College news

Community College of Vermont (CCV)-Brattleboro student Krystal Martin has been named a 2023 New Century Workforce Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship. Martin works full-time in finance for C&S Wholesale Grocers and is pursuing an associate degree in accounting. The scholarship is the first of its kind to support students at associate degree-granting institutions on a national scale as they plan to enter the workforce upon the completion of a degree or certificate. Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. More than 2,400 students were nominated from more than 1,300 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Workforce Scholar was selected from each state.

• Sydney Henry of Brattleboro, a member of the Class of 2023, has been inducted into Alpha Beta Gamma, Stonehill College's chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education majors.


Parks Place Community Resource Center in Bellows Falls has added new board members Krista Gay, a young lawyer from Athens, and Kathleen Govotski, activist with the Rotary Club of Bellows Falls and the Chamber of Commerce. Gay is a first-generation college graduate, who has returned to her roots in Vermont. She is the youngest member of the Parks Place board at 29. Govotski comes to the board with years of small business experience and family Italian and Irish traditions. As a founder of Halladay's herb business, florist shop, and the Harvest Inn, she knows the Bellows Falls community well.

Theatre Adventure, Inc., a non-profit organization providing year-round performing arts programming for people with disabilities, welcomes two new board members, Ora Grodsky and Wendy Pauloo. Grodsky is a co-founder of Just Works Consulting, and has more than 25 years of experience consulting with organizations for social change. She is currently authoring a book on transformational organizational consulting. Pauloo has worked extensively with children and families, in performing arts and social services. She was the assistant production manager at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, and has more than 30 years of experience teaching creative drama. She has worked as an advocate, creating a foster care program for high-risk children, and providing support services at a domestic violence shelter for women and children.


• Dr. John Turner Chard, 90, of Brattleboro. Died on April 8, 2023 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by family. Born in 1932 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was the son of Roland Turner and Kathleen Cottell Chard. John was the beloved husband of the late state Sen. Nancy Chard, and a well-respected orthopedic surgeon at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for 46 years. John graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Princeton University in the class of 1954. He then attended Cornell Medical School graduating in 1958. He completed his surgical residency program at the University of Rochester from 1958-1960. He then entered the Air Force, serving as a captain on active duty at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey from 1959-1962, and in the Air Force Reserve through 1972. John married Nancy Imlay on Aug. 31, 1961 in Athens, Greece. They returned to Rochester in 1963 where he completed an orthopedic surgery residency at the same university from 1963-1966, leaving as Chief Resident. He was certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 1968 and became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1969. He was founding partner of Orthopedic Associates of Brattleboro. John served as president of the Vermont State Medical Society in 1999 and in his community in many capacities including as a member of the local school board, Brattleboro Development Review Board, and was often seen at BUHS sporting events serving as the attending physician. John was a dedicated medical professional who deeply cared for his community and state. Throughout his life, John enjoyed skiing, white water canoeing, camping, and gardening. John is survived by Susan Iger (sister), Jean Chard (sister-in-law), Sara Chard (daughter), Joshua Chard (son) and wife Heather Cutting Chard, Burtis Chard (son), and grandchildren Victoria Pease, Nicholas Pease, John Pease, Jackson Chard, Rachel Chard, and great-grandson Bradley Pease. He is also survived by five nieces and their families. John was preceded in death by his wife, and his brother, David Edward Chard. Memorial information: A remembrance for John will be held later this spring; the exact date, time and location of the event to be determined. Family and friends are invited to express their condolences and fond memories of John. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite local healthcare charity, Windham County Humane Society, or the Vermont Land Trust. To share a memory or send messages of condolence to the family, visit

