College news

• Sasha-Renee Daniels of Brattleboro, James Harvey of Brattleboro, and Evan Diamond of East Dummerston all recently earned degrees from Union Institute & University.

• Irene Shamas, 18, of Putney, has graduated with distinction from Bard College at Simon's Rock with an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. She attended Brattleboro Union High School before leaving after 11th grade to enter college early. Shamas was one of 155 students to graduate from Simon's Rock, the early college in Great Barrington, Mass., on May 26.

• Rachel Ells of Springfield was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2014 semester at the State University of New York at Brockport.

• Alexandra Morrow of Townshend and Devon Spirka of Wilmington both achieved Dean's High Honors for the spring 2014 term at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass.


• Tom Nunziata assumed the role of President of the Youth Services Board of Directors, succeeding Barbara Gentry, whose two-year term has just ended. Nunziata has been on the agency's Board of Directors for the past three years in a number of leadership positions. During his tenure on the Youth Services board, Nunziata listed Vice President and Golf Tournament Committee Chair among his roles. He is on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Committee and on the agency's finance, governance and development committees. He has also served as a mentor in Youth Services' Big Brothers Big Sisters program since 2011 and is currently on the board of the Friends of Algiers Village in Guilford.

• Arts Alive, a Keene, N.H., nonprofit organization that works to sustain, promote, and expand access to arts and cultural resources in the Monadnock Region, recently hired Jessica Gelter of Brattleboro as its new Executive Director. She replaces Kate Dean, who has held the position for two years. Gelter has five years of professional marketing experience in Vermont specifically for nonprofits, including the New England Youth Theatre.


• Effie B. Chamberlin, 74, of Harmonyville. Died July 9 at her home, following a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Wife of the late R. George Chamberlin for 24 years. Sister of Sheila Lowe and her husband, Reg; Philip Bartlett and his wife, Sandy; Warren Bartlett; Steve Bartlett and his wife, Edna; and the late Eleanor, Rex, and Kenneth Bartlett. Born July 4, 1940, in East Dover on the family farm, the daughter of the late Edwin H. Bartlett and Marion (Johnson) Bartlett, she was the oldest of eight children. She attended Dover Elementary school, graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1958, then attended Thompson House School for Practical Nursing, graduating in 1959 as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She went on to earn her associate's degree in health care administration from the Community College of Vermont in 1978. She dedicated her life to health care, starting as a staff nurse in 1961 and working her way up to the administrative level at Grace Cottage Hospital, becoming co-administrator with Dr. Carlos Otis. She retired for the first time in 2000, after 39 years, but returned to work following a short retirement. She retired again in 2009, after a total of 48 years of service. In 2009, she was honored with a House Concurrent Resolution for the Legislature in recognition of her outstanding nursing and administrative career at Grace Cottage Hospital. She served her community on multiple boards including Otis Health Care Center Board of Trustees, Grace Cottage Foundation Board member, the state Board of Nursing, Practical Nurse Association of Vermont, Advisory Committee of the Student Practical Nurse Association of Vermont, American College of Health Care Administration, Vermont chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators, Vermont Health Care Association, Advisory Committee of the Valley Health Council, Co-Chair of Red Cross Blood Donor Day, and the Northeast Healthcare Quality Foundation. She also worked tirelessly each year on the Grace Cottage Hospital Fair Day, especially the auction. She enjoyed helping people, camping, snowmobiling, decorating cakes, going for walks, square dancing, watching horse pulls, and spending time with her family. She will be remembered for her Yankee wisdom and her strong professional values. Memorial information: A celebration of her life was held July 20 at the NewBrook Fire House in Newfane. Burial will take place in the Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend. Donations to the Grace Cottage Foundation, in care of Robert Backus, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353. Arrangements are under the direction of Atamaniuk Funeral Home of Brattleboro.

