• Dale Wesley Ameden Sr., 70, of Jamaica. Died May 24 from an ongoing cardiac condition. Born and raised in the hills of Weston, the oldest of five children of Dennis Guy Ameden and Barbara Jane (Foster) Ameden, he is survived by his wife of 33 years, Karen (Chapin) Ameden, eight children, seven grandchildren and four siblings. A graduate of Chester High School, he was a self-made entrepreneur and leaves a legacy as the owner of several successful businesses in the Jamaica area. Based on experience gained through management roles in large grocery stores in Vermont and New Hampshire, he moved to Jamaica with his family in 1979, buying the Jamaica General Store, steps away from the one-time residence of his paternal grandparents, Wesley and Hazel Ameden. He owned and operated the grocery store in the heart of town until 1990. He repurchased it as D&K's Jamaica Grocery in 2008 with his wife and business partner, Karen. Together, they launched several businesses over the years, including D&K's Garden Center, a Butterfly Pavilion and Bird Aviary, D&K's Little Farm, where they bred and raised llamas, D&K's Redemption Center, and D&K's Property Maintenance. He was a star athlete, participating and excelling in bowling, softball, and golf leagues. He was a skilled carpenter and served as a volunteer firefighter in Jamaica. He enjoyed riding on his lawn mower, watching the weather forecast, and rooting for the Red Sox. Dale will be greatly missed by his family. With his former wife, Carol Faas of Jamaica, he shared three children: Becky Sue Ameden and Tom Tolbert of Jamaica, Lisa Claussen-Adams and Brian Adams of Nahant, Mass., and Wesley and Kelly Ameden of Jamaica. Dale married his second wife, Karen, in 1983 in Weston and together they had five children: Danielle and her fiance Joe Cersosimo of Newton, Mass., Kristi and her husband Andrew Lembke of Thetford, Dustin Ameden of Washington, D.C., and twins Kevin and Drew Ameden of Jamaica. He is also survived by siblings Bonnie Adams of Ludlow, Denise Follansbee of Claremont, N.H., Brad Ameden of Weston, and Donna Sue Hain of Williston, their partners, and many nieces and nephews. His children learned to appreciate a strong work ethic, a tribute to a father who always led by example and rarely through words. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: A gathering to celebrate his life was held May 28 at the family home. A private graveside burial service was held at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Jamaica Village. Donations to the Jamaica Volunteer Fire and Rescue or Grace Cottage Hospital.

• Luis Batlle, 85, of Marlboro. Died May 25 at his home of complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was an important figure for more than five decades at the Marlboro Music School and Festival, and was a mentor and muse to three generations of leading musicians, including such noted pianists as Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Murray Perahia and Peter Serkin. He also served for 30 years as a faculty member of Marlboro College where he and his second wife, Professor of Literature Geraldine Pittman de Batlle, were among the most respected and beloved faculty members, opening their house and their hearts to students whom they compassionately counseled on personal as well as academic issues. Their warmth and generosity also won the hearts, each summer, of all the members of the Marlboro Music community. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Oct. 19, 1930, he was a member of one of Uruguay's leading political families - his brother Jorge Batlle Ibanez (2000-2005) and his father Luis Conrado Batlle Berres (1947-1951) served as Presidents of the country, as did a great uncle, Jose Batlle y Ordonez (1899, 1903-07, 1911-15) who instituted a series of progressive reforms that shaped the modern day republic. As a child, his health was frail and because he enjoyed music and singing, his mother, who came from a musical family, borrowed a piano from an uncle to give young Luis' life a focus. His brother Jorge described that event: “One day, he sat down at the piano and never got up.” In Montevideo, he studied with Victoria Schenini and Wilhelm Kolischer, a pianist from Poland closely associated with Anton Rubenstein. In 1951, he won an award from the Chopin Foundation that allowed for three years of advanced studies in Paris with Yves Nat and later, with Rudolf Serkin in Philadelphia. He subsequently served as Director of the Kolischer Conservatory in Montevideo. He has concertized around the world, including performances with such artists as Salvatore Accardo, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Pina Carmirelli, Miriam Fried, Jaime Laredo, Benita Valente and Harold Wright. He was a juror for the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1974 and the Bach Competition in Washington, D.C. in 1976. In March 1985, Batlle played at the inauguration of Uruguay's first democratically elected president since the military coup of 1973. As part of the celebration of Marlboro College's 40th Anniversary, he performed all 32 of the Beethoven Sonatas in eight concerts in conjunction with a course on Beethoven's life. He moved to Vermont with his four children, Eliza, Luis, Jr., Leopoldo and Jorge in 1980, following a divorce from his first wife. He served as Co-Director with Rudolf Serkin of the Institute for Young Performing Musicians, where he mentored such artists as Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Cecile Licad and Peter Orth, and he was one of the first teachers of Peter Serkin. He taught at Boston University and the Longy School of Music and, in the same year, he joined the Marlboro College faculty. In 1981, he married fellow faculty member Geraldine Pittman. Their 35-year intellectual and human partnership illuminated both the Music School and College communities. Batlle started a piano series which brought many notable artists to the college. A participating artist at Marlboro Music since 1956 and an intimate friend of the Serkin Family, Batlle's love and knowledge of the piano and vocal literature and his devotion to three generations of young instrumentalists and singers, heading the vocal department, made him a vital contributor to the noted musical retreat. He holds the distinction of having given 399 performances at Marlboro between 1956 and 2008 - more than anyone else in Marlboro history - a record unlikely to be challenged.

