College news

• Grace Wilkinson of Bellows Falls, Lucy Daly of Jamaica, and Annabelle Gray of Londonderry were all named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2022 semester at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.

• The following local students were honored for academic achievement in the fall 2022 semester at Community College of Vermont. Named to the President’s List were Wyatt Schaefer of Bellows Falls; Paige Mellish, Noah Morgan, and Avery Witman of Brattleboro; Alysa Morse of Putney, Julie Cermola of Saxtons River; Nicholas Petronic and Ruth Wright of Townshend, and Kestrel Voulgarakis of Wilmington. Named to the Dean’s List were Liam Mallan and Alejandra Morcillo of Bellows Falls, Edwin Chamul, Emma Li, and Jade Newton of Brattleboro; Emma Kelly of Dover, Makaila Morse of Newfane, Nathaniel Jackson and Fern Patton of Putney, Madison Anyan and Kailuna Holmes of Townshend, Rami Abdallah and Alexander Kemp of Vernon, Sarah Sprague of Whitingham, and Lorelei Briggs of Wilmington. Part-time students named to the Student Honors List were Melissa French and Jourdan Metcalfe of Bellows Falls, Mya Bailey, Eleanor Cautela-Clouet, Krista Coughlin-Galbraith, Robert Dykes, Emma Ethier, Christina Howe, Allura Jacobs, Sarah McElroy, Casey Parris, Seth Putnam, Jason Shatney, Rebecca Tatkovsky, and Alexandria Tupper of Brattleboro; Alexis Drake, Ethan Gray, and Krystal Martin of Dummerston; Carly Lane of Jamaica, Paige Rohane of Putney, Birgess Schemm and Maureen Velsor of Saxtons River, Paul Jerz of Townshend, Jeffrey Rivard of West Brattleboro, Alexis Grisales and Hannah Hoffman of West Dover, Rheanna Pare of West Townshend, and Susanna Yule of Whitingham.


• Stephen Roy “Charley Harley” Banis, 75, of Guilford. Died Jan. 24, 2023 at his home with no doctor and no medicine (he insisted!) Charlie was born at home in Winchester, New Hampshire, the son of the late Doris (Barber) and Stephen Banis. The youngest of seven and the only boy, Charlie attended Winchester School until the eighth grade. “By fifth or sixth grade, I repaired my teachers’ automobiles. They knew I was crafty and bored.” From that time on, he could fix any older automobile or motorcycle. Friends say he was one of a kind and that they don’t make them like Charlie any more. Charlie built many motorcycles and hot rods and loved working on Model A’s and anything with a flathead Ford motor, or was built before computers. He was a welder, mechanic, and carpenter, building his own house with his girlfriend of 36 years, Lynn M. Tobey. He shared his knowledge and was always happy to help his friends and family. He loved hunting and fishing, and boating when the kids were younger. He was a role model for his kids. Strong willed, he quit drinking 36 years ago and smoking 10 years ago. He never took anything more than an aspirin. Besides Lynn, Charlie is survived by his son Harley D. Banis (Kattie) and his stepson Troy J. Hanson (Brittany), both of Guilford; and sons Jonah and Stephen. He also leaves sisters Francis Fisher (Dean deceased), Angela Lupien (CB deceased), Dolores Kemp (Donald), Stephanie Morgan (Edgar), and Diane Perrone; and grandchildren Brook L. M. Hanson and Elliana C. Banis and grandchildren he never met. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Sylvia M. Tobey. He was predeceased by his sister Sonia Fuller and two of his best buddies, Loren E. Tobey and Stanley Lynde. Memorial information: A celebration of Charlie’s life will happen when the weather warms so his family and friends can join in with their motorcycles, hot rods, and old cars. Of course, this includes any and all modes of transportation. Date and venue to be announced. To share a memory or send condolences to Charlie’s family, visit

• Diane Allen Bassett, 82, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 10, 2023 following a period of declining health. The daughter of the late Harold and Margaret Allen, Diane was born in Brattleboro on March 7, 1940. Diane attended school in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School in 1958. She continued her education at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, graduating with a degree in government in 1962. After graduation, Diane moved to Massachusetts, where she started her family. She moved back to her hometown in 1985, and worked for many years as a legal assistant in the law offices of William McCarty and Potter Stewart, Jr. An avid golfer, Diane was a longtime member of the Brattleboro Country Club. She also enjoyed reading, working in her garden, and spending time with family and friends. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by Timothy Ryan, Jr., her partner of over 25 years. She leaves behind her two children, Douglas and Elisabeth, both of Brattleboro, her grandson, Daniel McCauley-Bassett of Chesapeake, Virginia, her twin brother Douglas Allen of Marcellus, New York, along with many extended family members and friends. Memorial information: Burial will take place at Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro at a later date. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. Atamaniuk Funeral Home of Brattleboro is in charge of arrangements.

