College news

• Elkanah Linder of Townshend graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. She is a member of the women's tennis and cross country teams as well as Alpha Lambda Delta, National Honor Society of First-Year Students. Linder was awarded the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Award for excellence in research.

• Michael Sawitz of West Dover recently received a B.S. in psychology from Plymouth (N.H.) State University.

• Amanda Bolduc of Whitingham recently received a M.S. in special education from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., during a commencement ceremony held in May.

• Venus Fu of Brattleboro and Nathaniel Tyler of Brattleboro were named to the spring 2021 Dean's List at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Tyler also graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in construction management in May as part of the Class of 2021.

• Simon Rodriguez Basescu of Putney graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College, while Sophie Rodriguez Basescu of Putney graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College. Post-graduation, Simon will be working at Deloitte in Washington D.C., while Sophie will be working at Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York City.

• Owen Ameden of Jamaica, Owen Perry of Westminster, and Theron Wilkinson of Bellows Falls all graduated from the Vermont Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) at Vermont Technical College in the spring of 2021.

The following local students recently graduated from Vermont Technical College: Mitchell Flood of East Dummerston, A.A.S., automotive technology; Lain Stevens of Grafton, A.A.S., diesel power technology; Leanna Mager of Westminster (05158), A.A.S., veterinary technology; Abigale Brooks of Vernon, A.S., nursing; Phoebe-Jane Crompton-Tidd of Brattleboro (05301), A.S., nursing; Kaitlin Haskins of Brattleboro, A.S., nursing; Ilana Newton of West Townshend, A.S., nursing; Dina Pacilio of Brattleboro, A.S., nursing; Chelsie Poplawski of Brattleboro; A.S., nursing; Ashley Smith of Brattleboro, A.S., nursing; Deven Carrier of Westminster, B.S., computer engineering technology; Benjamin Fontaine of Brattleboro, B.S., electromechanical engineering technology; and Jenna Ross of Brattleboro, B.S., nursing.

• The following local students graduated from Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.: Hannah Kelly of Bellows Falls, B.S. in nursing; Jonathan Sellers of Brattleboro, M.Ed. in integrative learning; and Olivia Weeks of Vernon, B.S. in entrepreneurship. Kelly, Weeks, and Paige Starkweather of Brattleboro were all named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester.

• The following local students were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at the University of Vermont: Daniel Amidon of Vernon, Naomi Besson of Bellows Falls, Kai Ling Boyd of Wilmington, Lindsey Burnell of Marlboro, Edith Cay of Brattleboro, Madison Chase of South Londonderry, Emily Crespo of Brattleboro, Emmett Dews of East Dummerston, Kristina Harmon of Londonderry, Janet Hawthorne of Brattleboro, Haley Kuralt of Brattleboro, Maris Linder of Townshend, Johanna Mcdonald of Londonderry, Ajna Misch-Siegel of Newfane, Lucas Newton of Townshend, Isabella Nick of West Dover, Chandre Pero of Putney, Mya Petrie of Vernon, Madeline Prouty of Londonderry, Dylan Ray of Brookline, Stevie-Tao Roberts of Jamaica, Lauren Serafino of Brattleboro, Darius Shaoul of Brattleboro, Jon Spanierman of Putney, Katharine Taggard of Brattleboro, Alexander Urbaska of Newfane, Fallon Vancor of Bellows Falls, Kassidy Walkowiak of Whitingham, and Joslynn Wright of Brattleboro.

The following local students were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at Springfield (Mass.) College: Marielle Meyer of Brattleboro, a health science/pre-physician assistant major; Nicholas Campbell of Brattleboro, a health science and pre-physical therapy major; and Nathan Claussen of Townshend, a sport management major.

• Amy Yannizze, a marketing major from Brattleboro, was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.

• Jem Cohen, a member of the Class of 2024 from Brattleboro, and Emma Griffith, a member of the Class of 2021 from Halifax, were both named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

• Brianna Jobst, a business administration/management major from Vernon, was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at Bloomsburg (Pa.) University.

• Griff Waryas of Bellows Falls was named to the spring 2021 Dean's List at the University of Rhode Island.

• Tyler Millerick of Vernon was named to the President's List for the spring 2021 semester at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass.

• Lilia Kocsis of Vernon was named to the spring 2021 Dean's List at the University of Findlay (Ohio).


