College news

The following local students have been named to the Dean's List for the spring 2023 semester at the University of New England in Portland, Maine: Jonathan Terry of Bellows Falls; Xiamara Achilles-Bodnar, Nicholas Campbell, Hannah Geno, Lexi Miner, Mollie Patenaude, Riley Patenaude, and Rachael Rooney of Brattleboro; Olivia Lauricella of Saxtons River; and Shelby Stoodley of Westminster.

• Leah Madore of Williamsville and Kylie Reed of Jacksonville were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2023 semester at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York.

The following local students have been named to the Dean's List for the spring 2023 semester at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island: Kim Amidon of Vernon, Venus Fu of Brattleboro, Corina Mitchell of Westminster West, and Abigail Sargent of Dummerston.

• Wyatt Rosinski of Brattleboro was named to the President's List for the spring 2023 semester at Norwich University.

• Hanna Hopkins, a sophomore kinesiology and exercise science major from Jamaica, was named to the spring 2023 Dean's List at the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.

• Harrison Gleim, a mechanical engineering major from Bellows Falls, was named to the spring 2023 Dean's List at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass.

• Ansley Henderson of Brookline was named to the spring 2023 Dean's List at the University of Rhode Island.


• Betty Ruth (Beiser) Butchko, 82, of Wilmington. Died at her home of 46 years on June 12, 2023, following a long and brave fight against pancreatic cancer. A loving daughter, sister, mother, aunt, and friend, she was born on Sept. 28, 1940, in New York City. She was the daughter of Blanche Knobler and David Beiser and the older sister of Mark Saul Beiser - all of whom predeceased her. Raised in Washington Heights until the age of 13 and later moving to Scarsdale, Betty attended the University of Miami on a scholarship and then returned to New York to attend Columbia Teachers College. She taught elementary school in Manhattan and, after meeting her soon-to-be husband, Dennis, at the White House in Wilmington in the summer of 1976, at Deerfield Valley Elementary School. After the birth of her child, she changed careers, becoming a respected speech and language pathologist for the local school district. She retired in her late 60s after a long and fulfilling career, though she continued to volunteer at the Dover School, as well as at the Wilmington Food Bank and at Memorial Hall. Betty was an avid skier for much of her life, a devoted alto with the Brattleboro Community Chorus, and enjoyed bridge and yoga in her later years. Through these activities, as well as via her work and her marriage, she developed a large and caring group of friends who provided her with much laughter and support through her many health challenges. In addition to this chosen family, she is survived by her daughter, Amy Butchko, of Brooklyn, NY, as well as by her sister and brother-in-law, and many well loved cousins, nieces, and a nephew. She will be deeply missed. Memorial information: To send the family personal condolences, visit

• Peggy Lorraine McAllister, 82, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly at her home on June 2, 2023. Peggy was born in Miami, Oklahoma on Nov 13, 1940, the daughter of the late George and Ruth (Conklin) Williams of California. She was raised and educated in San Bernardino, California. In 1959, Peggy moved to Vermont where she started her 50-year career as a Dispatcher for the Windham County Sheriff's Department, Brattleboro Police, and the Vermont State Police's Brattleboro barracks. A Home Baptist in faith, Peggy was blessed with the spirit of generosity to everyone around her. Her greatest joys were her family, camping, flower gardening, cooking and shopping for the holidays. On March 3, 1960, Peggy married the love of her life, Morton H. McAllister, who predeceased her on March 9, 2015. Peggy leaves behind three sons, Daniel McAllister of Townshend, Donald McAllister of Guilford, and Rex McAllister of Brattleboro; three daughters, Elizabeth Perkins of Brattleboro, Tammy Gosselin of Rhode Island, and Kimberly Winter of Brattleboro; two brothers, Rex Williams of Arizona and Kenneth Williams of California; 13 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren (with one on the way), several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by three brothers, Samuel (Gene), Butch and Bobby. Memorial information: Per Peggy's request, there will be no formal funeral services. A celebration of her life will be planned at a later date. Donations to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.

