College news

• Abigail Lesure of Vernon and Jared Cipriano of Wilmington were among the graduates from Castleton University in December 2019. They will be formally recognized during Castleton's 233rd Commencement ceremony in May.

• Kyle Coulombe of West Halifax recently graduated from Vermont Technical College, earning a B.S. in computer software engineering.

• Wyatt Keith of Vernon and Elizabeth Day of Brattleboro were both named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at American International College in Springfield, Mass.

• Suzanne Allen of Stratton, a member of the Class of 2022 at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester, achieving Dean's High Honors. Allen is an ACS certified-Chem/Biochem major.

• Caleb Paasche of Guilford, a political science major and member of the class of 2020, was named to the Dean's List at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., during the fall 2019 semester.

• Catherine Sikes of Londonderry was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at Dean College in Franklin, Mass.

• Allison Buckley of Brattleboro was named to the President's List for the fall 2019 semester at Dean College in Franklin, Mass.

• Marielle Meyer of Brattleboro, a health science/pre-physician assistant major, and Danielle Wood of Putney, a therapeutic recreation major, were both named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at Springfield (Mass.) College.

• Cassandra Dunn of Brattleboro, a sophomore majoring in theater, was named to the University of Evansville's (Indiana) fall 2019 Dean's List.

• Isaiah Clark of Brattleboro, a computer engineering major, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

• Gwyneth Wainwright of Brattleboro was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University.

• Ryan Devendorf of Brattleboro, a member of the Class of 2021 majoring in electrical and computer engineering, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester at Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute.

• Michelle Marchica of Westminster was named to the Siena College Dean's List for the fall 2019 semester.


Brattleboro Memorial Hospital recently welcomed Lindsey Weaver, APRN, FNP-BC, at Brattleboro Family Medicine as a new family nurse practitioner. Weaver comes most recently from the Brattleboro Retreat, bringing extensive experience in mental and behavior healthcare for both adults and adolescents. She received a B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, an A.S. in nursing from Castleton University, and a M.S. in nursing from Simmons University. In addition to her work as a Nurse Practitioner, Weaver serves as a volunteer medical and dental coordinator for Community Asylum Seekers Project, providing aid to asylum seekers placed with host families in the Brattleboro area and securing health appointments, as well as medication and transportation needs.


