College news

Castleton University student Cassidy Yrsha of Londonderry was recently selected to present at the annual Castleton Scholars Celebration: A Showcase of Original Student Work. The annual celebration gives the university the opportunity to showcase the rich variety of students' scholarly and creative endeavors at Castleton across academic departments and programs. Each presentation arose from course assignments, capstone experiences, and independent study programs, all supported and guided by faculty mentors.

• Elias Park of Wilmington, an undergraduate student at the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, was inducted into the national business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma, during the spring 2017 semester.

• Aubrie Gillam of Putney, a creative media major at Champlain College in Burlington, earned third place in the architectural division of the college's 10th annual International Photo Contest.

• Cuyler Cunningham of Brattleboro will be graduating with President's List honors from Champlain College on May 13 with a B.S. in communications. Cunningham was named to the Dean's List at the college all four years that she attended.

• Samantha Scruggs of Guilford and Mariah Hinckley of Putney were among 10 Southern Vermont College Nursing students who attended the recent Global AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses) surgical conference in Boston, Mass., as invited guests of the American Operating Nurses Association. The conference brings together 10,000 perioperative nurses and exhibitors for five days of learning, networking, and inspiration, and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about perioperative nursing.

• Molly Goodhue of Brattleboro, a student at Emmanuel College in Boston, was inducted into Pi Lambda Theta, one of the nation's most prestigious education honor societies. Established in 1910, Pi Lambda Theta serves to recognize outstanding students who intend to pursue careers in education.

• Colton Butler of Whitingham has been named to the Elmira (N.Y) College Dean's List for the winter 2017 term.


• Jeffrey R. Brown, 62, of Whitingham. Died May 1 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine, after succumbing to not one, but two cancers. Born in Brattleboro on Feb. 27, 1955, the son of Joanne (Freeman) Brown and the late Donald R. Brown, he attended 12 years of school in Whitingham and Jacksonville. Starting in high school, he worked on The Brigham Farm for five years. In 1974, he was hired by Allan Bartlett, where he was employed for 18 years as a heavy equipment operator before starting his own business in 1991. For 17 years, he was self-employed, selling firewood, mowing fields and lawns, plowing driveways, and caretaking for second homes in the Deerfield Valley. He served his hometown of Whitingham as a volunteer fireman and selectman. He was a member of the Deerfield Valley Sportsmen's Club for 30 years and served as both Vice President and President for several of those years. He was an avid outdoorsman, with an unmatched knowledge of hunting rifles and their history. He also had a passion for old cars and hot rods, and he was well known for his skill in operating heavy equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, and tractors. He shared many fond memories of hunting with his father and uncles on the old family farm in Wilmington, and fishing on Lake Whitingham with his friends and son. He also loved sharing his unique appreciation for the history and geography of Vermont, particularly the Deerfield Valley. One of his favorite pastimes and points of pride was boiling sap on the Corse Maple Farm. In his later years, he enjoyed spending time with his two grandchildren. He was formerly married to Wendy (Bartlett) Brown for 31 years. He is survived by their only son, Josh Brown, and daughter-in-law Kate, of Pownal, Maine; his mother, of Whitingham; sisters Donna Roy of Whitingham and Kelly Winter of Jamaica; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Memorial information: A graveside service for close friends and family will be held at Sadawga Cemetery on Saturday, May 20. Those who knew Jeff are invited to attend a reception with the family at 2 p.m. that day at Whitingham Community Church. Donations to the Green Mountain Conservation Camp Endowment Fund, Attn: Alison Thomas, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3702.

• David H. Brownell, 68, of Londonderry. Loving husband of Judith (Perrine) “Judi” Brownell for more than 35 years and devoted father of George William and Amanda Sue Brownell, of Burlington, Mass., died May 2 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, after a brief, but courageous battle with cancer. He was the son of the late George L. and Barbara H. Brownell, of Londonderry, and the brother of Susan B. Woodbury, of Worcester, Mass., and her husband, David. Born and raised in Worcester, he was a graduate of Fryeburg (Maine) Academy, and worked in the construction industry before retiring several years ago. David and Judi met at the Bromley Mountain Ski Area and shared a common interest in, and love of, the outdoors. He loved his faithful dogs, past and present. Memorial information: At his request, there will be no memorial service and burial will be private. Donations to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353.