• Benjamin Bell Sr., 79, of Guilford. Died at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Born in Guilford, the son of the late Frank and Ethel Bell, he was a farmer and carpenter with a talented green thumb. Husband of the late Frances Rowe Bell. He is survived by Benjamin Bell Jr. and his wife, Tammy, of Guilford; Frank Bell and Debbie Possum of Guilford; Alex Bell and Amy Hoyt of Guilford; Graham Bell and Kelley McAllister of Dummerston; Daniel Bell of Oregon, Justin Bell and Quentin Dampier of Jacksonville, Fla; Scott Bell and his wife, Crystal, of Guilford; and daughter-in-law Sherry Rutherford of Alvin, Texas. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: A funeral service was held at the West Brattleboro Baptist Church on May 29. Donations to the West Brattleboro Baptist Church.

• James E. Cassidy, 69, of Fredericksburg, Va. Died May 20 in Rutland after a long illness. Born in Brattleboro on June 16, 1946, the son of the late Edward J. and Pauline (Pratt) Cassidy of Putney. He attended Putney Central School and St. Michael's High School in Brattleboro. He was a lifelong carpenter and spent most of his working life in Virginia. He is survived by his siblings Daniel Cassidy of Putney, Lawrence Cassidy of Dummerston, and Linda Cassidy, of Brattleboro; three sons: Jon and Shannon Cassidy of Fredericksburg and Peter Cassidy of Putney; three daughters: Joanna Farrell and Dana Braithwaite of Fredericksburg and Tanya Evanson of Springfield, Vt., as well as several grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: There will be a private memorial service in Virginia.