• George W. Allen Jr., 69, of Putney. Died peacefully at home on Jan. 12, 2020, surrounded by family and friends, after a brave battle with brain cancer. Ever the gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor, he remained strong to the very end. Born in Hartford, Conn., on July 18, 1950, he lived in East Hartford during his early years and summered in Dennis, Mass., with his family throughout his youth. He formed numerous lifelong friendships from his Cape Cod summers. George graduated from Avon Old Farms and moved to Putney to attend Windham College. He earned his B.A. in English with aspirations to teach. After one week of student teaching in a classroom, he reconsidered this choice. Carpentry was his next venture and it stuck with him throughout his life. George worked on many projects in the tri-state area over his long career, but his biggest project was clearing land and building a beautiful home for his family on Bare Hill in Putney. He enjoyed his time in this home photographing sunsets, birds, and animal visitors as well as taking care of the landscape, mostly battling buckthorn. He had boundless energy when it came to this project. He will be missed by many. George leaves his wife, Kristin (Deppman) Allen; sons George W. Allen, III (Jillian) and Benjamin E. Allen, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held in the spring at a time to be announced by the family. Donations to any charity of your choice that helps children. He felt strongly that no child should suffer, and supported many charities dedicated to this cause. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Earlene Margaret “Peggy” Carey, 74, of West Dover. Died Jan. 19, 2020 at her home. She was born in Wilmington on Feb. 26, 1945, the daughter of the late Horace and Marilla Vose Boyd. She was adopted by Perry and Helen Chase following the death of her mother at the age of three months. She grew up in Wardsboro, attending school there and graduating from Leland & Gray High School in Townshend. Peggy worked at Mount Snow Ski Resort as a chambermaid at Snow Lake Lodge. She enjoyed cooking and spending time with her family. Peggy is survived by her daughter Mary Veber of Rowe, Mass.; brothers William Chase of Townshend and Perry Chase Jr. of Jamaica; grandchildren Tiffany, Presley, and Samantha; her great-grandchild Willow; and nephews Daniel Lester and Perry Chase, III. She was preceded in death by her husband Stewart Carey, in 1999, and siblings Perry Chase, Sr., Richard Chase, Bobby Albert, Eugene and Philip Boyd, and Barbara Wilcox and Sylvia Vascik. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Jan. 24 at Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home in Wilmington. Burial will be held in the spring in South Newfane Cemetery. Donations to the Wilmington Fire Department or the Deerfield Valley Rescue Squad, in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Lois D. Freihofer, 87, of Westminster. Died Jan. 23, 2020. Born in Bellows Falls on Jan. 6, 1933, the daughter of George and Mathilde (Barth) Freihofer, she was a graduate of Bellows Falls High School. She worked as a stenographer for Robertson Paper Company and Lions Falls Paper. Lois was also the author of five published books. She loved animals, music, and playing the piano. She volunteered at the Springfield Humane Society in her spare time. Lois is survived by her sister, Ruth Morse; her niece, Diane O'Brien (Morse); and nephews Kenneth and Michael Morse. She is predeceased by her parents. Memorial information: A celebration of her life was held Jan. 26 at the home of Ruth Morse in Westminster. There will be a private burial. Arrangements are in the care of Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home of Bellows Falls.

