College news

The following local students at the Community College of Vermont earned associate degrees in spring 2022: John H. Clark, Alejandro S. Toledo Cornman, Rena Tian Dimes, Griffin Scott Lynde, Art J. Miess, Alyssa Anne O'Brien, Brooke Paquette, and Amanda Rae Tuttle of Brattleboro; Morgan Lynn Stevens of Grafton, Mark Geno and Cecil Warren McLaury of Guilford, Emma Paige Lane of Jamaica, Eva Reneé Paré of Londonderry, Nolen William Donovan of Rockingham; Lauren Bridget Shott of Stratton, Evan Tyler Bernard of Townshend, and Tristan Moser Poplar of Wilmington.

The following local students were awarded degrees during Clark University's 118th Commencement on May 22 in Worcester, Mass.: Nicholas M. Mitchell of Westminster graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in computer science and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society; Andrew M. Foster of Putney graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in media, culture, and the arts; and Morgan K. Brooke-deBock of Brattleboro graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in physics.

The following local students at Castleton University were honored for academic excellence during the spring 2022 semester. Named to the President's List were Noah Distefano of West Townshend, Maria Page of West Halifax, Jenna Robinson of East Dover, Owen Sniatkowski of East Dover, and Veronica Stevens of Newfane. Named to the Dean's List were Sally Densmore of Wilmington, Morgen Janovsky of Wilmington, Sapphire Joy of Bellows Falls, Rowan Kidder of Jacksonville, Rebekah Lazarek of Westminster, Jairen Sanderson of West Townshend, Jonah Siegel of Brattleboro, and Aaron Soskin of Wilmington.

• Mary Ellis of Vernon received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama during its spring commencement ceremonies last month.

• Gabrel Vanni-Phillips of Newfane achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring 2022 semester, earning a spot on the Provost's List at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

• Acesta Frye-Panther of Marlboro, a member of the Class of 2022, was honored with the Dr. Loron C. Bronson Award during the Marlboro Institute graduation celebration and awards ceremony held on May 6 at Emerson College in Boston. The award, for excellence in the classics, was established by the family of Loron Bronson, Class of 1973, to encourage undergraduate work in classics.

• Hannah Gantt of Vernon was named to the Provost's List at Troy (Ala.) University for the spring 2022 semester.

• Haley Covillion of Bellows Falls was named to the spring 2022 Dean's List at Curry College in Milton, Mass.


• Mary Ellen Anderson, 91, of Townshend, known to most people as “Ellen” and to some as “Scooter,” died peacefully, on her own terms, on May 29, 2022 at Grace Cottage Hospital after a brief illness. She was one week shy of her 92nd birthday. She was from a pioneer family and was born in Seattle, Wash., on June 5, 1930, to Leonard Mann and Ethel (Stratton) Mann. Ellen, the younger identical twin, is survived by her older twin sister Mary Elizabeth Vannice, of Renton, Wash., along with her daughters Jan Anderson of Brattleboro and Marilyn Anderson of Spokane, Wash., and her grandson Nathaniel Chamblin (Jessica), of Kalispell, Mont. She also leaves behind nephews Will Vannice (Sandra), of Kent, Wash., Ken Vannice (Cathi), of Tukwila, Wash., and their families, and many dear friends on both sides of the country. Her daughter Laurie Anderson predeceased her in 2005. Ellen moved to Vermont in 2007 after Laurie's death. She asked for God's advice - whether to move to Vermont with Jan or go to heaven with Laurie. God's answer was Vermont, and she continued to live a good life here in Vermont. She loved the mountains, the many shades of green leaves on the trees, the blue sky, the drifting clouds, and the sparkling water of the rivers. She was loved by many and will be missed by everyone who knew her. Memorial information: A small service will be scheduled at a later date. Donations to Newfane Congregational Church, P.O. Box 27, Newfane, VT 05345.

