• Elizabeth “Liz” Hirbour, 88, of Brattleboro. Died March 19, 2018 at The Bradley House in Brattleboro. The first 10 years of her life were spent in England and were filled with poverty, parental conflict, divorce, and the horrors of the bombing of London by the Germans during World War II. However, those many traumas did not stop her from having a richly successful life by almost any standard. Ultimately - like most immigrants to the United States - Liz gave back much more to the United States than she ever received. After being shipped to the United States at age 10 with her 8-year-old brother David to escape “The Blitz,” she was raised by the generous and loving Avery family in Malden, Mass. The Averys sponsored her undergraduate education at Oberlin College in Ohio, and she eventually married Rudy Everest and raised four sons while serving first as a “minister's wife,” then working part-time as a research assistant at Worcester (Mass.) State Hospital. While new traumas imposed themselves on her life in the form of the death of a son (David) in 1981 at age 22, and the divorce from her husband Rudy after 30 years of marriage the following year, she persevered, moving alone to a Cape Cod apartment while working in a gift store. She eventually remarried and her second husband, John Hirbour, had a love of antiques and simple country living that was a great match for her. While living with her husband John, first in North Brookfield and then Hardwick, Mass., Liz worked for Head Start as a Home Visitor, then part time as an historical interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village for many years where she found great joy, especially when working with young children. Liz and John often traveled together, including many trips to England to visit Liz's sister Paula Hardwick and her family, while also touring the English countryside and visiting antique shops. John and Liz retired to Yarmouthport on Cape Cod, where John operated an antique store until his death in 2016. After John's death, Liz moved to Brattleboro to live with her son John Everest, his wife Katey and daughters Chloe and Thea, then moved into The Bradley House where she received the most extraordinarily loving care. She quickly adopted Brattleboro as her home, often admiring the plethora of deeply caring, unique, artistic and welcoming people with whom she consistently came in contact. Liz charmed (and was charmed by) the staff and other residents of The Bradley House, making many deep connections. Liz's oldest son Clifford died in February 2017, though Brattleboro Area Hospice's bereavement program was extraordinarily helpful in easing the pain of both that, and her husband's death the previous year. Liz had lived with Parkinson's disease for many years, and when a fall in early 2017 resulted in a broken back, the Bradley House staff, Brattleboro Area Hospice, and Bayada Hospice staff and volunteer support provided a comfortable and deeply enriching final year of life. In addition to Liz's son John Everest and his family, Liz leaves her sister Paula in England, brother David Denstad of Reno, Nev., and son Peter Everest, his wife Marian and their three daughters: Laura and Kelly Everest and Kristine Fernandez (and husband Nick) and their two young daughters Keira and Colbie, all of Southern California. Memorial information: None provided.

• Leon Francis John “Lee” Peters, 70, of Whitingham. Died May 10, 2018 at his home on Brick House Road, surrounded by his loving family. He grew up in Heath, Mass., the 12th child of Philipine Lively Peters and Leon N. Peters, and received his early education in Heath, Charlemont, and Shelburne Falls, Mass. He graduated from Greenfield (Mass.) High School and went on to earn an associate's degree in art from Greenfield Community College. He was then employed by North Adams State College, now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he worked for more than 40 years. He began as a media specialist and retired as MCLA's graphic designer for publications and publicity. In addition, he generously shared his many extraordinary artistic talents with local community organizations, schools, and his church, Charlemont Federated Church, where he was member and Deacon for many years. He was a good friend, neighbor, and colleague to all. Lee was associated with a number of organizations including the Whitingham Historical Society as the vice chair; Whitingham Maple Fest Committee; Whitingham Old Home Week Planning Committee; the Windham County Democratic Committee; and he was a justice-of-the-peace and a member of the Whitingham Board of Civil Authority; as well as member of several professional organizations. He deeply loved and was loved by his wife, Vanda N. Warner, of Whitingham whom he married on Feb. 14, 1980 at their home, which he designed and built. He is survived by his wife; their loving daughters, Olga Elizabeth Peters of Dummerston; V. Tacy Lincoln and her husband, Howard, of Essex Junction; and Dana C. Homer of Whitingham; and his former son-in-law, Arnold P. Coombs of Keene, N.H. He is also survived by four grandchildren, brothers Cleon and John and sisters Beatrice, Teresa, Paulina, Evelyn, Jeanette and Sylvia. He was predeceased by his brother Nelson and sisters Marie and Lucille. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 2 p.m., at Charlemont Federated Church. Interment will be private and there will be no visiting hours. Donations to a charity of their choice.