• Julie Ann Christo-Laamanen, 54, of Brattleboro, formerly of Keene, N.H. Died peacefully at home, with her devoted husband John at her side on June 15, 2021. Julie, who suffered from chronic kidney disease and was on dialysis for nine years, was receiving hospice care. Julie was born on August 8, 1966, the daughter of Mike and Virginia (Turner) Christo. She was raised and educated in Keene and graduated from Monadnock Regional High School with the Class of 1985. In 1997, Julie married John F. Laamanan. With her husband, she was a member of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Brattleboro. Julie had been employed as a housekeeper and in food service at the Brattleboro Retreat and for Fitz-Vogt Food Service. She retired early due to health issues. She was an avid baker and lover of flowers, classical music, art, travel, history, and attending High Tea gatherings. Julie was a supporter of Moon Bears and loved her stuffed bear, Rosie. She was predeceased by a sister, Jean Carey, and her parents. In addition to her husband, Julie is survived by brothers, Mike Christo of Church Point, La., and Stephen Christo of Swanzey, N.H.; and a nephew, Matthew Carey, and his children, Matthew, Jr. and Neela, of Surry, N.H. Memorial information: A funeral service was held on June 19 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, with committal services and burial in Monadnock View Cemetery in Keene. Donations to Appalachian Bear Rescue, P.O. Box 364, Townsend, TN 37882, or Animals Asia, To share a memory or send condolences, visit

• Lensey Allen “Al” Cole, 57, formerly of Wilmington. Died June 5, 2021, one day before his 58th birthday, after a lengthy illness. He was born in Bennington on June 6, 1963 to Lensey (Buzz) and Jean Pelletier Cole. Al grew up on Stowe Hill at the family home, Misty Mountain Lodge. His father's love for music was passed on to Al and he became a talented pianist. Allen attended Deerfield Valley Elementary School and Wilmington High School. Allen left Vermont and traveled to Colorado, where his daughter, Shannon was born. He later returned to Vermont, working at various jobs in the Burlington and Wilmington/Dover area, including The Deerfield Valley News as account manager and later as co-owner of Vern's Fish Fry in Bennington. Allen shared his musical talent with friends and family, often playing at weddings and other social events. Almost every holiday season, Allen could be found at Memorial Hall, performing with many other local musicians for the annual Deerfield Valley Food Pantry benefit. In 2005, Allen married the love of his life, Meredith Ringler, and settled in Bennington. They later left Vermont, for Highlands Ranch, Colo., where Allen was able to demonstrate his passion for creative and innovative food preparation as a corporate chef for VISA, but remembered his humble roots as the friendly face behind the window at Gene's Creemee. Allen also found time to teach piano to many young students in the Highlands Ranch area. Al will be remembered for his music, his culinary talent, his humor, and his love of life and family. He leaves behind his wife, Meredith; his daughter, Shannon; grandchildren Xander, Ava, and Kingsley; his stepson, Michael Ringler; brothers Dana (Susan) and Matthew (Laurie), sister Rebecca (David); family friend Nicki Steel; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins across the country. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held Tuesday, June 29, at 3 p.m., at St. Mary's in the Mountains in Wilmington. Donations to Sonatina Piano Camp in Bennington in care of Covey, Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Richard Carl Covey, 67, of Wilmington. Died June 16, 2021 after a five-year period of declining health brought on by multiple strokes. Richard was born on Oct, 31, 1953 in Bennington to Robert L. Covey Sr. and Jean (Cook) Covey, joining his older brother, Robert Jr. Richard joined the Wilmington Fire Department as a junior firefighter in 1970 under the watchful eye of Chief Barker Willard, and soon went up the ranks. He ended his firefighting career as Assistant Chief. He married Monique Holland in 1986, and together, they built their home on Ray Hill and were blessed with two daughters. Danielle was her father's shadow, joining him at the firehouse as a little girl and joining the department herself in 2001. Danielle also worked alongside her dad and grandfather. Nicole was daddy's little blue-eyed blonde. Richard worked with his father at R.L. Covey & Son for 43 years. Richard was a devoted employee, often passing on family vacations to ensure the work got done. Richard was a founding member of Deerfield Valley Rescue and was an active member from 1974 to 1984. He served on the Wilmington Cemetery Commission for many years. He was an active member of the Deerfield Valley Stumpjumpers Snowmobile Club and enjoyed his peaceful late night trips grooming the trails. He also served as Fire Warden for the towns of Wilmington and Somerset. Richard leaves his wife of 35 years; his daughter, Danielle (Ricky Kennett); his father Robert L. Covey Sr., brother Robert L. (Kathie) Covey Jr., granddaughters Gracelyn Moore, Aaryanna Rounds, Jacqueline Gerbasi and twins Jaylin and Kaydin Kennett; son-in-law Cody Gerbasi, mother-in-law Mildred Holland, sister-in-law Angelique Colford, former brother-in-law Mark Colford, brother-in-law Rusty Holland, nephews Mark and Jeremy Covey, and Tyler and Corey Colford; niece Erin Covey; many cousins, including a sister he never had, Carol King Reed; as well as many friends. He was predeceased by his mother in 1991, and his daughter Nicole on April 12, 2020. Memorial information: Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 26, at 11 a.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilmington. Burial with firefighter honors will follow in the family lot in Riverview Cemetery. Calling hours will be held at the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home on Friday, June 25, from 4 to 6 p.m., when the family will be present. Donations to the Wilmington Firefighters Association (for the Brotherhood Fund) in care of the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. To send personal condolences, visit