• Margaret “Maggie” MacDonald Brown Cassidy, 72, of Putney. Died peacefully at home, with her family by her side, on June 4, 2022. Maggie was born on Jan. 13, 1950, in Ithaca, N.Y., to Stuart M. Brown, Jr. and Catherine Dallett Hemphill Brown. She graduated from Ithaca High School and earned an A.B. degree in French from Bryn Mawr College in 1971. She enrolled in the M.A.T. program at the School for International Training, and during her internship in the winter of 1972, she met Daniel Cassidy. Two years later she joined him (“for good, in both senses,” she said late in life) in Putney, where they have lived ever since. They were married on Nov. 23, 1977, and were grateful to be close to their two daughters and their families (Sarah Cassidy and her husband Luke Evans of Dummerston, along with Alexander Daniels, Jr., and Susannah Cassidy Friedman and her husband Jesse Friedman and their children Iris and Quinn Friedman, of Westminster West). Maggie taught French and sometimes German for one year at Moorestown (N.J.) Friends School, and for four years at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Mass., before finding her professional home at Brattleboro Union High School in 1977, where she taught until retiring in 2015. She believed that homestays allowed travelers not only to use their language, but also to understand other ways of living. In 1979, she and Dan led the first BUHS Swiss Exchange, which provided homestays for BUHS French students and their Swiss partners. Homestay experiences for BUHS French students continued every other year until 2017, and she also accompanied Spanish students to homestays in Costa Rica. After retiring from BUHS, she taught French to adults at Express Fluency and organized an exchange in Rouen for her students. From 2000 to 2010 she worked part-time with the Teacher Knowledge Project at SIT, training teachers in Algeria and Japan as well as the U.S. in an inquiry process to examine and improve their teaching. She loved to write and, beginning in the 1980s, she contributed commentary to Vermont Public Radio. For decades, she wrote features about students, staff and programs at BUHS for the Brattleboro Reformer, and later wrote community features for the paper. She was a long-time Justice of the Peace in Putney, and served on the board of Putney Family Services and then, after a merger, Putney Community Cares. In 2017 she became a Guardian Ad Litem for children in the Vermont judicial system. After many years of enjoying old and handmade things, Dan and Maggie opened Cassidy Hill Antiques in 2021. She is survived by her husband and by their daughters and their families; by her brother, James Hemphill Brown and his wife, Astrid Kodric, of Morro Bay, Calif., and her sister, Deborah Brown New and her husband Donald of Canastota, N.Y. (her younger brother, Peter Tyndale Brown, died in 1981). She also leaves her brother-in-law Larry Cassidy and his wife Marilyn of Spofford, N.H.; her sister-in-law, Linda Cassidy of Brattleboro; many nephews and nieces; her dear friend Geneviève Cheval, of Petit-Quevilly, France, and many other close friends, including former students in Cambodia, Prague, France, Switzerland, and Finland, as well as in the U.S. Memorial information: Memorial services will be private. At her request, donations may be sent to Putney Community Cares, P.O. Box 108, Putney, VT 05346, or Putney Public Library, 55 Main St., Putney, VT 05346. To share memories or send condolences, visit

