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Obituaries

• Kathleen Jennie Ellis, 66. Died Nov. 9, 2021. Born on Feb. 2, 1955, she worked at The Book Press, then The Brattleboro Retreat. She retired from Pine Heights nursing home in 2011. She was married to Stephen S. Stockwell, who died in 2010. She then married Carroll G. “Skip” Ellis Jr. in 2011. Kathy had two children with Stephen; Nicholas and Katie Stockwell. Kathleen was a grandmother to one granddaughter, Scarlet Jayde Stockwell. Kathy loved animals. She had two chihuahuas, Lily and Tucker, and a Yorkie, Reggie. Her family loved her dearly, and all will miss her. Memorial information: None provided.

• Lisa Jane Forrett, 63, of Vernon. Died Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. Lisa was born in Greenfield, Mass., on Nov. 10, 1958, to Franklin and Ellen Forrett (Kinsman). She was educated in Vernon and Brattleboro, and later attended Lyndon State College. After graduating, she worked for the Brattleboro Reformer for a number of years, and most recently Howard Printing, Inc., which she enjoyed very much. Lisa was an avid antique collector and loved to attend auctions and flea markets. She had a knack for interior design, and could take something deemed worthless or ugly and turn it into something beautiful. She loved spending time in her gardens, feeding her birds, and enjoyed the passing wildlife that strolled through the fields surrounding her home, and she thoroughly enjoyed watching “her” beautiful bobcat that frequented the patio. She enjoyed traveling to concerts and shows with her cousins and friends, and enjoyed going tag sales with her uncle Butch, always coming back with something good. In the winter, Lisa looked forward to taking her snowmobile out and taking the kids for a spin or two. Her beloved brothers, Tim and Darren, enjoyed Lisa’s special fondness for sweets, and often benefited in the form of a pie she found along her way. She also loved to “sneak” special treats to her great nieces and grandchildren as well. Lisa left behind her son, Justin Cook, of Vernon, whom she loved wholeheartedly and supported throughout his life with his endeavors. Justin fondly remembers shopping as their favorite pastime and enjoyed working on the house together. He made her a grandma with his two sons, Asher and Lennon, and she loved every moment she spent with them. Lisa leaves behind her brothers, Tim Forrett and his wife Tammy of Vernon and Darren Forrett and his partner, Temple, of Vernon; her beloved nieces, Dana Forrett Macaluso and Amanda Forrett, great-nieces Nevaeh, Natalie, Ninah, and Naysah, whom she doted on; and nephews Tim Forrett Jr., Nathan Forrett, and Matthew Forrett, along with numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles. Memorial information: Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• Evelyn May (Vadney) Kingsbury, 97, of Bellows Falls. Died Nov. 16, 2021 at Elm Wood Center in Claremont, N.H. Evelyn was born on July 28, 1924 in Claremont, the daughter of the late Floyd and Virginia (Vadney) Powers. She worked 20 years as a jacket machine operator at The Book Press in Brattleboro, eight years at the Westminster Motel, and then spent the holiday times at Putney Nursery making wreaths. Evelyn did all of this while also being a loving mother to seven children and a loving wife of Fred Kingsbury, whom she married in 1942 in the town they would call home for many years, Westminster. Evelyn is survived by her son Fred Kingsbury, Jr.; daughters Betty Lou DeMond, Shirley Rose DeMond, Linda May Jones, and Susan Andre; her sons-in-law, and many, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by husband and sons James and Timothy Kingsbury. Memorial information: There will be a calling hour on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m. to noon, at the Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St., Bellows Falls, followed by a service at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Westminster Cemetery.

