• Helen Eileen Collins Suntag, a 2011 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, recently married Joseph H. Einsig of Exeter, Pennsylvania. The small ceremony was held on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The couple honeymooned in Madeira, Portugal. The bride, 29, earned her bachelor's degree at Tufts University in 2015 and her master's in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in 2018. She recently opened her own psychotherapy practice in Philadelphia. The groom, 31, is a 2013 graduate of New York University/Steinhardt with a bachelor's degree in media communication and culture. He is associate director of web strategy at Merck Pharmaceutical in North Wales, Pennsylvania. Helen is the daughter of Wendy S. Collins of West Brattleboro and of David T. Suntag of Reno, Nevada. She is the twin sister of Isaac Charles Collins Suntag of Oakland, California.

College news

In recognition of their commitment to service, 21 members of the Class of 2023, including Shadda Cliche of Brattleboro, have been awarded the prestigious Crown & Shield Award, which honors students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service during their four years at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

•Hope Soucy, a biomedical engineering major from Landgrove, was bestowed a bachelor's degree at Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute's 154th Commencement on May 13.

• John Peloso of Townshend graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts on May 21.

The following local students were named to the winter 2023 President's List at Southern New Hampshire University: Devi Ethier of Brattleboro, Rachael Morse of Brattleboro, Forrest Brooke-deBock of Brattleboro, Kobe Bazin of Bellows Falls, Hailey Clark of Brattleboro, and Jessica Cronin of Wilmington.

• Bradie Harris of Bellows Falls was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2023 semester at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.


• Ralph Barber Sr., 67, of Westminster. Died suddenly on April 25, 2023 at his home. Ralph was born in Procter on Jan. 26, 1956 to Ralph and Elizabeth (Regimbald) Barber. He grew up in Danby and received his education in Wallingford, and later resided in Westminster. Ralph loved spending time with his kids, loved teaching his grandson Mason everything he knew, and loved playing cards with his granddaughter Sophia. He also enjoyed working and fixing anything and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing video games. Ralph was hilarious, and loved to joke and make people laugh. Ralph is survived by his four daughters, Jennifer (Barber) Riviezzo of Perkinsville, Tasha Barber of Westminster, Stephanie Barber of St. Albans, and Nicole Barber Zielonko of North Adams, Massachusetts, as well as a son, Mitchell Barber of Brattleboro. Ralph is also survived by three brothers, James and Robert Sherman, both of Brattleboro, and Cha

rles Sherman of Vermont; three sisters, Robin Hale of Rutland, Pamela Johnson of Brattleboro, and Rhonda Fitts of Bellows Falls; as well as 16 grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins. Ralph was predeceased by a son, Ralph Barber Jr., and three nephews. Memorial information: A celebration of life and burial will take place at a later date. Donations to the American Lung Association.

• Linda Anna (Auclair) Blaisdell, 81, of Rockingham. Died on May 12, 2023 in Springfield, Vermont. Linda was born on Sept. 13, 1941, in Montreal, Quebec, to Alfred and Doris (Tomney) Auclair. In 1966, she immigrated from Canada to the United States. Linda is survived by her children, Loren C. Blaisdell of Alstead, New Hampshire and Catherine (Darin) Murray of Marlborough, New Hampshire, as well as her grandchildren Samuel Murray and Eve Murray. Linda was predeceased by her parents and her husband, Manley C. Blaisdell. Memorial information: There will be no services at this time.

• Linda (Pulli) Castano died in Brattleboro on April 17, 2023, surrounded by her family, after a short illness. Born in New York City to Ruth (Hellman) and Nils Pulli, she grew up in the Brookfields of Massachusetts. A graduate of North Brookfield High School, Linda later attended Community College of Vermont in Brattleboro. She was married to Thomas Castano for 49 years. Together, they moved to Vermont in 1981. Her son, Joseph was born on his father's birthday in 1987 and was the joy of Linda's life. Employed at World Learning for 19 years, Linda was a dedicated member of the Human Resource Department, where she aided many people, both students and faculty, and was an expert regarding immigration policies. She made many friends there and loved to work hard at accomplishing the most difficult tasks. Linda loved animals, especially horses. She could make friends with any aggressive dog, aloof cat, or unpredictable horses. She loved gardening, reading, playing cards and family. An expert prankster, Linda had great humor and loved to make others laugh. She is survived by her husband Tom, son Joe, sisters Viola Holmgren and Susan Winkler, brothers William, David, and Joseph Holmgren, plus three stepdaughters, Terri Tsongalis, Ellie Castano, Maria Rice, and an extended family and many friends. She was predeceased by her parents, brother John, sisters Barbara and Mary, and stepson Chris. Memorial information: In accordance with her wishes, Linda was cremated and there was no funeral or life celebration. Her ashes will be dispersed by family members in the places she loved most. A staunch advocate for women's rights, all donations in Linda's name should be directed to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Support Department, 784 Hercules Drive, Suite 110, Colchester, VT 05446.