• Barbara E. “Barb” Covey, 83, of West Dummerston. Died peacefully at home, with her family by her side, on March 21, 2023. Barb was born June 4, 1939 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, attended Leland & Gray Seminary, and later married and moved to West Dummerston to raise her family. Barb worked at Maple Valley Ski Area for many years and held various retail sales positions throughout her life. She was a member of the American Legion Post 5 Auxiliary as well as an auxiliary member of the F.O.E. #2445, both in Brattleboro. Family was important to Barb. She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and her great grandchildren. Younger years found Barb square dancing, playing Bingo and cards, and teaching 4-H kids to knit and crochet. She loved Hampton Beach and the yearly trips with her mom and friends. She loved to bowl and was a member of the Busy Bees bowling league for many years. She loved attending the country and western music jamborees, dancing, and having fun with her friends. Barb was predeceased by her parents, Harold & Ruth Putnam, and her two sisters, Ruth Jacobs and Roberta Stone. She is survived by her children, Deborah (Brian) Maher of Essex Junction, Robert Covey Jr. of Brattleboro, and Cynthia (Chuck) Bezanson of West Dummerston. She is also survived by her grandchildren Melissa (Phil) Butt, Josh (Jesse) Maher, Carl (Shelby) Bezanson, and Colby Bezanson, and great-grandchildren Cameron and Kyle Butt, Esmary Maher, and Joziah, Keegan, and Lincoln Bezanson, who will miss their “Gramma Chipmunk” but will have special memories of time spent with her. Memorial information: Services are private and will be at the convenience of the family.

• Michelle Renee Hamel, 56, of Brattleboro. Died April 5, 2023 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital following an extended battle with cancer. Michelle was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 11, 1966, the daughter of Ronald and the late Marlene (Paquette) Labrie. She grew up in Springfield attending public schools, including Roger L. Putnam High School located in the Pine Point section of the city. While residing in Springfield, she was employed as a sales associate for Store 451. Locally, Michelle worked at the Drop-In Center in Brattleboro as the food shelf coordinator. She retired early due to a health-related disability. Michelle enjoyed crocheting and her needlework was exceptional. She also enjoyed coloring with pencils, playing cards, taking care of her house plants, and time spent with her family, especially her grandchildren. On April 18, 1987, in Springfield, she was married to Allen W. Hamel, who survives. Michelle also leaves her three children, Allen “AJ” Hamel, Kaylynn Hayward (Chris), and Alyssa-Ann Hamel and her fiancé Chris Cronk, all of Brattleboro; her father of Springfield; brothers Ronald and Mark Labrie, and a sister, Robin Labrie-Consiglio, all of Springfield. Additionally, she is survived by five grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and several cousins. Memorial information: A memorial gathering to remember and celebrate her life will be held at a future date and time to be announced. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences, visit

• Geraldine “Gerry” Kunkle, 92, of Putney. Died March 23, 2023 at Vernon Green Nursing Home, following a period of declining health. Gerry was born March 5, 1931 in Binghamton, New York, the sixth of seven daughters born to her Ukrainian immigrant parents, Alexander and Fannie (Medwid) Gaidosh. Gerry overcame polio as a teenager, which contributed to her fighting spirit. With determination and compassion to help others, she became a camp counselor for other polio survivors. Gerry attended Franklin School of Science and Arts in Philadelphia, completing her certification as a radiology technician. It was there she met the love of her life, John Kunkle. They were married in Philadelphia on Feb. 9, 1952. Settling in Woodbury, New Jersey, Gerry and John raised their family while owning and operating Pitman Clinical Laboratory in Pitman, New Jersey. In 1978, Gerry and John fulfilled their desire to live in Vermont and moved to Putney. It was here that Gerry lovingly maintained their 200-year-old farmhouse and surrounding property. Her greatest joy was tending her many flower gardens and sharing plants with neighbors and friends. Every year she anxiously awaited the sound of peepers and blooming daffodils, signaling the arrival of spring. Gerry loved music and could often be found dancing to a polka at family celebrations. Gerry lived a long, full, and active life. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and loyal friend. She will be remembered for her tremendous kindness, exceptional generosity, and strong sense of justice. She is survived by her six children, Dave Kunkle of Brattleboro, Jeff Kunkle and his wife Cathy of Harrisonville, New Jersey, Wayne Kunkle and his partner Camilla Arnold of Westminster West, Jan Spanierman and her husband David of Putney, Judy Harlow of Putney, and Diane Vergara and her partner Pierre Landry of Brattleboro. In addition, she leaves 16 grandchildren,14 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Gerry was predeceased by her husband John in 2012, and her sisters Anna, Mary, Margaret, Genevieve, Helen, and Jacqueline. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held later in the spring. Donations to Putney Community Cares, the Putney Foodshelf, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

