College news

• Jacob Castine of Vernon graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in architecture from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

• Elkanah Linder of Townshend, a Doctor of Pharmacy student, has been named to the fall 2016 Dean's List at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

• Jacqueline Elliott of Brattleboro earned the distinction of Faculty Honors for the fall 2016 semester at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

• Connor Tripp of Vernon, a design major, has been named to the fall 2016 Dean's List at Northeastern University in Boston.

• Judy Brennan of Brattleboro, a graduate senior in the Doctor of Pharmacy program, and Stephanie Green of Westminster, a sophomore in the B.S. in Healthcare Studies/M.S. in occupational therapy program, were both named to the fall 2016 President's List at Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

• Maya Sutton-Smith and Gaia Uman of Brattleboro and Michael Reilly of Rockingham all received Dean's List High Honors for the fall 2016 semester at Connecticut College in New London, Conn.


• Jerry Goldberg is the new executive director of the In-Sight Photography Project in Brattleboro, replacing Teta Hilsdon, who is stepping down after nearly four years in the position. Goldberg, the former executive director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, had been a member of the In-Sight board of directors since last fall.

• Brattleboro attorney James A. Valente, has been appointed by the Vermont Supreme Court to the Vermont Judiciary Professional Review Board, whose mission is “to protect the public, promote confidence in the integrity of the legal profession, and assist attorneys to achieve and maintain high standards of professional responsibility.” Valente is president of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. He is also chair of the Brattleboro Development Review Board, and chair of the Supervisory Committee of River Valley Credit Union.


• Geraldine R. Fellows, 80, of Vernon, formerly of Putney. Died Feb. 11, 2017, at Vernon Hall assisted living. She was born in Brattleboro on Oct. 7, 1936, the daughter of Lewis and Gertrude (Grover) Richards. She was raised and educated in Brattleboro and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1955. In 1957, she married Bradley A. Fellows, who predeceased her in 2007. She was a devoted wife and mother, staying home many years raising her family and then choosing to go out of the home to work for Putney Central School as school librarian. She enjoyed driving her son Michael and other students to their school sporting events, she was their biggest fan. Following her librarian career, she went to work for the Putney Credit Union, where she later retired. She enjoyed cooking and baking for her children and grandchildren as everyone gathered together at the Fellows family home in Putney for Sunday dinner. Also, for many years, she enjoyed their yearly camping trip to York, Maine, with her beloved shelties, Dusty and Toby. She leaves two sons, Marc Fellows and his wife, Holly Ellis, of Putney and Michael Fellows and his wife, Jacqui, of Brattleboro; one daughter, Tammy Grover and her husband, Kevin, of Chandler, Ariz,; one sister, Sally Pearson of Keene, N.H.l seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by one brother, Sidney Richards. Memorial information: A funeral service was held on Feb. 18 at Atamaniuk Funeral Home. Burial in the Fellows family lot in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Putney will take place in the springtime when the cemetery reopens. Donations to Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• John Lawrence Keeler, 84, of Putney. Died Feb. 7 at his home following a period of declining health. Born in Mainland, Pa., on Jan. 17, 1933, the son of Milton and Lydia (Landis Leatherman) Keeler. He was raised and educated in Hilltown, Pa., attending local schools in Hilltown. He worked for the James Spring & Wire Company in Paoli, Pa., from which he retired following 34 years of service with the company. In his earlier years, while residing in Brattleboro, he worked at the Brattleboro Retreat. A man of faith, he was a longtime member of the Green Mountain Chapel of the Christian & Missionary Alliance on Western Ave. He enjoyed gardening, taking walks, birds and small animals, and doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles. In 1954, he was married to Joyce King, who predeceased in 2006. Survivors include three brothers, Daniel, J. Walter, and Paul Keeler, all of Pennsylvania; a sister, Mary K. Moyer; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Harold and Merrill Keeler. Memorial information: Graveside committal services will be held in the springtime in Morningside Cemetery when the cemetery reopens. Donations to Green Mountain Chapel, 480 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To offer condolences, visit

