Mark Morse


College news

• Mesa Kennedy of Brattleboro was one of more than 160 students who received degrees during commencement ceremonies on May 12 at Green Mountain College in Poultney.

• Kristina Wittler of South Newfane, a physics major and a member of the Colgate University Class of 2019, has earned the Dean's Award with Distinction for the spring 2018 semester.


• Max Harold Allen, 93, of San Francisco, formerly of Wilmington. Died July 19, 2018 at San Francisco General Hospital. Max was born in Brattleboro on June 9, 1925, the son of the late Harold Griffin Allen and Helen Kenrick. He graduated from Wilmington High School in 1943 and received his B.S. in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1945. He later received a master's in civil engineering from Catholic University in 1953, and a Master of Arts from George Washington University in 1966. He was a Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, retiring at the rank of captain. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal; the American Campaign, World War II Victory, and National Defense Service medals; and the Vietnam Service Award. Upon retirement from the Navy, he worked as a civil engineer for many years. He is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Marie Allen of San Francisco, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary June (Deeb) Allen, and his brother, Paul Kenrick Allen. Memorial information: A graveside funeral service with military honors was held Aug. 3 in Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington. Donations to the Wilmington Historical Society, in care of the Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home P.O. Box 215 Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Marion Grace (Chapin) Amidon, 88, of Vernon. Died July 26, 2018 at her home, after a brief illness. She was born to the late Earl and Grace (Cutting) Chapin on Aug. 7, 1929 in Townshend. She married Edwin Amdion in 1947; he died in 2004 after 57 years of marriage. After many years of employment she retired from The Book Press in Brattleboro at the age of 62. In her retirement years, she loved to do jigsaw and crossword puzzles, reading, relaxing outside, and sharing her meals with her beloved dog, Bailey. She enjoyed time spent with family and she made the best homemade pickles, doughnuts, and biscuits in the Northeast. She was a member of the American Legion Post 5 Auxiliary. She is survived by her sons, Edwin Jr., Ronald, Donald, and Raymond; her daughters, Susan Longe, Patricia Clement, and Kimberley Kathan; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and her sister, Bernice Coughlin. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her daughter Grace Walker and grandson Chad Amidon. Memorial information: Graveside services were held Aug. 3 at the North Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to the VNA and Hospice of Vermont & New Hampshire, P.O. Box 976, White River Junction, VT 05001.

• Barbara Ann Boyd, 85, of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 3 at Pine Heights Nursing Home, following an extended illness. She was born in Providence, R.I., on June 28, 1933, the daughter of Angelo and Susie (Ziter) Norcia. She was raised and educated in Providence and Brattleboro. She had been employed for many years at Continental Cable Co. in Hinsdale, N.H., which she retired from. Previously, she worked at AMP Keyboards in Brattleboro and, in her earlier years, worked at the former Kings Bowling Alley on Putney Road. Of her leisure time activities, Barbara enjoyed spectator sports, especially boxing. She was an avid Boston Red Sox fan. In her youth, she was very athletic and played in the Greater Brattleboro Women's Softball League. More recently, she took long walks everyday as part of her daily routine. She was also known for being an excellent cook who enjoyed preparing delicious meals for her family and friends, especially during the holidays. She was known for her spirit of friendship and generosity, and was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Steadfast in her walk of faith, she was a member of the Green Mountain Chapel of the Missionary & Christian Alliance. She was married to Phillip Boyd of Wilmington. The marriage ended in divorce. Survivors include two sons, Steven Boyd of Hinsdale, N.H., and Eric Boyd and his wife, Joy, also of Hinsdale, three grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by one brother, Donald Norcia, and a sister, Carol Bucci. Memorial information: Graveside committal services will be conducted Friday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m., in St. Michael's Parish Cemetery. with a celebration of life at the Eagles, 54 Chickering Drive, Brattleboro, following the graveside services. Donations to Rescue Inc. P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To sign an online register book or to send messages to the family, visit

• Philip F. Grassi, 75, formerly of Brattleboro. died peacefully at Hospice House in Venice, Fla., on July 2, 2018, with his family and his dog, Pippa at his side. Born on Aug. 14, 1942 in Brattleboro, the son of the late Geno and Alice (Hallgren) Grassi, he attended local schools and was a member of the Class of 1961 at Brattleboro Union High School. He lived in Brattleboro all his life until his retirement in Florida. He worked for many years at Sam's Department Store on Main Street as a sporting goods manager. He loved baseball and was an avid fisherman and enjoyed hunting with a rifle or bow. One of his favorite pastimes was spending time with his grandchildren and the family football game every Christmas. He is survived by two daughters, Danielle Cairns (Geoff), of Beverly, Mass., and Gina Cairns (Jon), of Rockford, Mich. He also leaves a brother, Richard Grassi of Wilder; three sisters, Jean Baker of Virginia, Barbara Baker of Guilford, and Martha Kabaniec of Missouri; and four grandchildren. Memorial information: There will be no formal services, but his family will spread his ashes in the places he loved to fish. Plans are underway for a celebration of his life at a later date.

• Mac Jones of Putney died on Aug. 3, 2018. He leaves his wife, Mary; two children, Tamara Debono (Jay) of Grand Isle and Steven Jones (Vicki) of Putney; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and his mother, Barbara. Memorial information: Burial will be private. No services are planned.

