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Milestones

Milestones

College news

The following local students received academic recognition for the spring 2020 semester at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.: Morgan K. Brooke-deBock of Brattleboro received Dean’s List, first honors. Elijah A. Burdo of Brattleboro and Liam R.S. Kennedy of Brattleboro received Dean’s List, second honors.

Transitions

• Nancy Heydinger of Vernon has joined Brattleboro Savings & Loan as a mortgage loan originator. Heydinger worked for two local banks earlier in her career as both an assistant bank manager and as a mortgage loan officer. She is best known as the founder and executive director of Girls on the Run in Vermont, which she started in 1999. She stepped down last year after 20 years of running the organization. Heydinger’s responsibilities will include working with first-time and seasoned home buyers throughout southern Vermont.

• Mary Houghton of Putney has been appointed by Gov. Phil Scott to serve on the state Legislative Apportionment Board (LAB). The LAB takes the first step in reapportioning Vermont’s House and Senate districts. Per Vermont statutes, this process must be done every 10 years following the release of the U.S. Census data. The LAB has just recently been reconstituted and is organizing to start its statutory duties to draw up proposed changes to House and Senate district lines as needed to reflect the results of the 2020 Census and preserve the principle of equality of representation.

Obituaries

• Dianne Elizabeth Howard Beaty, 72, of Vernon. Died Sept. 3, 2020 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She was born July 11, 1948 in Chicago to Frank Otto Howard and Bonnie Jean Baker. She attained an associate’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She most recently worked for The Commons as an office assistant until health issues left her unable to continue. Dianne will be remembered for her dedication to connecting people through managing her Proviso East High School Facebook group and for brightening the residents’ days while managing the office at The Altenheim senior facility. She generously gifted her smile, heart, and wisdom to everyone. A lover of music, dancing, animals, the Chicago Cubs, thunderstorms, and good home cookin’, she enjoyed each with as much enthusiasm as a young child. She is survived by partner, local musician Larry Allen Brown, and her daughter, Ana Cristina Nery, of Los Angeles. Her family and friends summed up her life with these words: “glamorous, beautiful inside and out, welcoming, caring, sweet, kind, a free and creative spirit, inspirational, supportive, delightful, loving, joyful, warm, eloquent, generous, courageous, benevolent, a connector, a force of nature, easy to love, and a most valued friend.” May her physical body rest in peace, may her soul return for its next journey, and may we be lucky enough to recognize her as a long lost friend. Memorial information: In order to provide her a graceful and sacred transition to the other side, the family is requesting memorial donations be made through GoFundme at gf.me/u/yygut7. A virtual Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. EDT live on Ana Cristina Nery’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tnery and an intimate memorial will be held at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Ill., on Saturday, Sept. 26.

• Stella May Chickering, 89, formerly of Spofford, N.H. Died Sept. 4, 2020. Born in Hartford, Vt., and trained as a registered nurse in Boston, Stella spent most of her life in Spofford. Married to the big personality of Glenn Chickering, Stella was the quiet sidekick for 54 years before Glenn’s death in 2014. Shortly after, she moved to Dover, N.H., to be closer to family. Stella enjoyed her career as a nurse and exemplified the calm, caring, compassion that makes a good nurse great. She spent time as the school nurse at Chesterfield Central School, but most of her career was at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, N.H., where she served her patients with empathy and a good dose of humor. A cornerstone of her life was her ability to connect with people. She had oodles of great friends and was never more than a phone call away for neighbors who needed a little reassurance or advice. One group that brought her great joy was the Tuesday Stitchers, who met to knit, sew, and pour out their joys and sorrows. Her family was a primary focus and they knew her to send the best care packages, bake the best cookies, be silly and playful, and always have a smile and the best hugs. Her beloved family will miss her dearly: daughters Fran Chickering and her husband, Peter Dobroski of Dover N.H., Cheryl Brigham and her husband, Ronnie, of Hampton N.H., and Glenda Stoddard and her husband, David, of Windsor Locks, Conn.; and her five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband and her son, Jack. Memorial information: There will be no public service at this time due to COVID-19, however, there will be a memorial service via Zoom in the near future. If you would like to attend this service, email Fran at fchickering1@gmail.com for information. If you knew her and she touched your life, the family asks you to perform a random act of kindness in her honor. Donations to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 22 Fox Run Rd., Newington, NH 03801 or Asbury Methodist Church, 532 NH-63, Chesterfield, NH 03443.