• Molly McNeil Dowd, 24, of West Brattleboro. Died July 6 in Conway, Mass., while swimming in the Deerfield River. Daughter of Katherine and Ernest Dowd, she was a 2007 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School and lived in a yurt on her farm on Bonnyvale Road. She was the coordinator of the garden at Green Street School and assistant coordinator of the garden at Holton Home, on Western Avenue. She was an enthusiastic volunteer for many area agricultural programs from Strolling of the Heifters to the Rich Earth Institute. She recently became a member of the Rich Earth board. During her high school years, she worked at Brown & Roberts as a clerk. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held Friday, July 25, at 10 a.m., at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, 47 Walnut St., in Brattleboro, with the Rev. James Dodson, celebrant. Join the family for refreshments and to share remembrances at a celebration of her life on Friday, July 25, at 3 p.m., at Green Mountain Orchards, 130 West Hill Rd., Putney. Donations to the Rich Earth Institute, 44 Fuller Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301, or Windham County Farm to School, in care of Post Oil Solutions, P.O. Box 431, Townshend, VT 05353.

• Ashley Eileen “Biggie” Fortier, 24, of West Brattleboro. Died July 16 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Daughter of Rick and Kathleen (Lawrence) Fortier of Brattleboro. Sister of Karley Fortier of Brattleboro. Born in Brattleboro, she was raised and educated in Brattleboro and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 2011. She worked part-time at Against the Grain in Brattleboro and had previously worked at the Brattleboro Food Co-Op. She was an active member of Families First and for several years was involved with the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro. She enjoyed arts and crafts, kayaking, fishing, riding her bike, watching movies at home, and spending time with her family. She was a very generous and caring person with a hilarious sense of humor. She was well known for her memorable laugh, smile and love for frogs. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held July 22 at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, with committal rites and burial in St. Michael's Parish Cemetery. Donations to Families First, 15 Butterfly Lane, Brattleboro, VT 05301. Arrangements were under the direction of Atamaniuk Funeral Home.

• Rena Yeaw Hall, 79, of Northfield, Vt., formerly of Guilford. Died July 11 at Vernon Advent Christian Home in Vernon. Wife of the late Robert Hall for 52 years. Sister of Merrill R. Yeaw, of West Chesterfield, N.H.; Arlene Blum, and her husband, Robert, of Guilford; and the late Warren Jr., Arthur, William, Truman, Eleanor, Evelyn, and Irene Yeaw. Born in Guilford, the daughter of the late Warren and Eva (Cooke) Yeaw, she was a graduate of Brattleboro High School, class of 1953. She worked for Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Conn., for more than 15 years. She enjoyed bowling, was an avid golfer who won several prizes over the years, and loved cats. Memorial information: A graveside service was conducted July 17 at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Northfield. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Central Vermont Humane Society, P.O. Box 687, Montpelier, VT 05601. or Vernon Hall Home Activity Fund, 1309 Greenway Drive, Vernon, VT 05354.

• Harold A. Manley, 102, of Brattleboro. Died July 14 at Vernon Green Nursing Home. Husband of Claude (Creach) Manley for 68 years. Father of Paul Manley of Rocky Hill, Conn., and Lillian and Judy Manley, both of Brattleboro. Brother of the late Elmer, George, Cecil, Vivian, Edna, Gladys, and Lillian Manley. Born in Derby, Conn., the son of the late Frank and Bertha (Munger) Manley, he was raised and educated in Enosburg, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse. He served in the Army in the European Theater of Operation during World War II and participated in the Normandy invasion in 1944. While serving in Europe, he met his future wife in Paris and the couple were married in Porcheville, France in 1946. A resident of Brattleboro since 1947, he worked as a self-employed woodworker and cabinet maker. Previously, he worked at the former Melsur Corp. and the former C.F. Church Co. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sugaring every spring, and working in his vegetable garden. He also liked to pick blackberries and blueberries. A devoted family man and hard worker, he also cherished time spent with his family. Memorial information: Private graveside committal services were held in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or Vernon Green Nursing Home Activities Fund, 61 Greenway Drive, Vernon, VT 05354. Arrangements were under the direction of Atamaniuk Funeral Home.

• Mary Farnum Potter, 89, of Westminster. Died July 4. Born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of the late George and Katherine (Faqua) Farnum. She was a graduate of Kurn Hattin School, attended high school in Tennessee. She worked as an operator for Bell Telephone. She also worked at Bryant Grinder during the 1940s, carried mail between the Westminster post office and the Westminster Station post office, ran Westminster Heights Boarding Kennel, and ran two routes as a school bus driver. She was a member of the Bell Telephone Pioneers Club. She was very fond of animals and fostered many strays during her life. She is survived by her longtime friends, Edward and Dawn Wright, and several cousins. Memorial information: A memorial service was held July 19 at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, with burial in Westminster Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to New England Kurn Hattin Homes, P.O. Box 127, Westminster, VT 05158, or to Westminster Cares, P.O. Box 312, Westminster, VT 05158.

