College news

• Aubrie Gillam, a creative media major from Putney, and Jessica Malone, an Accounting major from Brattleboro, were named to the Champlain College Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester.

• Sarah Bemis, a senior early childhood education and sociology major from Brattleboro, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Conn.

• James Moore of Saxtons River has been named to the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn.

• Romello Lindsey of Brattleboro is one of more than 70 new students who have registered for the spring 2015 semester at Castleton State College.

• The following local students were named to the the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at Community College of Vermont: Denise Kingsbury of Bellows Falls; Liv Berelson, Amber Mosca, Adam Rumrill, Catherine Weber, and Everest Witman; Justin Garciadealba of Grafton; Albry Crowley of Guilford; Gary Grout of South Londonderry; Stevie-Tao Roberts of West Townshend.

• Jacob Castine, an architecture major from Vernon, and Dillon Sparks, a marketing major from Guilford, both were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

• Amy Blazej of Windham, a member of the class of 2016 majoring in creative writing, Anna Mary Gaskill of Brattleboro, a member of the class of 2018 majoring in nursing, and Sarah Harlow of Putney, a member of the class of 2016 majoring in nursing, all were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H.

• Molly Ann Rice of Brattleboro, a member of the class of 2016 majoring in interdisc liberal studies, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2014 semester at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.


• Dr. Jaysinh Birje-Patil, 81, Professor Emeritus at Marlboro College. Died on Jan. 18 after a short illness. He taught at Marlboro College for 16 years before retiring in 2003. He taught in the English Department at Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, India for almost 20 years. He was head of the English Department for a time and, later, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He had studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He came to the U.S. in 1984, first as a Fulbright Fellow at Yale and afterwards as a visiting Professor at Brown University, before joining the Marlboro College faculty in 1987. At Marlboro, Dr. Birje-Patil taught literature, from Shakespeare to Joyce, Holocaust studies, post-Colonial fiction, and directed “The Crucible” and “Waiting for Godot,” team-taught courses on theater, and was an active mentor to many of his students even after their graduation. He was a Shakespeare scholar, an enthusiast of Gilbert and Sullivan-type music hall songs, and lover of classical music. He was a man of vast knowledge of literature, and of outstanding ability as an actor and director. His literary works include “Chinnery's Hotel,” “The Good Muslim of Jackson Heights,” and the soon to be released “Nothing Beside Remains.” Memorial information: A memorial service will be held at Marlboro College on a date to be announced by the college.

• Austin G. Durkin, 71, of Athens. Died Jan. 12 at his home. Longtime companion of Laima Leland. Father of LeeAnn Johnson and Hope Earthwood. Stepfather of Fern and April Earthwood. Brother of Janice Clancey and the late Shirley Cappella and Elaine Durkin. Born in New Haven, Conn., the son of the late Elaine and Austin Durkin, his love of life was an inspiration to all he met. He lived a simple life and saw beauty in the finer details it had to offer: a good game of cribbage with a friend, the rich and vibrant colors of the vegetables he grew, or just listening to his favorite album during a leisurely cruise through New England. He had a true love for music and was known by many as Austin “Blues Power” Durkin. With an impressive selection of the best vinyl collection, he was a collector of many things and loved to spend his weekends “treasure hunting” at local flea markets and yard sales. He loved the outdoors and had a deep passion for gardening. As an organic enthusiast, he took great pride in his work and often cited that “organic starts at the seed.” He was a kind and wise soul with an amazing sense of humor who touched the lives of many and always left them smiling. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held in the spring.

