College news

• Halie Lange, an environmental studies major from Brattleboro, recently graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.


• Laura Chapman has joined the Board of Directors of the Putney Foodshelf. She is a community organizer, activist, and blogger for Teach Peace VT, who, with her husband and two sons, has made her home in Putney since 2013. When she is not wrangling children, writing, or working to engage people in the political process, she can likely be found fulfilling her duties as a member of the Putney Central School Board. She is also a volunteer teacher for the Four Winds Nature Institute. In addition to the above activities, Chapman is a member of the Brattleboro Love Project and has recently begun the Hate Has No Home In The Twin States project, a cross-river effort denouncing hate speech. Chapman has worked as a licensed nurse's aide and a hospice care coordinator.


• Ann Marie Belknap, 66, of Bellows Falls. Died Sept. 9. Born in Bellows Falls on March 17, 1951, the daughter of Shirley (Kelly) and Daniel R Howard Sr., she attended schools in Bellows Falls. She was a 1969 graduate of Bellows Falls High School, worked at several area restaurants, and was a long-time employee of Silver Forest, retiring last year. She was a past president of the Bellows Falls Alumni Association and remained very active, volunteering every year. She is survived by her brothers, Daniel R. Howard, Jr. of Bellows Falls, Michael Howard of Norwood, Mass., and Stephen and Mark Howard, both of Keene, N.H.; her aunts Patty Ray of Jacksonville, FL and Kay Howard of Burlington, VT; her uncle Francis Kelly of Rockingham; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her husband, Dennis Belknap, and her parents. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Sept. 16 at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, with burial in St. Charles Cemetery.

• Charles G. Fiske, 65, of Putney. Died Sept. 15 at his home. Affectionately known to his friends as “Buckwheat,” he was born in Vermont on Dec. 9, 1951, the son of Charles and Marguerite (Haskins) Fiske. He was a graduate of Bellows Falls High School and served during the Vietnam War in the Navy. He spent some time in California, where he worked at Culver City Harley-Davidson and the Marina Del Rey Athletic Club. He returned to Vermont and worked as a motorcycle repairman for Harley-Davidson shops in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. He also worked at various times as a butcher, most recently at the Brattleboro Food Co-Op. He was also an instructor at the Springfield Racquet Club in Springfield and Ludlow specializing in fitness. He worked at HCRS in Springfield as an employment specialist, from which he retired in 2014. He was a proud Veteran who loved old Harley-Davidsons, kayaking, body building, and being outdoors in nature. He will be missed for his ready smile and sense of humor. He is survived by his longtime partner, Lynne Irwin, of Putney. He was predeceased by his parents. Memorial information: A private service will be held in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellows Falls at the convenience of the family.

