• Brett Tolleson Blanchard, 73, of Weston, Fla. Died Sept. 9 in hospice care in Hollywood, Fla. Brother of Karen Jane Stromgren Blanchard of Westminster West and the late Susan Margaret Blanchard Adamek. Born in Providence, R.I., the son of the late Benjamin Brett and Emagene Stromgren Blanchard, he graduated from West High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1956. He attended Brown University and Western Connecticut College. He was a marketing consultant in Stamford, Conn., a residential hotel manager for the Margaret Hotel in Brooklyn, N.Y., a realtor with his father in Newtown, Conn., a landscape designer in Florida, and completed his working life, prior to retirement, in retail at Burdines/Macy's in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He lived with his mother and her dog, Lille Ven, in Weston, Fla. until her death in 2009, where he was also on the condo association board. He was a compassionate and caring person to others, was well-respected by his co-workers, and loved by his family. In his younger years, in addition to working for Southbury Training School, a school for differently-abled young people in Southbury, Conn., he also played the guitar, teaching songs to his younger sister. He was also a theatre lover, acting in A Streetcar Named Desire in the 1960s. Memorial information: A celebration of his life was held Dec. 2 at the Westminster West Congregational Church.

• Gary Leigh Hegberg Blomgren, 60, of Dummerston. Died Nov. 28 at home after a brief battle with cancer. Husband of Patricia Ann Brown for 35 years. Father of Jennifer, Joshua, Jesse, and Benjamin. Brother of William. Born in Normal, Ill., the son of Roberta (Fickling) and the late Dean Blomgren, his education from grade school to his Master's of Science at Illinois State University was completed in his hometown of Normal. In 1994, he was awarded the honorary degree of Master's of Art by Marlboro College of Vermont. He began his distinguished teaching career in 1975 at the elementary level. In 1984, the Blomgren family moved to Brattleboro, where he started his position at Brattleboro Union High School. At BUHS, he served as department head for many years and was an exemplary school leader. He always valued students as people first, not merely members of a class. His love of students was manifested in his everyday practice of teaching and in his ability to form warm, genuine and inspired relationships. In all his endeavors, his work ethic was evident - ranging from facilitating the Asian American Cultural Exchange to the development of the BUHS-TV program. He worked enthusiastically with Brattleboro's vibrant arts community to involve students in downtown installations, Student Art Month shows, and specialized community events such as the Strolling of the Heifers. In the BUHS community, he guided his department and students in creating arts celebrations, shows, and other events. He also established the annual student art purchases prize, featuring the best of each year's art graduates in a growing art gallery. His innate humor, warmth, and kindness to each person made him one of the school community's most beloved members, a gifted teacher, mentor, and friend. He will be greatly missed at BUHS, but his legacy of compassion, humor, and love will resonate for generations. Family was first and foremost in his life, and he remembered for his unconditional love and as a supportive father who always made time for his family. One of his favorite pastimes was family gatherings where his epic command of the grill and recreation of his Aunt Nancy's Christmas Casserole were beloved. Memorial information: A memorial to honor his life will be held at the BUHS Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. Students, teachers, friends, and neighbors are all invited to join in honoring the gifts he gave us all. An informal reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made toward a scholarship created in his name.

• Colin Michael Cannatta, 4, of East Jamaica. Died Nov. 21 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, surrounded by his family. Born in Tucson, Ariz., the son of Peter Michael Cannatta, Jr. and the late Kathy MacArthur, he was attending pre-Kindergarten. He was a very creative child and liked using his mind for such creativity. He enjoyed playing with Legos and loved playing outside, being silly, and making people laugh. He was a very high spirited boy and nothing ever bothered him. He is survived his father and his stepmother, Wendy Clayton, of East Jamaica; his grandparents, Paula Webster of Deep River, Conn., Peter Cannatta of East Haddam, Conn., and Kathleen Dawicki of Jenkintown, Pa.; stepbrother Dylan Matthew Clayton, stepsister Kayla Rose Gibbons; uncles, Charles MacArthur and Jacob Oakes; aunts, Marie Ranochak and her husband, Ron, Laura MacArthur, Amy Cannatta and Carolyn May, and many cousins. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Nov. 28 at Brewster & Shea Funeral Service in Manchester Center. Interment was private. Donations to the Colin Michael Cannatta Memorial Fund, in care of Brewster & Shea Funeral Service, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255.

