College news

• John Andrew Gagnon of Brattleboro received a B.A. in criminal justice from Norwich University.

The following local students received academic honors from Vermont Technical College for the spring 2021 semester: Jenna Ross of Brattleboro was the named to the President's List, while Teagan Bacon of Bellows Falls, Meka Dearborn of Brattleboro, and Gabriel Wilkinson of Bellows Falls were named to the Dean's List.

• Caya Greenspan-Layman of Wilmington was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.

• Elizabeth Day of Brattleboro and Wyatt Keith of Vernon were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at American International College in Springfield, Mass.

• Kim Amidon, a mathematics major from Vernon, was named to the President's List for the spring 2021 semester at The State University of New York at Potsdam.

• 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 academic excellence for the spring 2021 semester at Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute.

• Katrina Ewens of Londonderry, Michaela Lawyer of Brattleboro, and Alyson Jacobs of Stratton all earned Dean's List High Honors for the spring 2021 semester at the University of New Hampshire.

The following local students were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2021 semester at Ithaca (N.Y.) College: Colin Costa-Walsh of Putney, Logan Cota of Bellows Falls, Cassidy Gallivan of West Dover, Ben Kaufman of Brattleboro, Brett Swanson of Wilmington, and Avery White of Townshend.

School news

Four graduating seniors from Leland & Gray Union High School were each recently awarded $3,000 Robert L. Crowell Scholarships. This year's recipients were Matthew Emerson of Newfane, Lily Dutton of Brookline, Riley Barton of South Newfane, and Liam Towle of Newfane, all of whom will be heading off to college in the fall. The Crowell Scholarships are awarded annually by the Moore Free Library to graduating high school seniors and GED recipients residing in Brookline, Newfane, South Newfane, or Williamsville and entering their first year of college, community college, trade, or vocational post-secondary education. The awards are based upon academic performance, personal growth, and contributions to the community and are funded through the generosity of the family of the late publisher and Newfane resident, Robert Crowell, through the Robert L. Crowell Charitable Trust.

American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro presented a $500 scholarship to Emma Stover, a 2021 graduate of Leland & Gray Union High School. She plans to attend the University of Michigan to study for a career as a dental hygienist.


• Jessica Doleszny has been promoted to serve as a Credit Analyst in Brattleboro Savings & Loan's Commercial Banking Department. In her new position, she will be responsible for analyzing and underwriting commercial loan requests and renewals for presentation and approval by the bank's loan officers and Loan Committee.


• Robert “Jack” Dempsey, 78, of Vero Beach, Fla. Died peacefully on June 19, 2021 at home, with his wife, Linda, by his side. He was born Aug. 13, 1942 in Springfield, Mass., to Albert and Phyllis (Pemberton) Dempsey. Jack grew up in Woronoco and Turners Falls, Mass., graduating from Turners Falls High School in 1960. He attended Cushing Academy, Norwich University, then enlisted in the Army in 1962. He served in Vietnam as an optical laboratory specialist and later worked at the Pentagon until his honorable discharge in 1970 at the rank of staff sergeant. Jack worked as an optician with Schaff's in Greenfield, Mass., and Brattleboro. He then started his own business, RE Dempsey Opticians, in November 1973 on Elliott Street and later on Western Avenue, in Brattleboro. Together with Linda, they ran their business for 25 years. Jack also worked part-time as a Windham County deputy sheriff. He loved to hunt, fish, and go camping, where his skills as a “chef” were exhibited with his hearty breakfasts cooked on a camp stove, much to the delight of his family. He also played in the Brattleboro Men's Softball League, was a race official for the U.S. Snowmobiling Association, a member of the VFW Honor Guard, and a past president of the Brattleboro Kiwanis Club and Brattleboro Winter Carnival. Jack and Linda moved to Gastonia, N.C., in 1998, where he worked as an optician with JC Penney and Walmart before retiring. He was a member of the Gaston County Honor Guard. In 2016, Jack and Linda moved farther south to Vero Beach, where he enjoyed his retirement taking care of his lawn and watching the wildlife around his home, as well as fishing and volunteering for the Environmental Learning Center. Jack had a keen sense of humor and was proud of his Irish heritage. He also had an extreme love for his Golden Retrievers. In addition to his wife of 39 years, he is survived by his children, Pam Kostanski and her husband, Jay, of Vero Beach, and John and his wife, Tina, of Montague, Mass.; his grandson, Joshua with his wife, Skyla; his granddaughter, Tarrah; his sister Cynthia Orr; his brothers-in-law Alan Marlow (Cheryl) and Ron Marlow; his sisters in law, Sandra Fitzgerald and Sharon Gibbons (Bob), as well as several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Burial will be at the convenience of the family at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Fort Pierce, Fla. Donations to the Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. To send condolences, visit