• Marie J. Gilligan, 88, of Brattleboro and Whipple Hollow, Vermont. Died Feb. 5, 2023 at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, surrounded by her family. She was known as “Gigi” to her grandchildren and known as a friendly and joyful face to so many people she loved and even those she barely even knew. She was born in Rutland on Nov. 12, 1934, the daughter of Joseph and Catherine (Jakubiak) Mondella. She was a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph Academy and Casenovia (N.Y.) College. While in high school, she met the love of her life, Richard “Dickie” Gilligan. On October 22, 1960, they were married, and a few years later started their family, bringing three sons into the world. Marie began her first business, “Marie’s Gift Shop,” which later became “The Dolly Toy House” in Rutland. She worked for New England Telephone, retiring after more than 30 years of service. She was a proud antique doll collector, and was even featured in Yankee Magazine as the “Doll Lady.” Even into her 88th year, she carried a beautiful and joyful girl-like energy about her when it came to talking about her dolls and the many antiques she would find while driving around New England. Marie also loved playing the slot machines at casinos and she was incredibly lucky when it came to scratch tickets. She found so much joy in making floral arrangements and boxwood trees. She spent many years volunteering at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and brought joy to so many people’s faces. She was known by the people she loved as somebody who was always giving, even to those she’d never met. She was so proud of her family, and especially loved watching and supporting her grandchildren at their many sports games and activities. Survivors include her sons Rick Gilligan (Kelly) of Amherst, New Hampshire, Glenn Gilligan of Brattleboro and Whipple Hollow, and Randy (Patty) of Vernon; grandchildren Micayla Gilligan, Devin Gilligan (Madi), Patrick Gilligan, and Ryan Gilligan; her sister, Virginia Barry; her brother, Joseph Mondella; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband in 2018 and her sister Janie Wener in 2022. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m. in St. Peter’s Church in Rutland. Visiting hours will be held prior from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland. Donations to Mount St. Joseph Academy, in care of Clifford Funeral Home, 2 Washington St., Rutland, VT 05701

• Robert Ayer “Bob” Hall, 99, of Shelburne, Vermont. Died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his loving family, on Jan. 30, 2023.He was born in St. Johnsbury on October 2, 1923, and had resided in Shelburne for 56 years before his passing. Bob was happily married to his beloved wife, Fran, for 68 years until she was taken by cancer in September 2014. He is survived by his four children, Steve Hall, Deb Hall, Stu Hall and wife Holly Hall, and Rob Hall and wife Susan Hall; grandchildren Jeffrey Robert Hall and wife Katharine Braun-Levine, Meredith Hall Ritter and husband Matthew Wilson Ritter, Jenna Ross and partner Joe Leo, Dan Ross, Carrie Hersey and husband Lucas Hersey, Heather Hall, Kelsey Hall, and William Hall; and five great-grandchildren, Joziah Robert Hall, Joelianny Sky Levine-Hall, Emily Cecilia Ritter, David Hersey and Melissa Hersey. Bob grew up in Waterbury and graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II as part of Battery B, 46th Field Artillery Battalion. He was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with two Battle Stars, along with the Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal. He went on to work at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., and then in Burlington, Vt., for 31 years before retiring. Bob was a family man and an avid hobbyist who had many interests and talents. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and playing cribbage — and for many years was a ham radio enthusiast and an active member of several regional and international ham radio communities and networks, including during his time serving as president of the Burlington Amateur Radio Club in the late 60s. Bob also enjoyed listening to big band music and, in earlier days, dancing to it with Fran on Friday night outings with friends. As a young couple, they even danced on the deck of the steamboat Ticonderoga while it was active on Lake Champlain. In their later years, Bob and Fran purchased an electric organ and enjoyed taking lessons and playing for family and friends at home. Bob and Fran were frequent travelers who made two cross-country trips covering 48 states, traversing a southern route on their first cross-country trek and, a few years later, heading out via the northern U.S. states. They enjoyed a vacation in Hawaii and numerous summer vacations on the coast of Maine. In between these trips, there was a lovely flow of visiting or receiving family to celebrate special life events. Bob was a talented and enthusiastic photographer, starting at the age of 10 when he got his first camera. He set up a darkroom at his family home in St. Johnsbury and developed black-and-white prints. During high school, he became the photographer for the yearbook and sports teams. While serving in the Army, Bob used any free time he had to take photographs. As an employee at GE, he continued using his skills as a photographer and ventured into video production, helping to create some of the company’s earliest instructional videos for its employees. It goes without saying that his family has been well documented over the years with his photographs, and he has inspired many family members to follow his love for this great hobby. Before Bob’s vision became compromised, he enjoyed painting from photographs that he had taken of important places in his life. Family meant the world to Bob, and this included the family pets. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather, always generous with his time, energy and love. Bob was truly a “gentle” man, and his attitude in life was always “the glass is half full,” which is probably one of the reasons he lived to 99. His wisdom helped him to live in the moment and have a grateful heart — a beautiful model for us all. Memorial information: Donations to UVM Home Health & Hospice, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester, VT 05446 (; Age Well: Meals on Wheels in Vermont, 875 Roosevelt Highway, Suite 210, Colchester, VT 05446 (; or Humane Society of Chittenden County, 142 Kindness Ct., South Burlington, VT 05403 (