• Deborah A. “Debbie” Ellis, 57, of West Wardsboro. Died Nov. 26 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, following an extended illness. Wife of George Ellis for 20 years. Mother of Richie Sanborn of Newfane. Sister of Lee Doucette and Timothy Doucette, both of Newfane, Michael Doucette of Marietta, Ga., and Eric Carlton of Hillsboro, N.H. Born in Brattleboro, the daughter of Anita (Leclaire) and the late John Doucette, she was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1973. She had worked as a store clerk at the West Wardsboro Store for nearly two years, and previously worked at Neighbor's in Dummerston; Hannaford's in Brattleboro and the former Spofford Hall. She also waitressed at several Brattleboro area restaurants through the years. She enjoyed arts and crafts, including making Christmas wreaths. She loved the outdoors and quality time spent with her family. She was known for her spirit of generosity, always ready to assist anyone in need. Memorial information: A celebration of her life and reception was held Dec. 2 at the NewBrook Fire Station in Newfane. Donations of the Oncology Department at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Mary H. Foltz, 86, formerly of Putney. Died Nov. 25 at Thompson House Nursing Home. Wife of Harold “Tony” Foltz for 66 years. Mother of Kimberly Sullivan of Putney and the late David Foltz. Sister of the late Duncan MacRae Jr. and Nell Douglass. Born in Columbia, S.C., the daughter of the late Duncan and Lida (Lawson) MacRae, she was raised and educated in Columbia and later attended business college. She was a devoted homemaker whose life centered around her family. She enjoyed working with small children and taught Sunday school to pre-school aged children. Memorial information: A graveside services was held Nov. 28 in Maple Grove Cemetery in Putney. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Paul Arial Grover, 90, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 25 in Roanoke, Va. Husband of the late Audrey Newcomb and the late Rebecca Hopper. Father of Steven and and the late Paula Grover. He was born in Brattleboro, one of 12 children of the late Arthur A. and Gertrude Grover. He grew up in Brattleboro as a golf caddy and assisting his father in the lumber industry. He joined the Army in 1942, and became one of Darby's Rangers, serving in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, receiving a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Unit Presidential Citation. He campaigned in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. In January 1944, he along with many other Rangers were captured at Anzio, Italy. He spent 16 months in a German POW camp, and returned to Vermont after the war. He started a long career in truck driving at that time. In the 1960s, he started Yellow Cab of Bennington, and operated it for a number of years. After the death of his wife, he went back to truck driving until he retired in the 1980s. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golf. He also loved dogs, and had pets throughout his life. Memorial information: A graveside committal service with military honors took place Nov. 30 in Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro.

• Maureen Slater Hannan, 73, of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 23 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Wife of the late John Hannan. Stepmother of Sharon Hannan; Janet Hannan and her husband, Kevin; and Karen Hannan and her husband, Karl. Sister of Joseph Slater and his wife, Betty, of Wilmington, Mass.; Deborah Albright and her husband, David, of Guilford; and Karen Brennan and her husband Peter of Rotunda West, Fla. Stepsibling of Ernie Martin of Brookline and Kathy Plummer of Meriden, Conn., the children of Burt Martin, her stepfather. Born in New Brunswick, N.J., the daughter of Lillian and Joseph Slater. During her childhood, her family relocated to Brookline, and she attended the one-room schoolhouse before moving on to Brattleboro High School. After high school, she matriculated to Springfield College, where she earned a B.S. in physical education. She then moved on to the University of Washington, where she took a M.S. in physical education and developed a true passion for the Huskies athletic teams. She moved to Seattle, where she began teaching high school phys-ed and coaching gymnastics. After retiring from teaching, she moved to the beautiful San Juan Islands where she established a working farm with her husband on Orcas Island named Little Bit Farm and raised many animals including sheep and horses. An accomplished artisan, she sold her woolen wares at the Artworks Co-Op on Orcas Island. A lover of all animals, she had numerous dogs and cats that were truly part of her family on the farm. After her husband's death and her own deteriorating health, she returned to Brattleboro to be closer to her family. Memorial information: A family service will be held at a later date.