• Jerome “Jerry” Richard Reardon, 60, of Brattleboro. Died May 6, 2018. A lifelong resident of Brattleboro, he was born on June 21, 1957. He proudly served in the Army during the Cold War as part of the Berlin Brigade. Known for his big heart, Jerry will be remembered for his love of animals. He often made food donations to the Windham County Humane Society, and was quick to aid homeless cats in need of shelter and a loving home. With the uncanny ability to make those around him smile, with a generous and giving spirit, animals and friends alike will miss his warm, friendly presence. He is survived by both of his parents, William and Beulah (Howell) Reardon, a brother, William, and his wife Andrea; as well as a sister, Kelly, and her husband, Mitchell Therieau. He also leaves behind a nephew, William, a niece, Tracy, and her husband Samuel Murphy, in addition to many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Memorial information: A private burial will be held on May 17. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• Annabelle (Abbott) Shine, 83, of Townshend, Died May 1, 2018 at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., following a period of declining health. A lifelong resident of Townshend, she was born there on April 29, 1935, the daughter of Reuben and Alice (Goodale) Abbott. She was a 1953 graduate of Leland & Gray Seminary in Townshend. In 1955, she married Bernard A. Shine Sr., who predeceased her in 1991. She retired from C&S Wholesale Grocers in Brattleboro in 2008 and previously worked for the Mary Meyer Toy Co. in Townshend and also the former Vermont National Bank in Newfane. Annabelle enjoyed many leisure activities, such as reading, sewing, knitting and working in her garden. She was involved with the Project Linus group and derived much pleasure from making quilts for hospitalized children. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by one brother, Reuben Abbott, and three sisters, Lorraine Burkert, Eleanor Anderson, and Elsie Wright. She is survived by her children, Bernard A. Shine, Jr. of Townshend, and Susan Shine Holbrook of Queensbury, N.Y. She also leaves behind her grandson, Charles Arthur Shine (Chelsey) and two great-grandchildren, Colin Ronald and Vivian Annabelle, as well as many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Graveside committal services were held May 12 in Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend with Pastor Vern Stanley officiating. Donations to Grace Cottage Hospital, 185 Grafton Rd., Townshend, VT 05353, or to the Dr. Robert Backus Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Elizabeth “Betty” Stevenson Whittaker, 95, of Brattleboro. Died May 6, 2018 at Pine Heights Nursing Home in Brattleboro. She was born on Feb. 26, 1923 to Dorothy Crosby Root and Arthur Lawrence Stevenson in Wellesley Hills, Mass. Prior to moving to Vermont she lived in Falmouth, Mass. Betty attended Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts and Garland Junior College in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1942, she graduated from Pierce Secretarial School also in Boston. Before her marriage she was employed as a legal secretary in Boston. In 1948, Betty married Philip Newbold Whittaker of Chestnut Hill, Pa. They lived in Montpelier for one year before moving to Tarrytown, N.Y., where they lived for 10 years. After a brief time in New Canaan, Conn., they moved to Potomac, Md.,where they raised four children. She was active in many church, civic, and volunteer organizations including the Junior League of Tarrytown; Planned Parenthood Clinic in Rockville, Md.; Emergency room, and Norwalk (Conn.) Hospital. In Potomac, she was instrumental in starting the first Head Start Program in Montgomery County, Maryland. She was very active in the St. Francis Church, serving in various capacities including pastoral assistant and co-chair of the Outreach Committee. Betty and Phil, who enjoyed traveling, skiing, and sailing, retired to Falmouth, Mass., in 1989, where they were active members of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth Whittaker and her husband, Claude Gouin, of Dummerston, Philip Whittaker and his wife, Debra, of Germantown, Md., Stephen Whittaker and his wife, Judith, of Keedysville, Md., and Nancy Whittaker and her husband, Michael Dickter, of Kirkland, Wash., as well as eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Arthur Stevenson of Peterborough, N.H., and her sister, Nancy Jones of Falmouth, Mass. Her husband, Philip, died in 2006. Memorial information: A memorial service will be conducted at a later date in Falmouth. Donations to the American Red Cross. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Lawrence E. “Stub” Thomas, 81, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died May 2, 2018 at his home. He was a lifelong resident of the area and a well-known businessman. He was born in Brattleboro on Jan. 20, 1937, the son of Lawrence and Gladys (Puffer) Thomas. He was raised and educated in Brattleboro and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School. He went on to attend the Vermont Agricultural College in Randolph Center, earning his associates degree in agricultural science. Soon after, he served in the Vermont National Guard. He was employed as a heavy equipment operator for Perini Construction Company at the time Interstate 91 was being constructed in Vermnont. In 1971, he established his own excavation company, Stub Inc., based in West Chesterfield, which he operated successfully until his retirement in 1990. During his earlier years he assisted with the day to day operation of his family's farm, the Thomas Farm on Putney Road. He was a longtime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445. He