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Milestones

Milestones

College news

• Hanako Kusumi, a member of the Class of 2023 from South Londonderry, has been selected for membership into the St. Lawrence University chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honorary society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni.

• Abigail Dryden of Londonderry has been placed on the Gettysburg (Pa.) College Dean’s Honor list for outstanding academic achievement in the fall 2020 semester.

Obituaries

• Jeffrey Evanuk, 56, of Brattleboro. Died April 6, 2021 at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., with his partner Suzanne Rogers by his side. Jeffrey was employed at Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend. He was a hard worker, loved the outdoors, his horses (especially Gidden), and being on the farm with Suzanne. He was predeceased by his father, Peter Evanuk, and his mother, Phyllis Evanuk. In addition to his partner, he leaves behind sisters Serena Evanuk Wells (Todd) of Barre and Maia Evanuk Morrissette of Halifax; nieces and nephews Jacqueline Evanuk Rogers of Barre, Kyle Morrissette of Alstead, N.H., Jamie Walker of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and Alec Morrissette of Keene, N.H. Memorial information: There will be no calling hours. A celebration of life will be held at a later date for immediate family.

• Edwin “Ed” P. “Pete” Larrow, 87, formerly of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died peacefully, with his wife at his side, on April 12, 2021 at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, N.H., after a prolonged battle with several age-related diseases. Born in Hartford, Conn., on June 15, 1933, he was the son of the late Edwin John and Veronica (Duffy) Larrow. He attended public schools in Holyoke and Westhampton, Mass., and was a 1952 graduate of Northampton (Mass.) High School. He also spent many summers of his youth with his Aunt Gladys and cousin Edward in Bronx, N.Y., where he developed a lifelong passion for the New York Yankees. Following high school, Ed enlisted in the Air Force, serving as a navigator in the 54th Strategic Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. based in Guam. He was honorably discharged from active service at the rank of staff sergeant. He returned to Holyoke in 1957 and attended Holyoke Community College for two years and continued his service in the Air Force Reserve until 1960. During this time, he met the love of his life, Janice May Fallon, and the two were married in 1959. For more than 61 years, their marriage was a model of everlasting love and support. He went on to graduate from Westfield State College with a bachelor’s degree in education, and got his M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He taught in Chicopee, Mass., and Melbourne, Fla., before moving to South Hadley, Mass., where he worked in the public school system as a teacher and principal at several schools before retiring in 1985. Upon retirement, he received the Citizen of the Year award for his contributions. He was a charter member and president of the South Hadley Historical Society, where he tirelessly worked to transform the old Falls firehouse into a town museum, serving as its director for 10 years. Following retirement, he went back to teaching for a couple of years in a Catholic school before moving to West Chesterfield and Keene. He entered Maplewood Nursing Home in 2017. A devout Catholic, he was a communicant of many parishes including St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro, where he served as custodian for St. Michael’s School on a part-time basis for many years. He also volunteered at the Brattleboro Senior Center and Brigid’s Kitchen for years with his wife. He enjoyed hiking, writing, reading, history, gardening, and time shared with his family. His life was a continuous testament to faith and commitment, to his Lord, to his family and friends, and to his community. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him for his devotion and his service. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his four children and their spouses: Mark Larrow and his wife, Rosemary (Lynch), of South Hadley, Michele Larrow and her husband, David Marcus, of Pullman, Wash., Denise Vanderpoel and her husband, Daniel, of West Chesterfield, and Jay Larrow and his wife Allison (Butler) of Wakefield, Mass; his sister Dolores Bail of Madison Heights, Mich., his sister-in-law Joyce O’Neil, and five nephews and two nieces. He was also the beloved grandfather of 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 23, at 11 a.m., at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, with interment in the family lot in St. Jerome Cemetery in Holyoke to take place at a later date. Donations to Maplewood Nursing Home, Employee Appreciation Fund Second Floor, or Activity Fund, attn: Molly Seavey, Executive, 201 River Road, Westmoreland, NH 03467. To share a memory or send condolences to the family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Robert “Bob the Legend” Reynolds IV, 49, of Putney. Died April 8, 2021 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., from an