• Mildred A. Johnson, 98, formerly of Greenfield, Mass. A resident at Vernon Hall, she died Nov. 29 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Wife of the late Willard W. Johnson for 52 years. Mother of Richard Johnson of Longmeadow, Mass., David Johnson of Manchester, N.H., Maureen Dunham of Keene, N.H., and Susan Kingsbury of Westmoreland, N.H. Predeceased by two brothers and seven sisters. Born in Manchester, N.H., the daughter of the late Timothy and Mary (Burke) Sullivan, she was raised and educated in Manchester and was a graduate of Westside High School, Class of 1932. A devoted homemaker, she had been employed as a telephone operator for New England Telephone, working in the Manchester office. She had been a resident of Greenfield, Mass., prior to moving to the Brattleboro area. A devout Catholic, she was a communicant of Saint Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. Memorial information: A funeral Mass at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church was held Dec. 1, with burial in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery on Orchard Street, where she was laid to rest next to her husband. Donations to St. Brigid's Kitchen, 47 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Doris Elizabeth “Dessie” Lane, 88, of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 28 at the Holton Home where she had been a resident for the past 2 1/2 years. Wife of the late Arnold Pierce Lane for nearly 50 years. Mother of Dana Nelson and her husband, Edward, of Vernon and Brooke Finnell and her husband, Stephen, of Brattleboro. Sister of Ruth Tripp and her husband, Richmond, of Vernon. Born in Brattleboro, the daughter of the late Leslie and Minnie (Hamilton) (Burch) Taylor, she made her home with her grandparents, Harry and Mary Hamilton on Western Avenue, attending Academy School. She was a graduate of Brattleboro High School, Class of 1942. She worked as a banker with the former Burlington Savings Bank until her retirement at age 66. Active in community affairs, she was charter president of the Brattleboro Floral Arts Club, longtime secretary and board member of the Brattleboro Outing Club, past president and Queen's Pageant director of the Brattleboro Winter Carnival, and a member of Lake Spofford Family Recreation. She enjoyed skiing, landscape painting, aerobics, and her bridge club. She enjoyed many activities at Holton Home including singing in the chorus and pottery. Memorial information: A service in celebration of her life will be held in the Blue Room at the Holton Home on Sunday, Dec. 23, at 2 p.m. Donations to Holton Home, 158 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• Gordon Eyman McNamee, 87, of West Wardsboro. Died Oct. 16 at Grace Cottage Hospital. Husband of Mollie P. Bardbury-Palmer McNamee for 63 years. Father of Michele McNamee of Townshend, Anne and her husband, Gilman R. Oxley of Wilmington, and the late Ian McNamee. Born in Milwaukee, Wis., the son of the late Gordon and Helen (Toohill) McNamee, his family moved to Wilmette, Ill., after the death of his father, and then to Evanston, Ill., where he attended Evanston Township High School. At age 18, he served in the Coast Guard for one year, transferring to the Navy Air Corps before receiving a medical discharge. He then joined the American Field Service and was assigned to the British Eighth Army, working as an ambulance driver during World War II. His service with the AFS took him first to Italy, and then Germany, where he participated in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945. After further service in India, Gordon returned to the United States and then went to St. John's College, where he studied the great thinkers. He had begun his exploration of the world early on while still in high school and after the war he continued to travel through Europe, first to Greece on a cattle ship and then to Paris, Grenoble, and Switzerland where he enjoyed skiing, a favorite wintertime activity. Since discovering French films and jazz music as a youth, Paris beckoned and, after a brief return to the States he returned there to live for several years and to attend the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques. After meeting his future wife in Paris, they married and started a family. His early career included working as floor manager of WPIX-TV in New York City, and then American Cyanamid Co., where he created medical teaching films. He later continued for many years as an independent medical filmmaker. He received two Golden Eagle Awards, the first for a film on microsurgery with 90 percent of the footage shot through a microscope. His list of medical film credits also includes Human Heart Transplant with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, among many others. The McNamees lived in Westport, Conn., for many years, and he often traveled with both friends and family to West Wardsboro and the rustic cabin he had purchased there in the 1950s. They started living in Vermont full-time in 1975, and opened and operated Mountain Jeanery, their “army & navy boutique” in Wilmington for more than 30 years before retiring. He will be remembered by those who knew him as a man of varied interests, a lover of literature and jazz. He played standup bass and had a musician's ear. A hilarious and entertaining storyteller, he never missed an opportunity to express his unique sense of humor. Gordon had the ability to draw people in, and those fortunate enough to call him friend, husband, father or grandfather will think often of him and are comforted by the many smiles and stories he left behind. Memorial information: Future memorial plans will be at the convenience of the family. Condolences may be left at Donations to Wardsboro Volunteer Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 151, Wardsboro, VT 05355.