• Dewanda Gokey, 72, of Westminster. Died Jan.22, 2020. Born in Monticello, Ark., on March 3, 1947, the daughter of Parker and Sarah (Griffin) Wade, she attended schools in Arkansas, Saxtons River, Westminster, and Bellows Falls High School. She worked as a truck driver at Wades Trucking, as an LNA, at Burlington Rug Mill, and as a car hop at the A&W in Rockingham. She was a member of the Boyden Grange in Westminster, was a Cub Scout Den Mother, and enjoyed helping homeless people. She was a member of the Immanuel Episcopal Church and the United Church, both in Bellows Falls, where she helped get the old-fashioned Christmas parties started. Surviving are her daughters, Frances Wheeler of Springfield, Vt., and Melissa Rabtoy of Westminster; her son, James Foster, of Springfield; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her son, Richard Lafayette. Memorial information: Calling hours are Saturday, Feb. 1, from noon to 1 p.m., with a funeral beginning at 1 p.m., all at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls. Burial will follow the service in Westminster Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to a gathering at MacLaomainn's in Chester, following the burial.

• David E. LaBarge, 78, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died Jan. 21, 2020. He was born on March 3, 1941, in Glens Falls, N.Y., the son of Ellsworth W. and Lucille R. (Horwald) LaBarge. He grew up in Hudson Falls, N.Y., was a member of Boy Scout Troop 57, and graduated from the Hudson Falls Central High School, Class of 1959. He graduated from the State University of New York, Delhi, in 1961 with an Associates Degree in Building Construction. In 1961 he joined the US Navy under the US Navy Submarine Nuclear Power Training Program. He served onboard the diesel submarine, USS Sablefish (SS303) for one year where he earned the Dolphin Pin. He graduated from the year-long nuclear power program in 1964 and was assigned to the USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN610) as a nuclear reactor operator where he earned the Deterrent Pin. He was honorably discharged in 1969 at the rank of Electronics Technician, First Class. David worked at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon at various reactor operator positions from 1969 to 1988, having earned his Reactor Operator and Senior Operator licenses from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). During this time, he attended night school and earned a B.S. in electrical engineering technology from the University of New Hampshire in 1984. He helped organize and was an officer in the Professional Reactor Operator Society while employed at VY. He was a member of American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro and an at-large life member of VFW Post 15030 in New Hampshire. From 1988 to his retirement in 2001, he was employed by the NRC as project manager and, in turn, for the James A. FitzPatrick, Sequoyah, and Oconee nuclear power plants. In 1966, he married Elizabeth (Persons) LaBarge, a registered nurse at the Glens Falls hospital, who survives him. He also leaves his son, Lawrence D. LaBarge and his wife, Sandy; his daughter, Kimberly A. Elmore and her husband, Patrick; his grandson Nathan D. Elmore; his granddaughter Chloe Ann Elmore; his sister Lois Maille; sister-in-law Patricia LaBarge; brother-in-law Charles Persons and wife Betty Ann; a brother-in-law David Persons and wife Rose; two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Ronald P. LaBarge; and brothers-in-law George Persons and Richard Maille. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m., at the North Hinsdale Community Church, 127 Meetinghouse Rd. A potluck meal will be held immediately following the service, feel free to bring something to share. Interment will take place in the springtime. Donations to The Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516 (, or to a charity of one's choice. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Philip Paul Simonds, 66, of Winslow, Maine. Died Dec. 24, 2019 at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston from medical complications following a successful double lung transplant. He met his challenges with a strong spirit and sense of humor, and passed peacefully in the arms of his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Barbara. Born in Keene, N.H., April 23, 1953, he was the son of Gilbert Conant and Geraldine Searles. He attended Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1972, and University of Southern Maine graduating with a degree in fire science. Phil worked as a journeyman brick mason for the MacMillan Company of Keene, N.H., before joining the Brattleboro Fire Department where he worked until moving to Winslow, Maine, in 1982. Captain Simonds worked as a firefighter for the city of Waterville, Maine, for 29 years. He received a medal of valor in 2006 for his courage in firefighting. Phil was predeceased by his mother, father, and beloved in-laws, Robert R. J. and Catherine (Whitney) Emond of Brattleboro. Phil is survived by his wife; a son, Philip P. Simonds, Jr. and his wife, Jennifer of Antwerp, N.Y.; two daughters, Celina C. Beaulieu and her husband Belami of Turner, Maine, and Alyssa (Ali) M. Simonds of Belfast, Maine; six brothers, James, Craig, and Stanley Conant, and Ralph, Gerald, and David Simonds; sister-in-law Theresa Emond of Brattleboro; sister-in-law Margaret Fogg and her husband, Timothy, of Putney; brother-in-law Richard Emond of Brattleboro; and eight grandchildren. Memorial information: A gathering of remembrance will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Brattleboro Elks Lodge, 75 Putney Rd. Friends and family are invited to attend Donations to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611, or