• Roger D. Neathawk, 72, of Langdon, N.H. Died Aug, 27, 2020 at Springfield Hospital. He was born Feb. 21, 1948 in Brattleboro, the son of the late Charles and Juanita (Karlson) Neathawk. He attended schools in Bellows Falls and was graduated from Bellows Falls High School, Class of 1966. After high school, he served in the Army. Following his military service, he worked at the Smith Harriman Construction Company in Antrim, N.H. Roger was a member of Pierce-Lawton American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls and the VFW. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing slot machines at the casinos, and spending time with his family. In 1968, he married Cindy Lloyd, who survives. He is also survived by two daughters: Darcey Matthews and her husband, Corey, of Charlestown N.H., and Lisa Neathawk and her spouse, Dan Colburn, of Langdon N.H.; a brother, William Neathawk of Newfane; four grandchildren, Katelyn and Cody Matthews and Hunter and Kelsey Colburn, and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two brothers, Charles Sr. and Edward Neathawk. Memorial information: A memorial service was held Sept. 12 at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls.

• Dr. Gregory Nicholas “Greg” Prah, 54, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died unexpectedly on Sept. 3, 2020. He appeared in excellent health and was unaware of an underlying cancer affecting his heart. He maintained his strength and vigor to the end, collapsing after a day taking care of patients and working outside on his property. Greg was born Nov. 27, 1965, in Allentown, Pa., at Sacred Heart Hospital, the fourth of Theresa and the late Dr. Joseph Prah’s five children. In addition to his mother, Greg is survived by his wife Christine; children Nicholas, Andrew, and Victoria; siblings Mary, Chris, and Ted, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. His brother Joe predeceased him two months ago. After graduating with a chemistry degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Greg earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, now known as the Drexel College of Medicine. He completed a surgical residency at Boston City Hospital and an anesthesia residency and cardio-thoracic fellowship at Tufts Medical Center. After working at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center and Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., Greg moved his practice to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where he led the department of anesthesiology for many years. Greg overcame serious health conditions of his youth to enjoy a healthy, rewarding life. His world revolved around his family, and he enjoyed family vacations at Bethany Beach and Cape Cod, family sailing trips in Maine, and traveling. He loved a challenging crossword puzzle, a good poker game, working outside, and making his own apple cider and maple syrup. Greg was known by friends and family for his out-sized personality, generosity, sense of humor and playful mischievousness which enlivened many a gathering. Greg loved and was loved by many. He will be sorely missed. Memorial information: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services will be private. Donations to the American Cancer Society at donate3.cancer.org to advance scientific research in the fight against cancer.

• Paul B. “Switz” Switzer, 70, of Jeffersonville, Vt. Died Sept. 5, 2020 at his home with his wife, Marsha, by his side. Fondly known as “Switz,” he was passionate about his family, friends, reading, jazz and classical music, skiing, telling a good joke, and life. Born to Verne and Barbara Molaghan Switzer on Feb. 27, 1950 in Brattleboro, Switz was the second eldest of five children. He graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1968 and attended the University of Vermont and Windham College. He earned his electrician’s license while working for Diamond Electric. Switz was a lifelong skier having mastered the slopes of Hogback Mountain in Marlboro as a youngster. He became a professional ski instructor and taught at Haystack, Mount Snow and, for most of his career, at Smuggler’s Notch in Jeffersonville. He was awarded his 40-year ski instructor pin and certificate from Professional Ski Instructors of America. In 1988, Switz walked into The Brewski after a day on the slopes at Smugs and met the love of his life, Marsha McGuire. A few years later, he proposed not once but twice and the two were married on a hilltop overlooking Lake Spofford on May 2, 1992. Their life together was filled with love, laughter, skiing, music, and Sunday football games cheering on the Patriots and Giants. Switz had a large network of friends on and off the slopes. He merely had to step out his front door and someone would soon stop and offer to give him a ride to the mountain. He had a quick wit, was a master at Jeopardy, and could tell a story like no other. He brought love and laughter everywhere he went. Besides his wife, Switz is survived by his sister. Leslie Switzer and her husband, Tom Mitchell; sister JoEllen Switzer and Steve Wilcox, brother Jay Switzer, sister-in-law Sandi Switzer; nieces Hilary Seifer, Shannon Switzer, Kristen Switzer, Linsey Wright; and grandniece Ava Lunge. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be scheduled soon in Jeffersonville so family and friends can share stories and laughter in honor of Switz.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #579 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020). This story appeared on page B2.

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