College news

The following local students received a degree from Norwich University at its May 13 commencement ceremony: Kidane Zacchary Hypolite of Brattleboro received a B.S in communications, James Ryan Vinci of Dummerston received a B.A. in criminal justice, and Malaysia A. Goodnow of Vernon received a B.S. in nursing, summa cum laude.

• Cesar Augusto Rabello Borges Filho of Brattleboro, who is studying biomedical engineering, made the Dean's List for the spring 2017 semester at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology.

• Bridget Duff of Brattleboro and Jessica Kane of Vernon were both named to the Dean's List for the spring 2017 semester at the University of New England.

• Alexandra Harris, a sociology major from Bellows Falls, recently completed Colby-Sawyer College's internship requirement with the Vermont Department of Children and Families in Springfield.


The Windham County Sheriff's Office recently announced the following promotions:

• Lieutenant Mark Anderson had been promoted to the rank of Captain. Anderson, who began his career with the Windham County Sheriff's Office in 2004, will assume the role of Chief Deputy, who is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the Windham County Sheriff's Office, including the planning, directing, and managing of all operational activities conducted by the agency.

• Sergeant Jessica Fellows has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Fellows has been a certified Law Enforcement officer since December 2007, and will assume the role of Executive Officer, who is responsible for scheduling of sworn personnel and administrative support of sworn personnel. She will also serve as the Department Training Officer, responsible for all law enforcement training.

• Deputy First Class Robert Lakin has been promoted to the rank of First Sergeant. He joined the Windham County Sheriff's Office in June 2000 and in November 2007, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and in November 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Captain/Chief Deputy. Lakin stepped down from the rank of Captain in 2016 to spend more time with his family. He has now accepted the rank of First Sergeant and will serve in a mentorship role to the Office's sergeants and sworn deputies in his charge.

At its July 5 breakfast meeting, the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club officially welcomed incoming club president Michelle L. Pong. She is the town administrator in Vernon and becomes the 21st president to preside over the club since it was chartered in 1995. The Sunrise Rotary Club, which meets every Wednesday morning at 7:15 at American Legion Post 5 on Linden Street in Brattleboro, supports community programs such as Project Feed the Thousands, the Windham County Heat Fund, student scholarships, and the vacation lunch program for area schoolchildren.


• Rosalee Mabel (Connolly) Bills, 86, formerly of Wardsboro. Died May 23 in South Carolina. She was born in Bondville on July 23, 1930, the daughter of Louis Victor and Ruth M. (Hescock) Connolly. She grew up in Arlington, where she attended Arlington High School, and graduated as Valedictorian of the Class of 1949. Her greatest interests were English and literature. She loved reading and writing poetry, and even had some of her poems published. At 19, she embarked on the journey of a lifetime with her husband, Burdette Bills. Although her crowning glory was raising seven children, she had many interests and jobs. She was Wardsboro's Town Auditor for three years, Town Clerk for four years, and School Director for five years. She was involved in real estate for 12 years, worked in the business office at Bob Jones University for five years, and worked several years at Mary Meyer in Townshend. She also drove the school bus, was a Cub Scout den mother and Sunday School teacher. She also was organizer for many years for the parade and talent show for the Fourth of July activities in Wardsboro. Her home was always open to the neighborhood kids and for youth groups, 5-day clubs, and Vacation Bible School. She spent her retirement years pretty much sticking around Wardsboro, growing a garden with the love of her life, Burdette, and then canning the fruits of their labors every fall. She was not one to ever sit still and, during this time, she made a quilt for every child and grandchild. Her father, an Army infantryman during World War II, was killed in action in Germany in 1945. His body had never been returned to American soil, so she spent countless hours doing research, writing letters, and even traveling to his hometown in Nova Scotia in search of his grave. She was extremely proud when, after all her efforts, his body was located in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium and she was sent his medals, which were proudly displayed in her home. She was also proud of the accomplishments of her children and loved each one very much. She is survived by her sons, Gary and his wife, Judy of Belton, S.C., Michael and his wife, Karla, of Marlboro, and Jeffrey and wife, Spring, of Indianapolis, Ind.; daughters, Beth and her husband, Jeff Smith, of Pelzer, S.C., Judy and her husband Michael Lamson, of Brewer, Maine, Tracy Bills and Carol Satterfield, both of Pelzer, S.C.; 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren with 2 more on the way; a sister, Virginia Wilkins of Sunderland, Vt.; brothers-in-law, Everett Bills and his wife. Katherine, and Alan Bills; sisters-in-law, Beverly Capen, and Kathleen Meeks and her husband, Jonathan, all of Wardsboro; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 67 years; sons-in-law Tim Sherman and Bobby Satterfield; brothers-in-law, Milton and Lee Bills, and Francis Capen; and sisters-in-law, Inez Bills, Janet Bills, and Annette Bills. Memorial information: A graveside service will be held Sunday, Aug. 13, at 2:30 p.m., where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband at the West Wardsboro Cemetery.

