College news

• Colton Butler of Whitingham was among more than 30 students who were inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society during a recent ceremony of Emira (N.Y.) College.

School news

• The Bellows Falls Envirothon Team competed in their second New Hampshire Soil Judging Competition held at Kingman Farm in Madbury, N.H., on Oct. 7. Members of each team were tested on their ability to judge the quality and usefulness of a given of soil from a dug pit. Team members were challenged to analyze four different soil pits independently, and then individual scores were added together for their overall team score and ranking. Bellows Falls sent two teams: A-team, which included Ira Richardson, Skylar Swan, Michael Mueller, and Paulryan Chipman; and B-team, which included Anthony Meuller, Olivia Luricella, Stephanie Holland, and Brennan Bickford. Both teams were supported by their coach Mrs. Steiner. The two teams from Bellows Falls took first and fourth in the soil judging competition in preparation for the Vermont State Envirothon Competition to be held in May.


• The Putney Cares board recently announced that Abby Jacobson has agreed to become the new Program Coordinator. She has deep roots in the Putney community and is returning after service in related health fields. Her regular office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Jacobson at the Putney Cares Activities Barn for information about rides to medical appointments, Meals on Wheels, or use of medical equipment, or if you are interested in volunteering to help the elders of the community by offering what ever time you can to driving, delivering or serving on the board. Call 802-387-5593 or email [email protected].

• Allisyn Houghton has joined The Richards Group in Brattleboro to advise employers with the management of their retirement plans as well as leading onsite education initiatives for plan participants. Most recently, Houghton was employed by an international digital publishing company, where in addition to being a staff accountant, she provided financial analysis and coordinated the sales and marketing efforts of the North American branch. She graduated from the Isenberg School of Management with a bachelor's in accounting in business administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has provided guidance to various businesses and nonprofits with regard to bookkeeping, accounting, and tax code adherence. She has also been involved in area youth sports for more than a decade, volunteering in both a coaching and officiating capacity.


• Marilyn M. Beam, 78, of Bellows Falls. Died Oct. 8 at Cedar Hill Nursing Home. She was born March 31, 1938 in Sheffield, the daughter of the late Lewis and Margret Masure. She waitressed all of her life locally, enjoying all the people she got to meet along the way, at the Windham Hotel, Lodge Motel, the Highlands, and Father's Restaurant. She was a member of the Women's Moose in Bellows Falls and enjoyed gardening and cooking. Her family was most important in her life, especially spending time with her grandchildren. In 1979, she married Elwin “Jim” Beam of Bellows Falls, enjoying life with him until his death in 2001. She leaves her children, Dianne Quinn of Rockingham, Debra Quinn of North Clarendon, David Masure of Hogdensville, Ky., and Darwin Quinn of Westminster; siblings Joyce Richards of Bellows Falls, Fred Masure of Athol, Mass., and Ronald Masure of Sydney, Maine; ten grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by siblings Donald Masure, and Charlotte Stocker. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Oct. 15 at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, with burial in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellows Falls.

• Robert W. Bryant, 53, of Athens. Died Oct. 8. He was born Oct. 21, 1962, son of Shirley Alsvig (Rebidue) and William R. Bryant. He was survived by his parents, four siblings, four children and eight grandchildren. Memorial information: Services were held Oct. 15 in Athens.

• Mary J. Derosia Chism, 66, of Louisville, Ky., formerly of Brattleboro. Died Oct. 8. She was born on Feb. 13, 1950 in Brattleboro to the late Victor and Barbara Derosia. She also was predeceased by her brother Larry Derosia. She is survived by her daughters Kari (Bobby) Bodemann, Karen (Mike) Chism Yates, Audra (Richard) Decator, Debbie Manwarren, Eleisha (Carson) Wilkes, and son Adam Jaqueth, as well as nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings Steve (Kris) Derosia, Vic (Tammy) Derosia, Nancy Derosia, and her companion, Ron Greenwood. Memorial information: No services are planned.