• Shirley Eunice Hart Fontaine, 95, formerly of Westminster West, Died June 18, 2021 of medical complications at her residence at American House in Keene, N.H. Shirley was born on Aug. 20, 1925, in Bellows Falls, the daughter of Arthur and Eunice Hart. She graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1943 as Salutatorian of her class. She was a telephone operator until she became a full-time mother and homemaker, raising her seven children. She was a devout Catholic and a lifelong member of St. Charles Church. She married her high-school sweetheart, Gordon “Bub” Fontaine in 1946. They were married for 67 years until his death in 2014. Shirley raised her children in Bellows Falls and later spent summers at “The Land” in Westminster West. “The Land” started out with a lean-to and over the years, they built a house, large barn and several outbuildings culminating with an in-ground pool. After Bub's retirement, Westminster West became their permanent residence, where so many wonderful memories were shared over the years by family and friends. Shirley was Bub's “right hand man,” always by his side with a project, and was devoted to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved the outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, golfing, snowshoeing, skating, sledding, hunting (proud to be a dead-eye shot) and fishing, almost always accompanied by Bub. She loved to read, knit, go out for breakfast and spend time with her best friends, Myra and Topsy. Shirley was a kind, sweet woman with a twinkle in her eye who was a friend to all. Surviving are her children: James Fontaine and his wife, Jan, of Hyde Park, and Pat Wheeler and her husband, Peter, of Little River, S.C.; Elaine DeBell of North Walpole, N.H., Regina Rockefeller and her husband, Andy of Keene, and Jean Fontaine and her partner, Gary Cobb, of Westminster; sons-in-law David Hallock of Bellows Falls and Bryan Wood of Claremont, N.H.; 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and her close friend, Claire White. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by daughters Kathleen Hallock and Deborah Wood, grandson Christopher Hallock, and siblings Francis Hart and Patricia Baldasaro. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held June 22 at St. Charles Church, with burial in St. Charles Cemetery in Westminster. Donations to St. Charles Church, 31 Cherry Hill St., Bellows Falls, VT 05101.

• Arthur Nelson “Art” Givens, 59, of Brattleboro. Died on June 22, 2021 after a long battle with Glioblastoma. Art was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Aug. 24, 1961. He attended Richmond High School in Gibsonia, Pa., and later attended Valley Forge Military Academy in Philadelphia on a music scholarship. Art spent time traveling the country playing trumpet and tuba with the school band. In his early years, Art worked in the diamond district in Pittsburgh, and alongside his father in the family sound business. Art moved to Vermont to be closer to his father and stepmother in the late 1990s. Art was employed by American Traders of Brattleboro, traveling the country selling handmade canoes, and later was employed doing property maintenance for The Outlet Center and The Marina Restaurant before his diagnosis in November of 2010. Art met his wife, Stephanie Coleman Givens, in 1999. They were married in 2003. They lived for many years in Guilford, where their two children, Keegan Coleman Givens and Chloe Bly Givens were born at home in 2001 and 2004, respectively. In 2008, Stephanie and Art purchased the West Village Motel and moved with their family to Brattleboro. Art loved fishing, boating, camping, the ocean, and anything that brought him close to the water. His most treasured time was that spent with his beautiful children. Art fought a valiant battle with Glioblastoma and outlived his diagnosis by almost 10 years. His life was truly a miracle. Before Art's diagnosis of cancer, he struggled for many years with mental illness. He would want everyone to remember that there is no shame in asking for help if you are suffering. Art is survived by his wife, Stephanie Coleman Givens, his son, Keegan Coleman Givens, and his daughter, Chloe Bly Givens, all of Brattleboro; his father Jack Givens and stepmother Jane Givens, of South Carolina; his mother, Ginger “Moonbabe” Boffemeyer, of Pennsylvania; his brothers, Jake Givens, of New York and Hugh Givens and his wife, Nancy, of Pennsylvania. He also leaves his nieces, Hayley, Taylor and Brooke and his nephew Luke, and many friends whom he cared deeply for. Art was predeceased by his sister, Christina Givens, and his stepfather, John Boffemeyer. Memorial information: A celebration of Art's life will be held on July 12, at 5 p.m., at The Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro. It will be a casual potluck with drinks available. Please join the family for an evening of love, light, laughter, fishing, fun, tears, cheers, and memories. A service and scattering of ashes will take place next to the water at sunset. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to help assist the family with educational expenses for Chloe and Keegan. Contributions can be sent to 1208 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301, in care of Stephanie Givens. To view an online tribute, leave a message of condolence, or for more information, visit