• Marie Ann Covey, 50, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly May 19, 2023 in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, the result of injuries she sustained in an accident. Marie was born in Brattleboro on Feb. 23, 1973, the daughter of Clyde and Ramona (Wood) Winter. Raised in Brattleboro, Marie attended public schools and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1991. An accomplished floral designer, she worked for many years for Ed and Cathy Toomey at Linden Gardens in Brattleboro. She was known for her exceptional and beautiful flower arrangements and love of plants. For several years, Marie attended the Brattleboro Church of Christ on Western Avenue. She loved the outdoors, gardening, and time spent at the beach. She also had a deep love and appreciation for nature and animals. Survivors include her parents of Brattleboro; one son, Evan Wood-LaFarr and wife Kellie of Brattleboro; one daughter, Kelsey Wood-LaFarr, also of Brattleboro; two sisters, Jennifer Smith and Linda Wood, both of Brattleboro; and a grandson, Bentley Wood-LaFarr. Additionally, she leaves her former longtime partner, Timothy LaFarr, Sr., and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorial information: No formal funeral services are scheduled. A memorial gathering will be held at a future date and time which will be announced. 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

• Lorraine A. Daniels, 92, of Brattleboro. Died May 20, 2023 at her home, with her family at her side, following a brief period of failing health. Lorraine was born in Springfield, Vermont on Oct. 12, 1930, the daughter of Raymond and Gladys (McGowen) Barker. She was raised and educated in Springfield, attending Springfield High School. She had been a resident of Brattleboro since 1963. For nearly 30 years, Lorraine worked as a hostess and waitress at the former Howard Johnson's Restaurant on Putney Road. Lorraine was an active member of three Brattleboro civic organizations (auxiliaries) that included American Legion Post 5, VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie 2445. She enjoyed crossword puzzles and time spent with family and friends, especially at the family's camp on Lake Champlain in St. Albans. Lorraine was first married to Elmer Baker. The marriage ended in divorce. In March 1964, she was married to Philip White. They had many happy years together at their summer camp. In 1978, with her husband, she purchased a motel in Titusville, Florida. Mr. White predeceased her in 1981. In 1985, Lorraine was married to Charles Daniels, who predeceased her in 2007. Charlie and Lorraine loved to dance and could be found at the Legion every Friday night. Survivors include one daughter, Cheryl White-Winter and her wife Chrisanna White-Winter; three sons, Rhett and his partner Joni Russ, and Michael and Kevin Baker; seven stepchildren, Nancy Walzer, Lisa Cartagena, Jack Daniels, Susan Daniels, Lori Daniels, and Candance Caggiano. Additionally, she leaves six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by one sister, Arlene Slate. Memorial information: Graveside committal services were held May 26 in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences, visit

• Mark Edwin Deyo, 67, of Guilford. Died May 19, 2023 at the Springfield (Vt.) Rehabilitation Center following a period of declining health. Mark was born in Brattleboro on Sept. 6, 1955, the son of Thomas and Janice (Pope) Deyo. He was raised and educated in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1973. He worked as a forklift operator for 22 years at Cersosimo Lumber Company and previously had been employed for several years in his family's business, the former Deyo's Home Laundry. Mark was a former resident of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a time period known as “his 10-year vacation.” He enjoyed golfing, hunting, and following the NASCAR circuit. He was an avid Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots fan. On Sept. 26, 1985, at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, he was married to Claire Longe. Although the marriage ended in divorce, both Mark and Claire remained close friends. Survivors include one son, Connors Longe-Deyo and his wife Amanda of Brattleboro; a stepson, Rory Longe; a grandson, Michael; his mother of Vernon; and his four siblings, Gary and wife Cathy of South Carolina, Ronald of Florida, Peter and his wife Cheryl of Vernon, and Adelle Fisher and husband Max of Idaho. Additionally, he leaves one uncle, Robert Marshall; an aunt, Carol Walker; several nieces, nephews, and many cousins; and his beloved cat, Ashes. Memorial information: In keeping with his final wishes, there are no formal funeral services scheduled. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences to the family, visit