• Ruth (Brennan) Todd, 76, formerly of Bridgeport, Conn. Died July 12 at Pine Heights Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Brattleboro after a long period of declining health. Wife of the late Walter E. Todd for 43 years. Mother of Virginia (Todd) Nygard and her husband, Walter, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Susan (Todd) Murray of Brattleboro. She was predeceased by her son-in-law, Bruce Murray, and 11 brothers and sisters. She was the last person remaining of her family's generation. Born, along with her late twin sister, Edna, in Bridgeport, the daughters of the late Thomas Brennan and Elizabeth (Wagner) Brennan, Ruth was raised and educated in Bridgeport. She was an honor student in high school, yet felt an obligation to leave high school after completing two years, to help her mother and family at home following the death of her father during the Great Depression. After her marriage, the Todds took care of many family members in their home, especially aging parents and several brothers and a brother-in-law and wife returning from World War II. During her children's school years, she worked full-time outside the home to ensure her daughters the opportunity to have the college education that had once been a dream of her own. In all her work experiences, she was an exceptional employee and her excellent work performance was commended by the City Trust Bank president. She retired from the Trust Department of the bank and worked temporary placements until hired full-time at Pitney-Bowes. When Ruth was 86, her work career came to a close when her employer moved operations from the area where she lived. She served well, whether it was her family, church, place of employment, or those in need. Her faith sustained her throughout her life, along with worship and fellowship at church. She was a member of Olivet Congregational Church in Bridgeport most of her life. More recently, she became a member of Community Bible Chapel in Brattleboro. She lived with her daughter, Susan, in Brattleboro for the past three years, attended the adult day program at The Gathering Place and then was admitted to Pine Heights nearly three months ago. Memorial information: A service to celebrate her life will be held at the home of her daughter in Brattleboro on Sunday, July 27, at noon. Donations to The Gathering Place, 30 Terrace St., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• Edward “Bruce” Wylie, 78, of Murphy, N.C. Died July 16 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. Husband of Dorothy Wylie for 54 years. Father of Edward Wylie and Donna Hazeltine and her husband, Jeff. A native of Bellows Falls, son of the late Janet and George Wylie, he graduated from Bellows Falls High School, attended Vermont Academy, and was a member of the Vermont National Guard. He first worked at Smith Auto Sales in the early 1950s, a Buick dealership which was managed by his father in Bellows Falls. He went on to work for Fellows Gear Shaper and Bryant Grinder, both in Springfield. He was later appointed plant engineer at Norma-Hoffman Bearings in Stamford, Conn., and was a member of the American Institute of Plant Engineers and held the position of secretary. He retired in 1973 due to health issues and moved to Sarasota, Fla. He and his wife moved to Murphy in 1983. He was a member of St. William Catholic Church in Murphy. His passion was dirt track stock car racing. He started racing at age 13 in Keene, N.H., and went on to win numerous dirt track championships at Claremont, N.H. and Middletown, N.Y. In the mid-1980s, he was labeled “Terror of the Dirt Tracks” by the Cherokee Scout for numerous winning streaks at Tri-County Raceway, Sugar Creek Raceway, and Cleveland, Tenn. He retired from racing in 1986. Memorial information: No memorial service has been set.

• Louis M. “Lou” Waronker, 72, of Brattleboro. Died July 14 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro after several years of declining health. Son of the late Sara and Bernard Waronker of Philadelphia. Survived by a twin sister, Fredda Sabatino of Margate, Fla., and a niece, Bari Allen, of Lawrenceville, Ga. As a boy in Hebrew school, he was struck by this passage from Micah 6, verse 8: “He has shown you oh man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” This passage formed the basis for his activism. He graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a bachelor's degree in history, which was appropriate as he had an exceptional memory. He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s. His long-time friendship with war tax resisters Wally and Juanita Nelson greatly influenced his own commitment to war tax resistance and non-violence. Choosing to live simply, he supported himself for several decades by picking apples and pruning apple trees in the Brattleboro area. His letters were frequently seen in the editorial pages of area newspapers. Memorial information: A memorial and distribution of his ashes will be held at Woolman Hill in Deerfield, Mass., at a later date in the fall.

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