• Theodore J. “Ted” Capron, 94, of North Walpole, N.H. Died July 10. He was born in North Walpole on Feb. 14, 1923, the son of Nicholas and Clementina (Cippoletta) Capron. He was a graduate of Bellows Falls High School and the University of New Hampshire, served in the Army during World War II in the Pacific Theater of operations, and worked as an electrical engineer for Claristat, Simplex in Portsmouth, N.H., and Thompson Center Arms in Rochester, N.H. He enjoyed fishing and hiking with his dog, Buster, and was known for his gardening abilities. In 1983, he traveled to Mt. Everest and climbed to the base camp. He also played on the North Walpole Athletic Association baseball team. He is survived by several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, his brothers William, Albert, Joseph, John, and Dominic, and his sisters Mary and Edith Capron. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held July 15 at St. Peter's Church in North Walpole with burial to follow in the St. Peter's Cemetery.

• Marilyn Bates Casey, 68, of Brattleboro. Died July 2 at her home after a long illness. She was a soulmate to her husband, Bart Casey, for 45 years, and doting mother to her three children - Matthew, Lauren, and Michael Casey, all of whom survive her. She began her life in Jonesville, La., and then moved to Huntsville, Ala., where her father, J. P. Bates, devoted his post-war career to NASA. She graduated from Huntsville High in 1967 and she always loved to share stories of her friends and exploits from those years. She went on to graduate from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1971, and remained an avid lifelong supporter of Crimson Tide football. After graduation, she moved to Boston where she met her husband. Together they pursued their futures in Mexico, Vermont, Boston, New York, Atlanta and England before settling in Westport, Conn. as a base for 24 years starting in 1990. There she was a tireless advocate for her children with the daunting Westport School System and a fearless den mother. Finally, in 2014, Marilyn retired with Bart to Brattleboro, where she enjoyed green mountain views and outstanding healthcare during her final years. Along the way, Marilyn loved to surprise strangers with her astonishing water-skiing skills, often leaving onlookers speechless. She completed all her coursework for a Master of Industrial Engineering degree at Georgia Tech (with honors), but was too busy with the family's move to London to make the oral presentation for the diploma. Then, during countless visits to Paris while her husband visited for work in the 1990s, she became warmly welcomed by Parisian mothers as an equal (no mean feat for an American). And she particularly loved her memorable vacations horseback riding in Maui, visiting her ancestral clan castle on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and going to the tennis championships at Wimbledon many times over the years. Memorial information: In lieu of condolence cards or flowers, please hug your loved ones and remember to appreciate every moment you have together with them. Carpe diem.