• Arthur Leland “Art” Cooke, 92, of West Brattleboro. Died April 30 at Thompson House in Brattleboro, where he had been a resident for the past 4 1/2 years. Born in Brattleboro on March 26, 1925, the son of Arthur Eli and Florence (Laughton) Cooke, he attended the old Academy School through the eighth grade, when he then worked on the family farm. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Army, serving with the 716th Military Police Battalion. Following his honorable discharge from active service, he returned home and later earned his high school diploma, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1986. He was a machine operator at The Book Press in Brattleboro, from which he retired following many years of faithful service with the company. Previously, he worked for Vermont Print in Brattleboro and, during his earlier years, he drove a log truck for the late Victor Morse of Vernon. He was a member of the Brattleboro Fire Department, retiring from the department after 37 years in February 1985 as Captain of Engine 3. He was a longtime member of First Congregational Church in West Brattleboro and was a member of the American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro. He loved music and outdoor concerts, attended regional car races, and toured around town in his Chevrolet Impala, He enjoyed going to the local coffee shops and watching softball games at Living Memorial Park. In 1955, he married Jane Abbott, who predeceased him in 1999. He leaves two sons, Timothy Cooke and his wife, Chris, of Southbridge, Mass., and Alan Cooke of Sharon; a daughter, Susan Draper and her husband, Larry, of Morgan. He was also predeceased by a son, Steven Cooke; two brothers, Lawrence and Raymond Cooke; and two sisters, Eva Yeaw and Annie Howe. Memorial information: A funeral service was held May 6 at First Congregational Church in West Brattleboro, with burial in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to the Thompson House Patio Fund, 80 Maple St., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or to First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence, visit

• Anna Jean Hodgdon, 77, of Guilford. Died April 22, surrounded by family. Born in Brattleboro on July 23, 1939, she attended Brattleboro schools and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1958. On Valentine's Day in 1959, she married the love of her life, Wilson “Bill” Hodgdon. She was a wonderful homemaker and excellent cook. She loved to knit, crochet, and work with ceramics. Anna worked at H. Margolin and American Optical, and was self-employed for much of her life as a professional house cleaner. She and her husband built their home in Guilford in 1973, where they raised their family. She loved going to Nashville, and seeing the Grand Old Opry. She enjoyed music and could often be found on the dance floor with her husband, Bill. She raised her family to appreciate sports and she always cheered her children and grandchildren on from the sidelines. She was a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children: Eva Benjamin of Yuba City, Calif.; Lorelei Smead and her husband, Donald, of Putney; Wilson “Bill” Hodgdon Jr. and his wife, Gail, of Falls Church, Va.; and Kenneth Hodgdon and his wife, Julie, of Cheshire, Conn. She is also survived by her sisters Rhea Rhodes of Brattleboro, Norma Woods of Bullhead City, Ariz., and Kola Hardy and her husband, Joe, of Hampton, Va.; brothers Theodore Woods and his husband, Kurt, of Ludlow, and R.Z. Woods of Guilford; and four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held on July 22, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Hinsdale (N.H.) Community Center on Route 119.

• Wayne C. Mellish, 76, of North Walpole, N.H. Died May 1 after a period of declining health. Born in Bellows Falls on Aug. 20, 1940, the son of Park and Priscilla (Fletcher) Mellish, he was a 1959 graduate of Bellows Falls High School. After a series of jobs that included being a cab driver and working on the construction of Interstate 91 in Vermont he began working for Panametrics, Inc. in Waltham, Mass., in 1963. The company was bought out by General Electric in 2002 and he remained working there until he retired in January 2016. In addition to his 53 year career at Panametrics-GE, he was an avid mushroom hunter, a dog lover, and a glass blower. He enjoyed carving ducks and other water birds out of wood, and these beautiful creations can be in found in the homes of friends and family all over the Northeast. In 1965, he married Helen Gallagher, who predeceased him in 1997. He is survived by his three sons, Craig Mellish of North Walpole, Sean Mellish of Unity, N.H., and Terry Mellish of North Walpole; his brother Lynn Mellish of Bellows Falls; his sisters, Debra Monahan of Bellows Falls and Renea Mellish of Rutherford Glen, Va.; three grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Besides his wife, he was predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Sandra Adams and Susan Haskell. Memorial information: A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family.