• Sheryl Fletcher, 53, of Westminster West. Died Jan. 3 at home, following a 15-month battle with brain cancer. Wife of Jordan Fletcher. Mother of Liam and Aiden Fletcher. Sister of Trish Murphy and her husband, Brian, of Antrim, N.H., Jim Fletcher and his wife, Marilyn, of Greenfield, N.H., and Bill Fletcher, Jr. and his wife, Tina, of East Westmoreland, N.H. Born in Norwalk, Conn., the daughter of Verdella (Goddard) and the late William Fletcher, she grew up in Weston, Conn., and then moved to Greenfield, N.H., where she lived and cared for her family's property, the epicenter of many happy extended-family gatherings. She worked in Peterborough, N.H., at various publishing companies as a typesetter and production designer and as a Diet Clerk at Monadnock Community Hospital and Pheasantwood Nursing Home. She started her own typesetting company, Fletcher Typesetting, in 1987. She most recently worked as a bus driver for The Grammar School in Putney. She was a vibrant and energetic gardener and fiber artist. She always had a wonderful garden and deeply loved all of the Kingdoms of Nature (especially those found in marshes). In her art, she used botanicals that she gathered or grew sustainably. She hand-processed the botanicals to dye an assortment of natural fibers. She incorporated seeds, stems, leaves into the fiber, blending colors and textures to create peaceful, balanced works of art. Much of her art was inspired by her compassion towards neglected or bullied people, especially young girls. She was devoted to her family and filled them with an appreciation of beautiful and delicate flora and fauna, true compassion towards others and themselves, and an authentic gratitude towards life. She exuded a positive and loving spirit, loved laughter and opened her heart to those around her. These qualities gave strength, support, and peace to her family and friends. She always reached for the positive. Memorial information: A private family burial will take place at a later date in Greenfield, N.H. Memorial donations may be made to her children via her husband, Jordan Fletcher, 5011 Westminster West Rd., Putney, VT 05346.

• Margaret Samuel “Maggie” Lake, 60, of Westminster West. Died Jan. 16 at her home. Born in Huntington, N.Y., daughter of Marcia and Gill Lesser, she and her three sisters - Katy, Elizabeth, and Joanne - spent their childhood in New York. Her father's career in the alpine skiing industry and love of the mountains took them on frequent trips to Vermont. In 1968, the family purchased a farmhouse in Grafton. At first, they used it only as a base for their skiing and hiking trips, making the four-hour drive from New York in a battered station wagon. Before long, they made a place for themselves in Grafton's small community and moved there permanently. The Vermont woods and fields would be where she would build her life. She had an incredible work ethic, a wealth of creativity, a love of nature, and compassion for the human spirit, which showed in every aspect of her life. She studied botany at Antioch College and ventured to the Alaskan tundra for a year that would forever link her with that landscape. Later, she became a nurse practitioner, bringing her unique brand of compassion and humor to the medical profession. In 1982, she married Tracy Lake, whose family lived just down the road from hers. They built their home in a quiet clearing along the Saxtons River. In her 25 years of homesteading there, she grew bountiful gardens, built a log-cabin house that evolved into a beautiful home, played fiddle in an old-time string band, helped on her father-in-law's logging crew, and started a botanical art business. Her artwork became one of the main focuses of her life. She collected specimens in her gardens, the surrounding fields and woodlands, the Alaskan tundra, rainforests of Australia, and Alpine meadows in France, Italy, and Switzerland. She did all this while raising her two children, Norah and Hayden, to whom she devoted herself. She moved to Westminster West in 2005 with her partner Oliver. With his unwavering support, she took her artwork to new heights of creativity, confronted an extended battle with cancer, and focused on living with even more determination. She was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006. She faced this challenge with the same vigor, humor, and creativity that exemplified her life. Through the next eight years, two stem cell transplants, and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, she danced in the chemo suite, grew and preserved food, traveled the craft show circuit, worked with her children on their own homesteads, built her partnership with Oliver, and was a strong support for her friends and community. Despite the uncertainties facing her, she built a beautiful new art studio, tilled open new gardens, explored new types of art, practiced medicine, and continued to live life to the fullest. She filled every moment with creativity, beauty, and humor and left life with the sole regret that she couldn't be here for longer. Her art hangs around the globe, the patients she cared for fill a town and beyond, her children carry on her legacy in their hearts and homesteads, and the beauty of her spirit is within anyone who knew her. If you want to see examples of her artwork, visit the Mitchell-Giddings Gallery in Brattleboro before March 1. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held Sunday, June 21, at Green Mountain Orchard in Putney. For details, go to Donations can be made to Brattleboro Free Clinic, Planned Parenthood, or CaringBridge.