• Cody Ryan Rawson, 33, of Keene, New Hampshire. Died unexpectedly on June 16, 2023. He was born March 29, 1990 in Brattleboro, the son of Jeffrey and Terry (Shover) Rawson. Cody attended Brattleboro Union High School and graduated early in 2008. While in high school, he worked at Brattleboro Tire. Cody then graduated in 2010 from Lincoln Technical School in East Windsor, Connecticut with a degree in mechanics. Cody's love of auto mechanics comes from his fond memories of his uncle Bob Paquette, who also had a passion for mechanics. Cody's places of employment included Bolster's Moving of Brattleboro, Lodge Tire of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Greene's Automotive of Wilmington, Hickey Alignment and Repair of Brattleboro (where he also was a part-owner), Lost Mile Automotive of Brattleboro, and Brattleboro Tire. Cody loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He enjoyed the fish pond at his home in Keene and enjoyed all the fish and frogs with his wife Heather and son Gunner. He loved clearing brush around his home and all the woods for hunting. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Cody enjoyed taking Gunner on hiking trips to Surry Lake. Recently, he enjoyed giving little Gunner rides on his ATV and teaching Gunner to do owl calls for turkey. Cody and Heather had many enjoyable moments watching Gunner grow and be so curious. One of his most memorable hunting trips was one he took with his dad to Kansas where they brought home a beautiful buck. Growing up, Cody loved sports and played football and baseball. He played in the Brattleboro Little League for the Giants and was proud of a no-hitter he threw. He leaves behind his beloved wife Heather (Bachinski) Rawson, whom he married on Sept. 30, 2017; his one-year-old son Gunner Rawson; his mother Terry (Shover) Rawson and his sister Cassandra Rawson both of Ladson, South Carolina and his brother Zachary Rawson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; grandfathers Alexander Shover (Papa) and Hugh Rawson; and his two dogs Royal and Sage. He was predeceased by a daughter, Remi Rose; his father Jeffrey Rawson; grandmothers Sandra Shover and Eleanor (Stevens) Rawson; and aunt Kathleen Rawson. Memorial information: A funeral service was held June 24 at Vernon Advent Christian Church, followed by burial in North Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (

• Lois Elizabeth (Perrin) Sippel, 90, of Athens. Died on May 24, 2023, following a brief illness. Born March 3, 1933, in Orange, New Jersey, she married the boy next door, Richard “Dick” Sippel, on Jan. 12, 1952. They built their home on the land between their parents, residing in West Orange until 1990, when they retired and built their home in Athens. Lois worked full-time, beginning as a dental assistant before graduating from West Orange High School and finishing her career as the Director of Medical Records for West Essex General Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey. Mid-career, she graduated from Northeastern Bible College in Essex Fells, New Jersey with an associate's degree in biblical studies. She served as a Lister for the town of Athens and volunteered in many community and church activities and at Camp Good News in Charlestown, New Hampshire. Her sewing skills were used to make clothing for Appalachian children, her knitting supported the Senior Center in Bellows Falls, and she was often found helping Dick clear trails for the Pinnacle Association or the Nature Museum in Grafton, sugaring maples, collecting firewood and honey from their bees, or baking bread in their homemade brick oven. Lois was predeceased by her parents James and Lois (Crane) Perrin, and by her husband, Dick, in 2019. She is survived by her daughter, Dale Williamson and husband Erik Williamson, along with her brother, James Perrin and his wife Patricia, and cousins, nieces, and a nephew. Memorial information: A graveside memorial service will take place on Saturday, July 8, at 1 p.m., at Athens Cemetery on Valley Cemetery Road. Donations to Thompson House in Brattleboro, to support the loving care given every day to their family of residents. To share a memory or offer condolences, visit

• Frank Philip Spencer, 74, of Englewood, Florida, formerly of Wilmington. Died June 17, 2023 from complications of Primary Progressive Aphasia. Frank graduated from Wakefield (Mass.) High School in 1967, Harvard College in 1971, and received his master's degree from the University of Vermont in 1986. Frank was a teacher, coach, and principal in the Wilmington/Twin Valley school systems for 40 years. He earned the UVM Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1986 and was recognized as Vermont's Outstanding Secondary Principal by the Vermont Principals Association and National Association of Secondary School Principals in 1999. He was inducted into the VPA Hall of Fame in 2011. Frank was Town Moderator and a Justice of the Peace in Wilmington for many years. He was also a member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club. He attended the Harvard-Yale football game every year, visited all of the Major League Baseball parks, and especially enjoyed playing softball and golf, woodworking, traveling, and good wine. Frank is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia Spencer of Englewood; his sisters Kathi Martin and Priscilla Power of Wakefield; his aunt Christina DeMaso and cousin Holly Ogden, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank P. and Barbara Jean Spencer of Wakefield. Memorial information: A memorial service is being planned for later this summer in Wilmington.