aggressive jerk named cancer. He was born July 14, 1971, lived life with passion, and had a booming laugh that filled a room. Bob was one of those personalities that made you want to be near him. His friends would’ve done anything for him, which says a lot about Bob. His favorite things were tinkering in his woodshop, hanging out with his wife, Kristin, and their kids, and getting in his truck and driving wherever the wind took him. He was a great dad, and lived for hiking, camping, swimming, and having fires out under the stars. He was brimming with artistic talent too, as he was an amazingly talented musician and was a brilliant artist, poet, and photographer. He was a pain-in-the-neck husband to a pain-in-the-neck wife, but he was her rock, and she was his, always. He suffered greatly in life, but never lost his childlike joy, his humongous heart, or his insatiable lust for life. Bob was taken too soon from the only foe he couldn’t beat, but he will live on as an example of how to survive the worst with courage and manifest the strength to live one’s best life. Bob is survived by his devoted author wife, Kristin; five loving, artistic children; and the woman who brought him into the world, his mother, Alexandra. He was a one in a million man and will be achingly missed. But now he is at peace and he is probably kicking back with his one in a million grandpa, having a beer and laughing loudly. His joy fills the whole world. Memorial information: Per Bob’s request, there are no formal funeral services. A celebration of life for his family and close friends will be held at a later date. Donations to the Esophageal Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, MD 21153 (ecan.org/give-the-gift-of-hope). To share a memory or send condolences to his family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• William Blakely “Bill” Tyler, 95, of Newton, Mass. Died April 9, 2021. He was born on Sept. 24, 1925 in Boston, to Roger and Margaret (Blakely) Tyler. He grew up in Newton and attended The Rivers School and Phillips Exeter Academy (1943). He served in the Army in World War II in Europe during the Battle of the Bulge, and returned to graduate from Harvard College (1947) and Boston University Law School (1951). He joined his father at the Boston law firm of Rackemann, Sawyer, and Brewster in 1952, where he remained for over 60 years, working in real estate and then in trusts and estates. He always went the extra mile to meet the needs of his clients, visiting them in their homes, wherever they lived, and treating all with respect, kindness, and generous attention. Bill is survived by his wife, the love of his life and best friend, Anngenette “Anngie” Groton, whom he married in 1956, and by their five children, Anngenette Stanfield of Mystic, Conn., Maggie Tyler Rubenstein of Wayland, Mass., Roger B. Tyler II and William B. Tyler, Jr. of Essex, Mass., and Susan Monahan of Ipswich, Mass., as well as 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bill had a long, productive life of public service and gave generously of his time and energy to a great variety of nonprofit organizations. He served as chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and as president of Greater Boston Legal Services. He was an active alumnus at Harvard and Boston University Law School, and served as a trustee at The Rivers School and at Camp Chewonki and the Chewonki Foundation in Maine, where he spent many summers as a boy. He served as board chair of the Pioneer Institute for Public Research, and continued in this role well into his 80s. Bill was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire, The Hamilton Club, The Country Club, The Union Club, and the 1255th Combat Engineer Battalion Association. Bill took an active interest in the hospitals of Boston, serving on the governing boards of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Boston Hospital for Women, and the New England Deaconess Hospital. He was also a trustee of various charitable foundations, including the Thomas Thompson Trust and the Ogden Codman Trust. Like his father before him, Bill loved Boston and sought to preserve and celebrate its rich history. For many years, he was the chairman and director of the Bostonian Society and during his later years worked on The Boston Museum Project, an effort to bring a centralized Boston History Center and Museum to the city. Bill was active to the very end of his life, known for his vigorous walks around Lasell Village and his visits to the fitness center. He was a lifelong learner, always asking questions, staying current in what was happening in the world around him and in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He often said he couldn’t believe his good fortune to have been blessed with 19 wonderful descendants, all of whom he referred to as “stars.” Above all, he wanted them to understand the importance of public service. When asked why he had such a deep commitment to his pro bono work, he said, “I’ve always had the feeling that a person ought to put something back into society, particularly if that person is gathering as many benefits as I am.” Memorial information: A memorial service will be held at a later date.