• Eugene Leroy “Gene” Guay Sr., 93, of Columbus, Ohio. Died Friday, June 18, 2021 at Mt. Carmel East Hospital. He was born on April 7, 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Whitingham High School in 1946, Gene proudly served in the Army from 1947 to 1950. Gene married Genevieve Miller in 1950 and has lived in Columbus ever since. Gene retired in 1987 as a truck driver with Murphy Motor Freight. He was an active member of the Columbus Teamsters Retiree Club (Vice-President); Columbus Teamsters Credit Union (Board member); three-time Past Master of Sunrise Lodge #783 Free and Accepted Masons; twice Worthy Patron Order of The Eastern Star of Ohio, Eugenie Chapter #507; and Past Monarch of Achbar Grotto, Columbus. He enjoyed bowling, following current events on the radio, watching NASCAR, spending time with family here in Columbus as well as driving to Vermont to visit family. He was an all-around handyman and loved to build things by hand, especially racecars at the Columbus Motor Speedway. Gene was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Genevieve “Jenny” Guay and his son, Eugene L. Guay, Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Dorothy “Candy” Hoge; son, Everett “Jake” Guay; daughter-in-law, Connie Guay; his beloved companion of 25 years, Flossie “Sue” Conley; four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one great great-granddaughter; and numerous cousins. Memorial information: Services were held June 29 in Columbus, with interment with military honors at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Donations to the Enchanted Lantern Fund, Grottos of North America, 430 Beecher Rd. Gahanna, OH 43230.

• Pat Haley, 83, of Spofford, N.H., died June 18, 2021 at the Genesis Center in Keene, N.H. Well-known for her food and travel writing, Pat had a distinguished career in journalism, which included three J.C. Penney-University of Missouri Awards for excellence for her work at The Keene Sentinel. She also won many other national and regional awards for reporting, writing, and photography. In 1981, she received the University of New Hampshire System's Granite State Award for Community Service. She was born on Jan. 25, 1938 to the late Francis and Eve Haley in Kenmore, N.Y., and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. Pat had a long-standing curiosity about foods. She learned baking from her mother and was taught about buying fresh foods by her father. She studied home economics at the State University of New York at Buffalo and studied at Cornell University, the New School, and the University of Missouri. She has traveled in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and French Polynesia. Pat lived in an 1815 farmhouse in the New Hampshire woods, where she devoted her time to writing, gardening, and shopping at thrift stores. Her books include The Nine Seasons Cookbook and Cooking With Feeling. Recently retired from a major airline, she has taken classes on Korean and Vietnamese cooking and was at work on a memoir. Pat was the dedicated wife of the late Edward Sullivan and the mother of seven stepchildren. She was the sister of Joan Brod, Roberta Love, Thomas Haley, and the late Mary Hebeler and John Haley. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren and friends. Memorial information: In accordance with Pat's wishes, there will be no formal funeral services. Donations to The Historical Society of Cheshire County, P.O. Box 803, Keene, NH 03431. To share a memory or send condolences to the family, visit

• Samuel Loomis Cariddi, 19, of Ithaca, N.Y. Died unexpectedly at his home on April 7, 2021. He is survived by his parents, Steve Cariddi and Tamara Loomis, and his brother, Malcolm. In addition to his immediate family, those mourning Sam's passing include his beloved nana, Marilyn Loomis; his loving aunts and uncles Tracee and David Brewer, Terri and Mark Ziter, and Peter and Kate Loomis; and his many cousins, whom he cared deeply for and who loved him dearly. Sam was born on June 5, 2001. He attended elementary and high schools in Ithaca, and was attending the University of Vermont, where he was a sophomore majoring in political science. His earliest classroom experiences unleashed a fascination with education that defined his public school years. To Sam, teachers were superheroes intent on saving the world with markers, composition books, and photocopy machines. Their caring, commitment, and self- assurance were qualities he not only admired but also cultivated within himself. Year after year, Sam's own creativity, passion, and good humor deeply endeared him to countless teachers, students, adults, and close friends whose lives were forever touched by his charming soul. Sam was an active participant in his community. He volunteered with the Chamber of Commerce's Youth and Philanthropy program. He was particularly proud of his term as a student representative on his district's Board of Education. And most recently, Sam served as a senator in the UVM Student Government Association, working as a member of its Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Sam loved to travel, feeding his wanderlust with trips to Nepal, Ecuador, Hawaii, and around the country, once to observe a total eclipse of the sun. He was an accomplished chef, an expert photographer, a skilled gardener, and a talented violinist in a chamber group. He was also a devoted playmate to his sweet dog, Ama. Sam considered Vermont his second home. He visited as often as possible, spending long summer weeks with his Vermont family, swimming, kayaking, berry picking, soaking up and inhaling the sweet life. He also loved the winter holiday months, sledding, baking, bowling, shopping, eating, and being with his family. Sam was always a joy to be around. His happy voice bounced and echoed off of every wall and his smile radiated warmth to the lucky ones in his presence. He touched many people in his too-short life and will be deeply missed. Memorial information: To honor Sam, consider a donations to Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service of Ithaca, or the Tompkins County SPCA. If you were fortunate enough to have crossed paths with this intrepid, gentle soul, send your remembrances to his family at [email protected].