• Richmond S. “Rich” Congdon Jr., 40, of Holyoke, Mass. Died May 15 at his home. He is survived by his partner, and the love of his life, Brattleboro native Alyssa Korin Rogers, and his son, Jonathan Richmond Congdon, of St. James, N.Y. Born in Rutland, Vermont, son of the late Bonnie L. and Richmond S. Congdon, Sr., he grew up with seven other half-brothers and sisters in Wallingford. As a youth, he loved sports and played on a number of teams. He served his country proudly in the Navy aboard the nuclear submarine USS Kentucky. He was stationed in both King's Bay, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., before transferring to Saratoga, N.Y., where he taught at the Navy Nuclear Prototype Division School. During that time, he also earned a B.S. in management from New School University. After leaving active duty, he joined the Naval Reserve, and, later, the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He had a profound career in the nuclear power industry and worked for 12 years for Entergy Vermont Yankee in Vernon, starting out as a manager in the training programs. During that time, he also completed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's training program and became licensed to operate the plant and served as a shift supervisor at VY. More recently, he accepted a project management position with ISO New England, working out of Massachusetts and Connecticut, where he learned about more of the operations of all power sources to the grid, including wind turbines, solar, hydro, and coal energy. He loved being outside, especially hiking, biking, and had a deep and abiding love for the ocean. A huge sports fan all his life, he loved all the Boston pro teams, especially the Red Sox and the Celtics. Notre Dame football was also a huge passion. He loved college football in the fall in general. Saturdays featured multiple games on the TV and something delicious in the slow cooker. He possessed the rarified blend of gentleness and strength, and had a respectful and understated demeanor. Never attention seeking, he was a solid and dependable guy who was generous with his time and resources to his family and his many friends. Memorial information: A memorial gathering was held May 28 at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in West Brattleboro. Donations to the Holyoke Soldiers Home, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040; Dakin Animal Shelter, 171 Union St., Springfield, MA 01105; or Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Harriet May Fairbank, 96, of Brattleboro. Died May 22 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Wife of the late Roger Fairbank for 55 years. Mother of Roger Fairbank, Jr. of Pelham, Ga., and Sandy Peckner of Brattleboro. Sister of Alta Barber of Brattleboro, Dorothy Rogstad of Arlington, Texas, and the late Ernest, Raymond, and Herbert Paulman. Also survived by six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Born at home in Guilford on April 21, 1920, the daughter of the late Ernest and Leila (Henry) Paulman, she attended school in Guilford and graduated with high honors from Brattleboro High School, Class of 1937. She was the recipient of the Silver B award at her graduation. She worked as payroll clerk at the former H. Margolin Handbag factory in Brattleboro and later was manager at the Handbag Outlet, retiring in 1999 following 50 dedicated years with the company. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church and was active for many years with United Way of Windham County. She was known for her spirit of friendship and generosity. She enjoyed gardening, evenings at the former Hinsdale Raceway during harness racing season, and was an avid Boston Celtics fan. Memorial information: A graveside committal service was held May 27 at Christ Church Cemetery in the Algiers section of Guilford. Donations to Rescue Inc., P.O .Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Sharrock John Gochenour, 52, of West Dummerston and Brattleboro. Died May 4 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon N.H. He is survived by his father, Theodore Gochenour and wife, Yolanda Cabiluna of Brattleboro; his mother Carol Blanchard and husband, Joao d'Alcaravela of Brattleboro; and his sister, Sarah Hudock of Brookline. He was born on May 7, 1963 in Kabul, Afghanistan, and came to live in West Dummerston at the age of 5. He attended Dummerston schools and Brattleboro Union High School. He was always fun-loving, a president of his class in grammar school, excelled in studies and sports, and played piano and drums. He was struck by a failure of his kidneys in 1979, and moved to Boston with his mother, where he earned his GED and continued treatment and dialysis at Childrens' Hospital. Two years later, he developed a movement disorder, which severely affected his speech and mental capacities, and was subjected to several drugs to manage them, along with other side effects from dialysis. He worked on jobs using his skills in carpentry, and became independent. In 1993, he moved back to Brattleboro in his beloved Vermont and received his first kidney transplant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. In later years, he had an aortic valve transplant, a second kidney transplant, and, most recently, a diagnosis of lung cancer in March, which led to his death six weeks later. He was known in Brattleboro as someone who was caring toward the down and out, who was gentle and appreciative of help. Memorial information: There will be a remembrance and celebration of his life at the Holbrook Community Center at Black Mountain Estates, Buttonwood Drive (off Black Mountain Road) from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday, June 3. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Geraldine S. “Gerry” Harrington, 81, of Brattleboro. Died May 7 at her home, following a period of declining health. Born in Brattleboro on Dec. 16, 1934, the daughter of the late James and Frances (Mullet) Searles. She attended Canal Street and Green Street Schools and was a graduate of Brattleboro High School, Class of 1951. She went on to attend Bronz Beauty Academy in Greenfield, Mass. She owned and operated Gerry's Cut & Curl on Canal Street, after initially establishing her salon on Linden Street. She retired from hairdressing following 42 years in the profession. She was a former communicant of St. Michael's Catholic Church and was a former member of the Daughters of Isabella, Ave Maria Circle #128. More recently, she had attended Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brattleboro. A woman of faith, she enjoyed reading her Bible, daily devotionals, and spending time with her family. She had a fascination for Israel and Egypt and, several years ago, visited both countries. In 1984, she married Bruce Harrington, who survives. She is also survived by a sister, Arlene Georgina and her husband, Elliot, of Brattleboro; a brother, James M. Searles, Jr. of West Virginia; four sons, Philip, Gerald and Ralph Simonds and David Welch; and several nieces and nephews that include her nephew Gary Corey, his wife Gail and their family, whom she was especially close to. She was predeceased by siblings Eugene Searles, Patricia Barrett, Corrine Langmaid, and Pauline Corey. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: In accordance with her final wishes, there are no formal funeral services scheduled. Burial of her cremated remains will be in Riverside Cemetery in Brookline. Donations to Rescue Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal St., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• Edward George Lawida, 68, of Brattleboro. Died May 7 at his home from Parkinson's disease. Born in 1948 in Webster, Mass., the youngest of three siblings, his desire to serve his country led him to enlist in the Marines in 1966. At just shy of 18 years old, he fought in the battle of Khe Sanh, an experience that instilled in him a lifelong commitment to peace. His military service later took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the streets of Moscow, where he served as an MP at the U.S. Embassy during the height of the Cold War. He later moved to Vermont and continued to serve his community as a U.S. Postal Service employee and a union representative. It was in Vermont that he met MaryAnn, his partner and wife of 16 years. He quickly transitioned to becoming a father and family man, providing loving support for MaryAnn's two daughters, Caitlin and Sarah Holt. He instilled in them his sense of marvel and curiosity with the natural world and with world affairs. He was truly happy as a father, one who loved his daughters and who was ever grateful for the unexpected gift of Caitlin and Sarah in his life. He was an eternally optimistic and witty man, who will be missed greatly by his family and the many communities he spent his life serving. He is also survived by his older sister, Evelyn Lawida of Rochester, N.Y. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: A private celebration of his life will be held in June. Donatons to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

