College news

The following local students received academic honors for the fall 2020 semester at Plymouth (N.H.) State University: Jack Armbruster of West Dover, Michael Sawitz of West Dover, and Kathleen Hodsden were named to the President's List, and Luke Missale of Vernon, Megan Banik of Westminster, and Conor Hiner of Brattleboro were named to the Dean's List.

• The following local students were honored at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., for academic achievement in the fall 2020 semester: Arin Catherine Bates of West Wardsboro, a first-year student majoring in university studies, was named a Presidential Scholar. Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours. Named to the Dean's List were Isaiah Clark of Brattleboro, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, and Liam Ian Allan McNeil of Brattleboro, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering.

• Bradie Harris of Bellows Falls has been named to the Dean's List for the fall 2020 semester at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.


• Henry David Clark, 81, of Bellows Falls. Died Dec. 14, 2020, surrounded by his family. Henry was born on March 7, 1939, in Westminster West to the late Clarence Edward Clark and Olive Agnes Kinney. He was well-respected throughout the community of Bellows Falls and was an active member of the Bellows Falls Moose Lodge No. 527. He was awarded “Moose of the Year” for 2012-13. Henry also served in the National Guard. He loved to fish, watch Westerns, and sit with his friends at the American Legion Auxiliary and the Polish Club. He was a supporter of many charities including the Alzheimer's Association and Make-A-Wish, playing in their golf tournaments every year. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to all who knew him. Henry was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Clark (Davis), whom he married in 1962; brothers Francis Mounsey, Raymond Mounsey, Stanley Clark, Burton Clark Sr., and Joseph Clark; and sister Martha Simonds. He is survived by his children: Tammie Clark of Alstead, N.H., David Clark of Rockingham, Tim Clark and his wife, Kim, of Springfield, Vt., and Michael Clark and his husband, Sam, of Brattleboro; sisters Isabell Croteau of Westminster West and Jean Olive Clark of Westminster; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorial information: Services will be held in the spring. Donations to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont, 431 Pine St., Burlington, VT 05401.

• Nancianne D. Houghton, 82, of Walpole, N.H. Died peacefully at home on Dec. 13, 2020, with her loving family by her side. Nancianne was born on July 9, 1938 in Brattleboro to the late Blake S. and Nancy (Fish) Darling. She enjoyed 62 years of marriage with her husband William, whom she married in 1958. Together they raised four children. Nancianne's family was her life's work and will forever be her legacy. She was an active member of the Congregational Church in Walpole. She taught preschool for many years at the Walpole Village School before later joining the family business of Everett E. Houghton Co., Inc, until her retirement. Everyone in the village knew her for her sugar cookies and peanut butter balls at Christmas time, though teaching the younger generations was her lifelong passion. She is survived by her husband, William E. Houghton; her four sons, Scott Luther-Houghton and his wife Laurie of Acworth, N.H., Todd Houghton and his wife Judy of Keene, N.H., Mark Houghton and his wife Brooke of Walpole, and Kurt Houghton and his wife Carrie of Ijamsville, Md., as well as nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. She was predeceased by her sisters Irene Miner and Joyce Winn, and her brother Donald Darling. Memorial information: A formal memorial service will be held later in 2021. Donations to the First Congregational Church of Walpole.