was known for his spirit of friendship and generosity, often assisting non-profit organizations such as Rescue Inc. and others that were in need of support and his professional services. He took a sincere interest in people, enjoyed helping anyone in need and was active in civic duty in Chesterfield, Brattleboro, and Dover, Vt. He was an avid skier, and enjoyed flying, both fixed wing aircraft and in his helicopter. Survivors include three daughters, Sheila Whitcomb of New London, N.H, Pamela Thomas and lifelong partner Tony Atwill of Hotchkiss, Colo., Gayle Thomas of Huntersville, N.C.; a son, Ryan Thomas and his wife Cathi of Medfield, MA, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Stub also leaves a large host of friends, and business associates in the twin-state area. Memorial information: A celebration of life service was held May 12 at Monadnock Covenant Church in Keene, N.H. Burial services were private. Donations to the Winston Prouty Center, 209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Henry Harold Wheeler, 84, of Wilmington. Died May 9 at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington after a period of failing health. He was born Aug. 27, 1933 in Readsboro to Harold and Rena (Lawson) Wheeler. He attended Wilmington schools and the Vermont Agricultural College in Randolph Center. In 1954, he married Carrie Bartlett and, together, they operated the Wheeler Farm, where they raised their seven children. Besides being a dairyman, he was a sugarmaker, home builder, and entrepreneur. He was an honorable and fair man, always willing to help out his family, friends and neighbors. He enjoyed visiting with folks and had a good sense of humor. He was a member of the Wilmington Baptist Church, and a founding member of the Deerfield Valley Stump Jumpers and the River Valley Riders. Besides his wife of nearly 64 years, he is survived by five sons and their wives: Martin and CarolAnn Wheeler of Winchester, N.H., John and Elizabeth Wheeler of Wilmington, Douglas and Jackie Wheeler of Wilmington, Robert and Karen Wheeler of Wilmington, and Paul and Lisa Wheeler of Wilmington; two daughters, Diane Wheeler and Todd Batchelder of Thornwood, N.Y., and Janet Hubbard of Brattleboro, and 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and three grandchildren. Memorial information: A graveside service was held May 14 at Riverview Cemetery. Donations to Deerfield Valley Rescue Building fund or the Wilmington Baptist Church, in care of Covey, Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• David Harold Wisell, 81, of West Chesterfield, N.H. Died May 4, 2018. He was the beloved husband of Patricia Wisell for more than 60 years. Born in Brattleboro on Jan. 9, 1937, the sixth child of Floyd and Grace (Cross) Wisell, he attended various schools in Brattleboro and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1955. While in high school, he worked at Arthur Wilson's gas stations and Estey Organ. On Sept. 3, 1955, he started working for Alan S. Brown, which eventually became The Book Press. He worked his way up from apprentice to bindery manager before retiring as assistant manager after nearly 44 years of service in March 1999. Also in 1955, he joined the Vermont Army National Guard, and eventually retired at the rank of sergeant first class after 30 years. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 86 of Chesterfield and VFW Post 1034 of Brattleboro. In 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Bickford. He was the father of Terri, his daughter, and David, his son, and considered himself to be a father to Barbara Weafer and Cassy Ryan. He was the proud grandfather of Christopher Wisell, Samuel Wisell, Scott McGrath, and Lt. Alex McGrath along with his three “grandaughters,” their wives, Jess, Lizz, and Lauren. He enjoyed watching his six great-grandchildren run their parents and everyone else ragged. After retiring, both he and Pat traveled - taking their grandsons (with their son and daughter tagging along) to Disney World. They then went to Alaska and took their first cruise. They also spent three months touring the United States in their camper while visiting with friends and family along the way. He enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling, fishing, and camping with family and the Windham Wanderers. He enjoyed watching NASCAR races and going to games that his son or grandsons participated in. He loved to dance with his wife - particularly polkas. He also enjoyed plumbing, carpenter work, and being “Mr. Fixit” for his children, family and friends. He built his home in West Chesterfield with the help of his father and father-in-law in 1962. Along with being survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, David is also survived by three of his nine siblings, Francis, Stuart, and Gordon, along with many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Maurice and Howard, and his sisters, Irene (Riendeau), Marion (Berry), Carolyn, and Camilla. Memorial information: A graveside service was held May 10 in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or Monadnock Humane Society, P.O. Box 678, West Swanzey, NH 03469. To sign an online guestbook with messages of condolence, visit


Graveside services for Bernice Barnett, who died Jan. 18, 2018, will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 1 p.m., at the West Halifax Cemetery. A luncheon and time for memory sharing will be held at the West Halifax Community Hall immediately following the service. All are invited to attend either one or both events. Those attending the graveside service should park at the Community Hall, as it is within walking distance of the cemetery.

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