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

Milestones

College news

• Celia Feal-Staub, an art and visual culture and anthropology major from Putney, and Neil Thorley, a politics major from Londonderry, were both named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2020 semester at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

• Connor Corbeil of Brattleboro, Abigail Sargent of Dummerston, and Nathaniel Tyler of Brattleboro were all named to the spring 2020 Dean’s List at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

• Ben Shumlin, a member of the Class of 2021 from Putney, has been named to Colorado College’s 2019-20 Dean’s List.

• Elkanah Linder, a Doctor of Pharmacy student from Townshend, was named to the spring 2020 Dean’s List at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Transitions

The Vermont Academy Board of Trustees announced Deborah Wijnhoven, an alumnus who graduated in 1986, was elected to the board during the July 2020 meeting. She brings more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles. Currently, she serves as the senior associate director of Smith College’s Lazarus Center for Career Development, where she is the Director of Employer Relations. After graduating from Vermont Academy, Wijnhoven went on to receive a B.A. in psychology from Ithaca College and a M.A. in counseling psychology from Antioch University-New England.

Attorney Andrea O. Wright has joined the northern New England law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. Wright joined the firm’s Labor and Employment Group in Brattleboro in February. She comes to DRM after having worked at a large wholesale grocer, first in their Tax Department and most recently as In-House Counsel in their Labor and Employment division.

Obituaries

• Robert (Bob) Norman DeRusha, 69, of Bellows Falls. Died July 23, 2020 at his home. Bob was born in Montague, Mass., to the late Benjamin and Alma (Welcome) DeRusha on Nov. 13, 1950. He attended Greenfield High School and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has spent the last 30 years working in the family business, Lotus Graphics in Brattleboro, and has been semi-retired for the past two years. He enjoyed trips to the Cape, Boston, and Manhattan, and he spent much of his spare time involved in town politics. He is survived by three children: Kimberley Ridgway, Ed DeRusha, and Jessica Barnes-Blazej; four grandchildren, his brother, David DeRusha, and sister Joanne Graves. Memorial information: None provided.

• Joan E. Dayton, 72, of Londonderry. Died July 25, 2020 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Joan was born in Rutland on June 30, 1948, the daughter of the late Clarence and Rose Barone Dayton. Joan attended schools in Rutland and graduated from Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend. Joan earned her associate’s degree from St Joseph’s Business College in Rutland while raising her two young sons. Joan practiced her business profession with First Vermont Bank in Brattleboro for approximately 10 years and was office manager/bookkeeper at the Stove Depot for many years in Londonderry and Rutland. Joan was known in the community as “the nicest Delinquent Tax Collector” for the town of Londonderry. She served as Guardian ad Litem for several children and found her true passion for serving others with her volunteer work at Neighborhood Connections. She loved coordinating events with friends and neighbors as a member in the Lions Club. Once she found golf, Joan was passionate about the game and enjoyed playing many rounds with family and friends in Florida and Vermont. Her zest for creating art projects, researching her ancestry, and growing plants in her newly-acquired green house are a few of the passions she found during her retirement. Joan cherished her winters in Florida with Center, family and friends and was heard saying how grateful she was to be able to live the life she and her partner, Center Merrill, had found together. Joan is survived by her partner, of Londonderry; children Jason Walker and his wife, Kim, of New Brighton, Pa., and Brad Walker and his wife, Jennifer, of West Newton, Mass., stepchildren Craig Merrill and his wife Sarah of Morganton, N.C., Cliff Merrill of Kempner, Texas, and Chad Merrill and his fiance Holly of Shelburne, Vt.; siblings Patricia Roberts and her husband, Doug, of Londonderry, Sandy Parker and her husband, Charlie, of Weston, Donna Williams of Peru, Kathy Dayton and her husband, Michael Mell, of Cold Spring, N.Y., Bill Dayton and his wife, Jodie, of Jamaica, and Ron Dayton and his wife, Janice, of Wilmington, N.C.; 13 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Graveside funeral services were held Aug. 1 in Riverside Cemetery in Londonderry. Donations may be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, the Tri-Mountain Area Lions Club or Neighborhood Connections, in care of Brewster-Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255.