• Gail Kennedy-Haines, 70, of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 19, 2020. Gail was born in Boston on June 10, 1950. She grew up in Arlington, Mass., and endured 12 years of Catholic school. She then majored in psychology at Boston State College. She married Robert MacDonough, and they raised two daughters in Wayland, Mass. Gail found her life's mission in activism and advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic abuse. For many years, she worked to bring about legislation protecting women and children and spoke frequently at regional and national conferences on victims' rights. One of Gail's proudest achievements was earning an ACE award from the National Academy of Cable Programming for producing the documentary, Stories of Survival: Child Sexual Abuse. After her divorce, Gail moved to New Hampshire to lead women's crisis organizations in Nashua and later in Keene. Gail moved to Brattleboro in 2007 to join her loving companion, Bill Wilmot. Here, she focused on disability rights. She was a longtime member of the town's ADA Advisory Committee and spent many happy days laughing with her friends at the Inclusion Center. Living in Brattleboro also enabled Gail to indulge her lifelong passion for the visual and performing arts. Gail loved being with people and cherished her many wonderful friendships. She took great pleasure in telling stories in the Irish tradition, always hilarious, but you believed them at your own risk. Gail enjoyed cooking, reading, Monty Python movies, dogs, crafts, dancing, waterfalls, and time with her daughters and grandchildren. In her younger years, she was an active hiker, climbing all the 4,000-foot peaks in the White Mountains with her family. More recently, she and Bill took frequent road trips, most memorably a pilgrimage to Gail's personal Shangri-la, the state of Wyoming. Gail was a woman of tremendous courage and strength, deriving balance and peacefulness from her lengthy study of Buddhism. She powered through significant pain every day, vowing to do “as much as I can for as long as I can.” She found sources of optimism and humor and joy that were sometimes invisible to others, and her remarkable zest for life defined her and inspired those who knew her. Gail was predeceased by her beloved daughter, Katherine Ozpeynirci. She is survived by her partner, Bill Wilmot; daughter Amy MacDonough of Natick, Mass.; son-in-law Bilgehan Ozpeynirci of Wayland, Mass.; and grandchildren Aydin and Alianna Ozpeynirci. Memorial information: Due to current health restrictions, no services will be held. Expressions of sympathy in Gail's name may be made to The Inclusion Center, 33 Parkman Wood Rd., Putney, VT 05346, or a charity of one's choice. Share a memory or post condolences at

• Miriam A. “Mimi” Lilly, 74, of Peterborough, N.H. Died peacefully on Dec. 1, 2020, in the presence of her loving family. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisc., on March 14, 1946, the daughter of William and Marcella (Adler) Gengler. Mimi and her husband, Doug, shared 54 years of traveling, farming, teaching, healing, and raising a wonderful family. Mimi was down-to-earth, loved children, loved Christmas, and embraced all the good and bad times that fill our lives. She wanted things to be “right,” and that meant talking, arguing, and hugging until everyone could make sense of things. She would not let people go to bed with an unresolved argument or project. That meant decorating the Christmas cookies until the early morning hours, getting the newborn calf out of the creek, playing another song on the accordion, or finishing the family Christmas letter. Above all, she made sure you knew you were loved, both a gift and a blessing. All will miss her music, her knitting, her flowers, her crossword puzzles, her books and letters, her stories and most of all, her beautiful smile. Miriam is survived by her husband, Doug Lilly, and her five children, Peter, Jacob, Kia, Lucas, and Charlie. Memorial information: Services will be private for the family. To share a memory, or to leave the family a message of condolence, visit

• Patricia Rose “Pat” Massey, 80, of Hinsdale, N.H. Died Dec. 10, 2020 at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., following a period of declining health. Born in Montague City, Mass., on Feb. 24, 1940, she was the daughter of Edwin and Charlotte (Harrington) Brooks. She was raised and educated in Erving, Mass., where she attended public school and was a graduate of Mahar Regional High School in Orange, Mass. Pat worked most of her career in healthcare as an LPN, employed for many years at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. She completed her nursing classes through Greenfield Community College. Later, she was employed at Hinsdale Racetrack and as activity director at Vernon Green Nursing Home. For several years, she also worked at the former Ames Department Store in Brattleboro. She was raised in the Methodist faith and attended First United Methodist Church in Brattleboro. Of her leisure time activities, she enjoyed crocheting, attending craft shows, and gardening, both flower and vegetable. She was known for her “green thumb.” She was first married to Robert Andrews and, later, Kenneth Prouty, who predeceased her in 2003. In 2006, she married Luther A. Massey Jr., who survives. Besides her husband of 14 years, she leaves her son, Wayne Andrews of Greenfield, Mass.; daughters Wendy Podlesney of South Deerfield, Mass., Patti Harvey of Phoenix, Ariz., and Michelle Matteson of Rupert; stepson, Kevin Prouty of Wells, Maine; foster son Armand Cliche of Brattleboro; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Additionally, she is survived by her beloved dogs Ladybug, Chloe, and Oreo. Memorial information: Graveside committal services in Central Cemetery in Erving will be conducted in the spring at a date to be announced by the funeral home. Donations to the Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Rd., Swanzey, NH 03446. To share a memory or condolences, visit