• Vincent Francis “Jimmy” Maniscalchi, 86, of Putney. Died Feb. 4, 2023 at the VA Hospital in White River Junction. He was born on Feb. 10, 1936, in Thompsonville Connecticut, to the late Vincenzo and Rose (Sicilia) Maniscalchi. Vincent graduated from Enfield (Conn.) High School and then enlisted in the Air Force. While serving in Germany, he attended Heidelberg University. After the Air Force, he went on to study at Asnuntuck Community College and University of Hartford. On Oct. 20, 1962, he married his one true love, Carol (Holt) Maniscalchi. Jimmy had a well-rounded work background and will be lovingly remembered for his funny stories, his often-told jokes, and his ability to laugh at himself and spread that laughter to others. He was always celebratory at family gatherings and just as happy to be home with his wife Carol. He loved their yearly trips to the ocean in Maine. Jim took pride in his freshly cut lawn after hours on his mower. He loved sitting on his porch with family. Singing songs, speaking, and teaching Italian were his favorite pastimes. Jim was so sharp in his final days and loved to chat about family stories of days gone by. He loved sports and played football in high school and later was the manager of the Hartford Knights, a semi-pro team in the Atlantic Coast Football League, and went on to coach Pop Warner, where he was known as “Coach Scalch.” Later could be seen pacing the sidelines while watching his son play football in high school. Jim was a proud Notre Dame, Patriots, and Yankees fan. He also volunteered at the nursing home and loved to put a smile on everyone's face, wherever he went. Jimmy was also a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Jimmy is survived and will be missed dearly by his wife of 60 years; his son, Mark; and daughters Jeanne and her husband, and Mark, Jennifer and her fiancé Mike; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter; his sister, Annie; sisters-in-law Joyce White and Linda Blank; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Jimmy was predeceased by his two brothers, Jerry and Charlie, and three sisters, Lilly, Mary, and Florence. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m., at St. Marie's Parish in Manchester, New Hampshire. Interment will take place at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery on May 22, at 2 p.m., with a Celebration of Life to follow at Mountain View Stables, 7175 School St., Loudon, New Hampshire. Donations to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To view an online tribute, leave a message of condolence, or for more information, visit

• Alexander David “Alex” Nislick, 80, of Brattleboro. Died on March 18, 2023. He was born in Newark, NJ on June 8, 1942, and grew up in South Orange, N.J. After attending Columbia High School in New Jersey, he attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1966 with a M.A. in theater arts. After graduation, he proudly served his country in the Army. Forty-four years ago, Alex moved to Brattleboro for a more rural lifestyle. He was the founder and owner of Nislick Upholstery. For 36 years, he was employed as a mental health worker at Brattleboro Retreat. Alex was a creative man and excelled at many things, including set design for the theater, upholstery, carpentry, and canvas sail restoration. He had a passion for sailing and owned a classic wooden sailboat called Summer Song. Upon retiring he wrote, “As to where I will go, my answer to everyone is: Wherever the wind takes me.” He is survived by his brother Stephen Nislick, his sister- in-law, Linda Marcus; and sons Micah Kellner, and Daniel Kellner, his wife, Sasha, and their children, Devon and Jonah. By those who knew him, Alex was described as a genuinely good human being with a spark of mischief and humor. Memorial information: None provided.