• Frederick H. LaTaille Jr., 43, of Great Falls, Mont. Died Jan. 4. Son of Kathleen D. (Capone) and and the late Frederick H. LaTaille Sr., of Jamaica. Brother of Linda Antonowicz and her husband, Michael, of Putney, and TeriAnn LaTaille of Jamaica. Born in Townshend, he attended Leland & Gray Union High School. While at LGUHS, he toured the Soviet Union with the Initiative for Understanding: America Soviet Youth Exchange and represented Leland & Gray at the Vermont Governor's Institute summer program on acid rain. After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and served 10 years, specializing in Minuteman missile system maintenance. Honorably discharged, he worked for Boeing at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, operating and maintaining missile trainers for 15 years. He was also cooking part-time at local restaurants and dog-sitting. At the time of his death, he was employed by FedEx. He enjoyed exploring caves in South Dakota and called his family in Vermont to simultaneously watch NASCAR and other TV programs with them. Memorial information: A private graveside memorial is planned for spring.

• Beverly G. “Bev” Mack, 94, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died Jan. 19 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro, where she had been a resident for the past 15 months. Wife of Ralph E. Mack for more than 66 years. Mother of Gary Mack and his wife, Donna of Hinsdale, and Terry Mack and his wife, Sue of Peru, N.Y. Sister of the late Marion “Menna” Deone. Born in Hinsdale, the daughter of the late Louis and Madge (Bruce) Deone, she attended Hinsdale public schools and was a graduate of Hinsdale High School, Class of 1938. She worked in the bindery department at the former Vermont Print, which she retired from in 1982. Previously she worked at the former Houghton & Simons Store and former Latchis Gift Shop in Brattleboro. She was a devoted homemaker, and enjoyed taking day trips, going shopping with her sister, eating out, and trips to Hampton Beach. She also loved taking vacations to Florida during the winter months with her husband. Memorial information: Services at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home will be private. Burial will take place in the family lot in Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale in the springtime. Donations to Pine Heights Nursing Home Activities Fund, 197 Oak Grove Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• Carol Ann Mills, 61, of Bellows Falls. Died Jan. 21 at her home after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Partner of Thomas Pye. Mother of Monique Spencer, Arah Mills, Tammie Chapin, Terry Mills, Samuel Mills, and Kimberly Caviola. Sister of Mary Thibodeau. Born in South Boston, Mass., the daughter of the late James and Evangeline Boufford Thibodeau, she will be remembered as a loving mother, wife, sister, grandmother and friend to all. She spent many years as a nurse's aide at McGirr's Nursing Home in Bellows Falls. She had a love for all animals, especially her cats. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31, from noon to 3 p.m., at American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls. Donations to the American Cancer Society.

• Jeannette H. Nelson, 81, of Rockingham. Died Jan. 17 at the Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center. Wife of the late Robert E. Nelson and the late Maurice Cataford. Mother of Mark Nelson of Beverly, Mass., Robert Nelson of Montclair, Calif., Jan Sheehy and her husband, Michael, of Rockingham, and Karen-Ann Williams and her husband, Jason, of Tulsa, Okla. Sister of Madeline Jacobs of Franklin, N.H. Born in Franklin, N.H., the daughter of the late Maurice and Frances (Bergeron) Perreault, she attended schools in Franklin and was a graduate of Franklin High School. She worked as a teacher's aide with the learning disabled at Washington Beadle School in Beverly, Mass. In 1998, she retired to Oquossoc, Maine, and was active in the Rangeley Guides Club. She loved nature and enjoyed hiking, kayaking, and blueberry picking. She cherished visiting with her friends and family and was an avid reader. She moved to Rockingham in 2011. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Jan. 28 at the Catholic Church in Franklin, N.H., with a graveside service at The Chapel at The New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, N.H. Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls is in charge of arrangements.