• Joel David Doerfler, 78, of Dummerston, formerly of Brooklyn, New York. Died on May 14, 2023, at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, after suddenly falling ill just a few weeks earlier. The cause of death was CJD, a rare and incurable neurological disease. A beloved, lifelong high school teacher, Joel enjoyed a stellar career in New York City's independent schools - institutions he frequently opined should not exist. At Columbia Prep for 13 years, and then for 26 years at Riverdale Country School, Joel served as history department chair and designed and taught a wide range of interdisciplinary courses and curricula, including on world history, film and society, race and ethnicity, the Israel-Palestine conflict, foreign policy, and the groundbreaking Constructing America. Joel set a high bar, both in and outside the classroom, and was known for his dynamic teaching, humor (i.e., sarcasm), political activism, and the profound and lasting impact he had on countless students and fellow teachers. Joel read voraciously, diving into new subjects with palpable curiosity and rigor. He underlined books with ruler-like precision and took notes on everything he read. Piled on his desk are books about fascism, “memory wars” in history, and Israel-Palestine, along with a few random novels. After undergoing open-heart surgery in 1996, Joel took up long-distance running and finished five marathons. He loved watching his son play soccer, pizza (with extra cheese), his annual rotisserie baseball draft, listening to music, and going out for dinner. He preferred an aisle seat. Joel spent a happy childhood in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, and idyllic summers in the Three Arrows Cooperative community in Putnam Valley, NY. He graduated from the Fieldston School in the Bronx, and received a B.A. from Brandeis University. He then went on to receive two master's degrees in history, from Columbia University and from Brandeis, where he was ABD. (A brilliant, albeit unfinished, 1,000-page dissertation on British film propaganda in World War II sits in a box somewhere.) Joel moved permanently to Vermont after his retirement from Riverdale in 2018. He relished going on long walks in Dummerston and on the West River Trail, and could be found much of the time hunkered down with books and crossword puzzles, and watching movies and bad TV shows with his family and three rambunctious cats. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 38 years, Sarah Ludwig; beloved son, Alex Doerfler-Ludwig; sister, Nina Drooker; nephews Eric and Star Drooker; brother-in-law David Ludwig; and countless friends, former students, and colleagues. Memorial information: A private gathering in Joel's memory will be held in Brooklyn in late June. Donations to Jewish Voice for Peace, P.O. Box 589, Berkeley, CA 94701.

• Gordon Merritt Fisher, 85, of Brattleboro. Died May 22, 2023, in the comfort of his home and surrounded by his family, following an extended period of declining heath. A proud Vermonter, Gordon was born in Brattleboro on June 19, 1937, the son of Merritt and Mildred (Severence) Fisher. Raised and educated in Brattleboro, he attended school through the seventh grade, leaving school to go to work full-time to assist the family on their farm on Bonnyvale Road. For several years, he served in the Vermont National Guard, and for more than 18 years, Gordon was employed as a lens worker at the former American Optical Company on Putney Road. He later worked in construction for several Brattleboro area building contractors that included Loney Construction, Allen Clark Construction, and Ted Butterfield Construction of Guilford, which he retired from. He later returned to Butterfield to work part-time. An ardent outdoorsman, Gordon enjoyed hunting, fishing, logging, and cutting firewood, as well as sugaring every spring. He was a beekeeper for close to 50 years and often shared his expertise and knowledge with many other beekeepers in the greater Brattleboro area. Gordon was also known for his green thumb and kept a large garden and berry patch every summer. He loved being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Of his other pastimes and interests, he enjoyed playing cards - 500, pitch, and cribbage. What he valued most was time spent with his family and close friends. Though he considered himself a “home Baptist,” he was a man of deep faith. Gordon was also an individual who valued other virtues that included hard work, honesty, integrity and love for family, community and country. On June 28, 1959, at West Brattleboro Baptist Church, he married Evelyn McIndoe, who survives. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of 63 years, he leaves three daughters, Barb Fisher, Karen Bokum and husband Rick, and Kathy Rogers and husband Gary, all of Brattleboro; an adopted son, Kevin Pike of Hinsdale, New Hampshire; one sister, Yvonne Bernier of Brattleboro; grandchildren, Mike, Jared, Heidi, Tabby, and Alyssa; and 10 great-grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by brothers Kenneth and Burton Fisher and sisters Evelyn Sirois, Dorothy Jones, and Marjorie Ryan. Memorial information: Graveside committal services were held May 28 in the family lot in West Brattleboro Cemetery. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences to the family, visit