• Dorothy Lois “Dottie” (Bragg) Fifield, 85, of South Deerfield, Mass. Died peacefully on July 18, 2020. She was born on Sept. 4, 1934 in her grandmother’s house in Brattleboro, the daughter of Lillian Mary (Burnett) Bragg and Norris E. Bragg. She grew up in Grafton and was active in many Grafton community activities. Dorothy played in the Grafton Coronet Band with her father. Although she was able to play several instruments, the saxophone was her favorite. Dorothy’s earliest education was in a one-room schoolhouse in Grafton. It was evident at this time that she would become a teacher, as she enjoyed helping the younger students with their studies. Dorothy attended Bellows Falls High School, where she excelled as a student and an athlete. Dorothy’s athleticism throughout her life is noteworthy. She was an avid swimmer and enjoyed bicycling, hiking and softball. Dottie graduated from Castleton Teachers College with a bachelor’s in education. While in college, she met and fell in love with Rene W. Fifield. They married shortly after graduation. Dorothy’s first teaching job was second grade in Addison. In 1965, Dottie and Rene moved to South Deerfield. While raising her children, she substituted in many Franklin County schools. When her children were older, she took a job at the Conway Grammar School working with special needs children. She enjoyed and adored the Conway School community. She followed some of her students from Conway to Frontier Regional High School. She continued working with special needs students at Frontier until her retirement. She was a member and a Sunday school teacher at the South Deerfield Congregational Church. Dorothy and Rene did some traveling after retirement; however, their best times were spent in their backyard on Graves Street. Lunch in the gazebo, a dip in the pool, harvesting bouquets in Dottie’s field of gladiolas, or picking the prized blueberries and raspberries, this was Dottie’s splendor! She loved children and animals, and they naturally gravitated to her. She was patient and kind. Dorothy leaves her husband of 64 years; her children, Colleen Descavich and her husband, Skip; Shaun and Shannon Fifield; Shane Fifield and his wife, Felicia; and Doreen Fifield; five grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren. Dorothy was predeceased by her brother, Karl Bragg; her daughter, Maureen (Fifield) Abernathy; and a granddaughter, Jillian Abernathy. Memorial information: Donations to Dharma Activities, in care of CECAA, 150 University Drive, Amherst, MA 01002, to the attention of Christina Clark.

• Frederick Wesley “Fred” Huntley, 90, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully July 30, 2020 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro, after a period of declining health. He was born on Aug. 27, 1929 in Brattleboro, the son of M. Wesley Huntley and Edith Ingalls Huntley. Fred graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1947, and then served on active duty as part of the Vermont National Guard during the Korean War. He attended Bentley College in Boston, graduating in 1954. From there, he worked his way up and became the Director of International Auditing for BF Goodrich in Akron, Ohio. He was also a lifelong bachelor. Fred was a world traveler. He enjoyed golfing, bowling, hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with his family and friends. He loved all sports and could be found watching many high school and area sporting events. He was an avid New York Yankees and New York Giants fan, frequently needing to check his cell phone app for sporting updates. He kept his mind sharp by completing Sudoku and crossword puzzles on a daily basis. He was predeceased by his sisters Ethel Huntley Mills and Miriam Huntley Childs. He is survived by his brother, Robert Huntley of Brattleboro, and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Aug. 4 at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to Rescue Inc. To view an online memorial, leave a message of condolence, or for more information, go to www.phaneuf.net.