• Ashley Rose Hawthorne, 28, of Brattleboro. Died Sept. 12 at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, following a brief illness. Born in East Liverpool, Ohio, on Nov. 7, 1988, she was the daughter of Keith and Cynthia (Hawthorne) Johnston. She attended elementary school in East Liverpool and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School. She had worked as a waitress at the former Riverview Restaurant and at the Marina Restaurant. She also worked in the deli at Gouger's Market and was an attendant at Sonny's Sunoco on Canal Street. She enjoyed travel, music, dancing, reading, cooking, and time spent with her daughter who was the light of her life. She also cherished time shared with her family and friends. Survivors include her mother; her daughter, Jasmine Rose; and a brother, Justin Johnston all of Brattleboro. Additionally, she leaves a very special niece, Avery Marie, many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a large host of friends. She was predeceased by her father and paternal and maternal grandparents. Memorial information: Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m., at West Brattleboro Baptist Church on Western Avenue. Calling hours at the church will be from 11 a.m. until the start of the services. A reception will follow the funeral to be held in the church's fellowship hall. Interment will be in the family lot in East Liverpool, Ohio. Memorial contributions in Ashley's name may be made to a special fund to help with the funeral expenses. Checks can be made payable to Cynthia Hawthorne, in care of River Valley Credit Union, P.O. Box 8366, Brattleboro, VT 05304. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Arthur H. “Art” Lockwood Jr., 77, of West Dover. Died Sept. 13 at his home, after a long illness. Born on Feb. 9, 1939, in Springfield, Vt., to Gertrude (Eagan) and Arthur H. Lockwood, Sr., he was raised on the family farm on the Skitchewaug Trail. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1957. He trained as an offset printer and platemaker in Hartford, Conn., and lived in Enfield, Conn., for a number of years. He also worked many years in the area at Mount Snow, and most recently at the River Valley Market in Wilmington. He will be remembered for his quick wit and sense of humor. He cherished his family, loved the woods, fishing, nature, photography, the Red Sox and his cat, Belle. He was a licensed pilot and loved to fly with friends and family. He was married to Kathleen (Dwyer) Lockwood in 1985, with the ceremony conducted in an aerial wedding high above the Deerfield Valley. He leaves his wife, Kathy; three children: Gregory (Darlene) Lockwood of Shaftsbury, Kathy (Keith) Tatro of Bennington, and Judy Lockwood of Hudson, Fla.; three stepchildren: Donna (Floyd) Skidmore of Arlington, Tina (Scott) Gabert of Sunderland, Vt., and Steven Smith of Bennington; six grandchildren; siblings Ronald (Tinah) Lockwood, Allen Lockwood, Barbara (Theodore) Thomas, and Patricia (James) Kenyon; great grandchildren, step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by siblings Francis, Raymond, and Richard Lockwood, and Lorraine Clay. Memorial information: Services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2:15 p.m., at the Covey, Allen & Shea Funeral Home in Wilmington. Friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday from 12:15 until 2:15. Following the service, the family invites everyone to join them at the Dover Forge for a memorial reception. Private burial will take place in the Ira Allen Cemetery in Sunderland. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• Henry G. “Boybe” Merrow, 91, of Cottondale, Fla., formerly of South Londonderry. Died Sept. 6 at his home, after a short illness. He was born Feb. 14, 1926, in Mount Tabor, the son of Harry and Viola Merrow. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He married Doris E. Davison in 1948. In earlier years, he logged with his team of horses and, later, he was self-employed building houses and doing masonry work until he retired. He enjoyed stock car racing at Claremont (New Hampshire) Speedway and his own car, number “33,” is on display at the Northeast Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire. He also enjoyed hunting and watching boxing. Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Rosemary Berry, of Brooksville, Florida, and Blanche Kennedy, of Chester; two siblings, MaryLou Woodruff, of Windham, and Thomas Merrow, of Londonderry; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by eight siblings: Betty, Nancy, George, Kenneth, Donald, Richard, Eugene, Robert, and two grandchildren. Memorial information: At his request, there will be no funeral or services.

• Lillian Mrowicki, 86, of Venice, Fla., formerly of Jersey City, N.J. Died Sept. 8, after a series of long illnesses. She was born in Jersey City on Dec. 9, 1930, the ninth of 10 children of Felix and Victoria Opalach. She grew up as part of the St. Anthony's Polish immigrant community in Jersey City, after her parents left West Virginia's coal mining areas, due to the ongoing labor strife and intimidation of immigrant workers by the KKK. She attended St. Anthony's School, then Ferris High School. Right after high school, she met Leon Mrowicki and they were married at St. Anthony's in 1950. He died in 1992. In 1952, their first child, Leon Jr., was born, followed by four other children - Michael, JoAnn, Nadine, and John. Family was first, last, and everything to her. Her generous spirit for taking care of others extended beyond her immediate family, and was also shared with many cousins, nieces and nephews. She and her husband were also avid Polka dancers and, after their home nest emptied, they would travel around the Northeast to various dances and festivals, as well as on the West Coast, during their time in Central California. Her giving spirit was also evident in the many volunteer activities she and her husband participated in. From regular church activities, to volunteering at the Catholic Orphanage in Lodi, N.J., and so on throughout her life. After moving to California, in 1980, she immediately took up cooking at the San Quentin Hospitality house that provided meals and comfort for those traveling far to visit loved ones who were incarcerated at San Quentin. She is survived by her sister, Katharine; her children, Lee Mrowicki, Mike Mrowicki, JoAnn Burke, Nadine Mrowicki, and John Mrowicki, as well as four grandchildren. Memorial information: Memorial Services will be held both in Florida and New Jersey at dates to be determined. Her generosity has extended beyond her time on this earth, as she has donated her body to a medical school in Florida. Since it's not clear how long they can use her for teaching purposes, services will be scheduled upon the return of her remains. As a long-time dedicated volunteer for many worthy causes, a fitting memorial gift for her would be to work a volunteer shift in her name.