• Guy Pennell Jr., 64, of Tamworth, N.H., formerly of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 22 at Concord Hospital. Husband of Charlene Pennell. Father of Guy Pennell III of Nashville, Tenn., and James Pennell and his wife, Pam, of Brattleboro. Stepfather of Robyn Harris. Born in Brattleboro, the son of Helen (Martin) and the late Guy Pennell Sr., he was the owner and operator of G.P. Auto Salvage in Tamworth. His hobbies included his motorcycles, old cars, and snowmobiles. Most of all, he enjoyed time spent with his family and friends. Memorial information: A graveside funeral service was held Nov 30 at Woodlawn Cemetery in Newfane. Donations to Tamworth Volunteer Rescue, P.O. Box 271, Tamworth, NH 03886

• Alan F. Smart, 64, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died Nov. 28. Former husband of Sally Bruce and Antoinette Staskunas. Father of Jon Smart and his wife, Heather; Cordell Smart; Angela Estes and her husband, Kirk; Emily Weaver and her husband, Chris; and Mikayla Haskell. Brother of Shari Russell; Gary Smart and his wife, Lavonne; Teri Tu and her husband, Aung; and the late Susan Smart. Born in Keene, N.H., the son of Yvonne and the late Francis L. Smart, he graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1966. An artist, he considered attending Rhode Island School of Design after high school, but life intervened. Upon receiving his draft notice, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served overseas in Okinawa. After his discharge in the early 1970s, he expressed his artistic abilities in woodworking, designing, and building furniture and decorative accessories. He worked in the carpentry field and, at one time, had his own carpentry business. He was employed by Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, working in the maintenance department. For the past 17 years, he did maintenance work for the Hinsdale School District. He was an avid motorcyclist. He enjoyed riding and also restored and rebuilt motorcycles, including customized painting, once again demonstrating his artistry. Not only did he enjoy the outdoors on his motorcycle, he was also a hunter and had numerous deer and turkey trophies. Memorial information: Memorial service arrangements are pending. Donations to the Visting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, 1 Hospital Court, Suite 8, Bellows Falls, VT 05101, or to the American Red Cross, 83 Court St., Keene, N.H. 03431.

• Berner Magnor Somme, 69, of West Wardsboro. Died Nov. 19 at his home. Husband of Ragna Thorsen Somme for 49 years. Father of Nancy O'Malley and her husband, Ed, of Mahopac, N.Y., and Michael Somme and his wife, Kathryn, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Brother of Malfrid Hervold of West Wardsboro, Kari Olsen of Norway, Alles Sola of Norway, and the late Bjarne Somme. Born in Sola, Norway, the son of the late Mikal and Margit (Ueland) Somme, he came to the United States at the age of 18 in 1962. He entered the carpentry trade and worked as a carpenter all of his life. He was a former member of the Sons of Norway in Croton Falls, N.Y., enjoyed fishing, hunting, skiing, following NASCAR and cherished times spent with his family. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Dec. 8, at noon, at the Wardsboro Methodist Church. Interment will be private. Donations to the Wardsboro Methodist Church, in care of Allison Brown, P.O. Box 213, Wardsboro, VT 05355, or to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353.

• D. Mary Therieau, 57, of Brattleboro. Died Nov. 24 at Pine Heights Nursing Home following a courageous battle with brain cancer. Wife of Michael Therieau for 37 years. Mother of Krystal Gaffney and her husband, Keith, of Hinsdale, N.H., and Kimberly Therieau of West Springfield, Mass. Sister if James Olmstead of Newfane, Daniel Olmstead of Marlboro, Sallie May of Vernon, Elizabeth Wright of West Chesterfield, N.H., and Ellen Olmstead of Dummerston. Born in Brattleboro, the daughter of Sallie (Dixon) and the late George Olmstead, she attended Dummerston schools and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the class of 1973. She had worked for Orthopedic Associates of Brattleboro for more than 32 years and also worked as a unit secretary on the second floor at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for more than 20 years. Most recently, she had been employed as receptionist at Physical Therapy Services of Brattleboro. Previously, she had been employed in the lab at BMH. She was a long time member and supporter of the BUHS Athletic Booster Club, where she served as board secretary and worked every football game in the Colonel's Den snack bar. She was also an active member of the BHS/BUHS Alumni Association, where she also served on the board of directors. She enjoyed softball and played in the greater Brattleboro Women's Softball League for many years, and was also an accomplished bowler in the Brattleboro Women's League where she competed in several national tournaments. She was an excellent cook and baker and was known for her delicious pastries and deserts. She loved to travel, and had fond memories of vacations in Europe, the Caribbean, Florida, and her favorite, the Dominican Republic. Memorial information: Interment in Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro will be private in the spring. Donations to Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Atamaniuk Funeral Home at

