mountain Woodcarvers (1993 to present). He sat on the Westminster Planning Commission (1988-1992) helping to prepare a rewrite to the Zoning Ordinance and Town Plan. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Walpole. Memorial information: A graveside service will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, at 1 p.m., at Westminster Cemetery on Kurn Hattin Road. All in attendance are asked to wear face masks for everyone’s protection. Donations can be made to The Green Mountain Woodcarvers, The Birds of Vermont Museum, or The First Congregational Church of Walpole.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #572 (Wednesday, July 29, 2020). This story appeared on page A6.

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