College news

• Gavin Thomas Sweeter of Whitingham received a B.S. in civil engineering, with minor in environmental engineering, from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., on December 2021.

• Kiera Noble of Guilford was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2021 semester at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.


• Irving Banning, 89, of Townshend, previously of South Newfane and Windsor Locks, Conn. Died peacefully on Feb. 17, 2022, at Valley Cares Assisted Living. Beloved husband of the late Alice (Call) Banning, Irving was born in Hartford, Conn., son of the late Leon and Ella (Larson) Banning. He met the love of his life, Alice, while attending Glastonbury High School. He served proudly as a corporal in the Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1951 to 1954. Following his service, he married Alice in 1956, and began his 22-year career as a produce buyer for First National Food Stores (Finast), and later, in wholesale produce sales for Pioneer Fruit and Connecticut Celery in Hartford. In semi-retirement, he worked for GS Precision in Brattleboro. Irving was a jack-of-all-trades with many talents, especially building beautifully crafted furniture. As an Irish tenor, he had a passion for singing, performing solos while attending Glastonbury High School as well as in the Marines. Every Sunday, he sang “The Lord's Prayer” for his fellow residents at Valley Cares. He was a sports enthusiast, and a loyal fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants. In his early years, he enjoyed golfing, billiards and bowling with his co-workers. In his later years, a treasured memory was traveling to Ireland with his beloved, Alice. He was a communicant of St. Michael's Church in Brattleboro. He will be lovingly remembered by his children, Kevin Banning and his wife, Jamila, of Westbrook, Conn., Kathy Beeman and her husband, Barry, of Pinehurst, N.C., William Banning of Manchester, Conn., Linda Krikawa of Weatogue, Conn., and his eight grandchildren. He was predeceased by brothers Joseph andErnest Banning and his beloved son-in-law Thomas Krikawa. He also leaves behind many wonderful nieces and nephews. Memorial information: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Valley Cares Inc., P.O. Box 341, Townshend, VT 05353 and, or to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353 and

• Ann Bracken Bonneville, 86, of Gainesville, Fla., and Guilford. Died peacefully on Feb. 9, 2022. She was born in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 2, 1935, to Loretta Ottilea (Heitzig) and Raymond Joseph Bracken. After graduating from St. Mary of the Springs College in 1958, Ann attended the University of Rennes in France, traveled to Europe on a Fulbright scholarship, and taught at the University of Grenoble. She then returned to Columbus to earn her master's degree in Romance languages from Ohio State University. It was at OSU that Ann met and fell in love with Douglas Bonneville, a fellow Fulbright scholar who was earning his PhD in the same field. They married upon their graduation in 1961, and moved to Gainesville in 1964. After raising three young children to school age, Ann began her career as an elementary school teacher. Ann and Doug spent summers with their family at their log cabin in the woods of Guilford and, after their retirement, she and Doug split their time between Gainesville and Guilford. Ann became an avid genealogist, while also volunteering at the Gainesville Library and the Guilford Historical Society. She and Doug loved family, traveling, gathering with friends, and hosting annual family reunions in Guilford. Ann is survived by her children, Anne, Lorie, and Grif (Elizabeth). She leaves behind five grandchildren, Thomas, Ben, Tricia (Addison), Connor, and Ella; three great-grandsons, Justin, Travis and Oakley; three step-grandsons, Vinnie, Lucas (Kat) and Brendan; and six nieces and nephews, Joe, George (Cooky), Alan (Tammy), Ann, Debra (John) and Karen (Robert). She was predeceased by her husband. Memorial information: A service for both Ann and Doug was held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Gainesville on Feb. 26. Their ashes will later be scattered in Vermont. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, or the Parkinson's Foundation.

• Leon W. “Skeek” Kenyon, 89, of Saxtons River. Died at his home, surrounded by family, on Feb. 17, 2022. Leon was born November 27, 1932 in Grafton in the house where he was raised. The oldest of five children of Walter and Annis (Fisher) Kenyon, he was the eighth-generation Fisher to live on Fisher Hill in Grafton. He attended Leland & Gray Seminary and graduated with the Class of 1950. He married Patricia Saunders in 1978. Skeek worked many varied jobs throughout his life - farming, working in a sawmill, truck driver, underwater welder, and logger. He was proud of the fact that he never filled out an employment application. He enjoyed fishing, boating, bird watching, and spending time with friends and family. Skeek had a special way with animals and raised and trained several teams of oxen. He loved to see what was over the next hill and always seemed to find the road less traveled, which usually involved a dirt road. He was known for his quick wit and ability to tell a great story. He is survived by his wife, Pat, and children Leon (Michelle) Kenyon of Cape Coral, Fla., Beverly (Normand) Gagnon of Milford, N.H., Raymond Kenyon of Wabasha, Minn., Sharon (Gary) Schmalzriedt of Wabasha, Minn., Kimberly (Edmund) Mack of Grafton, Stephen Saunders of Athens, and Janie (Warren) Hisler of Waldoboro, Maine; 24 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren; sisters Alice Culver of Newfane and Christine DeCamp of Bellows Falls; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Willard Kenyon and Carleton (Pug) Kenyon; two children, Michael Saunders and Amy Saunders; grandson Steven Schmalzriedt, and great-granddaughter Alyssa Schmalzriedt. Memorial information: A Celebration of Life was held Feb. 26 at the Grafton Chapel. Donations to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 Parker Rd., Wilson Industrial Park, Barre, VT 05641,, or a charity of your choice.

