• Vermont Gov. Phil Scott recently announced the appointment of two area residents to state boards and commissions. Bruce Whitman of Townshend was appointed to the Hearing Panel for Professional Educators, while Abby Jacobson of Putney was appointed as Justice of the Peace.
• Donald Arthur “Don” Ambler, 90, of Sebec, Maine. Died peacefully on Nov. 30, 2019 at Hibbard's Nursing Home in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, after a period of declining health. He was born March 2, 1929 in Highland Park, N.J., the son of Walter A. and Lillian (Wade) Ambler. Don was educated at Hamilton School, Highland Park High School, Rutgers Prep, and New Brunswick Senior High School, graduating in 1947. He married Jane H. Waldron in 1951, and they had their first apartment in New Britain, Conn., while Don was employed with Stanley Tools. They moved back to the New Brunswick area and a home in Piscataway, N.J. Don served as bank teller at the First National Bank of Highland Park, N.J., for 10 years. Vacations were spent at Sebec Lake in Maine, as well as many long weekends. Their daughters, Jenifer and Brenda, were born in 1961 and 1963. January 1964 brought a move to Dover-Foxcroft year round for Don to work at the Piscataquis Savings Bank. The family first lived in an apartment on Lincoln Street, then a Victorian house on Winter Street in Dover-Foxcroft, and then built a house in Sebec in 1973 when the girls became interested in horses and Don became less interested in maintaining an old house. He stayed with the bank as it became Bangor Savings Bank, and retired as a Vice President while continuing to be on the Board of Incorporators. He was active in Kiwanis for many years, was a founding board member of the Bangor Ronald McDonald House, and a 35-plus year member of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. In retirement, Don and Jane traveled all over the U.S., first with a truck camper and then an Airstream trailer, attending Blue Knights conventions and visiting family and friends. He enjoyed helping people and was involved in Sebec town business for many years, including the Fire Department Board, Sebec Corner Cemetery Board, and Historical Society. Don crisscrossed New England transporting vehicles for Rowell's Garage, and loved spending time on his tractor, mowing grass, and clearing snow. He is survived by his daughter, Jenifer W. Ambler; granddaughter Katherine Anne “Kate” Maisner of Guilford, Vt.; sister-in-law Roberta Ambler of Monroe Township N.J.; two nieces, Barbara A. Killinger and her husband, Glenn, of Simpsonville, S.C., and Nancy A. Walter and her husband, Arthur, of South Plainfield, N.J.; nephew, David C. Ambler and his wife, Lola, of Barcelona, Spain; and an honorary son, Dan Cole and his wife, Dawn, of Dunedin, Fla. In addition to his wife, Jane, Don was predeceased by his parents; daughter Brenda W. Ambler; brother Walter W. Ambler; and son-in-law, Thomas P. Maisner. Memorial information: Visiting hours will be Saturday, December 28, 2 to 4 pm at the Lary Funeral Home in Dover-Foxcroft. A private family gathering will take place in the spring. Burial will be private in the family plot at Sebec Corner Cemetery. Donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine, 250 Brackett St. Portland, ME 04102. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
• Anthony J. Bombicino, 36, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly on Dec. 1, 2019 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, following a courageous battle with Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was born in Brattleboro on June 6, 1983, the son of James and Jean (Irwin) Bombicino. Anthony attended school in Dummerston and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 2002. He was a good student and active in sports, particularly soccer, basketball, and track and field. He later earned his B.S. in architectural design from Keene State College. After completing an internship in architectural design with William & Frehsee, Inc. of Brattleboro, Anthony decided to gain experience in the building trades, working with several construction companies including Mathew Brennan of Saxtons River, GPI Construction, and Mindel & Morse of Marlboro. For the past eight years, he has been employed by Brattleboro Public Works in the Water Department. After a number of years together, Anthony married Ashley C. Robarge of Hinsdale, N.H., in 2017. He truly cherished the time he spent with her and his two sons. At the time of his passing, he was actively engaged in building an addition to expand their family home. Anthony had a deep love for family and friends. To those who knew him well, he was sometimes shy, always charming, and had a witty sense of humor. Conscientious and hard-working, Anthony was always ready to lend a hand when needed. He spent much of his leisure time customizing his diesel truck and motoring with all his toys. He truly enjoyed his working hours navigating water lines and adeptly operating the John Deere heavy equipment for the town of Brattleboro. Besides his loving and devoted wife and sons Dominic and Christopher, he is survived by his parents of Dummerston; his brother Nicholas Bombicino of Brooklyn, N.Y., in-laws Steve and Deba Robarge, and sister- and brother-in-law Sarah and Tim Greene. He also leaves an aunt, Jane Shooer; a cousin, Jennifer Shooer, maternal grandparents Bill and Gerona Irwin of Londonderry, N.H., aunt Patricia Irwin and uncle Jim Irwin. Additionally, he is survived by many cousins that include the Convery family of Worcester, Mass., and the extended Capone families of New Jersey, Long Island, Virginia, and California. Memorial information: A memorial service in celebration of his life will be conducted Saturday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m., at West Village Meeting House in West Brattleboro, with an informal gathering immediately following the service. Anthony would think it was fine if you didn't wear a suit. Donations to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at cholangiocarcinoma.org. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence to his family, visit www.atamaniuk.com.
• Stacey Kirk Coolbeth, 59, of Grafton. Died Nov. 29, 2019 at his home. He was born in New Milford, Conn., on April 21, 1960, the son of Kenneth and Patricia (Twigg) Coolbeth. He was a graduate of McKean High School in Pennsylvania, served in the Air Force, and worked in construction. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. Surviving are his siblings Rusty, Lori, Patty, Vaughn, Dawn, Sherry, Tracy, Dean, Kim, Terry, and Kenny. He was predeceased by his parents. Memorial information: Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home of Bellows Falls is handling arrangements.