• Alan Steinberg, 76, of Putney. Died unexpectedly on April 8, 2023. A beloved ceramic artist and teacher, psychotherapist and guide, husband, papa, and grandpa, Alan was born Oct. 17, 1946 in the Bronx, New York, to George and Rose Steinberg. He graduated from Queens College in 1968 and embarked on the first of many teaching roles as a kindergarten teacher in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. He had dabbled with clay as a camp counselor, and again when he was a senior in college, looking for a course to fill out his schedule. “After that,” he said, “it was all over - I was kidnapped by clay.” He moved to the Berkshires with his first wife, Sharon Yusba, where they had a son, Casey. Alan taught in the public schools there for several years before deciding to give up his safe, tenured teaching job to be a full-time clay artist. In 1981, he and Sharon divorced and he moved to Putney with Casey. Along a path of many craft shows and jury panels, he met Linda Sturgeon, a fiber artist; they were married in 1985. He began to meet with a group of potters interested in starting a collective studio which became the Brattleboro Clayworks, now in its 40th year. Alan proposed that the studio sponsor what has become an annual event, the Empty Bowls Dinner, where buying a ticket gets you a handmade bowl which you fill with your choice of soup, take the bowl home afterward, and participate in raising funds to support people facing hunger and homelessness. After several years of producing pieces for galleries and craft fairs, he took a sabbatical year during which he read, hiked, practiced yoga, studied at the Omega Institute, was part of the Men's Wisdom Council at Rowe (Mass.) Conference Center, and took part in Sparrow Hart's Mythic Warrior Training. Alan went back to the studio in the fall of 2001 full of ideas for new sculptural clay works that spoke of messages from the Earth, and with a commitment to teaching as a means of giving back to the community for the blessings in his life. He taught classes in wheel throwing and hand-building as well as workshops that focused on the spiritual side of making art, integrating poetry, ritual, mythology, meditation, and ecology with the work of the hands. An auto accident in 2002 drove home the powerful connection between making art and healing. At age 62, to help him take that connection further, he enrolled in a psychotherapeutic training program at the Synthesis Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. He began seeing clients while still teaching classes and workshops and making sculptural clay pieces. He is survived by his wife Linda Sturgeon, his son Casey Steinberg, his daughter-in-law Brittany Nickerson, grandchildren Ida and Emmet, his sister Denise Steinberg Foster, and many friends and loved ones. Memorial information: There will be a memorial service for Alan on July 30, at 2 p.m., at Next Stage in Putney. The family invites you to think of Alan's spirit when you: play with clay, roll around in the grass with a child, lose your keys, enjoy maple syrup you made yourself, read a book that makes you think outside your box, eat rice for breakfast, call an old friend, go for a walk in Pisgah, lose a glove, plant your garden, fall asleep under a purring cat, fuss with your hearing aids, stack wood, come up with a good (or bad) pun, submit a piece of writing for publication, bake a batch of cookies, hear the first peepers of the season, collect random objects for their unique texture once pressed into clay, find a new hole in your old down vest, teach something new, show up for your child or grandchild, eat from a handmade plate, use the wrong tool for the job, pick up trash by the side of the road, remember to say “I love you” at the end of a phone call, lose another glove, pull on your beard, eat dinner out on your back deck as the mist sets in and the fireflies celebrate, swallow your pride, inspire someone while being humble at the same time, stoke the fire, drive from Exit 4 to Exit 2 (again), spend hours in a basement lost in your creativity, leave a first spouse and find a life partner, get frustrated with a phone, snowblow your driveway, go to therapy, play your clarinet, visit your urologist, start a co-op, hold a mug with a perfect handle, change your career (or add one), make time for a friend, remember your anniversary, cry more easily than you used to, and to show up.