• Margaret “Marnie” Lawlor, 65, of Westerly, R.I. Died Nov. 19, 2021 of breast cancer. Born in Waterbury, Conn., Marnie was the feisty, free-spirited, youngest child of Dr. James and Patricia Lawlor. Marnie adored her five active, competitive, and strong-willed siblings while expressing her own style, creativity, and independence. When Marnie was very young, it was clear she was most happy in the water. Ultimately, she swam on various teams, completed long ocean swims and Masters races. Swimming was not only where she competed successfully, but also where she found peace and serenity. As a long-time member of the YMCA, she swam most days at 5 a.m. to control her Type-1 diabetes, which she managed for 54 years. Marnie was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Waterbury and Quinnipiac College. She was a surgical nurse in Portland, Maine, and worked in the ER at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. In later years, she owned the highly regarded Cotton Island, a unique clothing store in Watch Hill, R.I. The boutique became a showcase for her vivid imagination, creative style, and flair. While swimming in January 2019, Marnie suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed. She faced her disability with the same courage and determination she had shown throughout her life. From diabetes to stroke to cancer, and other setbacks in between, Marnie managed her complex health challenges with fierce strength. She also found solace and comfort from her deep spirituality, which guided her choices, actions, and relationships. Her surviving siblings all agree that she taught them so much about perseverance and being true to oneself. Marnie will be greatly missed by her five siblings: James Lawlor (Peggy) of Middlebury, Conn., Edward Lawlor (Barbara) of Watertown, Conn., Patricia Webster (Kent) of Marlboro, Robert Lawlor of Thomaston, Maine, Mary Hays (Frank) of Framingham, Mass.; as well as 12 nieces and nephews and by her many loyal, loving friends dating back to her youngest years. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury on Nov. 23, followed by a burial at Calvary Cemetery in Waterbury. Donations to Dunn’s Corners Fire Department, 1 Langworthy Rd., Westerly, RI 02891.

• Todd Cyril McElroy, 51, of West Dover. Died unexpectedly of natural causes at his home earlier this month. The son of Edmund G. “Ned” and Marcy (Ham) McElroy, Todd was born in Ridgewood, N.J., on Feb. 7, 1970. He grew up in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., where he attended local public schools. In 1992, he graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., with a B.S. in accounting and finance. Todd spent most of his career in finance, working in the New York metropolitan area. He learned to ski at Mount Snow at an early age, which developed into a lifelong enjoyment of the sport. Eventually, he relocated to the Mount Snow area. In the summer, he enjoyed playing golf. He was a lover of music, and especially a fan of the Grateful Dead and Van Halen. Todd will be remembered as a very social and outgoing person who loved animals and had many friends. Todd leaves his parents, of West Dover, and their beloved rescue dog, Daisy; ex-wife Paige Almazan and daughters Peyton and Meredith McElroy of Allen, Texas; sister Elizabeth “Beth” McElroy of Boulder, Colo.; brother Peter and sister-in-law Nancy Warzecha McElroy of Estes Park, Colo.; aunt Teri and uncle Walter Linton and aunt Debbie Ham, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and cousins Matthew Linton of Clear Lake City, Texas; Amy Linton of Topanga, Calif.; Darcy Linton of Shanghai, China; and Marie Duncan of Fallon, Nev. He was predeceased by his brother Scott Edmund McElroy and sister-in-law Elizabeth (“Liz”) Mary McElroy. Memorial information: The family will honor Todd’s life privately, with burial to take place in the family plot in Mountain View Cemetery in West Dover. Memorial gifts may be made to Deerfield Valley Rescue or Windham County Humane Society in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Uttam “Tom” Mistry, 72, of West Brattleboro. Died Nov. 19, 2021, after a courageous battle with a long illness. A beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he was born Dec. 16, 1948 in Kenya and is the eldest of seven siblings. His family moved to England when he was in his teens. Tom is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Jyostana “Joyce” Mistry. They moved to the United States in 1979 and settled in West Brattleboro in 1982. They have two children: Krishna, and Ashwin and his wife Heather. Tom also leaves behind two young grandchildren, Max and Mia, whom he adored spending time with. Tom retired in 2016 from G.S. Precision after a 35-year career as an aerospace sales engineer. In his spare time, he was very active and an avid golfer, gardener, and traveler. He enjoyed cooking, cars and spending time with family and friends. Tom was also a member of the Brattleboro Elks. Tom was the type of person who always had a sunny deposition and a generous spirit, ready to provide a helping hand and insight, as well as donating to local charities. Memorial information: Services will be held privately. Donations Bayada Home Hospice Care, P.O. Box 8081, Brattleboro, VT 05301; Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center — Pulmonary Medicine, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756; or Rescue, Inc.