• Judith Ann Snide, 81, of Bellows Falls. Died peacefully on July 24, 2020, after a three-year battle with cancer. She was born Feb. 4, 1939, in Walpole, N.H., the daughter of Harold E. and Esther M. (Wolfe) Smith. She graduated from Walpole High School, Class of 1957. She married Larry E. Snide of Bellows Falls, and had three sons, Scott, Bradley and Kevin Snide.. Judith was a child care provider in the Walpole and Bellows Falls area for many years. She loved dancing and vacationing in Maine. She is survived by her husband, Larry of Bellows Falls; three sons, Scott, Bradley, and Kevin Snide, all of whom live in the area; sister and brother-in-law Beverly and Kenneth Gunnerson, brother and sister-in-law Douglas and Lynda Smith, brother and sister-in-law Alan and Linda Smith, brother Kenneth Smith, brother and sister-in-law William and Anna Smith, and sister Karen Provencher, all of Walpole; also by seven grandchildren, several great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents and one brother, Dennis Smith. Memorial information: A funeral service will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, at 11 a.m., at the United Methodist Church in Springfield, Vt. Burial will follow in the New Cemetery in Walpole. Friends may call at the church from 10 to 11 a.m. Donations to Visiting Nurse and Hospice for VT and NH, P.O. Box 881, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• Scott Andrew Velsor, 71, of South Londonderry. Died at the Manchester, Vt., home of his daughter on Tuesday, July 21, after a brief illness. A longtime resident of South Londonderry, Scott was born July 10, 1949, in Port Chester, N.Y. He grew up in Byram, Conn., and graduated from Greenwich (Conn.) High School in 1967. After high school, he worked as an apprentice to electrician Frank Augustine of Byram before being drafted into military service in 1969. Scott was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged from the Army in 1971. After completing his military service, he joined his older brother in Vermont to pursue work as a carpenter. He later moved to northern California for a few years until he returned to southern Vermont where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He married Karen Murphy in 1982, and they had one daughter, Chelsea Kerry Megan Velsor, born in 1989. He built their family home in South Londonderry, as well as a new home for himself after they went their separate ways. He was known as a master carpenter who was often sought after for his expertise and advice. Scott had a great appreciation for the character of old buildings, antiques and collectibles. He loved sports cars and was the proud owner of a 1959 Triumph TR3A. He was an avid collector of coins throughout his life and always kept an eye out for special stones to build stone walls and walkways. He loved collecting license plates most of all, a passion for which he was well-known. He used to say, “the fun was in the hunt.” He also spent many hours over the years playing his 1969 Martin guitar. He enjoyed reading, particularly histories and biographies, and routinely read three newspapers a day. One of his favorite activities was going out to dinner with friends and family at local restaurants. He was well-known for his kindness, generosity and unique sense of humor. Scott is survived by his daughter, Chelsea Velsor of Manchester; his sister, Joan Petrillo of Rochester, Vt.; his brother, Douglas Velsor and wife Kathleen of Bondville; his nieces, Adrienne and Justine Petrillo of Boston; his nephew, Timothy Velsor of Townshend; and beloved cousins in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. He was predeceased by his eldest sister, Susan Velsor, and niece, Emilie Velsor. Memorial information: No services will be held at this time; a celebration of Scott’s life will be held on his birthday next summer. Cards of condolence can be sent to Chelsea Velsor, 294 Three Maple Drive, Manchester, VT 05255.