• Norman E. Coleman, 85, of St. Petersburg, Fla., formerly of West Guilford. Died July 10, mostly of old age. Born to the village blacksmith (Sidney Coleman) and his young, second wife (Gladys Weatherhead Coleman), he grew up working on local farms and hunting the wooded hilltops. He had a way with machines and cows, but never really took to the books. Nonetheless, he graduated from Brattleboro High School. After working the rail line to Bellows Falls, he enlisted for the Korean War. The Army put him in the motor pool (something about having lost his trigger finger to a corn-husking machine while still an adolescent). His later “war stories” avoided tales of mayhem, but instead emphasized his own foibles such as rolling the General's jeep in a creek or getting his troop truck lost behind enemy lines. After the war, Norman left behind the hand-pump, outhouse, and lone light bulb of his mother's home for the dubious advantages of a Connecticut lifestyle. Farm, factory, and construction work kept his hands busy. His first wife, Louise Dupuis Coleman, and seven kids presumably kept the rest of him occupied. When time came for divorce and a move to the Sun Belt, and the early 1970s was as good a time as any for such, he washed up in Florida. A lawn service and home repair business became his mainstay. The money never “rolled in” because he just wouldn't promise more than he could deliver. He also had a soft spot for listening to the old folks talk on, and a willingness to get led around the yard doing “just one more thing.” A second marriage (Betsy Hayes) resulted in another son (and creating a ridiculous generational stretch from Sidney, born 1879, through Norman, born 1932, to David Coleman, born 1978). Norman, and four of his children, brought their lives to Jehovah. He was an Elder in the community of Witnesses and was much admired and loved for it. When it came time again for marriage and another help-mate, Mary was chosen from among those of “the Faith.” In his later years, Norm kept working because it was the thing he knew best. He returned to Brattleboro and visited with his sisters Eleanor Emery and Sadie Kenny (and those nieces/nephews along their lines). He maintained distant, but cherished, friendships with Edward Petrie, Kenny Lynde, Howard Bell, and Joy Hayes ( all of West Guilford). He seemed to appreciate that his eldest son was back in Guilford. When he could no longer work himself, he still wanted to know: “How tall is the corn?” or “Have the leaves turned yet?” or “Was it a good sugaring?” It was proof that you can take the Vermont boy out of his hill-town, but you can't get that hill-town out of the boy. He was lucky enough to outlive three wives and never had to bury a child. Ever the proud Vermonter, he knew there was a “right way”and a ”wrong way” to do something, and the “right way” was always his. His taciturn self-righteousness gradually evolved to compassion, magnanimity, and a gracious humor. In the end, he did not get to die “with his boots on,” like his ol' buddy, Peter Wilde, but in the quiet morning of a nursing home bed with only a few of his far-flung kids sniffling nearby and offering up prayers. May we all be so lucky. Memorial information: Family services will be Aug. 5 at a Kingdom Hall in St. Pete. His third wife (ashes to be found in the coffee can on the shelf) would've wanted it that way. Besides, his kids and grandkids are mostly in Florida, not hovering by the Coleman/Weatherhead gravestones in West Guilford.

• Orman A. Holden, 83, of Brattleboro. Died July 6 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital after a long term illness. He was born on June 2, 1934, and attended Norwich University. He graduated in 1956 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. He married Lillia “Ginger” Stowell of Bellows Falls in 1958. Also that year, he started working for Joseph Kestnor as a consulting engineer working on water and sewer projects in Brattleboro and Queensbury, N.Y. In 1970, he was appointed Director of Public Works in Brattleboro, after his father, Justin Holden, retired. He was a member of the Brattleboro F&AM for over 50 years. He was an avid outdoorsman and hunter for most of his life and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father and his mother, Ruth Holden; and a sister, Lydia Faxon. He is survived by his wife and four children, Jeffrey Holden, Gregory Holden, Kimberle French and her husband Charles French, and Brian Holden and his wife, Robbin; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorial information: Per his request, there will be no calling hours or funeral. A private burial will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104; or Rescue Inc., 541 Canal St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be offered at