• Wendi Lynn (Boudreau) Mackin, 60, of Erving, Mass. Died Feb. 1 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Born in Brattleboro on Dec. 13, 1956, daughter of Robert and Helen (Bills) Boudreau, she was raised and educated in Brattleboro and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1974. She went on to attend Bay Path College. She owned and operated her own dog breeding and dog biscuit business out of her home. Previously, she had worked at Cersosimo Lumber, Co. as well as the former Appropriate Technologies (Window Quilt Company) in Brattleboro. She was a majorette for many years, and she also enjoyed sewing, growing flowers and vegetables, and time shared with her family. She had a deep love for animals, especially her Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs. Besides her husband, Timothy Makin, she leaves her parents, of Guilford; one brother, Robb Boudreau of Guilford; a daughter, Tonya Comolli of Brattleboro; a stepson ,Timothy Mackin, Jr. of Brattleboro; many nieces and nephews, and several aunts and cousins. She was predeceased by a sister, Cindy (Boudreau) Rathbun, as well as her first husband, Thomas Comolli. Memorial information: A memorial service in celebration of her life will be conducted at a later date, with burial in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To offer condolences, visit

• Marcia Martel Mears, 78, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 13 at Pine Heights Nursing Home, following a period of declining health. A lifelong resident of Bratleboro, she was born at home on Old Guilford Road on March 8, 1938, the daughter of Henry and Edmee (Cormier) Martel. She lived in the same house virtually her entire life. She was raised and educated in Brattleboro, attending St. Michael's Parochial School and was a graduate of St. Michael's High School, Class of 1956. In June of the same year, she married Russell Mears. Her faithful and devoted husband of 40 years predeceased her in 1996. In 1985 Marcia and Russ purchased Emil's Pub in the Fort Dummer neighborhood. Following her husband's death, she continued to operate the pub with her children until it was sold in 2001. A devout Catholic, she was a lifelong communicant of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. She enjoyed NASCAR racing, trips to the casinos, visiting New Orleans, music (especially Jimmy Buffett), spending time with her grandchildren, and her beloved cats and her dog Bennie. Survivors include her four children: Deborah Mears, Stephen Mears, Richard Mears, and Cindy Mears; and a brother, Ernest Martel. Additionally, she leaves her eight grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, seven step-great grandchildren, four step great-great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and several cousins. She was predeceased by a sister, Irene (Martel) Cembura, in 1999. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on Feb. 17 at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Committal rites and burial in St. Michael's Cemetery will take place in the springtime. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 916, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Oncology Dept., 17 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To offer condolences, visit

• John William Reagan, 64, of Wilmington and West Wardsboro. Died Feb. 13 after a long battle against cancer. Born in 1952 in Valley Stream, N.Y., to Joseph P. and Irene (Griffin) Reagan. He was raised in Seaford, L.I., N.Y., and attended the Levittown schools, graduating from General Douglas MacArthur High School. In 1978 he moved to Wilmington full-time, working first in various restaurants in the Valley. In 1981 he acquired and reopened Dot's Restaurant in Wilmington, quickly developing a loyal following among townspeople, second homeowners, vacationers, and people just passing through. In 1988, he married Patricia Bemis of Jacksonville and, together, operated Dot's for nearly 30 years, gaining recognition for the restaurant throughout New England and nationally. Over the years, Dot's has been written up in such publications as Gourmet magazine and Ski magazine for the “best breakfast in Vermont,” its award-winning chili, and its small-town ambiance. Despite the long hours in the restaurant, John and Patty found time to enjoy boating on Lake George and farther afield, traveling as a seemingly inseparable team. In 2011 Tropical Storm Irene all but destroyed Dot's, but through the hard work of the Reagans, enormous support of many friends and customers, and critical financial support from the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Wilmington Fund, and the Friends of the Valley Foundation, Dot's reopened two years after the storm. It was crucial piece in the recovery of Wilmington from the storm's devastation, and, once again, Dot's was a social hub of the town. With the renovation following the storm, they were recognized in 2014 by the Preservation Trust for their “contribution to preserving Vermont's historic architecture.” He is survived by his wife and his siblings Paul and his wife, Jane, of Ft. Myers, Fla. and Quechee, Vt.; Phyllis (Al Arnold) of the Villages, Fla. and Alexandria, Va; and Betsey of Wilmington; as well as many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his loyal Labrador retriever, KoKo. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Feb. 16 at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilmington. Donations to to the Preservation Trust of Vermont, 14 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401, or the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send the family personal email condolences, visit