Jean Anne Druke, 85, of Newfane. Died Oct. 11 following a long illness. Born to the late Francis (Frank) and Helena (Crowninshield) Gray in 1931, in Williamsville. She attended local schools and graduated from Brattleboro High School. She married Edward J. Druke in 1952, and they lived in Williamsville until moving to Newfane Hill in the early 1980s. “Jean was a loving and supportive wife and mother and her primary focus was always her family. An expert gardener and accomplished cook, she fed her large family almost entirely from her organic gardens and farm,” her family writes. “Her recipes and gardening advice were widely sought by many and continue to be passed on through generations of family and friends. She was known for her kindness and concern for others, traits she demonstrated throughout her life. She was deeply dedicated to her husband of 64 years, Ed, who tenderly cared for her during the years leading up to her final moments. She loved spending time at home with her family and took special pleasure being surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean will be greatly missed by all who knew her. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Visiting Nurse and Hospice VT and NH for their compassionate care of Jean in her final days.” In addition to her husband, she is survived by four daughters, Claire (Daryl) Johns of Brookline, Cathy Coonan (Rick Manson) of Brattleboro, Elaine (Rob) North of Ferrisburgh, Emily (John) Long of Newfane and two sons, Edward (Terri) Druke of Newfane and Tom (Melissa) Druke of Middletown, New York. She is survived by three brothers, David Gray of South Newfane, Edwin Gray and James Gray, both of Williamsville, and one sister, Joan Jones, of South Newfane. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Another brother, Charles Gray, died earlier. Memorial information: In accordance with Jean Druke's wishes, no services are planned. Plans for a celebration of life will be announced. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Visiting Nurse and Hospice for VT and NH or Brattleboro Area Hospice in appreciation of Janet Murano and her team of caregivers. To express condolences online, visit

Elizabeth June “Liz” Harris, 96, of Brattleboro, died Oct. 14 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro. Born in Brattleboro on Oct. 29, 1919, the daughter of Max and Mary (Whitney) Snow, she was raised and educated there, graduating from Brattleboro High School in 1937. She worked for many years as an accountant for Vermont National Bank in Brattleboro. She was married to Francis Harris, who died in 1989. “Devoted in her walk of faith, Liz was a longtime member of Centre Congregational Church,” her family notes. “Of her pastimes and interests, she enjoyed traveling and gardening and had a love for animals.” Liz Harris is survived by one sister, Maxine Coughlin of Brattleboro, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Donald Harris, and her sister, Maryann Rice. Memorial information: Graveside services in Locust Ridge Cemetery on Black Mountain Road, Brattleboro, will be officiated by Pastor Suzanne Curtiss on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to Rescue, Inc. P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To express condolences online, visit

Mary E. Higley, 81, of Temple, New Hampshire, died Oct. 12 at Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterborough, New Hampshire. Born in Brattleboro March 14, 1935 to Paul R. and Frances M. (Cummings) Guthrie, she attended St. Michael School in Brattleboro from first through 12th grade. Upon graduation, she worked for Metropolitan Life and Woolworth. She was the widow of Forrest N. Higley, whom she married in 1955. The couple lived in Ohio and New York, then settled in New Hampshire. They lived in Milford, New Hampshire for 28 years, during which time she worked at the Monarch Diner and then the Milford Cooperative Bank (now TD Bank), starting as a teller and working her way up to becoming the Amherst, New Hampshire branch manager. She leaves her two daughters, Ellen Salisbury of Gray, Maine, and Sharon Higley of Temple, New Hampshire; two sons, Gregory Higley of Temple, New Hampshire, and Patrick Higley of Goffstown, New Hampshire; two brothers, Eugene Guthrie of Brattleboro and Kenneth Guthrie of Hampton, New Hampshire; ten grandchildren; two great-grandsons; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Forrest N. Higley; her grandson, Alexandre Salisbury; and two brothers, James Guthrie and Richard Guthrie. Memorial information: A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Oct. 17 in St. Patrick's Church, Milford, New Hampshire, with burial in Riverside Cemetery, Milford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael School, 48 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301 in care of the principal, or to the Share Outreach, Inc., 1 Columbus Avenue, Milford, NH 03055.