• Ezekial R. “Zeke” Neathawk, 31, of Chester. Died June 16, 2021. Born May 16, 1990 in Brattleboro, to Richard H. and Karen L. (Douglass) Neathawk, Zeke attended school in Saxtons River and graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 2009. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and worked as a certified Journeyman, just shy of becoming a Master electrician as he was completing his four-year apprenticeship. He enjoyed bow hunting, fishing, playing golf and, above all spending time, with his daughter. Zeke is survived by his father and mother, his partner Brooke Kearney, and his daughter Everly, whom he dearly loved. He is also survived by his sisters Emma Neathawk, Jacqueline Duval, his nieces Jalynn, Jocelynn, and Isabella; his stepmother Tammy, and step-siblings Colton and Kasidy. Memorial information: A private graveside service will be held at a later date.

• Lorraine Unwin, 91, of West Brattleboro. Died peacefully, with her children by her side, on June 15, 2021 at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H. Lorraine was born in Rockingham on April 25, 1930, to Karma and Doris (Tenney) Putnam. She was raised and educated in Brattleboro and graduated from Brattleboro High School with the Class of 1948. She married Carl H. Unwin in 1949, and they built their home in West Brattleboro, where they raised their children. More recently, she lived at Holton Home on Western Avenue. In her early years, she worked at the Holstein-Friesian Association as well as several Brattleboro businesses, including Grant's, Woolworth's, and the former Lady Lynn Shop. She was a teacher's aide at the former Francis Hicks School from 1972-1986 and served as a member of the Francis Hicks Memorial Fund Board of Directors for several years. Lorraine's life circled around her faith, family, and friends. She grew up attending the West Brattleboro Baptist Church and was a longtime member of the Green Mountain Chapel of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. She was active in the music, children's, and mission ministries of both churches. Lorraine loved her home and was active over the years with the local Home Demonstrator's Clubs in Brattleboro, including the West Bees. She loved reading, writing, music, English comedies, bird watching, and homemade strawberry ice cream. Her friends knew her to be loyal and supportive, always willing to listen and ready to pray for others. Lorraine was a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who treasured every moment spent with her family. Lorraine is survived by her son Daniel Unwin (Alva-Jean) of Brattleboro; her daughter Melanie Dix (David) of Woodbridge, Va; two grandchildren, Serenity Wolf (Sean) of West Chesterfield, N.H., and Victoria Rose White (John) of Brattleboro; and great grandsons Carl and Henry Wolf. Additionally, she leaves several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Lorraine was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Carl Unwin, and siblings David Putnam and Barbara Putnam. Memorial information: The family held a private burial at West Brattleboro Cemetery, where she was laid to rest beside her husband. A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 3:00 p.m. at Green Mountain Chapel. Donations to the Green Mountain Chapel of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, 480 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301, or Holton Home, 158 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send condolences to the family, visit

• Steven J. Weiss, 60, of Bellows Falls. Died in his sleep at his home on June 14, 2021. He was born July 8, 1960, in Warwick, N.Y., the son of the late Joseph and Barbara (Thompson) Weiss. Steven was a high school graduate and served his country in the Army from 1978-1984. He worked at the Green Mountain Railroad and at Burtco as a machine operator. Steven was a member of the Elks Club in Bellows Falls and Pierce-Lawton American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls, which was very important to him. He enjoyed walking his dog and visiting with everyone. His greatest joy was his children, whom he loved very much. Steven is survived by his son, Corey Franklin; and two daughters, Jathniel Marie Weiss, and Isabel Rayne Weiss, all of Bellows Falls; four sisters, Margaret Amato and Christopher of Pittsfield, Mass.; Barbara LaBonte and Michael of Barton; Mary Stamelos and Damietrios of Little Egg Harbor, N.J.; and Kathleen Staniszewski and Herbert of Mendon, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: There will be a celebration of his life at Pierce-Lawton American Legion Post 37 on Rockingham Street on Saturday, July 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. A graveside service with full military honors will take place in Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale, N.H., on Saturday, July 31, at noon.


A commemoration of the life of Bernie Wells, who died on April 21, 2021, will be held at the Brattleboro Country Club on Saturday, July 10, at 5 p.m. There will be a brief service, followed by time for family and friends to enjoy each other's company and celebrate Bernie and the life he shared with us.

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