• Kathleen Christie “Kathy” Scheele, 69, of Barre. Died Jan. 20 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Born on Sept. 18, 1947, she was a graduate of New Providence (N.J.) High School, Class of 1965; Wheaton College, Class of 1969; and DePaul University College of Law. After passing the bar in Illinois, she worked for the law firm of Isham, Lincoln and Beale. After that, she worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation. Following her move to Vermont, she worked for Boise Cascade in Brattleboro, then returned to government service as director of the Vermont State School Boards Association, and then as attorney for the town of Brattleboro. She ended her public service in 2014, when she retired as Director of Elections in the Vermont Secretary of State's Office, where she had served for 15 years. In 2011, she served as president of the National Elections Directors of America. A world traveler as well as a visitor to all the small towns of Vermont (just ask any town clerk!), she was known for engaging total strangers in conversation - waitresses, clerks, and police officers - and before departing, would know enough, and care enough, to offer that little bit of guidance, brief words of advice, or the name and number of someone who could facilitate the next step in that stranger's journey. Her faith guided her in her travels, for in Hebrew 13:2, it says “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” She is survived by her daughter, Christie Wojchick of West Chesterfield, N.H.; her sister, Patricia Broderson of Shaftsbury; and her brothers Tom Scheele of McCormick, S.C., and Steve Scheele of Temecula, Calif. She was predeceased by her parents and her older brother Sam. Memorial information: In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you pay it forward by engaging with your community, seeking out strangers and getting acquainted with them, thereby strengthening the bonds that make a place a community. As Will Rogers said, “A stranger's just a friend I haven't met yet.” Visit her Facebook memorial page for more information, as well as other suggestions for how you may help at

• John Nash Stevens, 97, of Tinton Falls, N.J. Died Feb. 11. Born in Quincy, Mass., on October 9, 1919, he grew up in Great Notch, N.J., then raised his family with his wife, Phyllis Kinsey Stevens, in Verona, N.J. He graduated from Montclair (N.J.) High School and joined his father in the insurance business in 1937. He left his father in 1939 to work for the Home Insurance Company in New York City while taking night classes at New York University. He was drafted into the Army in April 1941 and served for 4 1/2 years. He was stationed at Camp Roberts in California in the 181st Field Artillery Band and thereafter in the South Pacific with the Americal Division Band. After the war, he and his brother, William, owned and operated Russell E. Stevens & Company Agency in Bloomfield, N.J., after the retirement of their father, Russell E. Stevens, who founded the agency in 1935. He was a charter member and first Commandeer of the Passaic Valley Memorial Post Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a charter member of the Bloomfield Rotary Club of Little Falls and president of the Bloomfield Rotary Club (twice). He was president of the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and member of the Board of Trustees of Bloomfield College. He was president of the Essex County Insurance Agents Association and president of the New Jersey State Association of Insurance Agents. He was a member of the Forked River Presbyterian Church and was active in the Pheasant Run Homeowners Association, having served as Trustee, Chairman of Covenants, and on the Budget Committees and as insurance advisor. Surviving are his wife of 70 years, Phyllis Stevens; his children: Rick Stevens and his wife, Carol, of Forked River, Mark Stevens and Deb Mears of West Townshend, Vt., and Ann Kays and her husband Jeff Kays of Succasunna, N.J.l; a sister, Mary Sexton of Edmunds, Wash., and 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting Donations to the Forked River Ambulance Squad, 98 Oak St., Forked River, NJ 08731.

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