• John T. Van Wyck, 89, of Concord, N.H. Died Nov. 24 from complications of Parkinson's disease. Husband of Eunice Anderson Van Wyck for 63 years. Father of John (Jack) R. Van Wyck and his wife, Liz, of Burgaw N.C.; Joy Van Wyck and her husband, Brad Borbidge, of Bow, N.H.; and the late James Edward Van Wyck. He was one of 10 children born to the late Harold and Ruth Van Wyck in Wilmington. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and, after the war, enrolled in the University of Vermont. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in accounting. He was employed by General Electric and worked in Pittsfield, Mass., Schenectady N.Y., and Valley Forge and Philadelphia, Pa. He retired in 1984, and the Van Wycks spent most of their retirement years sharing time between Sun City Center. Fla., and Acton and Kennebunk, Maine. With his financial talents, he was treasurer of many organizations, including his church, Lions Club, Square Dance club, PTO, and the Boy Scouts. He enjoyed carpentry, camping and travelling, square dancing, and gardening. In later years, he spent many hours completing crossword and jigsaw puzzles and playing most any card game. He will be lovingly remembered for his gentle demeanor, his quiet, dry sense of humor, and his willingness to lend a hand wherever needed. Memorial information: A memorial service was held Nov. 30. Donations to The National Parkinson Foundation Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741, or online at

• Betsey Jean (Thayer) Wetherbee, 70, of Shrewsbury, Mass. Died Nov. 17 at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., after a brief illness. Wife of Sherman S. Wetherbee for 50 years. Mother of Royal and his wife, Toi, of Shrewsbury; Matthew and his wife, Rebecca, of Worcester; and Mark and his wife, Pati, of Stockton Springs, Maine. Sister of Mary Towne of Wilmington, William Thayer of Westford, and Blanche Thayer of Halifax. Born in Brattleboro, the daughter of the late Webster and Maxine (Sargent) Thayer, and grew up in South Newfane. She graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1960, earning a Silver B, the school's honor society symbol. After graduating from New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in 1963, she had a long career as an registered nurse, including more than 35 years caring for patients at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester. She was also proud of her long time involvement with the Women's Health Initiative. A member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Worcester, she loved her church and serving on the Vestry and several committees. She loved spending time with her family and babysitting for her grandchildren. Her rescue shelties, Kasey and Penelope, were special to her. She loved long rides in the country, especially in their Model T. Along with her husband, she was a member of the Central Massachusetts Model T Ford Club. Some of her favorite things were trying new recipes, picnics, brown bag concerts, crossword puzzles, word puzzles, and Sudoku. She was happiest when she was helping and caring for others. Memorial information: A memorial service was held Dec. 2 at St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Burial will be private at the convenience of her family. Donations to St. Matthew's Memorial Fund, in care of St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 695 Southbridge St., Worcester, MA 01610.


• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Nov. 24, 2012, a son, Dominic David Houle, to Robyn (Losius) and Adam Houle of Vernon; grandson to Pat and Sandy Houle and Dave and Liz Losius.

• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Nov. 19, 2012, a son, Alden Rosell Anderson, to Brandie E. Starr and Eric R. Anderson.

• In Brattleboro (Memorial Hospital), Nov. 6, 2012, a son, Cooper Thomas Cartelli, to Quinn (Maguire) and Rob Cartelli of South Newfane; grandson to Carol Forsythe, Bruce Coggeshall, Dick Cartelli, and Marilyn and Terry Maguire of Wilmington, Del.

College news

• Jem Wilner of Putney has begun her first year at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

• Monika Grist-Weiner of Brattleboro and Sarah Hawksley of Jamaica were both named to the Dean's List for the fall 2012 semester at Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design.

• Drew Barnum of Townshend has been accepted at Coastal Carolina University for the Fall 2013 semester. Drew, a Leland & Gray Union High School student, plans to major in Biology.

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