• Susan B. Neathawk, 77, of Chester. Died on March 30, 2023, at Gill Nursing Home in Ludlow, following complications with Alzheimer's disease. Known as Sue, Susie, and Susan to different folks, she was born on April 15, 1945, in Bellows Falls, the fourth of five daughters of Perley C. and Ada E. (Miller) Bell. She grew up in Grafton and was a 1963 graduate of Bellows Falls High School. Susan worked at many local businesses including the lunch counter at the Grafton Store, Britt's department store in Springfield, and Mary Meyer stuffed animals in Townsend. Most of her work years were spent as a rural letter carrier out of the Chester Post Office, covering familiar territory in Athens, Grafton, and Chester. For a short time, she even worked as a welder at her father's Bellway furnace business. She was fortunate to retire at age 62, as Alzheimer's started affecting her by age 70. Susie was quiet, unassuming, and got along with everyone. She was active in her church, was a volunteer driver for the elderly, and opened her home to others in need as they got on their feet. She was a lover of dogs and cats. She was very crafty, loved DIY garden art projects and enjoyed decorating her home and yard. Quilting and sewing were regular hobbies. Much akin to her father's interests, she enjoyed riding her motorcycle, a Honda Rebel, and was a longtime active member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association. She had a large collection of sheep and lamb objects. She enjoyed thrifting, antiquing, and yard sales. She is survived by her three children, Kevin W. of Grafton, Kimberly J. of Chester, and Shane J. (Billie) of Rockingham; and her three grandchildren, Claire N. Shillington of South Hadley, Massachusetts, and Brandon W. and Jared M. of Charlestown, New Hampshire. Memorial information: Per her wishes, there will be no funeral service. Donations in her memory may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association or to Gill Nursing Home in Ludlow, Vermont.

• Alane Georgia Perkins, 78, of Brattleboro. Died April 2, 2023 at home, following a long courageous battle with cancer. She was born in Norwalk, Connecticut on Dec. 25, 1944, the daughter of Aubrey Lloyd and Byllee Lloyd Gould. She was a graduate of Norwalk High School, Class of 1962, and attended the University of Connecticut. Alane began her career in finance at Country Journal magazine, where she spent 10 years until she partnered to start Mortgage Service Center as the vice president of loan administration. The company was eventually sold to Chittenden Bank, where she served as vice president of loan servicing until she retired to pursue her love of traveling. Alane was always looking forward to her next destination - England, Germany, Australia, Mexico, and Italy, the West Coast of the U.S., and several islands, just to name a few. Her thirst for adventure was endless. Alane had a true passion for gardening, and often had people drive by her home to admire her perennial gardens. Her greatest joys in life were spending time with family and friends, sitting by the ocean, going to the theater, traveling in her camper, and golfing. She always put others first and lived every moment to its fullest, making a lasting impression on all those that had the pleasure of knowing her. Alane was a pillar of strength and compassion who will never be forgotten. Alane is survived by her fiancé Ralph Halvorsen of Hampton, New Hampshire; daughters Lorin Young and her husband Colin of Brattleboro, and Kellee Enos and her companion David Barden of Raleigh, North Carolina; sisters Jean Casceillo and her husband David of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, Barbara Foreit of Norwalk, Pat Brovender of Strafford, Connecticut, and Audrey Buckner of Sun City Center, Florida; her brother Jim Lloyd and his wife Dorothy of Atlanta, Georgia; granddaughters Miranda McLoughlin of Brattleboro, Meghan Baldinelli of Keene, New Hampshire, and Colleen Young of Swanzey, New Hampshire, and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Irving Perkins, son Gregg Enos, and brother Donald Lloyd. Memorial information: A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 21, at 3 p.m., at the Ker Phaneuf Funeral Home, 57 High St., Brattleboro, followed by a celebration of life gathering at the Brattleboro Country Club. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT, 05302.