• Heidrun Hergard Mayer, 81, of Brattleboro. Died, with her family at her side, on Dec. 14, 2020. She was born Sept. 27, 1939 in Konigsberg, Germany. As a young girl, her family fled the Russian invasion and relocated to Nuremberg, Germany. In 1965, she married her husband, Professor Joerg Mayer, in the same courthouse used for the Nuremberg trials. Heidrun and Joerg moved to Albuquerque, N.M. and, later, to Fairfax, Va., before settling in Annville, Pa., in 1970. Heidrun obtained a bachelor's degree in social work at Lebanon Valley College in 1975. Over the decades, she worked as a social worker and nurse in a juvenile home and several nursing facilities. Heidrun's greatest achievement was being the mother of 30 - three sons from Joerg's first marriage, an adopted son and daughter, and 25 teen foster girls. She was awarded Pennsylvania's Foster Mother of the Year in 1980. She and her husband later retired to Brattleboro in 1996. Heidrun made many friends and volunteered for numerous programs. She was the 2019 recipient for Senior Solutions' Successful Aging Award. Her greatest passion was reading. There never was a time that she was not starting or finishing a novel. She is survived by her sons, Friedrich and his wife Evelyn of Albuquerque, N.M., and Mark and his wife, Rebecca, of Brattleboro; her daughter, Agnes and her husband, Andrzej Mikijaniec, of Brattleboro; her foster daughter, Wendy Smith of Palmyra, Pa; as well as 11 grandchildren. Heidrun was predeceased by her husband, Joerg, in 2008; two sons, Hans and Nicholas Mayer; and a grandson, Mjoelnr Mayer. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held later in 2021. Donations be made to All Souls Church, P.O. Box 2297, West Brattleboro, VT 05303. To share a memory or send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Kelly Tanner, 61, of Las Vegas, Nev. Died Dec. 12, 2020 of cancer. Kelly grew up in the area and was a member of the Bellows Falls Union High School Class of 1977. She loved living in Las Vegas and had wonderful support systems and friends that helped her reach 13 proud years of sobriety. Kelly is survived by her parents, Nancy Ellis of Dummerston and Pete Harrison of Westminster; her sons Ricky, K.P., and Jaime; her siblings Robbie, Lisa, Suzanne, Jill, and Melody; and her eight grandchildren and beloved cats, Lordy and Taylor. Memorial information: None provided.

• Gene H. Williams, 88, of Saxtons River. Died Dec. 14, 2020 at his home, surrounded by family. He was born March 6, 1932, in Springfield, Vt., the son of Wendell and Alberta (Adams) Williams. He graduated in 1950 from Springfield High School and attended the University of Vermont. Mr. Williams served in the Army from 1954 to 1956. He married Ann E. Dixon in 1956; she predeceased him in 2007. He married Mary (Jordon) Kinney in 2010. He was employed as a design engineer in fluid power at Bryant Grinder Co. in Springfield, retiring in 1995. Gene enjoyed tinkering, gardening, yard work, hunting, fishing, golfing, and spending time at Lake Sunapee. He was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan. Survivors include his wife, Mary; three children, Howard Williams of Springfield, Karen Hamner of Lompoc, Calif., Dianne Kashiwabara of Bedford, N.H.; three stepchildren, Diane Comstock, Gary and Peter Kinney; two brothers, Glenn Williams of Springfield, Galen Williams of North Springfield; nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, and nine step-great-grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration of life service will be held in 2021. Donations to the Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131; or The Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168; or Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Rd., Suite 107, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

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