• Barbara Brooks of Newfane. Died at her home on Dec. 20, 2022, with her children Tom and Amanda nearby. She said she wanted to be at home surrounded by family, and had asked God if He could please make it snow on the night of her passing. He obliged, even though it was not in the forecast. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Marjorie (Fairbanks) and Clarence Stacey, she grew up in East Dummerston and attended Brattleboro Union High School. She graduated from Castleton State College in 1957 with a degree in education. Her first job was teaching first grade in Wilmington, where she met the likes of Leon and Cleon Boyd. She remained close with many of her former students to this day. She was married to Norman Brooks of Newfane for 54 years until his death in 2013. Together they raised their four children. Tom Brooks (Kendra), the late Dawn McCormick, Jennifer Ellis, and Amanda North (Robert). She was adored by her 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. As her health declined, her friends and family visited her often, either to drop off a treat or to sit for a game of cards. Up until the day before she died, she continued to do the daily crossword puzzle, 1,000-piece puzzles, and would win 9 out of 10 games of cards or Chinese Checkers. In her last days, she worked daily on her mountain of Christmas cards she wanted to send out. She did not make it to the end of her list, but you were all in her thoughts. Barbara was very active in the community throughout her life. Her volunteer work ranged from being Sunday School teacher, softball coach, school board member, and guardian ad litem; to helping out at Moore Free Library, Newfane Church Ladies Aid, and the NewBrook Fire & Rescue Auxiliary, NewBrook Field Days, Newfane Heritage Festival, spelling bees, and organizing an annual Easter Egg Hunt. She was always reaching out to those in the community who were lonely, sick, or down on their luck. She kept her family in close contact by insisting they celebrate everyone's birthday, even as the family to continued to grow. She did not compromise on her values or family traditions, and had a special relationship with each of her grandchildren. Memorial information: Services will be held in the spring at a date to be determined.

• Benoit de Crombrugghe, 87. of Putney. Died peacefully at his home on Dec. 4, 2022. He was born in Bruges, Belgium on Feb. 26, 1935 to Henry de Crombrugghe and Anne-Marie Rotsart. He was predeceased in 2020 by Emma de Crombrugghe, his beloved wife of 55 years. He is mourned and missed by his two daughters, Isabel Mendelsohn of Summit, New Jersey and Ines McGillion of Dummerston, and their families, including his seven grandchildren. Benoit was the second of seven siblings, and is predeceased by his elder brother François, and survived by sisters Marie-Thérèse and Geneviève and brothers Phillipe, Bruno, and Dominique de Crombrugghe. Gentle and kind, patient and compassionate, he was exceptionally intelligent and yet quietly humble, and beloved by all who knew him. He was passionate about his family, a champion of basic scientific research, and proud of the achievements of everyone he mentored in his laboratory. Benoit graduated from the University of Louvain in 1961 as a medical doctor, and specialized in endocrinology. A two-year research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, between 1963 and 1965, marked a pivotal point in his life - he discovered his passion for scientific research, and met the love of his life, Emma de la Llosa. Following compulsory military service in Belgium, Benoit returned to the NIH in 1968 to pursue a career as a research scientist, performing laboratory work in molecular biology and studying gene regulation. In 1987, Benoit and his family moved to Houston, Texas, where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2019, Benoit and his wife moved to Putney, where they were welcomed by the Putney Commons community and enjoyed being closer to family. Memorial information: Benoit was laid to rest next to his wife in Dummerston Center Cemetery on Dec. 11. Donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation ( or the Houston Area Parkinson Society ( To share a memory or send condolences to Benoit's family, visit

• Nancy Lou Farrell, 76, of Vernon. Died peacefully at home with her family at her side on Dec. 18, 2022 following a period of declining health. Nancy was born in Colchester on May 4, 1946, the daughter of Owen and Helen (McLaren) Hutchins. She attended Brattleboro Union High School and went on to graduate from the Thompson School for Practical Nursing, alongside her sister, Brenda, where she received her LPN diploma. She worked most of her career in healthcare and was employed at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, which she retired from following 25 years of faithful service and care at the facility. Previously, she worked at Cedarcrest Home for Children, then located in Westmoreland. Prior to moving to Vernon 24 years ago, she was a longtime resident of Putney. Nancy enjoyed the outdoors, spending her time gardening (both flowers and vegetables), bird watching, reading, and going to the beach. She loved the time shared with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was an excellent baker known for her pies and rolls. Survivors include her five children: Duane Farrell and wife Lisa of Brookline, Travis Farrell and his wife Tracey of Vernon, Trampas Farrell and Brenda of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Lisa Kemp of Vernon, and Julie Acker and husband Nathan of Thetford; brothers Jack, Daniel, and Owen Hutchins; sisters Monica Morris and Elaine Greenwood; grandchildren Nicholas, Andrew, and Alexander Kemp, with whom she shared a home, and Zoe Farrell, and Benjamin and Ada Acker; and great grandchildren Eira Leigh and Lucy Mae. Additionally, she leaves many nieces and nephews. Nancy was predeceased by brothers Raymond and Glen Hutchins, sisters Virginia Howard and Brenda Hatt, and her beloved grandson, Trevor Farrell. Memorial information: In keeping with her final wishes, there are no formal funeral services scheduled. Donations to the Maplewood Nursing Home Nurse's Fund, 201 River Rd., Westmoreland, NH 03467. To send messages of e-condolence to the family, visit

• Jim Ferris, 68, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center on Dec. 24, 2022. Born March 29, 1954 in Brattleboro, Jim was the son of Ronald and Pauline (Emmon) Ferris. He graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1972 and, upon graduation, worked as an assistant superintendent for Dunham Brothers, one of largest independent footwear wholesalers at the time. Jim later went on to Holyoke Community College where he pursued an associate's degree in radiologic technology. He had a career as an x-ray technician at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts, before going on to work at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, from which he retired in 2014. Jim built a life with his wife Vivian in Brattleboro, where they spent many weekends hosting family for barbecues, nature walks, and bonfires on their property. When Jim's daughters, nieces, and nephews were younger, he used to tow them along for tractor rides with his trusted dog Rusty following close behind. Jim always had dogs and cats and was the token animal whisperer to any pet he encountered. Jim was fond of the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing and hunting at family camps and spending time at Spofford Lake. Jim also loved spending time with his cousins and extended family at their lake house in Maine where the days were filled with outdoor games and boating, and the evenings making big potluck dinners while listening to their favorite old school rock and roll tunes. As a lover of all things outdoors, you could often find Jim helping family and his dear friend Rz out with landscaping projects around their property and was generous with offering his equipment and time to others. Jim enjoyed being around family and spent much of his time in recent years visiting with his brothers and sister who live close by. He enjoyed the mere company of his family and friends, reminiscing about the old times. You could also catch Jim tuning into his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. If he wasn't watching the game on TV, the radio would always be on full blast with the game playing in the background. Jim was a proud Vermonter who embraced everything New England had to offer. Jim is survived by his four daughters: Colleen Ferris of Brattleboro, Tara Sokolich of Naples, Florida, Jen Ritchie of Brattleboro, and Danielle Ritchie of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Jim is also survived by brothers Tim Ferris (Lorraine), Steve Ferris, and Rick Ferris (Marcie), and sister Helayne Barrett (Stephen) of Brattleboro. Jim was also survived by his many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jim is predeceased by his parents and his wife Vivian Ritchie. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will be held in the spring. To view an online tribute, leave a message of condolence, or for more information, visit

• Roger Myrick French, 77, of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 14, 2022, at Hartford (Conn.) Hospital, from complications of pneumonia after having neglected his health for too long. Roger was born in 1945 in Bronxville, New York, and grew up there and in Yonkers, New York, the oldest son of Amelia (McLean) and Roger P. French. One of Roger's early jobs was as a union drywaller working on the construction of the World Trade Center. Always preferring to work more independently, Roger was a salesman, usually of paper and packaging products (think Dunder-Mifflin, but without the hilarity). Roger repeatedly postponed his own education, career, and priorities in order to provide or care for others ( think George Bailey, if you squint). In his younger years, Roger was known for his expertly waxed moustache and the ability to discuss it for what seemed like hours. He was a proficient genealogist long before there were computer databases. When home computers did arrive, he was the first on the block with a TI-99. His final computer set up would have been the envy of Gene Hackman's character in Enemy of the State, but without a demolition feature (that has yet been found, anyway). Roger was as comfortable torturing a verse of Puttin' on the Ritz as he was mangling In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. He was a lifelong student of all things and was rumored by some to have actually found more than one corner of the internet. Roger was a lover of gadgets (other than hearing aids), archaic trivia and sampling exotic foods (but lived in fear of the dread allium). In 2013, Roger relocated to Vermont and stayed initially with his brother, Walter French, and sister-in-law, Jodi French, of Newfane, for a period of 8 weeks, 6 days and 13 hours. At Fairview Village, his idiosyncracies were tolerated by neighbors and staff alike and, it turns out, he was appreciated by them far more than he probably ever knew or imagined. Hardest hit of all by the family curse of procrastination, he continued to spend years contemplating the possibility of thinking about considering how to research doing many things. Memorial information: His family asks, among Roger's legacies, that one be to inspire others to get around to doing it, whatever it is, before it's too late and to prepare an Advance Directive and to have those tough conversations to help guide loved ones. Otherwise you, too, might get an obituary written like this by your baby brother.

• Norman S. Grubb, 95, of Sarasota, Florida. Died on Dec. 9, 2022. He was born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania in 1927. Formerly of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, Norman was a resident of Salisbury, Maryland for 30 years before relocating to Sarasota. Norman graduated from Ridley Park High School in 1947 and Bucknell University in 1952 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following graduation, he pursued a long career in management with Monsanto, Firestone, and Piedmont Airlines, from which he retired in 1998. He enjoyed listening to jazz, playing the clarinet and being involved in civic and community affairs. Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph R. and Bertha Dietrich Grubb; his wife of 51 years, Claire Hudson; and siblings Joseph and Marjorie. He is survived by his children, Dianne Copp (Robert) of Locust Valley, New York and David Grubb (Patricia) of Sarasota; grandchildren Christopher Grubb, William Copp, and Hilary Copp; and three great-grandchildren. Memorial information: Norman will be laid to rest with his wife at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro, where services will be held in the spring. Donations to The Children's Fund at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, 1324 Belmont Ave., Suite 401, Salisbury, MD 21801, To share a memory or send condolences to the family, visit

• Teresa Healy, 60, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at home on Dec. 21, 2022 after five years of living with cancer. She was born in England, an Irish and a Canadian citizen, and spent most of her life in Ontario, Canada. Since 2016, she has called Vermont home. She was an immigrant three times removed from the land of rock, trees, and water. A political scientist by training, she was the author of Gendered Struggles Against Globalisation in Mexico (Ashgate 2008/Routledge 2020) and two edited collections on Canadian politics, Harper Record: 2006-2008 and Harper Record: 2008-2015. Most recently, Teresa was completing a book, Bounded Solidarity: The Many Faces of Conservatism in Simcoe County, Ontario. As a student of liberation theology, Teresa completed a volume of prayer, Prayerful: A Year of Practice. Teresa was a well-known singer-songwriter, steeped in the Irish tradition. She recorded She Pushed from Behind: Emily Murphy in Story and Song and Tangled in Our Dreams with her husband, Tom Juravich, with whom she performed. A poet as well, she penned Spiralling: A year in verse. Teresa worked for many years in the Canadian labor movement, including at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). She taught political economy at universities in Canada and the United States, including Trent University, Carleton University, and at the School for International Training (SIT). An avid baker, she delighted family and friends with cakes of all kinds, along with the flowers, vegetables, and herbs that graced many a gathering in the garden she loved and cared for. Teresa is survived by her husband, Tom Juravich of Brattleboro; Tom's children Nicholas Juravich (Jean Seestadt), Mary Kratz (Adam), and Guy Juravich; and their grandchildren, Alden, Lily, Ben, and Russel. Teresa is also survived by her mother, Kay Healy of Tottenham, Ontario; her sister Anne Healy (Gavin Leeb and his sons Mitchell and Matthew) of Toronto; her brother Christopher Healy (Donna) of Tottenham; her nieces Natasha, Ashley, Tristen, and Kayla; her nephew Colin (Kristen); and her great-nieces and nephew Everleigh, Miguel and Sophia. Teresa was predeceased by her dear brother Stephen Healy (Sherry). Teresa is also survived by many extended kin in Ireland and England as well as dear friends and loved ones in many places across the globe. Memorial information: An in-person and virtual service will be held in a month near Tottenham, Ontario. Details will follow. In lieu of flowers, Teresa wishes that people donate their time and money to causes in their communities.

• Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Hutchins, 67, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died peacefully on Dec. 7, 2022, after a short illness. Betsy was a graduate of Peabody (Mass.) High School, and was an antique dealer in New Hampshire for many years. She enjoyed online word games, fishing, and being with her friends and family. She was predeceased by her parents, Edwin and Doris (Donovan) Hutchins, and her partner, Paula Renock. She is survived by her loving companion, Edel Byrne of Putney; siblings Doris (David) Ahern and Edwin (Helen) Hutchins, both of of Beverly, Massachusetts; and several nieces and nephews, Renock family members, and many good friends. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held in the spring in the Hinsdale area. Donations to Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal St., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• John Gerald Lawlor III, 71, of Bellows Falls, died peacefully at his home following a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease. John was born Feb. 5, 1951 in Bellows Falls, the son of John G. & Elizabeth (Stone) Lawlor, Jr. He graduated in 1969 from Bellows Falls High School and then served in the Air Force. He was stationed in Maine, where he met his beloved wife, Myra D. Milligan. The couple were married in Bellows Falls on June 17, 1972. They moved to Tampa, Florida, where John worked in a motorcycle shop (motorcycles being John's second love!) They later returned to Bellows Falls, where John worked at and became manager of Real to Reel in Walpole, New Hampshire for more than 20 years. He also held jobs at The Book Press, SEVCA, Bearcraft Industries and H.A. Manning. Among John's favorite activities were annual camping trips to Maine, drumming and music, playing pool, and entertaining. Friends will forever miss John's dry sense of humor. John was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Steven, and two sons, John IV and Eric. Survivors include his wife of 50 years and siblings Donna (Steven) Cenate, Brian (Andrea) Lawlor, Susan Lawlor, and Jeff Lawlor. Memorial information: A graveside service and celebration of his life will be held in the spring at a time to be announced.

• Mary R. McGrath, 87, of Bellows Falls. Died on Dec. 21, 2022, at Sterling House in Bellows Falls. Mary was born on Nov. 24, 1935 in Kelso, Scotland, the daughter of the late Thomas and Mary (Russell) Donaldson. On Sept. 21, 1962, in Edinburgh, Scotland, she married Bernard B. McGrath, who predeceased her in 2015. Mary is survived by her son Barton McGrath and his wife Kim of Saxtons River; one sister, Ann Jackson of Kelso, Scotland; as well as six grandchildren. Mary was predeceased by her son, Ian McGrath. Memorial information: Calling hours will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St., Bellows Falls. Donations to Buddy Walk, NDSS, 1155 15th St NW, Suite 540, Washington, DC 20005.

• Harry Charles Starkey Jr., 76, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 25, 2022, at Somerford Place in Hagerstown, Maryland. He was born on Dec. 12, 1946, in Brattleboro, the son of Harry C. Starkey Sr., and Sarah Louise Taylor Starkey. Harry graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1964. He attended Vermont Technical College and graduated in 1966. He then served in the Vermont National Guard from 1967 to 1972. He also served in the Army Reserve in 1973. Harry married Linda Storme Gale on April 28, 1968, at the Baptist Church in Brattleboro. They were married for 54 years. Harry worked for the state of Vermont in the Soils Lab and the IT Department for 18 years. He then worked at the Review & Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland from 1985 until his retirement in 2018. There, he began his career in the IT Department and became the IT Director in January of 2002. Harry was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church on May 5, 1980. He joined the SDA church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania after moving to Hagerstown in 1985 and served as a deacon and treasurer over the years. Harry was a lifelong Boston Red Sox and New York Giants fan. He loved watching games with his son, Chris, and grandsons. Harry loved his family and treasured vacations to Walt Disney World and Bethany Beach. His family was his number one priority, and he was a wonderful husband, father, and Pa. Harry is survived by his wife, Linda Storme Gale Starkey; a son, Christopher Todd Starkey and daughter-in-law Carrie Strider Starkey of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; a daughter, Rebecca Ann Highbarger and son-in-law Charles Leroy Highbarger, Jr., also of Waynesboro; a sister, Ann Starkey Devine of Eufaula, Alabama; and a brother, Robert Allen Starkey, Sr. of Elgin, South Carolina; granddaughters Makenzie Grace Highbarger and Kassidy Paige Higbarger; grandsons Nicholas Taylor Starkey and Samuel Cooper Starkey; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A funeral service was held Dec. 30 at the Williamsport (Md.) Seventh-day Adventist Church. Donations may be made to either the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road, S.W., Suite 202C, Lilburn, GA 30047; or to the Children's House at Johns Hopkins, in care of the Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation, 6601 Frederick Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228.

• Brenda Lee Thomas, 63, of Brattleboro. Died on Dec 20, 2022 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Brenda was the daughter of Clarence and Ruth Thomas and is survived by siblings Brent Thomas of Whitingham, Bruce Thomas of Brattleboro, and Bonnie Harvey of Florida; daughter Katie Beam, granddaughter Abby Beriner, and many nieces and nephews and cousins who loved her very much. Sadly, Brenda had been fighting cancer for quite some time. She was a strong independent woman who fought hard to be around for family and friends, but cancer finally took this beautiful soul. Memorial information: There will be a ceremony to be announced at a later date. All are welcome.

• Patricia A. “Patti” Zarella, 67, of Putney. Died Dec. 2, 2022, with her family at her side, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire from complications following a stroke. Patti was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts on Oct. 17, 1955, the daughter of Arlene (Ferreira) Whittaker. She was raised and educated in Brockton, Massachusetts, attending St. Patrick's Parochial School and graduating from Brockton High School with the Class of 1973. On Oct. 23, 1982 at St. Colman Catholic Church in Brockton, she was married to her best friend, Joseph W. Zarella, who survives. She worked in early childhood education and had been employed at Landmark College in Putney. For many years, she owned and operated her own home daycare program for area children. Previously, Patti had been employed at the Putney Day Care. She had a special place in her heart for children and especially loved infants. With her husband and family, she attended the former Our Lady of Mercy Church in Putney and was a former communicant of St. Colman Parish in Brockton. With her husband, she was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445. Patti was a faithful and devoted wife and loving mother and grandmother whose life centered around her family. She took a special interest in her children and their endeavors, never missing a sporting or educational event. She enjoyed gardening, both flower and vegetable, socializing and spending time with her family and friends, and traveling with her husband. Cape Cod was one of her favorite places to visit; she spent her summers there as a child and continued to visit as an adult with her family. Patti was a caring and giving person who always put the needs of her family before her own. She was a strong woman who faced every challenge in her life with courage, dignity and positivity. She was a source of inspiration to all and she will be deeply missed by everyone whose lives she touched. Besides her husband of 40 years, she leaves her three daughters, Joey Lynn Whittaker of Brockton, Amanda Zarella of Putney, and Ashley Zarella of Redondo Beach, California; her mother, Arlene Whittaker of Brockton; one brother, James Whittaker of Brant Rock, Massachusetts; and grandchildren Jayde Whittaker, and Madison and Justin Maynard. Additionally, she is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Patti was predeceased by her beloved grandparents, Jesse and Rosemarie Ferreira, and uncle, Gordon Ferreira. Memorial information: Calling hours at Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro will be on Thursday, Jan. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. Donations to Putney Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 875, Putney, VT 05346; or to Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

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