• Irene Anita (Howe) Pomfrey, 92, formerly of Grafton. Died Jan. 20 at Vernon Green Nursing Home. Wife of the late Norman Pomfrey for 36 years. Mother of Richard Pomfrey and his wife, Nancy, of Hinsdale, N.H., Paul Pomfrey of Brookline, and the late Pamela Gibbs. Sister of the late Minnie Marsh, Olive Bush, and Henry Howe. Born in Brookline, the daughter of the late Hermon A. and Della C. (Landfear) Howe, he was raised and educated in Brookline and was a graduate of Brattleboro High School, Class of 1940. She worked at the Grafton Village Cheese Company as a bookkeeper for 10 years and was an auditor for the town of Grafton for seven years. She was a lifetime Deacon of the Grafton Church and lifetime member of the Grafton Historical Society. She was also a member of the Mt. Lebanon Order of the Eastern Star, Lodge #89. She enjoyed participating in church activities, as well as sewing and knitting. Prior to moving to Grafton, she lived in Newfane, Springfield, Brattleboro, Saxtons River, and Painesville, Ohio. She served as a Brownie leader while residing in Ohio and Saxtons River. Memorial information: Burial will take place in the family lot at Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend in the springtime. Donatons to the Grafton Historical Society, P.O. Box 202, Grafton, VT 05146.

• Allen Stetson Reed, 97, of Bennington. Died Jan. 17 at his home. Husband of the late Elizabeth A. “Betty” Allen for 54 years. Father of Allan “Skip” Reed Jr. and his wife, Carol. of Bennington, Tracey Reed of Jacksonville, and Susan Reed Basche and husband, Bob, of West Norwalk and Milford, Conn. Born on Pleasant Valley Farm in Jacksonville, the son of the late Tracey Lee and Minerva L. (Allen) Reed, he graduated from Whitingham High School in 1935 and attended Brattleboro Business School. He was the last surviving member of his high school graduating class. He served in the Army Air Force during World War II in the China, Burma, and India (CBI) Theater, and was honorably discharged at the rank of technical sergeant. He was employed for 41 years at the American Brass Company in Waterbury, Conn., retiring as benefits administrator in 1978. He enjoyed many weekends and vacations with family in Vermont. The Reeds were 50-year members of the Union Congregational Church and of the Vermont 251 Club. They spent many hours driving the back roads of New England and New York, motoring as far as Florida and California to visit family and friends. He served as Past Master of Federal Lodge #17 Free & Accepted Masons. He relocated to Bennington in 1997 to be near his children. His family was a great source of pleasure and comfort to him. Memorial information: Funeral services were held on Jan. 24 at the Jacksonville Community Church. Donations to the Jacksonville Community Church or the Masonic Home and Hospital in Wallingford, Conn., in care of the Covey, Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

Mary B. (Bobee) Remillard, 85, and Robert George Remillard, 91, both formerly of Northfield, Mass. Died Jan. 17 and 19, respectively, after a year-and-half stay at Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield, Mass. Robert was born in Gill, Mass., the son of the late Augustus and Amelia (Bergeron) Remillard, he attended a one-room school house in West Gill and graduated from Greenfield (Mass.) High School. Upon graduation, he was briefly employed by Millers Falls Tools until he became of age to enlist in the Navy. Of his eight brothers and sisters, he was one of five that proudly served their country during World War II. During his entire enlistment, he served aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin. He was awarded ribbons for serving in the Pacific Theater and was given an honorable discharge. Mary was born in Brattleboro, daughter of the late Albert and Minnie (Gadway) Bobee. She dropped out of school before completing her education to support her family by working in a local cotton mill. She met the man who would be the love of her life and they married in Brattleboro in 1949 and remained together until their deaths, 65 years later. As newlyweds, the Remillards lived in Erving, Mass., and then built their own home in Northfield. After the war, Robert went back to work at Millers Falls Tools. He remained employed with Millers Falls Tool/Ingersoll Rand/Rule Tool as a tool and die maker until his retirement in the 1980s. He was also employed part-time at Tri State Precision in Northfield and had seasonal jobs picking apples for the local orchards, working summers at the Northfield Drive-In, and growing Christmas trees. Mary was employed at the Franklin County Public Hospital, and then the Vernon Green Nursing Home until the late 1970s. She then stayed at home at a time when she could enjoy watching her grandchildren grow up. With a yearning that lasted for years to get her diploma, she returned to her studies and earned her GED at the age of 68. The Remillards enjoyed square dancing and candlepin bowling together. Gardening and bird watching were some of their other loves. He loved to study history - especially local history, watching the Red Sox, hunting, and fishing. He looked forward to attending reunions for the battleship upon which he served to meet fellow shipmates. Mary loved to sew, a favorite pastime that grew when she formed a 4-H Club for sweing. Traveling also became an enjoyment where she traveled throughout the country and other points around the world. She also enjoyed painting, which grew into a ceramic studio. She took her works to local flea markets on the weekends. They are survived by their children, Heather Kabaniec of New Hampshire and Jeffrey Remillard and his wife, Sheila, of Gill. Mary is survived by two brothers, Luis Bobee and his wife, Nancy, of Readsboro, and Joseph Bobee and his wife, Anita, of Brattleboro, and a sister, Anna Leary and her husband John. Robert is survived by his brother, Kenneth Remillard and his wife, Agnes, of Bernardston, Mass. Memorial information: A celebration of Robert and Mary's lives will be held at a time to be announced. There are no calling hours. Donations to Franklin County Home Care, 330 Montague City Rd., Turners Falls, Mass. 01376, or to your local Hospice.