• Claire Unwin, 90, of Brattleboro. Died June 16, 2023 at Pine Heights nursing home in Brattleboro, where she had been a resident since December 2022. Claire was born in Brattleboro on June 27, 1932, to Hazel (Parkhurst) and Frances Bennett. In her early years she lived in Hinsdale, New Hampshire with her family. The family moved to Brattleboro around 1940. Claire attended elementary school, claiming to have walked up hill both to and from school. She graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1951. She was proud to say she was in the last class to graduate from the high school when it was located on Main Street. On Nov. 7, 1953, she married Stanley Unwin. Once married, Stanley and Claire moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where Stanley was stationed in the Navy. While Stanley was out at sea, Claire gave birth to their first child, Michael, born on Nov. 10, 1955. 1957 was a busy year for Claire and Stanley as they bought land on West River Road in June and welcomed their daughter Michelle on Dec. 5. They built their house and remained there for the next 62 years. Claire enjoyed the open space and the hum of the river. Melinda was born on Oct. 18, 1962. Claire was employed for many years at Lewis R. Brown in Brattleboro. She also worked at Mary Meyer and Charlestown Mill. In 1969 they established the West River Auto Body shop in Dummerston, which they ran for 10 years. Claire's strong faith pulled her to find ways to spread the word. In the late 1970s, she started selling Christian books through Successful Living home parties. She did this for several years. Doing this helped her realize the need and want in the community for Christian merchandise. With support from her family, she opened Whispering Hope Christian Bookstore in the 1980s, first on Elliot Street and then on Putney Road. She enjoyed the fellowship and friends that she made while owning the store. Claire loved to dance and enjoyed dressing up and dancing with Stanley at his military parties. She enjoyed music, especially Country & Western. She had a passion and talent for sewing and took pride in making clothes for her family. In her later years she spent many hours doing genealogy for family and friends. Claire leaves her son, Michael, of Barnard; her daughter Melinda and her husband, Duane Young of Hinsdale; son-in-law Kendall Lucy, also of Hinsdale; grandchildren Chad and Megan Pacheco, Jared Pacheco and his significant other Violet Batcha, Darren and Kayla Pacheco, Todd and Mariah Pacheco, Kendall Lucy, and Kathleen Lucy. She was proud to be “Gigi” to Brayden, Madison, Shawn, Kennedy, Brantley, and Nicholas (with baby Julian on the way). She also leaves her sister Gail (Boyle) Patch, and several cousins and nieces. She was predeceased by her parents; her stepfather Charles Boyle, who loved her dearly; her husband Stanley, and her daughter Michelle. Memorial information: Funeral services were held June 23 at First United Methodist Church in Brattleboro. Burial next to Stanley in the Vermont Veterans Cemetery in Randolph took place what would have been her 91st birthday on June 27. Donations to Bradley House, 65 Harris Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To share a memory or offer condolences to Claire's family, visit

• Harland J. VanNess, 87, formerly of Williamsville. Died peacefully on June 1, 2023 at Vernon Green Nursing Home, where he had lived since August 2019. Harland was born January 26, 1936 in West Townshend, and was the son of Walter and Almira (Joy) VanNess. Harland was a hard worker. He started working on a large chicken farm at the age of 13. He went on to perform a variety of jobs including doing mechanic work, vending machine maintenance and repairs for Trico Vendors, being a delivery driver for Merrill Gas, and a janitor at Wardsboro Elementary School. He could also be found mowing lawns and cemeteries in the summer months. Harland enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating, he was an avid water skier and, from late spring to late summer, he and his family could be found on the water, Harriman Reservoir and Lake Seymour were two of his favorite places to go. Harland loved his family. He was always asking about each and every one he held dear, how they were and what they were doing; he would start at the oldest and go down through the family. Harland cared about his nurses and nursing aides and took the time to find out about them, where they lived, their hobbies, he even knew what days they had off. Harland is survived by, and will be lovingly remembered by his son Donald of Athens and his daughter Deborah of Brattleboro, his sisters Beverly Coughlin of West Townshend and Shirley Twitchell of South Londonderry. Harland leaves behind 6 grandchildren and 10 great- grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Harland was predeceased by his parents Walter and Almira, his wife Marilyn (Bryant), and his brother, Philip. Memorial information: A graveside service will take place on August 5, at 11 a.m., in Williamsville Cemetery, with a celebration of life (potluck/memories to share) taking place from noon to 3 p.m. at the NewBrook Fire Department in Newfane. To send condolences, visit

• Richard A. “Lamb” Weston, 76, of Bellows Falls. Died at his home, surrounded by his family, on June 14, 2023. Richard was born on Jan. 7, 1947, in Bellows Falls, the son of Ruel and Betty (Bean) Weston. Lamb (a nickname given to him in school) spent his early years in Gageville where he attended the Gageville School. He was a 1965 graduate of Bellows Falls High School. Lamb had a career in the Army and, after being honorably discharged, he worked for Smith Medical in Keene, New Hampshire. On August 25, 1979, in North Walpole, New Hampshire, he married Patricia (Ramsey) who survives. He is also survived by his three sons and their wives: Paul and Rebecca, Jason and Ginarose, and Derek and Leslie; and a brother, David. He adored being a grandfather to his four grandchildren: Joey, Tommy, Bryce, and Abygail, who he loved immensely. He was predeceased by his father, mother and stepfather, (Frank Kay). Lamb enjoyed playing cribbage in his retirement years, but above all, he loved vacationing in Prince Edward Island and Wells, Maine with friends and family and most of all, with his wife. Lamb was a life member of the BPOE #1619 and Polish-American Club #1; he was also a member of American Legion Post 37, all of Bellows Falls. Memorial information: A graveside service with full military honors took place in Walpole Cemetery on June 22. Donations to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (

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