• James H. “Jim” Twitchell, 81, of South Londonderry. Died peacefully at his family home on Nov. 16, 2021, after a brief illness. Jim was born Sept. 25, 1940 in Brattleboro, the son of Arthur K. & Helen (Tams) Twitchell. He was raised on the family homestead in Londonderry, where he discovered his love for farming. He had dedicated his life to the preservation of the land, and lived his life raising cattle and other livestock. Jim had a love of the outdoors and spent many of his days hunting and fishing and sharing these passions with his boys. Jim started his schooling in Londonderry, then graduated from Leland & Gray Seminary in 1958 and Vermont Technical College in 1960. He loved the spring season, so he could start sugaring, which he did since a very small child. His passion to make maple syrup was shared with all who came to the sugar house. He was a member of the Vermont Sugar Makers Association. He won an award in April 2011 at the Vermont Maple Festival for first place in the Fancy Syrup division. Jim worked on State Sen. Edward Janeway’s Farm from 1957 to 1965, when he was elected to the position of Town Clerk and Treasurer of Londonderry. It was a position he held for 47 years, along with his then-wife Shirley E. Twitchell. Jim spent most of his life serving the community. Jim was a 54 year member of Champion Fire Co. #5, serving 26 years as its president. He also served 25 years as the town’s Forest Fire Warden. He was the Master of the Londonderry Grange, Treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 410, Officer of the Londonderry Credit Union, Trustee of the First Baptist Church, and numerous other community organizations. He also took care of his friends and neighbors of Winhall Hollow. James leaves behind his brother A. Robert Twitchell of South Londonderry, his three sons: Stephen L. and his wife, Roxana, and Melvin and his partner, Susan, both of South Londonderry and Timothy W. and wife Amelia Dawn of Houston, Texas. He also leaves a grandson, Nickolas R. Burbank of South Londonderry, and his former wife Shirley E. Twitchell. Memorial information: Funeral services will be announced at a later date. Donations to Champion Fire Co. #5., P.O. Box 5, South Londonderry, VT 05155. To send condolences, visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

• Allen Vander Meulen Jr., 89, formerly of Brattleboro. Died peacefully Nov. 22, 2021 at The Commons in Lincoln, Mass. Born in Chicago on June 23, 1932, he was the eldest child of Allen (Sr.) and Alice (Connor) Vander Meulen. The grandchild of Irish and Dutch immigrants, Allen grew up on the south side of Chicago. He graduated from Fenger High School in 1950. His youth was a happy time, despite the challenges his family faced while he and his siblings were born and grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in economics in 1954, and from Yale Divinity School in 1958. Allen was Minister at Third Congregational Church in Waterbury, Conn., from 1958 to 1963. There, he met the love of his life, Dorothy Overbaugh, and they were married in 1959. Their children, Allen III and David, were born there; daughter Ruth was born in Vermont. Allen’s gifts as a teacher, mentor, and administrator, were widely appreciated. He had a strong drive to advocate on behalf of those who had no voice and to seek justice and opportunity for those who had none. Soon after moving to Vermont he joined other area ministers to travel to Washington, D.C., and stand in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of others from all over the nation to hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Allen became Minister at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro in 1963. He left in 1968, serving as an interim minister throughout Massachusetts and Vermont while attending school, graduating from Brown University with a Ph.D. in economics in 1974. In 1973, he became an associate professor of economics at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He also directed the school’s extension program in Casper. In 1978, Allen joined North Central College in Naperville, Ill., as a professor of economics. He oversaw the school’s new “Weekend College” and helped establish what is now their computer science department. He also helped establish the school’s MBA program. In later years, he taught business ethics as well. Retiring in 1997, Allen and Dorothy returned to Brattleboro. There, he served as chair of Centre Church’s Endowment Committee, a trustee for Brooks Memorial Library, and participated in several other organizations. He enjoyed family, travel, biking, long walks, and conversing about philosophy, ethics, or politics. Allen and Dorothy moved to Lincoln, Mass., in late 2019. Allen was predeceased by his parents and his sister Eva. He is survived by his wife Dorothy; son Allen III and wife Stephanie of Lincoln, Mass.; son David and wife Julie of Aurora, Ill.; daughter Ruth and husband Tim of Rockford, Ill.; brother Ross and wife Kay of Galesburg, Ill.; brother-in-law Robert Overbaugh and wife Nancy of Westford, Mass.; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Allen’s grandchildren are Elizabeth Anne Vander Meulen, Aaron Taylor, Joshua Taylor, and Allen Vander Meulen IV. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held at Centre Congregational Church in the spring of 2022. Donations to Centre Congregational Church (centrechurchvermont.org), Brown University (brown.edu), Yale Divinity School (divinity.yale.edu), or the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).

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Originally published in The Commons issue #641 (Wednesday, December 1, 2021). This story appeared on page A6.

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