• Frank W. Mitchell Sr., 79, of Westminster West. Died May 1 at his home, after an extended illness. He was born May 16, 1937, in Huntington Center, Vt., the son of William and Marjorie (Zeno) Mitchell. He attended schools in Stowe and Fairfield. He was a member of the Army National Guard. He married Mary Lowe in 1959, who survives. He was a past employee of the Brattleboro Retreat Farm, co-owner of D & M Texaco in Putney, and served as general manager of Central Auto Parts and Supply in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, retiring from the Bellows Falls store in 2006. Along with his wife Mary, he is survived by his son Bill and his wife Stephanie (Hammond) Mitchell; his daughter Barb Dow and her husband, Ben; sisters Karen Towle and Zoa Given; and five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Janice Gross and Virginia Hughes, and brothers Charles Mitchell and George Mitchell. Memorial information: A graveside service will be held in Westminster West Cemetery at Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m. Donations to the Westminster Fire Department.

• Carol Edith Wertz Parker, 86, of Brookline. Died April 28. She was born Dec. 4, 1930, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Carlton Edward Wertz and Ethel Hurlburt Wertz. She attended the Franklin School in Buffalo, and graduated from the Buffalo Seminary in 1949. She attended Pine Manor College and received a secretarial certificate from the Bryant Stratton School in Buffalo in 1950 - a move designed to help financially support the first years of her 62-year marriage to David Young Parker. She was a beautiful person in every sense of the word, inside and out. She was kind and generous, warm and friendly, accepting, patient, intuitive, and understanding. She was quick to smile, quick to laugh, and loved and delighted in children. She worked for some time as a secretary in the music department at Middlebury College while her husband was a student there, and then left the world of work to be a mother and homemaker with the birth of her first child. She volunteered in a number of capacities at the Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo while her children were growing up and, for many years, at the annual Grace Cottage Hospital Fair in Townshend after moving to Brookline in 1973. She was a member of the Newfane Garden Club, a consummate gardener and flower arranger, an avid and knowledgeable bird watcher, and a skilled needle worker and knitter. In her youth, she was an expert horse woman and competed in many dressage events. She made everyone who entered her home feel welcome, special, and well cared for. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, David Young Parker. She is survived by her son, David Young Parker Jr. and his wife, Lee Anne; her daughter Valinda Parker Gorder and her husband, Paul; two granddaughters and innumerable friends. Memorial information: A private burial service will be held at Brookline Cemetery at a later date.

• Kelly Jon Robinson, 47, formerly of Brookline. Died Feb. 17 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Born Sept. 3, 1969 in Townshend, daughter of the late Frederick Robinson and Ruth (Osgood) (Robinson) Warren, she was raised in Brookline, attending the Winston Prouty Center in Brattleboro and the Brandon Training School. She then went to the Berkshire Meadows school in Housatonic, Mass., where she resided for the remainder of her life She leaves two sisters, Linda (Russell) of Jamaica and Brenda Harris of Lebanon, Ill., two brothers, Kevin of Phenix City, Ala., and Brian (Katie) of Columbus, Ga. She also leaves a stepbrother and three stepsisters, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her stepfather Fred Warren, whom she adored. Memorial information: A graveside service will be held May 21, at 2 p.m., at Brookline Cemetery, with a celebration of Kelly's life for all that touched her at the family farm in Brookline. Donations to The Fred Robinson Memorial Scholarship, in care of Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend, or to Berkshire Meadows, 249 Plain Rd. Housatonic, MA 01236.