• Roy M. Putnam, 80, of Brattleboro. Died Sept. 9 at Pine Heights of Brattleboro. He was born in Andover, Vt., on March 8, 1937, the son of the late Archie and Mary Putnam. He was married to the late Brenda Viens. He worked at a number of places in the Brattleboro area, including the Cotton Mill, the parking garage on Flat Street, and a local pizza restaurant on Canal Street. He also delivered newspapers. Memorial information: Interment will be at a later date in West Brattleboro Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Ker-Westerlund Funeral Home of Brattleboro.

• Virginia A. “Ginger” Taylor, 92, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died Sept. 9 at her home, following a brief illness. Born in Hinsdale, N.H. on May 14, 1925, the daughter of Bion and Ida (Scranton) Worden, she was raised and educated in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro High School, Class of 1943. She worked at the former Minshall-Estey Organ Company, Dunham Shoe Company, and several other local manufacturers. Steadfast in her walk of faith, she was a member of First United Methodist Church for over 75 years and taught Sunday school for over 50 years. She was the genealogist in the family, researching her family's history for over 50 years and amassing many volumes of family historical data. Her life mostly centered around her family and she especially enjoyed the holidays and family gatherings. In 1950, she married Henry Taylor, who predeceased her in 1966. Survivors include one brother, David Worden and his wife, Darlene, of West Chesterfield; a sister, Barbara King of Middletown, R.I., and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great nephews. She was predeceased by a sister, Ruth Ellis, and a brother, John Worden. Memorial information: Graveside committal services were held Sept. 16 in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to First United Methodist Church, 18 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Vivian May Amato Thomas, 96, of Vernon. Died Sept. 7 at Vernon Green Nursing Home. She was born Feb. 6, 1921 in Wilmington, where she grew up on a farm. She rode to school in a horse and buggy and did so well academically that she skipped a grade. She was a 4-H member and she taught Sunday School at Wilmington Baptist Church. In high school, she worked taking tickets at the movie theater. After graduation, she worked as a waitress in Wilmington and Brattleboro. She married Rosario (Tony) Amato in 1941. They moved to Vernon in 1946. They had a son and four daughters. Mr. Amato died in 1960 and Vivian was left to care for the children by herself. In 1985, she married Oliver Thomas who died just two years later. She also had special friends, Linwood Batchelder and Harvey Parmenter. She was a member of the Vernon Union Church, Vernon Seniors, and the Ladies Circle. She was a 4-H leader for 10 years. She enjoyed sewing, gardening, cake decorating, and embroidery, and she crocheted 140 afghans. Her 14 kinds of homemade pickles were on demand throughout the town and many friends and neighbors stopped in over the years for coffee and freshly made doughnuts. She began collecting elephants in childhood and, soon, they began taking on a life of their own, filling her house. They numbered well over 2,000 when she sold the bulk of the collection. Even after that, she received elephant gifts of every sort. Poor health meant giving up her home and moving to Vernon Green, where she has resided for the past 14 years. There she enjoyed puzzles and games, having visitors, and going out to eat. No one could leave without signing her guest book. She is survived by son, Anthony (Regis) Amato of Northfield, Mass.; daughters Teresa Hill (Ken) of Rensselaer Falls, N.Y.; Mary Lou Johnston (Pat) of Mesa, Ariz.; and Veronica Wheelock (Marshall) of Brattleboro. Daughter Marcia Jean died in infancy. She also had six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren. Memorial information: Donations in her memory may be made to the Windham County Humane Society, P. O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

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