• Pamela “Pam” Wilcox, 59, of Brattleboro. Died March 21, 2021. She was born on June 17, 1961 and graduated from Lynnfield (Mass.) High School and Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. She was a legal assistant for Testa Hurtwitz law firm in Boston for 11 years. She and her husband, Ken, ran their own business, Scentastics. She loved animals, especially her cats and her chickens, which she nursed back to health when they were ill. She was an avid organic gardener who canned peaches, pears, and tomatoes. Pam was passionate about her causes and wanted to leave the world a better place. She is survived by her husband Kenneth Gilbert of Brattleboro, her mother Verna Perkins of Marshfield, Mass., her sister, Paula Sombronsky and her husband Don of Marshfield; her brothers Robert Perkins and his wife, Susan, of Billerica, Mass., and Kenneth Perkins-Gough and wife Deborah of Alexandria, Va., and seven nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, Paul Perkins. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be held on her 60th birthday on June 17. Donations may be made to National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

• Wayne Elwin Williams, 83, of Brooksville, Fla., formerly of Jacksonville, Vt. Died peacefully at home in the company of his family on March 2, 2021. He fought a valiant fight against several serious chronic illnesses for many years without complaint. Wayne was born June 20, 1936 in South Royalton. In 1940, he was adopted by Elwin and Lila Williams of Jacksonville. Wayne graduated from Whitingham School in 1954. He worked with his father as a housepainter before joining the Navy where he served for four years. He also served in both the Naval and Army Reserve following his honorable discharge from the Navy. In 1959, he married Sandra D. Twiss of Readsboro. He served as the postmaster in Jacksonville for 32 years, retiring in 1991. Following his retirement, he and Sandra moved to Stratford, N.Y., to the home they built and affectionately called “Vermont West.” They spent the summer months there and the winters in Brooksville. Wayne loved people and loved his community. He coached Little League and even bought the first uniforms for the team in Jacksonville. He was a founding member of the Whitingham Rescue Squad and served many years as an EMT. He was also a member of the Whitingham Fire Department. When the young people of Jacksonville needed something to do, he suggested that the community install a basketball court at the Municipal Center and he funded that venture. Wayne was a member of the Freemasons and the EZ Riders Snowmobile Club in Jacksonville. He was a lifelong Red Sox fan and enjoyed watching Tom Brady lead the New England Patriots to repeated victories. Wayne was a self-taught musician who loved country and bluegrass music. For many years, he played and sang country music with several bands throughout New England. Wayne was a fisherman and an avid hunter of rabbits, racoons, white tail deer, and bear. He also enjoyed cultivating blueberries and blackberries both in New York and in Brooksville. He always had a smile and a quick dry wit that made others chuckle. Wayne saw the good in everyone and never hesitated to encourage those around him. He was generous with his time and was very proud of his children and family. He was predeceased by his brother, Elmer Jones, and his sisters, Lois Dudley, Barbara Randolph, and Joyce McCook. He is survived by his spouse, Sandra, his four children, Gwendolyn W. Harris of Brooksville, Aaron C. Williams of Tampa, Fla., Jennifer W. Corse and her husband, Wayne Corse, of Brooksville, and Dwight E. Williams and his wife, Janet Hoffmann, of Broadalbin, N.Y., and his brother, Alvah Jones, Jr., of Springfield, Vt. He also leaves six grandchildren, one great-grandson, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations to St. Jude’s Research Hospital for Children and the Wounded Warriors Project.