• Laura Louise Dutton Howe, 89, of Townshend, formerly of East Jamaica. Died July 9 at Valley Cares Assisted Living in Townshend. Born on Aug. 22, 1927 in West Windham, the youngest and last surviving child of the late Clara (Christiansen) and George L. Dutton, she attended schools in South Windham and Chester, and married the lateJames W. Howe of East Jamaica in 1942. While she traveled widely, visiting 45 of the 50 states as well as the eastern provinces of Canada, she resided in East Jamaica throughout her life, moving to Valley Cares in August 2012. She was a remarkable woman with a long list of accomplishments, who touched the lives of many. She was active in town affairs in Jamaica for more than 30 years as a Town Auditor, Union School Director, Lister, and Justice of the Peace. She was recognized with a Vermont Public Service Award in 2006. She was the Windham District's Vermont Rural Electric Association (REA) representative for 16 years, beginning in the late 1960s; a member and past president of both the West River Valley American Legion Auxiliary and the Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary, an active member of the Jamaica Community Church, the Jamaica Benefit Society, member and Past Worthy Matron of the Mt. Lebanon Chapter 89 Order of the Eastern Star and, following her retirement, member and past president of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees Chapter 659. She was also an accomplished seamstress, a prodigious quilt and afghan maker, and a consummate gardener. She worked outside of the home for many years, part-time as a bookkeeper/clerk at Gleason's Store in East Jamaica, a house cleaner and an apple picker and grader for Dwight Miller Orchards in Dummerston, then full-time at Mary Meyer from 1952 to 1967, and 1967 to 1989 as a rural mail carrier in Windham and later on Rural Route 2 in West Brattleboro. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Mary Howe-Grant (Peter Ford) of Santa Barbara, Calif; James W. Howe, Jr. (Ruth) of Luverne, Ala.; and Aaron Howe (DeeDee Knight) of Price, Utah; five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Eris Howe of W. Townshend, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held at Valley Cares in Townshend, with a graveside service at Jamaica Cemetery. Dates to follow. Donations to Jamaica Community Church, Jamaica Public Library, Grace Cottage Hospital, and/or Valley Cares. To send messages of condolence, visit

• Karen Terese Kren, 63, of Vernon. Died July 9 at her home, after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born on Oct. 12, 1953 in Torrington, Conn., to Herbert Van Alphen and the late Mary Van Alphen (Whitbeck), she graduated from Windsor High School and received an associate's degree from Manchester (Conn.) Community College. She moved to the Brattleboro area in 1973 where she met her husband-to-be, Richard “R.J.” Kren. They were married in 1975 at St. Michael's Catholic Church, and moved to Vernon shortly thereafter. In Vernon, they built their forever home on 5 acres of beautiful land and raised their three children, Jeremy, Michael, and Allison. She served as an auditor for the Town of Vernon for many years before taking a job in the admission office at Northfield Mount Hermon School. She served as a tenured member of the admission office for 21 years until her illness. She was exceptional at her job, but even better at loving her family. Stubborn and selfless to a fault, she perpetually put her family's well-being above all else, even in her final days. A healthy lifestyle was important to Karen; she was a meticulously healthy eater and spent any free time “getting her steps in” through aerobics or walking, albeit at a runner's pace. Though she was a private person, she never hesitated to dance like no one was watching when given the chance, or on a few occasions, take the mic and sing karaoke much to the delighted bewilderment of her children. She is survived by her husband and three children, her daughters-in-law Rebecca Kren (Dunham) and Leah Kren (Zodarecky), two grandchildren, her father, and her brother John Van Alphen and sister-in-law Joanne Van Alphen (Marnicki). Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held July 13 at St. Michael's Catholic Church, with burial in Tyler Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit

• Donald R. “Don” Miller, 69, of Hinsdale, N.H., formerly of Halifax. Died July 12 at his home. Born Dec. 10, 1947 in Northfield, Mass., the son of the late Eleanor (Rose) and Rev. Raymond Miller, he graduated from Greenfield (Mass.) High School, Class of 1966. He enlisted in the Navy, where he served in the Submarine Service during the Vietnam War. He was trained as a Machinist Mate/Marine Mechanic and served on the USS H.L. Stimson (SSBN-655) and the USS Francis S. Key. (SSBN-667), both based out of New London, Conn. He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal and the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Machinist Mate 3rd Class Petty Officer on Jan. 16, 1969. After military service, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and graduated from the Denver Auto and Diesel College, where he was on the Dean's List. He worked for United Parcel Service as a lead diesel mechanic in Brattleboro. His time at UPS was productive and he was a valued member of the team. He retired in 2007 after 20 years of service. In 2002, he exchanged vows with Helen L. Wickline. They were married in a simple service with close family and friends in attendance. They have been married for 15 years. He is survived by his wife, Helen L. Miller of Hinsdale; his daughter, Juline M. Winchester and her husband, Greg, of Putney; siblings Thomas G. Miller and his wife, Sheila, of Cape Coral, Fla., and Connie A. Miller of Halifax; three grandchildren, and many great-randchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Memorial information: A funeral service was held on July 18 at Cheshire Family Funeral Home in Swanzey, N.H., with burial with full military honors in the family lot at Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale. Donations to the American Liver Foundation, 39 Broadway, STE 2700, N.Y., NY 10006.

• Grace Lee Thompson, 70, of Stamford and Brattleboro. Died June 16. She was born in coastal Maine and reveled in the freedom to wander - both in body and imagination - during her childhood years. She knew from an early age that she was not destined to live a conventional life, and life did not disappoint her. She always forged her own path, from her nomadic hippie years between San Francisco and Vermont to back-to-the land farming, raising a gaggle of kids, living on a sailboat, and many more adventures. She was brave and strong, creative and resourceful, and her generous spirit drew friends everywhere she went. As a young woman, she earned an associate's degree in secretarial studies and worked in administrative positions. Later, she founded an organic wheatgrass business called Green Mountain Organics and brought her passion for healthy food and wellness to work at cooperative grocers, including the Brattleboro Food Co-op. In recent years, she put her heart into her writing, cultivating community in Brattleboro, and tending her mountaintop homestead in Stamford. The natural setting and her thriving gardens there brought her great joy. Survivors include her husband and life partner of more than 40 years, David Agone of Stamford; her children, S. Hawk Thompson of Worcester, Mass., Rose Rodgers of Portland, Ore., Rebecca Agone of Calais, and Jessica Ressa of Spring Lake, N.J.;her sister, Gloria Bowers of Waldoboro, Maine; two grandchildren and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends, both near and far. She was predeceased by her parents, Lestyn and Lyle Thompson, and her sister, Shirley Leighton. Memorial information: A public celebration of Grace's life will be held Sunday, July 30, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, 10 Vernon St. In lieu of flowers, attendees are invited to bring an hors d'oeuvre or a short reading to share. The family will hold a private memorial in Stamford at a later date.

•Barbara L. Wallace, 63, of Westminster. Died July 12 in the emergency room at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She was born in Richmond, Va., on Feb. 14, 1955, the daughter of Edward and Grace (Trainum) Grant. She was raised and educated in the Conway and Shelburne Falls, Mass., area and was a graduate of Mohawk Regional High School. She had been employed as a sales associate at the Hinsdale Walmart and at the former Ames Department Store in Brattleboro. She also worked as a waitress for several years at Friendly's Restaurant on Putney Road. She enjoyed scrapbooking, sewing, making jewelry, and time shared with her family. She also loved cats and small animals. She was first married to Richard Parsons, and later married David Wallace who survives. Besides her husband, of Westminster, she leaves a son, Richard A. Parsons of Vernon; a daughter, Kimberly Gassett of Hinsdale, N.H.; a stepdaughter, Laura Wallace of Jaffrey, N.H.; three sisters and one brother; seven grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a granddaughter, Jennifer Ann Gassett, and a stepdaughter, Deborah Wallace. Memorial information: Graveside committal services in Dummerston Center Cemetery will be conducted on Sunday, July 23, at 1 p.m., with a reception to follow at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Center. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit


• A memorial service for Cornelia (Liela) Humphreys Rea, who died May 2, 2017, will be held at St. Mary's in the Mountains in Wilmington on Saturday, July 22, at 2:30 p.m., with a reception to follow at 209 Handle Rd., West Dover.

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