• Arlene A. Georgina, 84, of Brattleboro. Died June 15, 2021 at Thompson House, following a lengthy illness. Arlene was born in Brattleboro on Feb. 6, 1937, the daughter of James and Frances (Mullet) Searles. She attended Brattleboro public schools and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1955. She worked as a hairdresser for more than 60 years, attending hairdressing school in Manchester, N.H., and later receiving advanced training at Bruno's School of Hair Design in Toronto, Canada in 1966. Upon obtaining her professional license she went to work for Ludwig Gunsinger at Ludwig Hair Stylist. then located on Elliot Street. Arlene eventually established her own business, Arlene's Beauty Salon, located at her home on South Main Street, which she operated for 30 years. She later worked at Kate's Place on Western Avenue, and then Maggie's Styling Zone in West Brattleboro. She retired at the age of 78. Arlene was a communicant of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church and was a member of the Daughters of Isabella, Ave Maria Circle #128. She enjoyed socializing, giving Pampered Chef demonstrations, shopping, vacations at Hampton Beach, and time spent with her family. She was active in the BHS/BUHS Alumni Association for many years, served as treasurer of her high school class, and always looked forward to attending her class reunions. In 1962, she married Elliot Georgina, who survives. Besides her husband of 59 years, she leaves one daughter, Kathy Georgina and her wife, Jennifer, and her two sons, Jack and Tyler; three grandchildren, Jacquelyn Georgina and spouse, Melissa; Madison Georgina, and Rylie Georgina; and a great-grandson, Braydon Fostyck. Additionally, she is survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and a large host of friends and former clients. She was predeceased by a son, Elliot “Lee” Georgina Jr.; a grandson, Ryan Lee Georgina; two brothers, James and Eugene Searles; and four sisters, Pauline Corey, Corrine Langmaid, Geraldine Harrington, and Patricia Barrett. Memorial information: Graveside committal rites and burial will be conducted Thursday, June 24, at 11:30 a.m., in St. Michael's Parish Cemetery. Donations to Bridgid's Kitchen, 46 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Shane Michael Harris, 50, of Rockingham. Died unexpectedly on June 9, 2021. He was the proud father of two young women, Alexandra and Bradie Harris, of Bellows Falls; the devoted “yoke-mate” to longtime partner and best friend, Christine Bullard; the protective older brother of Melanie Cooper and her husband, Joel, of Smithfield, R.I., and loving son of Sandra Harris of Brattleboro. Shane was predeceased by his father, Donald “Fuzzy” Harris. Shane was born in Brattleboro on Dec. 13, 1970, to Sandra and Donald Harris. He attended Brattleboro Union High school and was a graduate of the 53rd class at the Vermont Police Academy. He spent the majority of his life serving his community in numerous police roles, starting as a patrolman at the Bellows Falls Police Department. He was Chief of Police in Chester, served on the Vermont Drug Task Force, was a D.A.R.E. educator, and retired as lieutenant at the BFPD. Most recently, Shane continued to serve his community by becoming an Adult Protective Services investigator for the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). Recently, he was promoted to Field Supervisor. Along with his devotion to serving the community, his passion was art. Shane's love and talent for the arts was and remains inspiring to many artists throughout the community - especially his two daughters and Natalie, his youngest student. There was not a day that went by where Shane was not out painting “plein air,” whether it be early in the morning or late afternoon after a long shift at the P.D. Shane held membership to several artistic groups, including the Putney Painters, the Saxtons River Art Guild, and the Vermont Crafts Council. Shane was drawn to the beauty of nature's light. If Shane could offer any advice, it would be: “Dream it, think it, do it. Follow your passions and live each day to its fullest, because life is too short to not follow your dreams.” Memorial information: A celebration of his life was held on June 19 at Herrick's Cove in Rockingham. Burial was private. Donations to either the K-9 Caesar Emergency Medical Fund (a program that he proudly was a part of initiating) at, or to support the arts in Shane's name.

• Martha “Marty” E. (Drew) Walker, 67, of Bernardston, Mass. Died peacefully on June 10, 2021 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass. Born on June 20, 1953, she was the daughter of Norman and Eileen (Coogan) Drew. Attending local schools, she was a graduate of Pioneer Valley Regional High School. Martha enjoyed time with family and friends above all else. She loved her family with all her heart and was constantly putting a smile on the face of everyone around her. Marty was passionate about creating a fun, loving environment to help raise not only her own children, but many others as well. She often babysat for her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren as well as various other kids from the neighborhood. Whether providing pool time on hot summer days, making crafts during the winter, or cooking for her children's friends who showed up for wiffle ball or volleyball on her front lawn, Marty was a second mom to so many and loved by all. Marty was also a dog breeder who loved finding the perfect home for her Sheltie puppies. Survivors include her children and their spouses: Michelle (John III) Peila of Bainbridge, N.Y., Erin (Peter) Quintana of Greenfield, Mass., and Chad Walker of Gill, Mass., nine grandchildren, and her close friend, George Craig. She also leaves four sisters: Joan Bitters of Greenfield, Mass., Carol Killay and Jacqueline Gaines, both of Guilford, and Mary Jane Raymond of Bernardston. She was predeceased by three siblings: Norma Jean Drew, John Drew and Mark Drew. Memorial information: As Martha had wished, her burial will be private. There will be a celebration of her life at a later date.

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