• Elizabeth “Betty” Stacy, 89, of Brattleboro and East Dummerston. Died Jan. 19, 2020, with her daughters at her side. Born in White River Junction on Nov. 28, 1930, the youngest daughter of Lawrence and Edith (Hazen) Chase. After her mother died when Betty was 6, she was raised by her father and siblings, Everett, Eleanor (Bradbury), and Norma (Adams). She graduated from Hartford High School in 1948, where she was a member of the women's basketball team. She then attended Northampton (Mass.) Commercial College, where she received a diploma in secretarial coursework. While living in the Northampton area, she met Gordon Gilchrist Stacy, and they were married in 1951. They lived in Long Island and Nashville, Tenn., while Gordon was serving in the Air National Guard. They settled in Chester, Vt., to help run a family-owned hardware store. They had four children, and eventually settled in East Dummerston. Betty was employed as a secretary and bookkeeper for small businesses and worked from home when her children were young. She then worked for the food service director at the Brattleboro Retreat for 18 years. After retirement, she worked as the part-time secretary for the First United Methodist Church. Betty was active in the Dummerston PTA, Green Mountain 4-H Club, and the Dummerston Cable Club. She was a past vice-president and president of the Brattleboro Pastoral Counseling Center, and assisted with organizing the Caring Walk, the CROP Walk, and the Hunger Banquet. Betty joined the First United Methodist Church in White River Junction at age 16. She was a member of the Brattleboro First United Methodist Church for 60 years. She was very active in the church and was a member of the choir, Methodist Women United, and was a past Chair of the Missions and Worship Committee. She volunteered for many church fundraising and awareness events, and especially enjoyed acting in the Live Nativity at the church. She completed training to become a Lay Minister and traveled to several churches in Vermont to share her ministry. Betty loved singing and music. She would share her voice in several community and church group choirs, including the annual Messiah Sing benefit for the homeless. Betty loved spending time surrounded by her family and their friends. She was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, and a son, William Everett Stacy. She is survived by her daughters, Carolyn (Ernest) Lavertue of Dorchester, N.H., Joan (Frank) Lipinski of Atlanta, and Holly (Rod) Caruso of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was also blessed with many wonderful nieces, nephews, and family friends, to whom she was their “other mother.” Memorial information: A funeral service was held Jan. 24 at First United Methodist Church. Burial in Dummerston Center Cemetery will be held in the springtime when the cemetery reopens, to be announced by the funeral home. Donations to the Charles Slate Annual Christmas Breakfast, in care of JD Flynn, P.O. Box 8023, Brattleboro, VT 05304, or to Pine Heights Nursing Home Activities Fund, 187 Oak Grove Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Walter “Wat” Stearns, 58, of Brattleboro. Died Jan. 12, 2020 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,in Lebanon, N.H. after a long, courageous battle with end-stage renal failure. He was born on Dec. 13, 1961 in New York City to John N. Stearns and Martha Preston. He was a graduate of the Episcopal Church Farm School in Exton, Pa., and attended Trinity College. He spent 15 years living in Brooklyn, N.Y., working as a legal secretary at a major law firm. At that time he also designed, printed, and sold t-shirts regarding political and social issues. The messages he wrote on the tee shirts were addressing the need for our federal, state, and local governments to do more than they were doing to lift those folks up from poverty. He lived what he believed: giving food or jackets (or a kind word) to those living on the streets. He finally gave up city life and moved to Peterborough, N.H., then on to Brattleboro, a place where he found like-minded people. If you happened to see a bowler hat in a crowd on the street or entering a restaurant, you saw a very bold, kind and tender-hearted man. If you wanted to speak with him, within minutes he'd be speaking from his overflowing heart, with words most of us would have had to look up in a dictionary. Many folks have called him a “wordsmith.” Meanwhile, these last 10 years, he was dealing with serious illnesses, but you never heard him complain. He was predeceased by his mother and his brother, Preston Stearns. He is survived by his father, his sister, Elizabeth Shanti Stearns, and his “Aunt Em,” Rev Emily Preston of Jaffrey, N.H. Memorial information: A celebration of Wat's life will be held on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of West Brattleboro, 880 Western Ave.

• Dorothy “Dodie” Emma Gieseler Thomas, 96, of Guilford. Died peacefully at home on Jan. 2, 2020, surrounded by family on a sunny winter morning. A world traveler, gifted artist, and beloved family member, Dodie was born Feb. 8, 1923 in Detroit, the fifth of eight children. She grew up in Denver, in a house full of music, art, and children. After leaving Valparaiso University in Indiana, Dodie moved to California and worked for Walt Disney as an inker and painter. In her late twenties and thirties, Dodie traveled the world, living in Japan, Austria, and Germany, before finally settling in London, where she met her husband and raised her daughter, Jessica. After continuing to travel in Europe extensively, and working as an illustrator, librarian, and editor, Dodie retired stateside. She settled in Green River for 15 years before moving to Brattleboro, where she lived for more than 20 years. Dodie will be remembered for her talent, kindness, open heart, and her full, nearly century-long life of adventure. She is survived by her daughter, Jessica; grandchildren Zoe (Ian Proctor) and Jed (Jeri Beales); two great-grandchildren; her younger sister, Charlotte; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. Memorial information: A gathering to celebrate her life will be held in the spring. For more information, contact Jessica at 802-254-2114.