• Wayne A. White, 78, of Newfane. Died July 25, 2020, following a long illness. Mr. White was known as a business owner, developer and entrepreneur. Among his accomplishments was the establishment of WW Building Supply. He got great pleasure from seeing it flourish and in shopping there. The homes his company built are sprinkled throughout the West River Valley. Many lifelong friendships were forged with both customers and employees. His roots are deep in the Vermont soil along the Rock River. He loved a road trip and a good game of cards and had a 25-year running tournament which he ended as a winner. Mr. White is survived by his wife of 53 years, Cristine (Anderson); five children, Charity (Sean), Matthew (Natalie), Merideth (Thomas), Hillary (Jason), and Ellen, as well as 10 grandchildren, Carly, Ashley, Jessie, Kaycee, Cory, Cameron, Grayce, Parker, Ava, and Calla. His family was his pride and joy, he was their Papa in every way. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Donations to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353. To share a memory of Wayne and send condolences, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Andrew William “Andy” Wind, 87, formerly of Brattleboro and Saxtons River. Died peacefully at his home in Englewood, Fla., on July 23, 2020. Andy was the youngest of four children born to Andrew William Wind, Sr. and Mildred A. McCarthy, on November 13, 1932 in Utica, N.Y. Following graduation from Whitesboro High School in 1952, Andy entered SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, N.Y. Mid-term, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He was deployed to a unit in Germany, where he learned Morse Code and worked as a telecommunications operator. When he returned from service, he began his retail management career, entering a training program with F.W. Woolworth. He married Dorothy “Dot” Monroe in 1956. Andy and Dot had attended high school together, but were not “sweethearts” until their early 20s. Their marriage marked the beginning of an adventure that led them from New York to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and, eventually, Florida. Following management positions with F. W. Woolworth in a number of locations, he worked in a supervisory capacity for several Ben Franklin stores. In 1964, he and Dot chose to move to Brattleboro with their growing family, as it was a central location for his territory. A few years later, he was offered a position in insurance sales with Richards, Hoffman & Clay in Brattleboro. A retailer at heart, always dreaming of owning his own business, he and Dot were able to buy the Saxtons River Village Market in 1973, where they relocated from Brattleboro. Andy, with support from his family, ran the market from 1973 to 1994, during which time they acquired, renovated and moved to a larger retail space across the street. Andy was good-natured, fair, and quick with a joke and a smile. For many customers, “shooting the sh!t” with Andy became the most anticipated part of their shopping routine. In addition to his professional commitments, Andy was an active volunteer wherever he put down roots. As an expert alpine skier, he was a member of the National Ski Patrol at Hogback Mountain in Marlboro, eventually taking on assignments at other ski areas. In his lifetime, he taught hundreds of children and adults how to ski; and if they were really lucky, he taught them how to yodel too. He was also president of Brattleboro Winter Carnival in 1973. When he and Dot retired to Park Forest in Englewood, Andy co-founded the “Park Forest Rangers”: a group of retirees who help maintain the shared open space and facilities in the Park Forest community. He also served as president of the Park Forest Owners Association for a few years. Until quite recently, he volunteered with “Meals on Wheels” to deliver meals to home-bound seniors. He loved political debate and watching MSNBC. He loved ice cream. He loved red wine and sharing new finds. He loved cooking family holiday dinners, and he made the best spaghetti and meatballs. He discovered playing bongo drums in his 80s, and he loved that, too. He loved jazz and the blues. Sometimes, he sang to his vegetable garden. Andy’s love for Dot, however, was foremost — tremendous and absolute. His children knew what he wanted for them: to be kind, work hard, and be happy. Besides his beloved wife of 64 years, Andy leaves behind their three children and four grandchildren: Suzanne Wind Gaskell (John), of Lyme, Conn., and children with her former husband, Gary Greenbaum: Jeremy and Matthew; Kevin Andrew Wind of Venice, Fla.; and Nancy Wind Benjamin (Keith, died 2008) of Tiburon, Calied, and their children: Bruce and Peri. Memorial information: A celebration of Andy’s life will be arranged at a later date; internment will be at Sarasota National Cemetery. In Andy’s memory, please VOTE! in November.

Services

A funeral Mass for Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Rouleau will be held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Brattleboro on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. Burial will be in West Northfield (MA) Cemetery. Masks are required for all that attend. Mr. Rouleau, a lifelong resident of the area, died peacefully July 13, 2020 at Pine Heights Nursing Home.

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 #573 (Wednesday, August 5, 2020). This story appeared on page A4.

Share this story

Links

Related stories