• Violet Agnes “Vi” Howard, 91, of Marlboro. Died peacefully on Feb. 3, 2023 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital following a period of declining health. Mrs. Howard was born in South Deerfield, Massachusetts on Oct. 24, 1931, the daughter of George and Mildred (Baxter) Powling. She was raised in Marlboro, attending Marlboro public schools. She worked as a logger for many years with her father and two brothers, Percy and Calvin Powling. She also operated her own house cleaning business serving families primarily in the Marlboro area. In her earlier years, Violet had been employed at the former Arnold Ware Company on Cotton Mill Hill in Brattleboro. She was active in barrel racing up until her 80s and sorted cattle at the Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton, earning the distinction of being a world qualifier. Violet was a member of the Quarter Horse Association and Draft Horse Pulling Association. On Feb. 14, 1948, she was married to Sturgis E. Howard, who is deceased. Survivors include her companion of 58 years, David L. Johnson; daughters Maggie M. Smith and Peggy S. Howard (Keith), both of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, and Jane V. Clark (Jay) and Barbara A. Young (Alan), all of Marlboro; two grandchildren and a nephew whom she helped raise, Monica Smith (Mike), Davie Covey (Jocelyn), and Mark Powling; four other grandchildren, Donald Smith (Heather), Jeremy Clark (Hillary), Ted Greenwood, V (Rena), and Robert “B.J.” Clark; great grandchildren Chrystal, Shawna, Joshie, Sarah, and Monica Smith (Mike), Davie (Jocelyn) Covey, Ted Greenwood, and Jennifer, Amber, and Jeremiah Clark; great-great grandchildren James, Kyle, and Logunn Turner, Raymond, Zachary, Scarlett and Jeremiah Smith, Peyton Covey and Aaliyah Clark. Additionally, she leaves a sister, Hazel Brown, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Violet was predeceased by a daughter, Mary A. Howard; brothers, Calvin, Percy, Lester and George Powling; three sisters, Hazel Bourn, Irene Bourn and Leone Beam; and a granddaughter, Beverly Covey. Memorial information: Memorial contributions in Violet’s name may be made to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302; Gerda’s Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 1352, West Townshend, VT 05359; or Pond Hill Ranch, 1683 Pond Hill Ranch Rd., Castleton, VT 05735. To send condolences, visit