• Wendell Irving Howard, 95, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at home surrounded by family on June 7, 2022, after a period of declining health. He was born in Brattleboro to W. Irving and M. Ella (Howe) Howard on Nov. 15, 1926, on Washington Street, just several houses down the street from where he moved at age 4 and, ultimately, made his lifelong home. He graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1944. After graduation, he served three years in the Army. In 1950, Wendell married Madelyn Martinson. They were loving parents and raised four children. They were married for 70 years. Madelyn died in 2021, and Wendell never quite recovered from his broken heart. Wendell was employed in a variety of jobs throughout his life and loved to entertain with stories of his many occupations: working at a dairy farm, as a bus driver, a policeman and, ultimately, a machinist. He had been employed at Angel's Automotive as a machinist for over 30 years when he retired at age 63. He then started his own lawn care business which he continued into his 70s. Wendell finally “retired” from his delivery work with Howard Printing in his 80s. He was a man who believed in hard work and self-reliance. His range of ability, down-to-earth common sense, and expertise served many. Service was an important part of his essence and he believed in giving back. He volunteered in many ways throughout the community. Wendell was a lifelong communicate of St. Michael's Episcopal Church where he served in many capacities over the years. In retirement, he enjoyed ballroom and square dancing with Madelyn, gardening, reading, and just plain “puttering.” Wendell did not lead a flashy life. He was a wise steward of what he was given and what he worked for. He was a faithful husband, a loving father, and a contented soul who took life as it came and made the best of it with incredible humor and grace. To the very end, he enjoyed people, was interested in others, loved his family, was kind to his caregivers and embraced every moment that life offered him. He didn't know how to give up. He was an example to all who knew him of courage, grit, and dedication. Wendell is survived by his son Douglas Howard, daughter Judith McBean (Alan), son Gregory Howard (Donna) and daughter-in-law Sandra Howard; grandchildren Joel Howard (Renee), Jessica Howard, Marta McBean and Ian McBean (Anna) and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his eldest son Jeffrey and his beloved wife. Memorial information: A celebration of Wendell's life was held on June 12 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. Donations to St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send condolences to the family, visit

• Louisa Ann Nadolski LoBello of Madison, Conn., died on May 25, 2022. Born in Bellows Falls, the daughter of Anna Trybulski Nadolski Lastowka and Anthony Nadolski, Louisa was a professional ballroom dancer, teaching at Arthur Murray Studios in New York City. Later, she was the proprietor of Crescent Motel and Antiques in Madison for 50 years. She loved animals, most especially her pet dog, Rocky, who predeceased her. Louisa was predeceased by her parents and is survived by many cousins, their families, and many friends. Memorial information: A graveside service was held June 13 at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Westminster. Donations to Sea Bird Enterprises, 169 Thames St., Groton, CT 06340, or to the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, 749 East Main St., Branford, CT 06405.

Richard “Dick” Sprague Sr., 82, of Wilmington. Died unexpectedly on June 5, 2022. He was born Oct. 19, 1939, to Percy and Florence Sprague of Brattleboro. Richard was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1957, and was co-captain of the 1956 BUHS state championship football team. He also served in the Army Reserve. Richard married his wife Norma in 1958 and they were married for 64 years, residing in Wilmington. Richard is well known for his stonework, painting and his antique shop. He built many of the stone walls, as well as painted many homes around the valley in his 50-plus years in the business, retiring at 70. After retiring, he continued to run his antique shop that so many came to love, and it has now reached the fourth generation to follow in his legacy. Richard was a devoted Jehovah's Witness, serving as an elder of different congregations for many years. Richard was well-known for his loyalty and love for his family, corny humor and his huge heart. He was willing to help anyone at any time. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife Norma Sprague, his sons Richard Sprague, Jr., of Searsburg and Steven Sprague of Jaffrey, N.H., five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, two brothers, and two sisters. He was predeceased by a son, a granddaughter, and two brothers. Memorial information: At the family's request there will be no services. Donations may be made to Deerfield Valley Rescue in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O, Box 215 Wilmington, VT 05363.


• A memorial service for Barbara Wentworth Holton will take place on Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m., at First Congregational Church in Westminster. A reception will follow at the Westminster Fire Department. Mrs. Holton, of Walpole, N.H., formerly of Westminster and Venice, Fla., died at her home in Venice on Feb. 24, 2022.

• An in-person celebration of life service will take place for Dorothy “Dee” Birge Keller on Wednesday, June 22, at 2 p.m. at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro. Centre Congregational has a mask requirement, and social distancing is recommended. Mrs. Keller, 87, of Brattleboro, died on Feb. 20, 2022.

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