• Betty Porter, 79, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Good Friday, April 7, 2023. She courageously fought cancer in the last years of her life and lived far longer than the prognosis for her disease, in part due to her resilience, life-affirming attitude, and being one tough bird. Born Betty Pamela Shultz on July 2, 1943, Betty grew up in the rural Florida panhandle. She would always exclaim: “I had a wonderful childhood,” and reminisced about spending time playing in the fields and helping with farming in the 1940s and 1950s. Betty married and settled with her husband in Brattleboro, where she resided for over 60 years. She gave birth to a daughter, Lisa Giallella of Abilene, Texas, and then Robert Giallella of Dummerston. Betty remarried in the early 1970s and had her third child, Renée Crispe of West Brattleboro. Betty gave 100% of herself to her three children whom she loved limitlessly. She was the dearest and most loving mother a child could hope for, and her children are forever grateful for her benevolence and dedication in being an extraordinary mother to them. The values and inspiration imparted by Betty to her children carry forward with pride and thankfulness. Betty had many grandchildren who would always light up her whole world. She treasured every moment she got to spend with them. She passed on timeless wisdom and advice to them that they will never forget. Betty was a familiar friendly face at many local restaurants as a hard-working waitress for nearly 50 years in the community. Betty valued the importance of a day's work and steadfastly worked very hard her entire adult life. She gained regular customers who went to the restaurant just to see the smiling, exceptional Betty whom they came to know and love. Betty was extremely active for many years in her local church, Mountain View Seventh-Day Adventist, in Vernon. She loved to cook and faithfully participated in potlucks after services. Betty deeply appreciated her wonderful friends at the church. She forged close relationships and touched the lives and hearts of innumerable parishioners with her friendly smile, approachable demeanor, and her kind, honest spirit. Betty unwaveringly maintained a positive, welcoming attitude which made her soothing and relaxing to be around. She would regularly greet folks with a big hug, and loved and accepted all people from all walks of life, treating everyone with dignity. She extended a selfless kindness which was inspiring to all who knew her. Memorial information: A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, April 23, at 1 p.m., at Mountain View Seventh-day Adventist Church in Vernon. Donations to Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Rd., Suite 107, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send condolences, visit

• Stephen “Steve” Ritchie, 81, of Brattleboro. Died at home on March 3, 2023, surrounded by the love of his family, after a three-month struggle with cancer. Steve was born and grew up in New Jersey and, after graduating from Northwestern University, taught instrumental music in Denville, New Jersey. When he and his family moved to Oregon, he taught instrumental music and was a band director in the Portland and Lake Oswego schools. After retiring to Vermont, he continued to teach part-time at St. Michael's School and the Brattleboro Music Center. A lifelong learner, Steve had many interests, from gardening to astronomy; from collecting minerals to root beers; taking extended road trips in the west with Barbara, his wife of 56 years; following the “Dinosaur Trail” in Montana; enjoying great food, whether in New York City, Santa Fe, or Atlanta; hiking and walking in beautiful places in all parts of the country, even when carrying a bear bell in Montana; going to concerts in many locations, especially when his sons and grandson were performing. He is greatly missed by his wife, Barbara; his son Gregg of Portland, Oregon; his son and daughter-in-law Brad and Maya of Atlanta, Georgia; and especially by his grandson Zane of Atlanta, with whom he shared a birthday, many interests, and a special bond. Steve is also survived by his brother Bob Ritchie and wife Susan of Florida, and by his brother-in-law Dan Vertrees and wife Judith Haworth of Oregon, and other extended family who loved him. Memorial information: In accordance with his wishes, there will be no memorial service. Instead, his family suggests that you remember Steve as you take time to help a neighbor, walk with a friend, spend time with family, learn something new, and - always - be kind.


Graveside committal services for Percy F. Powling will be conducted Friday, April 21, at 11 a.m., in South Newfane Cemetery on Auger Hole Road, with a reception to follow at Williamsville Hall. Mr. Powling, 92, of Williamsville died on Jan. 7, 2023. To view his full obituary, visit

Graveside committal services with full military honors for Raymond H. Mercier will be conducted Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m., in North Cemetery in Vernon. Mr. Mercier, 71, of Mercier Road in Marlboro, died January 29, 2023. To view his full obituary, visit

In remembrance of Diane Allen Bassett (1940-2023), family and friends are invited to attend a graveside service at Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery on Orchard Street in Brattleboro on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m.

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