• Phyllis Olga (Colasante) Mandell, 90, of Williamsville. Died peacefully in her sleep at her home, surrounded by her children, on Feb. 6, 2022. She was born on Aug. 23, 1931 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Michael and Pauline Rapar Colasante. In 1955, she married Joseph Mandell, who remained her partner, until his death in 2019. Together they had four children. Phyllis was a highly creative person and had many interests that she was passionate about. She was a consummate career woman, forging her way as a designer of what would become classic children's clothing in New York City. Phyllis loved gardening and was an author of two gardening books, Herbs and Flowers Everlasting and Herbs in a Teapot. She was also a collector and a lover and patron of the arts and music. Much to the chagrin of her children, she was an early proponent of organic, chemical-free foods. She was an avid reader, and active in local and state politics, as well as community service. She doted on her children and grandchildren, and enjoyed playing piano and singing folk tunes with her husband, Joe. Phyllis was raised in Queens, N.Y. She graduated from Andrew Jackson High School at age 16 and went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Phyllis got her first job as a clothing designer right out of school. After graduating, Phyllis moved to Greenwich Village, where she was surrounded by artists, writers, poets and actors, including her first boyfriend, Steve McQueen. Phyllis met her future husband, Joe, while on vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee, in New Hampshire. While both were from New York City, they moved to Vermont after getting married and opened Three Penny Lodge, a ski lodge in South Newfane. In 1960, they sold the lodge, and moved to a new home in Williamsville. While Phyllis commuted between New York and Vermont off and on for several years, the Williamsville property remained her home for the remainder of her life. Phyllis is survived by her children Jonathan (and his wife Karen), Susan, Elisabeth (and her husband Tim), Daniel (and his wife, Dolly); her grandchildren Alo, Ethan, and Isaac; and nephews Robert, Sandy, and David. Memorial information: While no formal service will be held at this time, a service celebrating Phyllis' life will be held in late spring. Donations to the NewBrook Fire Department. To view Phyllis's online tribute, send condolences to the family, or for more information, visit

• Leona “Lee” Bombardier Slason, 87, of Ocala, Fla, formerly of Townshend and Brattleboro. Died peacefully in her home on Feb. 11, 2022, with family by her side. Leona was born May 1, 1934 in Swanton, the daughter of Remi Joseph Bombardier and Laura Begnoche. Lee was the youngest of four sisters, Bertha Charlebois, Noella Meilleur, and Anita Blanchard, each of whom predeceased her. During Lee's childhood years, she lived on a farm on the shore of Lake Champlain. Later, her family moved to Burlington where she graduated from Cathedral High School in 1952. She enrolled in the Thompson House School of Nursing and finished her residency program at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Lee met her future husband, Glenn Lawrence Slason, on a blind date and they married on June 19, 1953 in Manchester, Vt. They had three sons, Lawrence, Michael, and John. Glenn and Lee moved to Townshend, where Leona worked for many years as a nurse with Dr. Carlos G. Otis at Grace Cottage Hospital. They later moved to Brattleboro ,where the Slason boys attended Brattleboro Union High School and Leona was a nurse at Thompson House. Lee and Glenn moved to Florida in 1972, residing initially in Hollywood, then Stuart, and then finally Ocala in 2005, where they resided in the wonderful over 55 community “On Top of the World". After moving to Florida, Lee transitioned to become a hospice nurse for which her compassion and joy of caring for others were a perfect match. Glenn had a period of declining health during which he was cared for by Lee until his death on July 5, 2016. Lee loved and enjoyed her family. She had great memories of summer cabin rentals with her husband and three sons on Vermont lakes and weekend car trips. Lee was a devoted Catholic to her final breath. She took great joy in watching her sons serve as altar boys at the Lady of the Valley Church in Townshend. Lee is survived by her sons Lawrence and his wife, Celia Minott Slason, of Keene, N.H., Michael and his wife, Kimberley Nelson Slason, of Orlando, Fla., and John of Corbin, Ky.; and five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Memorial information: The family will hold a private burial service in Jamaica Cemetery at a later date. Donations to Hospice of Marion County, P.O. Box 4860, Ocala, FL 34478.

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