• Barbara LeVan, 69, of Wilmington. Died peacefully in her home, surrounded by the love of family, on Feb. 1, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was born on Dec. 18, 1953, the daughter of Dolores Nikles (Nicki) and Robert LeVan. Barbara is survived by her daughter Emma Rose Sprenger-Timmons and grandson Lennon Timmons from West Dover; her father Robert LeVan and his wife Gail LeVan; her sister Sandy LeVan; brother Robert LeVan and his wife Linda Dietz; and stepdaughters Brie Beckwith and husband Justin and their children Redmond and Frida of Warren, Tyne Pike-Sprenger and husband David Rothman and their children Tulsi and Wilder of Fayston. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Barbara studied at the University of Maryland and then at the University of Pittsburgh where she received her degree in physical therapy. Her clinical work brought her to Summit County Colorado and New Hampshire. She blended functional rehab and manual therapy with craniosacral therapy, energy medicine and spiritual healing practices. In 1989, Barbara opened her private practice, Physical Therapy Plus, LLC in Wilmington. She owned and managed this patient-centered, holistic, community-based practice until 2013 and continued to treat patients from her home office until 2019, when she retired. Barbara taught for the Upledger Institute and the Barral Institute, where she developed deep connections to teachers and colleagues. She was an advanced teacher of manual therapies and enjoyed a long and distinguished teaching career, both nationally and internationally. In her teaching travels throughout the world, she often brought Eric and Emma Rose with her. The love of Barbara’s life, her husband Eric Sprenger, predeceased her March 1, 2022. They shared a full and joyous connection to outdoor activities; biking, hiking, cross-country, telemark, and Alpine skiing, distance swimming at Lake Whitingham, snow shoeing, camping, kayaking, and walking together and with their daughters and later their grandchildren in their beloved Vermont woods. Their first date in 1996 consisted of a 10-mile hike/run on the Haystack Ridge Mountain Loop. They had a beautiful outdoor wedding in 1999 at Jenckes Farm in Marlboro with friends, family. In the fall of 1999, they welcomed 3-month-old Emma Rose into the family through adoption. Barbara (“Nana”) said time and time again that Lennon was her source of light, especially within the year after Eric’s passing. Nana, Emma Rose, and Lennon enjoyed walks to the lake together as well as other outdoor adventures, and many visits to see the neighbor’s tractor. Lennon always looked forward to his sleepovers at Nana’s house. Barbara and Eric enjoyed their travels to the Mad River Valley to visit Brie, Tyne, and their families for ski adventures, and looked forward to when they would visit Wilmington for backyard barbecues and swimming at the lake. Barbara was a brilliant and treasured soul who touched many lives through her wisdom, loving presence and healing abilities; she was described as having a mother earth connection. She was passionate about gardening, studying and playing cello with her close friend and teacher Judith Serkin, meditating, sewing toddler clothing and dresses for Emma as well as gifts for loved ones, and her tradition of Sunday night dinners at the lake with family and close friends. Barbara’s love, generosity and strength will carry on through her family and friends. Memorial information: Services will be held at West Dover Congregational Church on April 1 at 11 a.m., followed by an interment service for close friends and family. A celebration of life will be held at Memorial Hall on April 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Donations to the Dr. John E. Upledger Foundation, 11211 Prosperity Farms Rd., D323, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. To send the family personal condolences, visit

• Frederick H. Roberts, 81, of Bernardston, Massachusetts. Died Feb. 4, 2023 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts, with his wife Joyce and their friend Marcella Hebert at his side. Fred was born March 9, 1941 in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Alfred B. and Muriel (Goff) Roberts. He attended elementary and high school in North Kingston, Rhode Island and excelled in baseball, football, and basketball. He continued to stay active in sports after high school, playing softball in the Brattleboro, Greenfield, and Keene, New Hampshire leagues. He served honorably in Massachusetts Army National Guard. He moved to Hinsdale, New Hampshire, then Northfield, Massachusetts, working for his brother on Old Yankee Farm. Later he was employed at Greenfield Tap & Die, Concel Paper, Hinsdale Paper, and Erving Paper. His last employment was at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for 28 years. He was a member of American Legion Post 5 in Brattleboro. Fred is survived by his wife Joyce (Roberts) of 58 years of Bernardston; sisters-in-law Joyce Roberts of Enfield, New Hampshire, Marilyn Roberts of Vernon, Connecticut, and Ruth Ann Fortunato of Westfield, Massachusetts; nieces Coralie Mitchell of Fairlee, and her daughters Stephanie (Adam) Rause and their children Mitchell and Cadence of Cross Jct. Virginia; Karen Ward and her husband Chad of Vershire; Susan Crate and husband Shane of Enfield, New Hampshire and son Lance Crate of Manchester; Diane DiPietro of Westfield, Massachusetts and her children Shane Carter and wife Kira of Deerfield, New Hampshire and their children Rory, Nash, Liliana and Justin Carter of Westfield; Lauren DePietro of Ludlow, Massachusetts and their children Ariel and Talen; Leah DiPietro of Monson, Massachusetts ,and Kyla DiPietro of Enfield, Connecticut; nephews Gordon P. Roberts and children Owen and Roisin of North Kingston; Garrett Roberts and children Kelton, Taylor, and Paxton of Wickford, Rhode Island; Bruce Roberts and wife Elaine of Pepperill, Massachusetts and children Timothy and Annie. He is also survived by his best friend Dwight Blossom of Hinsdale, as well as many other friends and relatives. He was predeceased by his parents, mother-in-law Edna D. Roberts, brothers William G. and Gordon P. Roberts, and brother-in-law Wendell S. Roberts. Memorial information: A funeral service will be held Monday Feb. 20 at noon at Kidder Funeral Home, 1 Parker Ave. Northfield. A calling hour will precede the service at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the spring in Center Cemetery in Bernardston, Mass. Donations to American Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018. To send condolences, visit

• Shawna (Bonneau) Stevens, 70, of Keene, New Hampshire, formerly of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Jan. 24, 2023. Shawna was born in Brattleboro to the late Raymond and Joyce (Starkey) Bonneau on June 13, 1952, where she spent much of her youth. She graduated from Brattleboro Union High School and entered the workforce, taking on many different roles throughout her life. At various points, she worked waiting tables, as an office administrator, and as a drug addiction counselor. While these roles were important to her, the most important role was the one she held as mom. While she may not have been perfect, she loved her family, especially her children and grandchildren. Shawna will be remembered as a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and aunt. In addition to being remembered for loving her family. Shawna will be remembered as a cat-loving free spirit who was happiest with warm sunshine on her shoulders at the beach in Florida, or her hands in the cool, fresh dirt of a garden in Vermont. Shawna was always spiritual, leaning into the teachings of Christianity throughout life. No matter what she was going through, she was always kind, courteous, and treated people with respect. In addition to her parents, Shawna was predeceased by the father of her children, Michael Stevens Sr. She is survived by her cherished children Michael Stevens (Donna) and Collen Beaudouin; siblings Richard Bonneau and Catherine Bonneau McCarthy (John); and three grandchildren and three nieces, and their children. Memorial information: Services will take place at the convenience of the family. All are invited to attend. Please check the Cremation Society of New Hampshire website,, where service details will be posted as they become available. Donations to the Brattleboro Retreat or a charity of your choice.

• Megan Lea (Thurber) Willett, 46, of White River Junction, formerly of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 4, 2023 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, following a courageous battle with cancer. Megan was born in Brattleboro on May 19, 1976, the daughter of Kenneth and Marleen (McDonald) Thurber. She was raised and educated in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1994. At the time of her death, she was employed as a sales associate at LaValley Building Supply in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. Previously, she worked as a licensed nurse’s assistant at The Terrace in Wilder and for several nursing homes in the Brattleboro area including Vernon Green in Vernon. While in high school, Megan worked at the former Riverview Diner. Megan loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, fishing, kayaking, and spending time at Hampton Beach and on Cape Cod. She was a sun lover and enjoyed working on her tan every summer. Megan also cherished time shared with her family. On May 1, 2021, in White River Jct., she was married to Lyle Willett,who survives. Besides her husband she leaves her children Dylan Betit of Whitingham, Felicia Betit of Barre, Massachusetts, and Lillie McBreairty of Fort Kent, Maine; her father, Kenneth Thurber of Belchertown, Massachusetts; her stepmother, Linda Thurber of Brattleboro; sisters Melissa Guyette of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire and Karey Plummer of Beaverton, Michigan; and brothers Taylor and Spencer Thurber of Brattleboro. Additionally, she is survived by her paternal grandmother, Pauline Thurber of Guilford, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Megan also leaves behind her cat, Hemi, who she loved and could always be found wherever she was. She was predeceased by her mother and a nephew, Jason Guyette. Memorial information: A memorial gathering will be held at a later date and time to be announced by the funeral home. Donations to Children’s Hospital at DHMC (CHaD), 1 Medical Center Drive, HB 7070, Lebanon, NH 03756. To send condolences, visit

• Katie Marjorie Wilson, 40, beloved daughter and sister, died at home on Dec. 22, 2022. She came into the world three months premature, at 1.5 pounds. She not only survived, but thrived. She was greatly loved, and leaves a big hole in her parents’ lives. She was predeceased by her mother, Marjorie Wilson, and her paternal grandparents Gert and Holton Wilson. She is survived by her parents, Eva and Dennis Wilson, her sister Amy (Jody) Goodnow, her “Omi” Annmarie Anthony and her “adopted” grandfather Richard Lesure. Memorial information: No services are planned.

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