• George Harry Rowell, 85, of Crossville, Tenn., and Saxtons River. Died Jan. 15. Husband of the late Ruth McBride for nearly 28 years and of Alta Jackson Wheeler for nearly 32 years. Father of Susan Hartloff of Ballston Spa, N.Y., and Brian Rowell and his wife, Laurie, of Saxtons River. Stepfather of Laurie Gingras and her husband, Mark, of Pittsfield, Mass.; Carol Boyer and her husband, Phil, of Nashville, Tenn.; and John Wheeler and his wife, Leisa, of Denver, Colo. Brother of Louise, Eunice, Harriet, Marvin, Morris, Wilbur, and the late Hollis Rowell. The oldest son of the late Harry and Helen (Urie) Rowell, he was born and raised on a dairy farm in South Albany. His college years were interrupted by his service in the Air Force during the Korean War. After leaving active duty, he continued in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a Colonel. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957 with an engineering degree, and later earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. The majority of his 33-year engineering career with General Electric was spent in Pittsfield, Mass., in the Ordinance Division. He retired from GE in their Cincinnati office in the Aerospace Division in 1990. He also served as chairman of the Pittsfield Airport Commission. He had a passion for flying and owned three small aircraft in his lifetime. He was a member of the Church of Christ in Chester. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held in late May. Donations to the UVM Foundation (Scholarship Fund), 411 Main St, Burlington, VT 05401.

• Alan Ternes, 83, of Bellows Falls. Died Dec. 6, 2014 in Denver. Husband of Barbara Ternes. Father of Kate Willink, Marie Ternes, and Paul Ternes. Born in Detroit, he lived for most of his professional life in New York City, moving to Vermont in 1994. The Editor Emeritus of Natural History magazine, he spent his early career as a reporter, then bureau chief, for Stars and Stripes, as a reporter and magazine editor of The Detroit News, and as a city editor at the Times Herald Record in Middletown, N.Y. Additionally, he wrote magazine articles, served on exhibition and museum advisory boards and was Natural Science Curator for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo. As a youth, he began what would become a hallmark of his life - traveling and exploring the natural world. His travels took him to sites in the United States as well as South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Antarctica. He became a proficient sailor in his teenage years. In 1998, he sailed his boat, “The Nighthawk,” solo from Nova Scotia to the Azores. Over the next 15 years, he sailed the Mediterranean, stopping at ports in Turkey, Tunisia, Sicily, Greece, Crete, Spain, Italy, and Croatia among others. Last year, he sailed his boat to El Hierro in the Canaries. He had planned to sail it to Brazil in the spring. As a Lister and Justice of the Peace in Rockingham, he was instrumental in the town's reassessment of its most valuable property, an electricity-generating plant owned by a multinational corporation. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m., at Kurn Hattin Homes Auditorium in Westminster. It will be a potluck, a venerable Vermont tradition that he embraced.

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