• Janet Louise Hamilton, 76, of Jamaica. Died on May 17, 2023. She was born on July 24, 1946 in Derby, Connecticut to the late Robert Bell and Edith Voightlander. She attended college at Southern Connecticut University in New Haven. She loved being an educator and received her degrees in Math and Early Childhood Education. Janet was a beloved teacher for over 40 years, and also worked for Homestead and Stratton Mountain Ski Resort. Janet thoroughly enjoyed being an active member of her community. She was a member of the Eastern Star, School Club, Library, Bingo and her church Diaconate. Janet loved her family, church and community. Janet is survived by her children, James Hamilton and Darlene Hamilton, and her sibling Dorothy Lichtenberger of Wilton, Connecticut. She is also survived by one granddaughter, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Hamilton. Memorial information: A celebration of life service will be held at the First Baptist Church in South Londonderry on Saturday, June 3, at 1 p.m. Refreshments and fellowship will follow. Donations to First Baptist Church, 62 Crescent St., South Londonderry, VT 05155.

• Ann Malcolm Kempf, 87, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on May 12, 2023. She was born to Douglas Malcolm and Frances Foote Malcolm on March 28, 1936, in Concord, New Hampshire. Ann graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1954, where she was fortunate to make many lifelong friends and was very active in the Alumni Association for her class. After her graduation, she moved to Massachusetts, where she lived for over 60 years and made many more friends. She spent many years working as a courier and enjoyed the travel opportunities that provided to herself and her longtime partner, Clayton Cigal. She was known for her generous and charitable ways, including her work with the Crop Walk, annual Pumpkin Weekend and the Our Community Food Pantry. Her family will fondly remember her masterful baking skills, in particular, her one-of-a-kind chocolate chip cookies. Ann is survived by her sons Philip (Barbara) Kempf of Brattleboro and Lawrence Kempf of Cavendish; her sisters, Barbara Hunt of Guilford and Ina (Craig) Cassidy of Rutland and their families; her grandsons Christopher and James (Ali) Kempf. She also leaves behind Clayton (Gail) Cigal Jr, Jeffrey (Michelle) Cigal, Scott Cigal, Marie (Michael) Daniels, and Debra Cigal, and their families. In addition to her many friends, she leaves behind her beloved dog Bella. She was predeceased by her parents; the father of her children, Philip Kempf; and her companion Clayton A. Cigal Sr. Memorial information: To honor Ann's wishes, there will be a graveside service at the West Guilford Baptist Church at a later date. Donations in her name can be made to Our Community Food Pantry, 220 College Highway, Southwick MA 01077, or to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• Judith Ann “Judy” Norcia, 80, of Brattleboro. Died May 20, 2023 at her home following a period of declining health. Judy was born in Brattleboro on Aug. 16, 1942, the daughter of George and Mary (Parmenter) Kent. She attended St. Michael's Parochial School and was a graduate of St. Michael's High School, Class of 1960. For many years, she had been employed as a bank teller at the former Vermont National Bank, working in the bank's Main Street location. She later worked at the former Upper Crust Bakery in Brattleboro. In her later years, Judy dedicated her time to becoming her elderly mother's primary caregiver. Judy loved music and was an avid Elvis Presley fan. Her life centered around her family and friends and she especially enjoyed holidays, special events, and family get-togethers and reunions. She also loved to go shopping. A woman of faith, she was a lifelong communicant of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. She was especially proud of her Irish heritage. Judy was married to Donald Norcia, who predeceased her in 1981. Survivors include her two children, son Michael and his wife Jennifer of Brattleboro, and her daughter Lisa Cote and partner David Barnet of Spartanburg, South Carolina; a brother, Brian Kent of Chesterfield, New Hampshire; grandchildren Adam Norcia, Luke Cote, Jake Cote, Mike Norcia, Jr., Mariah Pacheco, Nichole Norcia, and Natalie Norcia; and five great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on May 27 at St. Michael's Catholic Church, followed by committal rites and burial in the Norcia family lot in St. Michael's Parish Cemetery. To send condolences, visit