• Thomas Crichton “Tom” Yahn, 79, of Dummerston. Died unexpectedly on April 10, 2021 at the home he shared with Ann Fielder, his wife of 39 years. Yahn, a veteran educator and affordable housing advocate, was one of the founders of the fledgling Brattleboro Area Community Land Trust (BACLT), eventually becoming its Board Chair. The original trust eventually grew into the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, providing hundreds of units of energy efficient, perpetually affordable housing in two counties. In 2007, the Tom Yahn award was established, celebrating a Brattleboro community member who demonstrates a long-term commitment to the preservation and development of affordable housing and/or to the lives of those who live in affordable housing. Tom was born on March 6, 1942 in Sayer, Pa. Tom’s parents were Harold and Peg Yahn. Harold was an industrial engineer in the famous ceramics works at Corning Industries. Tom’s mother Peg, an early feminist, supervised a multiplicity of activities in a Fifties residential neighborhood where kids ran free, made up their own games, and congregated frequently in her yard and kitchen, with Tom and his brother Fred. From his mother, Tom learned the lessons that would engender the love and respect he inspired in ever-widening circles of friends, colleagues, students and community co-participants: play fair, be nice, be honest, speak your mind, and speak back to arbitrary authority. After college, Tom spent a summer helping his father build the house where Yahn family members still live. After moving to Vermont in the late 1960s, Tom built his own house in the town of Baltimore. More recently, he and Ann created a small, beautifully-crafted cabin on a ridge in Dummerston overlooking Mt. Monadnock. There, they found a perfect retreat from the perils of pandemic, and they hoped to spend many more years gardening, beautifying, and meditating. Tom’s profound satisfaction in housebuilding inspired a lifelong interest and commitment to the cause of adequate shelter for all. An excellent high school athlete, Tom looked forward to running track and playing football once admitted to Dartmouth College, Class of 1964. He realized those dreams only partially. He ran on a relay team that set a Dartmouth record for the mile that stood more than 50 years. But during his freshman football season, Tom was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, beginning a 60-year relationship with a disease that could not be defeated, but which never defined his life or being. During his Dartmouth years, Tom formed friendships with many who stayed in touch, attended reunions, shared joys and sorrows of family life, and made special pilgrimages to enjoy each other’s company. These relationships typified Tom’s approach to the unbroken circle — to be one of Tom’s crew was an ever-renewing joy. Tom took his Dartmouth degree to New York City to jump into Mayor John Lindsay’s urban renewal revival. He started with community organizing mixed with social work, and gravitated to new approaches to post-high school education, then exemplified by the New School for Social Research. As with many in those turbulent times, Vermont then beckoned. At the Community College of Vermont, Tom began a career dedicated to inspiring students to find entryways to learning that valued their experiences and abilities, and working to tear down barriers of class, financial hardship, and rigid academic traditions. Tom steadfastly originated and promoted these goals at Goddard College, Norwich University, and Union Institute. After three decades in post-secondary education, Tom found great satisfaction as a teacher and administrator working with high school-age students. He developed programs with College for Every Student (CFES) to encourage high schoolers to reach for college, many of whom would be the first in their families to do so. This work culminated at Brattleboro Union High School where, since 2007, Tom directed a program in partnership with area colleges, allowing students to earn college credit for courses tailored to prepare them for the transition to a collegiate learning environment. Tom’s educational philosophy, accounting for his beloved status among generations of students: “The best teachers learn quickly to bring their students into the conversation, often turning it over to them.” In the mid-1970s, while working together on a board for Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), Tom met Ann Fielder, a Nurse Practitioner, then Director of Planned Parenthood in Brattleboro. They married in 1983. Over four decades, they pursued love, adventure, travel, extravagant friendships, providing love and joy to the children in their lives, home making, cuisine, and devotion to community. Their work to make Brattleboro — and more widely, Vermont — a place that is welcoming to all is palpable in the streetscapes, the human services budgets, and the respect paid to them through every strata of the town and state. At the time of his death, Tom was a longstanding member of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. He never stopped craving the thrill of a steep slope, even after diabetes took away his right leg below the knee. He studied prosthetic technology to make sure his practitioners understood his need to still master the fall line, and even take a stab at skiing the bumps. He grieved at never quite figuring out how to adapt the prostheses to cross-country skiing, which was his second winter love. When spring rolled in, Tom rolled out on his bicycles. He rode the length of Vermont on three separate routes, and especially appreciated every loop he could ride from his doorstep without involving a car. With Ann, and a moveable cadre of enthusiasts, Tom made multiple biking trips to Europe with Vermont Bike Tours (VBT) and savored the vistas, the cuisine, and the culture. His rapport with youthful spirits was extraordinary, having never let his own youthful spirit atrophy. Tom’s glass was always way more than half-full, and he never stopped gulping. In his presence and through his influence, Tom filled your glass, too. Survivors include his godson John Wesley, his wife Liza Cantor, and their daughter Alice; his goddaughter Carolyn Wesley, her husband John Adams, and their daughter Azalea; sisters-in-law Deb Bailey and Mary Ellen Duncan; his niece Kate Dickens and an extended family of friends and colleagues who will carry Tom’s spirit into their own lives. Memorial information: A celebration of Tom Yahn’s life will take place when people are free to gather. Donations to the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and the Windham County Humane Society. To share a memory or send messages of condolence to Tom’s family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #609 (Wednesday, April 21, 2021). This story appeared on page C2.

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