• Arthur E. “Art” Monette, 59, of Townshend. Died Oct. 10 at his home in Townshend after a battle with liver cancer. Born at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital on December 26, 1956 to Ora Monette and the former Bertha Frink. He had three siblings. He attended Putney Central School and graduated in 1974 from Brattleboro Union High School. He also attended various colleges throughout New England, where he obtained credits for a counseling degree. His career included working as a youth and substance counselor at Ravenna's Day and Foster Care Center and at the Brattleboro Retreat, both in Brattleboro. He later joined Kit Martin, his life partner of 40 years, to create Townshend Auction Gallery, a business he loved, owned, and co-operated for more than 30 years. A firm believer in being involved in community affairs, he served on the Townshend Planning Commission for 18 years and was an invaluable supporter of, and tireless volunteer for, the Grace Cottage Hospital's Annual Fair Day for the past 30 years. “He was also a strong advocate for area youths, regularly attending their sports events, giving them first jobs at the auction center, mentoring, supporting, and being a true friend to them,” his family writes. “Several adopted him as 'Dad,' and even though they are now grown, they will never forget, nor cease to be grateful for, his guidance and generosity.” He is survived by Martin, their beloved Springers Miley and Maggie, daughter Glory Mae Martin of Fredericksburg, Va., the Martin family of Jamaica and Westminster, Berenice Brooks of Townshend, the Daigneault family of Townshend, and the Litchfield family of Townshend and Newfane, together with a multitude of best friends. Memorial information: A celebration of Art Monette's life will be held on Sunday, Oct. 23, at the VFW on Black Mountain Road in Brattleboro, with visiting hours beginning at noon and a memorial service at 1 p.m. A potluck luncheon will follow, and all friends are welcome to attend. Burial will be private at Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Road, Brattleboro VT 05301 or to the Townshend Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 627, Townshend, VT 05353.

Betsey Hurlbut Regan, 95, of Brookline. Died Oct. 11 at Thompson House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Brattleboro. Born in Portland, Connecticut on Feb. 20, 1921, the daughter of Percy B. and Margaret (Bolton) Hurlbut. Married in 1945 to James Joseph Regan Jr., who died in 1980. Graduated in 1937 from Woodrow Wilson High School and in 1943 from the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital of Practical Nursing of Boston. She was a nurse at Middlesex Memorial Hospital and Wesleyan University infirmary in Middletown, Connecticut before retiring to Brookline, Vt. where she worked in the nursing department of Grace Cottage Hospital for 23 years. A member of the Newfane Congregational Church and a member of their Ladies Aid Society, she enjoyed knitting and made many hats, mittens, and baby sweaters for the Green Mountain RSVP. She loved music and played the piano, the pump organ, and the trombone. Survived by a son, James Regan, III of Plainville, Connecticut; a daughter, Colleen (David) Tomasso of Cromwell, Connecticut; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by her parents, sisters Gladys H. Harris and Ethel H. Daboll, and a daughter, Jennifer Reynolds Ruffino. Memorial information: Services to be announced. Memorial gifts in Betsey Regan's name may be made to the music department of the Newfane Congregational Church, P.O. Box 27, Newfane, VT 05345. To express condolences online, visit

Ricky Allan Saari, 62, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, died unexpectedly at his home on Sept. 27. Born in Plymouth Union, Vermont on Aug. 1, 1954, the son of Eino A. and Gloria (Hall) Saari. He was raised and educated in Plymouth Union and numerous other Vermont towns, including Orwell, Newberry, Hartford, and Strafford, where he attended public schools and Hartford High School. A warehouse worker for Leader Distribution Systems in Brattleboro for 26 years, he previously worked at the former Book Press, also in Brattleboro. “Ricky loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing, playing horseshoes, splitting wood, and puttering around his home,” his family writes. “He also loved to play cards and cribbage and do crossword puzzles. He collected knives and loved country music. Ricky held a deep affection for his family, who meant so much to him.” Survivors include three sisters, Brenda Saari (Alan Butler) of Hinsdale, Shannon Dube (Dennis) of Claremont, New Hampshire, and Tina Brown (Tom) of Stafford; three brothers, Danny Saari of Hinsdale, Trent Saari of Stafford, and Randy Saari of Bridgewater. He also leaves seven nieces, four nephews, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as a host of close friends. Memorial information: A gathering to celebrate Ricky Saari's life will be held Oct. 23 at the V.F.W., Post 4234, 66 Main St., Hinsdale from 1 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to help the family pay for his funeral expenses may be made to the Ricky Saari Funeral Fund, c/o Brattleboro Savings & Loan, P.O. Box 1010, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To express condolences online, visit


• A service for Nancy B. (Massey) Chasse, 81, of Vernon, will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m., St. Michael's Catholic Church on Walnut Street in Brattleboro, with a celebration of life immediately following at The Gathering Place, 30 Terrace St., from 2 to 4 p.m.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates