College news

• Sydney Hescock, a childhood/special education major from Wardsboro, was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2022 semester at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

• Lucas Forthofer of Dummerston was named to the fall 2022 Dean’s List at Quincy (Illinois) University.

• Griffin Waryas of Bellows Falls, Ansley Henderson of Brookline, Savannah Sylvester-Neal of Putney, and Claire Holmes of Wardsboro were all named to the fall 2022 Dean’s List at the University of Rhode Island.


• Pearl Eva (Dustin) Bonnet, 72, of Saxtons River. Died Jan. 28, 2023. She was predeceased by her father, Harold Dustin; her mother, Thelma Baker; and two of her beloved siblings, Gloria Gallagherand Robert Dustin. Pearl is survived by her daughter, Britton (Robinson) Walker, and two grandchildren: River Madison and Mage Riley. She also leaves her siblings Marilyn Kimball, Julie Barry, Patti Clark, and Ron Clark. Known affectionately to the family as “AP,” Aunt Pearl loved her nieces and nephews, and their children held an extra-special place in her heart. Pearl lived in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, California and South Carolina. She worked for Rockwell International as a human resources specialist, and both FiberMark and VerMed as a sales representative. She was well known for her meticulous organization and exceptional attentiveness to her clients, but her most dear position was as a shop clerk at the Saxtons River Village Market. Many folks say they will most miss being greeted by her at the store and hearing her laughter. Pearl loved the great outdoors,and spent her time cultivating her garden and bird watching. Always active, Pearl enjoyed walking and hiking around Saxtons River and on her favorite trails surrounding Vermont Academy. She enjoyed words and wordplay and secretly dreamed of being a writer. She loved a challenger at Scrabble, Bali, cribbage or backgammon, but Sundays were always reserved for The New York Times crossword puzzle. Memorial information: A visitation will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5-7 p.m., at Fenton & Hennessy Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St., in Bellows Falls. A celebration of her life will be held this coming summer in Saxtons River, and details will be posted at the Market.

• Larry Daly, 63, of Brattleboro. Died Dec. 23, 2022 after succumbing to an insidious assault from cancer. Mother Earth lost a dedicated and talented Master of Her garden with his passing. He will be remembered by the miles of stonewalls, the specimen trees and plants artfully placed in the landscape, the ponds nurtured and thriving with aquatic life, and the pathways and walkways set in stone. This is the beauty Larry created, and that make his presence known. To all the loved ones, friends and companions left behind, he would want you to believe in the promise of tomorrow, to get out there and dig in the dirt, plant, cultivate, produce. Leave your mark. Memorial information: None provided.

• Aaron Joseph Devens, 27, of Jamaica. Died suddenly on Jan. 21, 2023. Predeceased by his brother TJ Devens in 2019, and his father, Tom Devens, in 2022, Aaron is survived by his mother, Mary Devens and her partner Steve Bryant of Jamaica; Aaron’s girlfriend, Cassandra Peterson of Amesbury, Massachusetts; and many friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and beloved pets. Aaron was born at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend on Feb. 28, 1996. He grew up in Jamaica and had a happy, typical small-town childhood, playing baseball, video games, fishing, hiking at Ball Mountain Dam, and swimming with friends in the local swimming holes. He and his dad once traveled to Australia together and spent a month there. Aaron worked as a line cook at Stratton Mountain Resort for most of his adult life and, most recently, at Jake’s Tavern in Londonderry. He loved the band Twiddle since his teen years and one of his favorite things to do was traveling with friends and family to Twiddle shows, where he found great joy and made many friends over the years. Aaron loved animals and they loved him. He always made time to sit and snuggle with the family pets, especially MeMe, his favorite old cat. He had a free spirit, an infectious smile and a complex mind entirely of his own. He will be missed by many. Memorial information: A celebration of Aaron’s life will take place at a later date. Donations in Aaron’s honor can be made to Divided Sky Foundation (, or to the Windham County Humane Society.

• Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Engstrom, 74, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at his home, in the care of family, on Jan. 17, 2023. Fritz loved his work and had a great desire to engage with all people. His lifelong interests include tennis, jokes, fiction, bodysurfing, live music, and bridge. He was a wonderful psychiatrist, teacher, and father. But a special and noted contribution, Fritz used his position of power to advocate for positive change in mental health. The son of Dr. William and Elizabeth (Wulf) Engstrom, Fritz was born on June 21, 1948 in New Haven, Connecticut. Fritz was raised in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, where he happily attended Brookfield Central High School and was on the debate and tennis teams. Fritz’s interests were expanded and shaped by attending many summers at Red Arrow Camp. Fritz went to Harvard College, where he enjoyed his first rebellion, a switch to majoring in government after being inspired by campaigning for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Pressured by the Vietnam War draft, Fritz chose to go to medical school at the University of Rochester during which time he married Ellen (Urquhart) Engstrom. They lived in Colorado, Minnesota, and Vermont and had two children, Carl and Anna. His second rebellion was choosing psychiatry, much to his father’s dismay. Fritz finished his residency at the University of Colorado in Denver. In 1977, Fritz and his family moved to Edina, Minnesota. Fritz worked as a psychiatrist at Park Nicollet Medical Center, where he served as chair of the Mental Health department and as a member of the Board of Trustees. Wanting a simpler country life away from the suburbs, Fritz and his family moved to Brattleboro in 1998 and he joined the leadership team at the Brattleboro Retreat, where he remained happily and dedicatedly for 20 years. His final work as a psychiatrist was at Baystate Health in both Springfield and Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he loved the opportunity to teach medical interns. In 2005, Fritz married Stephanie Keep, he became a stepfather to Alexandra Keep and a new father to Thaddeus. As an again, but later-in-life, father, Fritz exceeded his own expectations — learning to cook, take naps, laugh at himself, and put parenting ahead of his work and interests. After experiencing nature-based preschool for his toddler, Fritz fell in love with Waldorf early childhood education and he actively supported his wife in the 2009 founding of The Garland School, where he was a board member, volunteer, parent, and very often their “King Winter.” Fritz completely loved his work, particularly his strong connections with patients and his coworkers. The hardest part of his brain cancer diagnosis in 2020 was the sudden end of his long career. Up until the last few months, Fritz happily continued to teach medical interns about the intersection of mental health, human development, and life circumstances using his favorite method, movie clips. Fritz used humor at work and at play, always an Ole and Lena joke on hand. His lifelong love of tennis turned to pickleball in the last two years. He would want to acknowledge the fun he has had with new and renewed friends that he made playing bridge and pickleball. He was excessively proud of all his children and he relished time spent with his family and friends. His warmth, sense of humor, and a lightness of spirit were felt by all in his midst. Fritz is survived by his wife Stephanie Keep of Guilford, and his first wife Ellen Engstrom of Minneapolis; his children Carl (Mironda) Engstrom, Anna (Griff) Engstrom, Alexandra Keep, and Thaddeus Engstrom-Keep; his grandson Anders Engstrom; his sisters Ann Reydel and Sara (Art) Foss; his cousin Sue O’Neill and his childhood sweetheart and dear friend Elizabeth Klem. Memorial information: A celebration of his life and his humor will be held in the early summer. Donations to the William W. Engstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund, Medical College of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 26509, Milwaukee, WI 53226.

• William C. “Bill” Hull Jr., 68, of Brattleboro. Died Jan. 31, 2023. Those who know Bill knew he was always up for a chat about sports. He was a lifelong fan of the Red Sox and Patriots. He never missed a game and always high-fived his family even from miles away when the Patriots scored a touchdown by calling and celebrating with them over the phone as he high-fived south, and they high-fived north. He met the love of his live in 1972 when she was 16 years old, and he was 17. They married in 1973 and welcomed a daughter to their family in 1974. Another daughter was welcomed in 1975 and, in 1978, they welcomed a son completing their family. Bill served in the Army, and was honorably discharged in 1973. He had a wicked sense of humor that sometimes got him into trouble. He always had a smart comment or reply ready, especially when asked how he was feeling his reply was always “with my fingers.” Bill loved to play softball and bowl. He gained many friends over the years while playing on many softball teams and bowling leagues. For Christmas last year, his only wish was to have his family all together for one big celebration. The family celebrated Christmas together making wonderful memories that will be cherished forever. In true Bill style, he was cracking jokes and keeping us all on our toes. His grandchildren lovingly referred to him “Papa Potato.” He was preceded in death by his parents, William Hull and Shirley Marsh, and a brother, Frederick Hull. His wife Roxanne became his angel in 2004. He is survived by daughters Melissa and her husband Andy Houle of Lillington, North Carolina, and Tina and her husband Chris Dunham of Brattleboro; a son, Billy Hull, and his girlfriend Amanda Thomas; grandchildren Julianne and her husband Edward Mills of Spring Lake, North Carolina, Justin Supprise of Brattleboro, Brian Houle and his fiancée Madison Stack of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Courtney Dunham of Brattleboro, and Andrew Hull of Brattleboro. He loved his great-grandchildren Gavin and Chloe Mills and was looking forward to his third great-grandchild, Raelynn Houle, joining the family this May. He is also survived by sisters Shirley, Lona, Sue, and Norma, his brother Ronald, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Per their request, Bill and Roxanne will be buried together this June at Evergreen Cemetery in Winchester, New Hampshire. Donations to the American Cancer Society, in memory of Roxanne.

• Isabelle J. Mann, 85, of Spofford, New Hampshire. Died peacefully Jan. 29, 2023 at the Jack Byrne Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Services will take place in the springtime and an obituary will be published at a future date. Atamaniuk Funeral Home of Brattleboro is in charge of arrangements.

• Jude William Melton-Houghton, 20, died suddenly on Feb. 1, 2023 after an excruciating mental health struggle. He had a brilliant mathematical, scientific, and philosophical mind and was valedictorian of the Brattleboro Union High School Class of 2020. Jude also had a beautiful heart. He was surpassingly kind and thoughtful, and he had a delightful and quirky sense of humor. Jude was a talented visual artist as well as a creative and innovative software developer, and he had been working in the software field since the age of 15. He kept his light under a bushel, but everyone who knew him could see it and feel it blazing. Jude has left behind many grieving loved ones, including his parents, David Houghton and Paula Melton; his siblings, Ada Melton-Houghton and Cassandra Melton-Houghton; his grandparents, Leah Higginbotham, Jeanne Houghton, Mary Jane Melton, and Paul David Melton; his aunts, Kristie Houghton, Mary Catherine Melton, and Cynthia Parker-Houghton; his uncles, Kevin Houghton and Rolf Parker-Houghton; his cousins, Amanda Harris, Mica Houghton, Skyler Houghton, Buddy Jackson, Morgen Parker-Houghton, and Laila Woodruff; dear family friends Jasper Guyette, Melissa Haertsch, Jamie Hammarlund, the Stratton Treadway family, Phyllida Whittaker, and St. John Whittaker; and many other relatives, friends, acquaintances, teachers, mentors, and colleagues, all of whom will miss his insight, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Memorial information: Jude’s family warmly welcomes cards from those who knew him. Send cards to The Melton-Houghton family at 1108 Western Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging charitable donations in Jude’s memory. He taught himself to program at an early age through Khan Academy ( Jude was a core developer for the open-source game Minetest (; gifts in his honor can be sent to the founder, celeron55, to support the group’s work. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Hotline ( works to prevent lives like Jude’s being cut short.

• Raymond Henry “Ray” Mercier, 71, of Marlboro. Died in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family, on Jan, 29, 2023 following an extended period of declining health. Ray was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts on Feb. 10, 1951, the son of Henry and Lucille (Lepine) Mercier. He was raised and educated in Holyoke graduating from Holyoke Trade School. He attended college before enlisting in the Army. He was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War. Ray worked in maintenance an was employed by Agri-Mark in West Springfield, Massachusetts, which he retired from in 2022 following 32 faithful years with the company. Previously, he worked as a welder for Digital Equipment of Westfield, Massachusetts. An ardent outdoorsman, Ray enjoyed hunting and fishing, welding, and time spent with his family. A communicant of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro, he was married at St. Michael’s to Terry Jane Hrib on Aug. 14, 2010. Besides his devoted and faithful wife, he leaves his five children: sons Matthew of Marlboro, Timothy of Jamaica, and Raymond of Vernon; and daughters, Lisa Barns of Connecticut and Amy Hinkle of Shelburne Falls, Mass.; brothers Richard and Michael Mercier; sisters Susan, Pauline, Rose, Diane, Janice, and Donna; stepbrothers Charles and Norman Blake; and stepsister Helen Wilkinson. Additionally, he is survived by 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by one son, Richard “P.T.” Mercier, and brothers Dennis and Henry Mercier. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Feb. 3 at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church. Committal services and burial with military honors will take place in the springtime in North Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To share a memory or send condolences to the family, visit

• Florence “Tillie” Moore, 89, of Readsboro. Died Jan. 27, 2023 at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Florence was born in Jacksonville on March 31, 1933, the daughter of the late Everett and Viola (Gottard) Williams. She graduated from Whitingham High School and attended Becker Junior College in Worcester, Massachusetts. Florence worked as a medical secretary and bookkeeper for Dr. Wolfe, the Holstein-Friesian Association in Brattleboro, and was responsible for the bookkeeping for the family logging business. Florence enjoyed knitting, playing with her grandchildren, and camping in Maine with her family. Florence is survived by her children John R. Moore (Trudy) of Whitingham, Brian Moore (Julie) and Mark Moore (Donna), both of Wilmington, and Scott Moore (Diedra) of Whitingham; grandchildren Jessie, Tyler, Sara, Joseph, Jason, Christina, Nathan, and Cylie, and many great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband John “Joe” Moore and her sister Thelma Dustin. Memorial information: At the request of the family, graveside funeral services will be private. Donations to the American Diabetes Association or the Readsboro Fire Department, in care of Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. To send condolences, visit

• David “Dave” Struthers Sr., 81, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, formerly of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Jan. 3, 2023. Dave was the son of Larry and Irene Struthers and was one of seven children, including his two surviving siblings, Peggy (Bob) Hadley of Westminster West and Russell Struthers of Port St. Lucie, and his predeceased siblings Betty Hazelton, James Struthers, Eddie Struthers, and Mary Pat Sabine. He also leaves behind his beloved sister-in-law, Carol Bryant of Putney. On April 29, 1960, Dave married his high school sweetheart, Barbara (Bryant), and they raised four children, David (Elena) Struthers, Jr., Tammi (Mark) Stockwell, Kevin (Becky) Struthers, and Karen (Randon) Rhodes, in Brattleboro. Dave and Barbara were married nearly 55 years until her passing on Christmas of 2014. Dave leaves behind grandchildren Andrew, Melissa, Cassandra (deceased), Alicia, Carissa, Jared, Colin, Matt, Chelsea, Levi, and Devin; and great-grandchildren Liam, Mia, Joseph, Davina, Timothy, Amity, Colby, Maxwell, Alexander, Bennett, Aiden, Kali, Rory, Olivia, Logan, Bella, Grayson, Violette, and Malcom. In his early years, Dave operated a contracting business in Brattleboro and later ran a successful auto body/used car business, Perfection Auto, in West Palm Beach, Florida. After Barbara’s death, Dave met and married Cecile Beausoleil Struthers, and they moved to Port St. Lucie. Dave was an avid motorcyclist and owned more than 30 Harley-Davidsons in his lifetime. He also had a huge heart for children and was a two-time past Potentate of Amara Shrine where he raised money for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals. His loved ones will miss his mischievous and bright smile where one side crinkled up just a little more and his generous spirit. Memorial information: A Memorial Service will be held at the Evening State Grange in Dummerston Center on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. with a potluck luncheon to follow. Feel free to bring a dish to share. Donations to the Shriners Children’s Hospitals.

• Linda Louise Tuttle, 74, of Bellows Falls. Died peacefully on January 25, 2023 at Springfield (Vt.) Hospital. The daughter of Harland and Sylvia Dopp, Linda was born Nov. 25, 1948 in Bellows Falls. Graduating from Springfield High School, Linda went on to work for a variety of companies, including Brown and Sharp in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, National Grange Mutual in Keene, New Hampshire, and the Holstein Association USA in Brattleboro. Linda worked hard, excelled at everything that she did, and was always learning new skills throughout her life. She loved traveling and learning, and shared that love with all who knew her. Linda lived in many places, including Nantucket, but Vermont was always considered home. Family meant everything to Linda and she could be found at the games, productions, and events of her children and, later, her grandchildren, whom she loved to photograph and create keepsakes for them to cherish. She dearly loved her grandchildren. She enjoyed taking walks, riding her bike, documenting her adventures in her blog, the hunt for the perfect trinket for the occasion, and scrapbooking. She was a soft spoken, loving person, but those who knew her best knew she could have a feisty side if the occasion arose. Above all, Linda loved Jesus and her family. Linda’s favorite scripture verse was James 1:17-18: “But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and He shines forever without change or shadow.” In addition, Linda reminded us before her death to keep in mind James 3:1: “Dear brothers, don’t be too eager to tell others their faults, for we all make mistakes.” She was deeply loved and will be deeply missed. She is survived by her two sons, Joseph (Joe) Tuttle III and his wife Amy of Bellows Falls, and James Tuttle of Keene. In addition, she is survived by her sister, Carol Dompier and her husband Harold of Brattelboro; brothers Gerald (Jerry) Dopp and his wife Eedee of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Milton “Mickey” Dopp and his wife Vicki of Springfield; grandsons Nicholas, Reno, Riley, Carter, Trace, and Jax; her friend, Sigurd Swanson of Walpole, New Hampshire; and several nieces and nephews. Linda was predeceased by her parents as well as her beloved brother, Raymond Dopp, and her grandson Darren Tuttle. Memorial information: A graveside service will be held in the spring, at time and date to be announced, in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellows Falls.

• Jean Catherine Vandervalk, 91, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Jan. 29, 2023 at Crescent Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bennington. Jean was born at the former Brattleboro Mutual Aid Home on Harris Place on Sept. 29, 1931, the daughter of Harold and Grace (Call) Pike. She attended schools in Brattleboro and Guilford and graduated from Brattleboro High School with the Class of 1949. She went on to attend the Thompson School for Practical Nursing, where she received her LPN diploma and license in 1950. Jean worked for seven years on the OB floor at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and later worked for 11 years at the Thompson House. Her first position as a nurse was in South Pasadena, California. Jean was a member of the Vermont State Practical Nurses Association and the Brattleboro League of Nurses, where she served as treasurer. She was a longtime member of Guilford Community Church. Jean loved decorating, crafts, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and time spent with her family. On Oct. 5, 1962 at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro, she was married to Barney Vandervalk, who predeceased her in 2011. Survivors include two sons, Peter Vandervalk of Dummerston and David Vandervalk and his wife, Dr. Valerie Kelly, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; one granddaughter, Marika Vandervalk of Dummerston; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: In keeping with Jean’s final wishes, there are no formal services scheduled. She will be laid to rest next to her husband during a private gathering in the springtime in Christ Church Cemetery in Algiers. Donations to Rescue Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences, visit

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