• Caroline Turner, 90, formerly of Townshend. Died peacefully, with her family at her side, on Jan. 11, 2020 at Thompson House in Brattleboro. Caroline was born in Jamaica, N.Y., on Oct. 16, 1929, the daughter of Charles and Lillian (Vaquer) Simmons. She was raised in New York, where she was employed as a telephone operator until marrying William “Jack” Turner in 1958. They moved to Vermont shortly thereafter. It was in Jamaica, Vt., where she was a stay-at-home mom and devoted her time to her children. In 1977, Caroline and Jack moved the family to Texas, where she worked as a telephone operator until she retired. Shortly after retiring, Caroline and her husband returned to Townshend. After her husband's death in 1998, Caroline spent her summers in Vermont and her winters in Texas with her family. Caroline loved the sun and the beach, enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and word searches, was an avid reader and loved family get-togethers. Her family was of the utmost importance to her. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Brattleboro and, for several years, was an active volunteer with the Windham County Council on Aging, making senior visits in the West River Valley area. Survivors include her five children, Kelly Cecchini (Roland) of Mt. Laurel, N.J., Tami Morse (Michael) of Bondville, Kimberly Arcidiacono (Alfio) of Galveston, Texas, Jacki Turner Landry (John) of Austin, Texas, and John Turner (Michele) of Driftwood, Texas; one brother, George Simmons; and three sisters, Gloria Simmons, Edith Slowe (Richard), and Marylou Simmons. She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who called her “MeMaw.” She loved and adored them all. She also leaves several nieces and nephews, friends, and the compassionate staff at Thompson House. She was predeceased by her husband; a brother, Philip Simmons; and one sister, June Simmons. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Jan. 16 at Trinity Lutheran Church. Donations to the Thompson House Activities Fund, 80 Maple St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Gundela “Gundi” Weindl, 77, of Newfane. Died peacefully at her home on Jan. 11, 2020, eight years after losing her beloved husband and soul mate, Eric. Gundela Lina Hedwig Selma Clemenz was born Feb. 22, 1942 in Lutterhausen, Germany, to Walter and Hildegard Clemenz. Gundi attended school in Germany and moved to the United States in 1963. Two years later, Gundi met the love of her life, Eric Weindl, a chef at Stratton Mountain Inn. They were married in 1968 in Kissing, Germany. Later that year, they began operating a restaurant at the Avalanche Lodge in Manchester, Vermont. In 1970, Eric and Gundi became proprietors of the Old Newfane Inn, then owned by Christoph Stumpe Castou. They became owners in 1978 and together they operated the inn for 42 years, until its closure in 2011. Under their proprietorship, the Old Newfane Inn became a renowned culinary landmark, serving meals and providing lodging to distinguished guests from around the world. Generations of families made it a tradition to return to the Newfane Inn to savor the splendid meals and the elegant country inn ambiance. Gundi loved spending time with guests and patrons and devoted herself to making visits at the inn a memorable experience. Eric and Gundi provided support and guidance to many young persons who were trained and employed at the Inn. Gundi is survived by her brother, Ortwin Clemenz, of Uetze, Germany. Memorial information: A private celebration of her life will be held at the Newfane Inn at a later time to be announced. Donations to Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend and New England Kurn Hattin Homes in Westminster.

• Dawn G. Wright, 62, of Westminster. Died Jan. 3, 2020 in North Carolina. She was born in Springfield, Vt., on April 28, 1957, the daughter of Robert and Barbara (Sawtelle) Gammon. She was a 1975 graduate of Green Mountain High School in Chester and worked at Brooks Pharmacy and Rite Aid for 25 years. In 1982, she married Edward Wright. Dawn was a member of the First Congregational Church of Westminster, where she also served as a trustee and treasurer. After moving to North Carolina, she joined the First United Methodist Church in Dallas, N.C., where she and Ed became Stephen Ministers. Dawn always liked helping other people. She is survived by her husband, her sister Beth Gammon of Springfield; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Robert Gammon, and her sister Amy Horton. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 13, at 11 a.m., at First Congregational Church in Westminster, with burial to follow in the Westminster Cemetery. Donations to the Vermont chapter of the American Cancer Society, 55 Day Lane, Williston, VT, 05495, or First Congregational Church of Westminster. Arrangements are in the care of Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home.


A memorial service for Katherine Barratt will be conducted at All Souls Unitarian Church on South Street in Brattleboro on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. Ms. Barratt, 76, died peacefully on Dec. 23, 2019 at her home. To view her full obituary and send messages of condolence, visit

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