• Elaine Smith, 66, of Townshend. Died April 27 at Pine Heights in Brattleboro. She was born in Boston on Oct. 4, 1950, the daughter of the late James and Helen (Anestis) Panagos. She graduated from Braintree (Mass.) High School, class of 1968. She then went on to earn her associate's degree as a registered nurse. She was employed as an RN in Massachusetts at Braintree Respiratory Hospital, Quincy Hospital, and, finally, at Milford VNA. She enjoyed gardening on her hilltop property and cooking and baking for her family and friends. She had a passion for antique shopping and collecting cookbooks. While living in Vermont, she raised and cared for five dogs, whom she loved dearly, and numerous chickens with old lady names. Her friends and family could always rely on her for medical advice, both holistic and traditional. She was the person who would always be there when you needed to talk to someone about something. She is survived by her son, Christopher Smith, of Worcester, Mass.; her daughter, Cassandra Holloway of Brattleboro; her brother, John J. Panagos and his wife, Joanne, of Middleburg, Fla.; three sisters, Karen S. Darcy of E. Bridgewater, Mass., Diane Keenan and her husband, Richard, of S. Weymouth, Mass., and Marilyn Panagos of Halifax, Mass.; her grandson, Gavin Holloway; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by a brother, James N. Panagos. Memorial information: Vermont friends may attend a potluck on Saturday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Calvary Chapel, 6591 Route 30, West Townshend. A private green burial will be held at Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or to the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, P.O. Box 6008, Brattleboro, VT 05302. Ker-Westerlund Funeral Home of Brattleboro has been entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be offered at

• Helen R. Wilkins, 94, of Jamaica. Died May 1 at her residence. She was born, under the advice of the local Jamaica doctor, in New York City on March 26, 1923; the daughter of the late Edward and Bessie (Forry) Bennett. She attended the River School in East Jamaica and graduated from Leland & Gray Seminary. She married Fred Wilkins in 1948 and raised four children on the family farm in East Jamaica. She later went back to work as a clerical assistant at Grace Cottage Hospital's Business Office until her retirement. She enjoyed gardening, farming, sewing, and making her own soap and butter. She was a willing chaperone for many classes to Camp Keewaydin and Somerset Reservoir through the years. She enjoyed all the family gatherings with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the great-great grandchildren. In her younger years, she picked blackberries, attended 4-H camp, and would go with her parents to pick ferns. She was predeceased by her husband and survived by her four children, Warren Wilkins of West Townshend, Katherine Cobb and her husband, Harry, of Wardsboro, and Connie LaMarche and Daniel Wilkins, both of Jamaica; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration of life was held May 7. Donations to Senior Solutions, 38 Pleasant St, Springfield, VT 05156 or to David's House, 461 Mt. Support Rd., Lebanon, NH 03766. Condolences may be offered at


• Graveside committal services with full military honors for Raymond E. Butler Sr. will be conducted Friday, May 12, at 9 a.m. in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Hinsdale, N.H. Mr. Butler, formerly of Hinsdale, N.H., died Dec. 18, 2016 in The Villages, Fla.

• Graveside committal services for Eileen F. Daniels will be conducted in the family lot in Locust Ridge Cemetery in Brattleboro on Saturday, May 13, at 11:30 a.m. Mrs. Daniels died Dec. 26, 2016 at the Thompson House Nursing Home.

• Graveside committal services for John L. Keeler will be held Saturday, May 13, at 1 p.m., in Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro. Mr. Keeler, of Carol Brown Way in Putney, died Feb. 7, 2017 at his home.

• Graveside committal services for Charles P. “Chuck” Roy Jr. will be conducted Friday, May 12, at 1 p.m. in, Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale, N.H. Mr. Roy died Feb. 15, 2017 at Westwood Health Center in Keene, N.H.

• A memorial service for Ann Richardson Stokes, who died at her West Chesterfield, N.H., home on Nov. 20, 2016, will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m., in Barnes Assembly Hall at The Putney School, 418 Houghton Brook Rd., in Putney. Donations in her memory may be made to Welcome Hill Studios, P.O. Box 84, West Chesterfield, N.H. 03466.

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