• Edith L. Morse, 69, of Guilford. Died May 19 at her home. Wife of William L. Morse for 35 years. Mother of Craig Pratt and his fiancée, Kelly Mattson, of Chester; Jeremy Morse of Brattleboro; and Michelle Penza and her husband, Eric, of Sunderland, Mass. Sister of Marvin Bentley of Wardsboro, Rene Johnson of Guilford, and Victoria Jackson of San Antonio, Texas. Also survived by four grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was born in Glens Falls, N.Y., on May 17, 1947, the daughter of Mary Lou (Lewis) and the late Rev. Charles Bentley. After residing in various locations, she attended and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1965. She worked at G.S. Precision in Brattleboro for many years and previously had worked at Leader Home Center in West Brattleboro. She enjoyed cross stitching, going on day trips, and time shared with her family, especially her grandchildren. Memorial information: A memorial gathering was held May 28 at the Morse home. Burial will be in Maplehurst Cemetery in Guilford at a later date. Donations may be made to a special fund to assist with funeral expenses in care of People's Bank, 479 Canal St., Brattleboro, VT 05301 or you may donate online at To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• William Joseph “Woodchuck” Pagach, 63, of Brookline. Died May 22 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., following a period of declining health. Husband of Teresa Fontaine for 42 years. Father of Toby Pagach and his wife, Kerri, of Brookline and Amie Leavitt and her husband, Randy, of Brookline. Brother of Cheryl Pagach of Edgewater, Fla., and the late Joellen Chapman and Marylou Pagach. Born in Hamden, Conn., on April 20, 1953, the son of Joseph and Ellen (White) Pagach, he was raised and educated in Columbia, Conn. During his high school years, his family moved to Vermont, where he graduated from Leland & Gray Union High School, Class of 1971. For several years, he worked as a general contractor for Brattleboro Roofing. He later established Pagach & Son Roofing. He was a member of the B.P.O. Elks, Brattleboro Lodge #1499. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, collecting baseball cards, and was an avid Red Sox and Dale Earnhardt fan. He was known for his large collection of NASCAR memorabilia. He especially enjoyed spending time with his three grandchildren, whom he adored. He was also a longtime player on the Brattleboro and Putney Men's Softball Leagues. Memorial information: A memorial gathering to celebrate his life will take place at the family homestead on Hill Road in Brookline on Saturday, June 4, at 1 p.m. Donations to Newbrook Junior Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 77, Newfane, VT 05345, in care of Amie Leavitt. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Elsie Alice Richardson, 94, of Brattleboro. Died May 24 at Bradley House in Brattleboro, where she had been a resident for the past six years. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: A funeral Mass was held June 1 at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro, with committal rites and burial in St. Michael's Parish Cemetery. Donations to Bradley House, 65 Harris Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Freda Rogers, 91, of Clermont, Fla., formerly of Brattleboro. Died May 24 under the care of Cornerstone/Mike Conley Hospice House. As a wife of 55 years, a mother of six, a grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of six, she was a devout Catholic who believed in God and family. Born in Proctor, the daughter of the late Nelson and Ora Guyette, her early years were spent in Proctor, then later in Randolph, where she helped on the family farm and later graduated from Randolph High School. During World War II, she did her patriotic duty by being one of thousands of women who were“Rosie the Riveter,” doing her part at Winchester Repeating Arms in New Haven, Conn. After the war, always being a Vermonter at heart, she moved back home awaiting the return from overseas of her future husband, Clifford Rogers, USMC. They married within weeks of his arrival in 1946. Not only was Freda a wife and mother, she was also involved with her husband's businesses with responsibilities, including bookkeeping for the Rogers Construction Company and Operations Manager of the Brattleboro Bowl. Later, in the 1970s, they moved to Margate, Fla., where she helped with the administration of her son's company, John F. Rogers Corporation. She enjoyed going to garage sales, playing card games, bowling, and traveling across the United States. She is predeceased by her husband, Clifford; her son, John; her brother, Ken; and her sister, Millie. She is survived by her children: James Rogers, Janet DuCharme, Peter Rogers, Timothy Rogers, and Susan Bright. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: She will be laid to rest next to her husband at the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph, VT. Funeral arrangements to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donate to your local Hospice or