• Melfyn Dean “Mel” Price, 55, of Jefferson City, Mo. passed peacefully in his sleep on November 30, 2019. Mel, the only child of Terry and Patricia (Jones) Price, was born on Sept. 12, 1964 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, United Kingdom, and was educated at Pontlottyn Primary and Cyfarthfa High Schools. In 1982, Mel and his parents emigrated to Australia. In Australia, Mel worked for the Department of Conservation and Land Management for 17 years. His first marriage ended in divorce, but produced his beloved daughters Sarah and Megan. In 2000, Mel married Paula (Garceau) and eventually moved to the United States permanently, first living in Maine and finally in Missouri. For the last 14 years, Mel was an over the road truck driver with Werner Enterprises. He will be remembered for his intelligence, dry wit, and a sarcastic sense of humor. He was a voracious reader and he enjoyed collecting silver coins. Besides his parents and daughters, of Perth, Western Australia; and his wife, of Jefferson City; left to mourn Mel's death are four stepchildren: Laurie of Rockingham, Vt., Alexandra of Jefferson City, Sean of Manchester, N.H., and Kasey of California, Mo.; his in-laws, including Gloria and Jim Pinkerton of Vernon, Vt., who sponsored his immigration to the United States; and three grandchildren, cousins, and dear friends too numerous to list individually. Memorial information: In life, Mel loved to travel, but part of his heart remained in his home country, so following the memorial services in Jefferson City and Western Australia, Mel's final resting place will be the rolling hills of Troedrhiwfuwch, Wales. Donations in his memory may be made to the charity of the donor's choice. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.millardfamilychapels.com.
• Wendy Gartner Rowland, 83, of South Londonderry and Marblehead, Mass. Died Nov. 25, 2019 at her home in South Londonderry. She was born on Jan. 5, 1936 in Trenton, N.J., the daughter of the late John Winter Gartner and the late Mary Blackwell Gartner. She attended Princeton Day School and graduated from Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Conn., and Smith College in 1958. She married Benjamin “Barry” Rowland in June 1958, and she taught French at The Pike School until they moved to Marblehead in 1959. Wendy was a member of Eastern Yacht Club and the Driftwood Garden Club in Marblehead. She was a softball coach for both of her daughters' teams, as well as a Girl Scout leader, and volunteered in the Tower School library. She worked at Salem Savings Bank in Salem, Mass., in the 1970s. After Barry's retirement, they divided their time between Marblehead and South Londonderry, where they had a working dairy farm. Wendy opened her doors to her grandchildren at Camp Mimi (the farm) every summer. She generously supported Burr & Burton Academy and Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, as well as many other nonprofits. In 2008, she and Barry created The Rowland Foundation, which provides opportunities and the gift of time for visionary Vermont teachers (known as Rowland Fellows) to work in partnership with their principals to transform their schools. The Rowland Foundation received the highest national honor, a Distinguished Service Award for Service to Upper Education, in 2018. Through her generosity and vision, Wendy has left a legacy to the youth and teachers of Vermont and beyond. Wendy was predeceased by her husband, Barry, in 2018, after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. She is survived by her daughters Heidi Lynn and husband Michael, of Dorset, Vt., and Sandy Sullivan and husband Vince, of Ballard, Calif.; siblings John Gartner of Cranbury, N.J., and Sandy Gartner, of Lander, Wyo.; and four grandchildren. She was also predeceased by her sister, Barbara Parker. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Monday, Dec. 23, at 11 a.m., at the First Congregational Church in Manchester. Donations to Princeton Day School, P.O. Box 75, Princeton, NJ 08542; or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.
• Donald Joseph “Donny” West, 50, of Vernon. Died peacefully and unexpectedly at his home on Dec. 1, 2019. He was born on July 24, 1969 in New London, Conn., the son of Claire West. For the past 10 years, he has lived happily with his girlfriend, Leisha West. Donny grew up in Ledyard, Conn., attending Ledyard High School from 1983 to 1987. Afterwards, he attended Quinnipiac College for computer science until 1991. Following that, he was employed by General Dynamics in New London, Conn. He then took on a publishing job with Hearst Publications on Long Island, N.Y., and New York City. Upon moving to Vermont, he worked for G.S. Precision, where he built a name for himself over the last 16 years as “The Master,” as he was an avid prankster. Donny spent a lifetime cultivating his love of good food and his passion for making it, he lived for rock and roll and to support his favorite teams - the Boston Red Sox, the New Jersey Devils and, especially, the New York Giants. He enjoyed time on the ocean and the alpine slopes, and he read every single Stephen King novel written. The first thing many noticed about Donny was his sense of humor and his ability to light up a room with laughter. In addition to his longtime companion, Leisha, Donny is survived by his sons Jeremy, Sam, and Carter West of Guilford; his mother Claire West of Groton, Conn.; his sisters Roberta Wood and Chrissy West of Groton, Susan and Don Taylor of Raleigh, N.C., Ann and Gerard O'Sullivan of Oakdale, Conn.; as well as many nephews, nieces, friends, and his loyal mastiff Maximus Aurelius. Memorial information: A memorial gathering was held on Dec. 8 at Ker Phaneuf Funeral Home in Brattleboro. Donations to Rescue Inc. and the Vernon Fire Department. To view his online tribute or send a message of condolence, visit www.phaneuf.net.