• Dawn Crowningshield Phillips, 51, of Jamaica. Died April 13, 2023 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston following an extended illness. Dawn was born in North Adams, Massachusetts on Jan. 21, 1972, the daughter of Doreen Morocho and Kris and Ruthann Matyas. She was raised and educated in Jamaica, graduating from Leland & Gray High School, Class of 1990. A devoted homemaker, she lived her life with a main focus on her children, siblings, and extended family. Dawn enjoyed music, socializing, and quality time spent with her family and friends. On Sept. 2, 2001 in Jamaica, she married Christopher Phillips, who survives. Dawn leaves her three children: sons, Zachary and William Cayton, and daughter Vanessa Cayton and her fiancé, Corey Biddulph, all of Jamaica; five brothers, Berry of Townshend, Jacob of Windham, Jonathan of Jamaica, Adam of Newfane, and Kris of Brattleboro; two sisters, Melissa Phillips of Townshend and Jenny Richer of Georgia, Vermont; and a stepsister, Nichole Urban of Lyndonville. Additionally, she is survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was predeceased by a daughter, Beatrice, and a brother, Charlie. Memorial information: Friends are invited to call at Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro on Friday, June 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, June 4 at the Townshend Dam recreation area starting at noon. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences, visit

• Rev. Paul M. Thompson, 88, formerly of Brattleboro. Died peacefully at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts on May 11, 2023, after a short illness. He was Rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Brattleboro for 24 years. In addition to a very busy ministry, he learned to ski which, for a Southerner, was a challenge having only encountered water skiing. He was also active in the Brattleboro Hockey Association with his son Ian. He graduated from Rhodes College in 1958 and from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts with an M.Div. in 1962. His early ministry took him to Mississippi in the turbulent 1960s of the Civil Rights Movement and he later served in the Diocese of Washington, in Bowie, Maryland, before coming to Brattleboro. He and his wife loved to travel, highlights being trips to Ireland, especially the Isle of Iona, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land ,and an amazing trip to Egypt including a cruise down the Nile. After retirement, he did supply work at various churches on Cape Cod. He loved time with his family, especially his adored grandchildren and found nurture in gardening, reading, cooking and Celtic studies including a love of everything Scottish. He was Chaplain to Clan MacTavish/Thompson, writing articles on Celtic spirituality for their newsletter. He was active in the Highland Light Scottish Society, and was a member of the Barnstable Yacht Club. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sallie (“Bunny”) McClenahan Thompson; his daughter Sallie Thompson; son and daughter-in-law Ian and Ali Thompson; and grandchildren Laurel and Finn. He also leaves his brother and sister-in-law Bob and Rebecca McClenahan; niece and nephew Amanda and Ted, all of Cape Cod, and many cousins and family mostly in the south. Memorial information: There will be a celebration of his life on Friday, June 2, at 2 p.m, at St. Andrew's by the Sea in Hyannisport. Donations to St. Mary's Church in Barnstable, St. Andrew's by the Sea, or the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation/Davenport Mugar Cancer Center in Hyannis.


A celebration of life for Joseph Paul “Joe” Thompson will be held on June 5, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the B.P.O. Elks Lodge on Putney Road in Brattleboro. Friends are invited to call at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Terrace Street on June 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. Mr. Thompson, 63, of Black Mountain Road, died April 29, 2023, following an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer. To view his full obituary, visit

Graveside committal services for Edward L. DeCell will be conducted in the family lot in Maple Grove Cemetery in Weston on Saturday, June 10, at 11:30 a.m. A celebration of life will follow the service to be held at the Rod & Gun Club in Weston. Please bring a dish to share. Mr. DeCell, 91, died Jan. 19, 2023. To view his full obituary, visit

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