• Penelope Rose “Penni” Sheldon, 58, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died May 21 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Wife of David A. Sheldon for nearly 31 years. Mother of Samantha Forbes of Roxbury, N.H., and Garrett Sheldon of West Chesterfield. Sister of Sheila Merton of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Roxanne Ebbighausen of Rutland, and Deborah Richmond of Hinsdale, N.H. Also survived by three grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and several aunts and uncles. Born in Keene on April 29, 1958, the daughter of Alice (Johnson) and the late William Richmond, she was raised and educated in Hinsdale, N.H. She graduated from Hinsdale High School with the Class of 1977 and went on to attend Greenfield Community College. She worked as a store manager for several years at several convenience stores in the greater Brattleboro area. Previously, she worked in hospitality at Mount Snow in Dover. She was a former member and past treasurer of the Hinsdale VFW Post 4234 Ladies Auxiliary. She loved trips to the beach, camping, and time shared with her family, especially her children and grandchildren. Memorial information: A memorial gathering was held May 28 at the Chesterfield Town Hall. Donations to Chesterfield Fire & Rescue, P.O.Box 95, Chesterfield, NH 03443. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Marjorie A. (Butson) Taylor, 85, of Athens. Died May 25. Fondly known as “Gram Taylor,” she was born July 17, 1930, the daughter of Mae (Moulton) and Silas Butson. She was a 1948 graduate of Leland & Gray Seminary and was a member of the Athens Community Christian Church, Ladies Aid, the Athens Fire Department, and the Parent-Teacher Group of Athens. She will be remembered for her devotion to her family, as she babysat all of her grandkids and great-grandchildren, as well as many children in Athens. She was an avid knitter and enjoyed welcoming each new baby with a handmade baby blanket. She had a witty sense of humor and talent at card games. Her presence will be missed at the sporting and school events of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as many family events, that she faithfully attended. She is survived by her children: Diane Hitchcock, Tom Taylor, and Donna Currier, all of Athens; her brother, William Butson of Acworth, N.H.; eight grandchildren, two step-grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; four step-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, her stepmother, Etta (Moulton) Butson, and her husband, Francis J. Taylor. MEMORIAL INFORMATION: A funeral service was held May 29 at the Community Christian Church in Athens, with burial in the Saxtons River Cemetery. Donations to Community Christian Church, 26 Brookline Rd., Athens, VT 05143.

• A memorial service for Gordon C. Adams will be held Saturday, June 11, at 1 p.m. at West Brattleboro Baptist Church. Burial in Morningside Cemetery will be private. Mr. Adams, of Brattleboro, died Feb. 12, 2016 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence, visit

• Graveside committal services with military honors for Harris G. Coomes will be conducted on Saturday, June 4, at 1 p.m., in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Putney. A gathering will follow the services to be held at the Coomes's home on Sand Hill Road in Putney. Mr. Coomes, 82, died Jan. 28, 2016, at the VA Hospital in White River Junction. Atamaniuk Funeral Home of Brattleboro is in charge of arrangements.

• Graveside committal rites with full military honors for Army Sergeant First Class (ret.) Todd James Chapman will be conducted Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m., in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery on Orchard Street. A reception will follow the services to be held at VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034 on Black Mountain Road. Mr. Chapman died Jan. 13, 2016, at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Virginia. Arrangements are under the direction of the Atamaniuk Funeral Home.

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