• Donald Paul McNamara, 53, of Huntington Station, N.Y. Died July 30, 2018. Born in Huntington, N.Y., on May 13, 1965, he was the son of the late Donald F. and Lillian P. McNamara. He is survived by his three sisters, Mary Ca Pumillo of Hawthorne, N.Y., Patricia McNamara of Brattleboro, Laura (John) Frawley of Kings Park, N.Y., and his brother, Arthur McNamara of Huntington, N.Y. Additionally, he is survived by his nieces, nephews, grand nephews, aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins and friends. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will take place Aug. 9, at 9:30 a.m., at St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church in Huntington Station, N.Y. Donations to a charity of one's choice.

• Mark Anthony Morse, 59, a lifelong resident of the West River Valley. Died peacefully on July 24, 2018, at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., following a lengthy illness. He was born at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend on Feb. 27, 1959. The son of Earle and Margaret “Peg” (Harrington) Morse, he was raised and educated in Newfane and was a 1977 graduate of Leland & Gray Union High School. He was a dedicated truck driver for Brown Enterprises for the majority of his adult life. He previously worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for Rescue Inc. in Brattleboro. He was a member and past chief of NewBrook Fire & Rescue in Newfane, member and past chief of the Townshend Volunteer Fire Department, and a former volunteer for several years with Rescue Inc. He was an active member in the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445, for many years, some of which he served as a trustee for several terms. He enjoyed competing in area truck pulling events, watching NASCAR, snowmobiling with friends and family, and riding the back roads of Vermont. Above all, he cherished spending time with his family and was always known for his humor and making people laugh. Mark also kept up on what was happening in the West River Valley. In addition to his loving companion of many years, Jean Wilde, of Newfane, he is also survived by the mother of his children, Tami Morse and her partner, Michael Jenks; his daughter, Lindsey Cleveland and her husband. John, of Townshend; son Taylor Morse and his partner, Colby White, of Brookline; son Austin Morse and his partner, Jessica Burbank, of Londonderry; brother Stephan Morse and his wife Jill, brother Earle W. “Billy” Morse, Jr.; sister Susan Morse and her partner, Doug Brooks, and his twin sister Maureen Holden and her husband, Norman, all of Newfane. Additionally, he leaves five grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews, along with his extended Texas family, all whom loved him and will miss him very much. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m., at the Newfane Flea Market on Route 30. Donations to the Townshend Volunteer Fire Dept., Grafton Road, Townshend, VT 05353. To sign an online register book or to send messages to the family, visit

• Gregory David,“Greg” Propster, 81, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly July 27, 2018 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 24, 1937, the son of James and Frances (Murawski) Propster, he was raised and educated in Buffalo and graduated from Canisius Catholic High School with the Class of 1954. He went on to attend Canisius College in Buffalo receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1961. While at Canisius, he was active in the college's glee club. In 1957, he married Patricia Andres. He had been employed as a marketing director for many technology companies that included Janos Optical, Omega Optical, Buck Scientific, Wilks Scientific. and Whitney-Blake, to name just a few. He also served in several capacities for the Morningside Commons Association, and was co-founder of Brattleboro Senior Meals, Inc., of which he also served on its advisory board. He enjoyed music and singing, and for many years was an active member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. A devout Catholic, he was a longtime communicant of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. He enjoyed fishing, cooking and riding his red scooter around Brattleboro. He was a great story teller, tour guide and was known for his spirit of friendship and wisdom. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of more than 60 years, he leaves three sons, Mark (Debbie) Propster of Hinsdale, N.H., John (Pam) Propster of Palermo, N.Y., G. David Propster, II of Burlington; and one daughter, Elizabeth “Beth” (George) Hoppen of Green Bay, Wisc. Additionally, he is survived by six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on Aug. 4 at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. Committal rites and burial followed in the Propster lot in Morningside Cemetery. Donations to Brattleboro Senior Meals, Inc., 207 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online register book or send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Shirley T. Stookey, 83, of Northfield, Mass. Died peacefully in her home on July 11, 2018. Born in 1934 in Ithaca, N.Y., she was the daughter of Barbara Alexanderson and Sherrill Thomas. She is survived by her three children, Hoyt Bingham of Royalton, Caroline Dennis of Portland, Maine, and John Stookey of Las Vegas, Nev.; her sister, Merriam Roberts of Portland, and her grandchildren Alyssa, Daniel, Chloë, Jameson, and Zoey. She was predeceased by her ex-husband, Lyman Stookey of Hamilton, Mass. Shirley graduated from Barnard College with a degree in music. Her passion for music was deeply rooted in all aspects of her life. She brought music into the classroom, to the community, and to her family. Her love of music began in Utica, N.Y., where she played the organ for services and sang in several choirs. Her talent extended to the cello, piano, and harpsichord. She held several educational positions involving early childhood education, both in designing materials and working with children. Later in her life, she completed a music therapy program through the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her talents for art and design came as naturally as music. She had an eye for color, contrast and building beautiful settings no matter where she lived. She explored watercolors, floral design, working with fibers and natural elements from the woods. Plants and gardening remained her passion in life. She studied the history of plants and created extensive gardens. An avid reader, Shirley made frequent use of the Dickinson Memorial Library and its inter-library loan system to keep a steady stream of books from The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker. Astute in world news, she appreciated good journalism to the end, and loved watching competitive tennis, (all hail Roger!!) sailing, cycling, and the Olympics. Memorial information: A private gathering celebrated Shirley's life. Donations to the Dickinson Memorial Library, 115 Main St., Northfield, MA 01360.


• A celebration of the life and community service of John Kristensen will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 2 p.m., at Guilford Central School. Kristensen died at his Guilford home on May 28, 2018 at the age of 94. Those attending the celebration are encouraged to bring and share their memories of him. The gathering may also discuss a way to permanently memorialize his many contributions to the town. Light refreshments will be served.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates