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• Jem Cohen of Brattleboro, a member of the Class of 2024 who is majoring in economics and business in the liberal arts, and Hana Kusumi of South Londonderry, a member of the Class of 2023 who majored in government and philosophy, were both named to the Dean's List for the spring 2023 semester at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.


The Southern Vermont Board of Realtors (SVBR) recently appointed Jacki Murano as its new president. As broker/owner of the Southern Vermont Realty Group, Murano has worked in the real estate sector for more than 18 years and earned a reputation as a highly skilled and dedicated professional. She specializes in resort and second home property sales at the Mount Snow Resort, Hermitage Club, and in the surrounding towns of Windham and Bennington counties. She holds a Realtors Resort and Second Home Property Specialist Certification from the National Association of Realtors and was named the SVBR Realtor of the Year in 2022.


• Ben Abel, 84, of Brattleboro. Died July 27, 2023. Born on Jan. 31, 1939 in Auburn, New York, the son of Robert and Agnes Abel, Ben spent his early years in the Buffalo, New York area and then moved with his family to Brattleboro in 1976. A proud veteran, Ben served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Ben was always ready with a joke and considered by many to be the life of the party at family events, often pulling practical jokes. Ben was also known to put others before himself regardless of who they were. He loved sports and bestowed that passion to many family members along with his great sense of humor. Ben leaves a sister, Virginia Marohn; former wife Diane Abel, son Scott Abel and wife Robin, daughter Karen Abel and partner Pat Jones, daughter Debra Abel, and grandchildren Brendon Abel and wife Mikaela, and Shannon Abel. Memorial information: The family will have a private ceremony to celebrate Ben's life.

• Katherine "Kathi" Armour, 74, died on July 8, 2023. She was born in Brattlebor0 to the late Charles Raymond Armour Sr. and Shirley Rosella Armour on July 4, 1949. Kathi was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa society. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Charles Raymond Armour Jr., who died in 2014. Kathi is survived by her brother, Richard Armour, of Lake Worth, Florida; her niece, Jessica Armour and her husband, Dechazo Harris; great-nieces Adrienne, Janisa, Alani, and Akayla; great-nephews Demetrius and Jordan; great-great nieces Mani and Giovanna; and nephews Eric Armour and his wife, Meaghan, and Richard Armour. A special thanks to Paula West and Tabitha Cain for being great friends and for her team of doctors and cancer team. Memorial information: Online condolences may be expressed by visiting

• Dallas A. (Hill) "Sandy" Bertram, 81, of Brattleboro, formerly of Newfane. Died July 14, 2023 in Brattleboro. Sandy, as she was known to all, was born in Lewiston, Maine on June 9, 1942, the daughter of David Hill and Dallas (Ames) Darling. She grew up in Maine, but later moved to Massachusetts and attended Saugus schools, where she met Donald M. Bertram. Sandy married Don on October 29, 1961, in Saugus. Don predeceased Sandy on May 18, 2022. Sandy was a loving mother, homemaker, and renowned cook. You seldom saw her without an apron. Sandy also enjoyed knitting and spending time with her family. She and Don moved to Newfane in 1991 where they lived until moving in with their oldest son in Townshend and, eventually, to Pine Heights in Brattleboro in 2019. Sandy was also predeceased by both her parents and brother-in-law James Bertram. She is survived by her children D. Scott/Joni (Green); Donna Copeland: and David/Lindsey (Ellinger). Sandy is also survived by her brother Bruce Crowell, cousin Tim Small, in-laws Robert/Marina Bertram, Laurel/Steve Bissonnette, Melvin/Paula Bertram, and Julie Bertram, grandchildren Holly Bertram, Heather/Nathan Moeller, Sean/Caroline Copeland, Alexandra Copeland, Lucy, McKinley and Tobias Bertram, as well as great-grandchildren Nathan and Lorelei Moeller and Vincent Copeland. Memorial information: A graveside service was held Aug. 6 at the Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend. Those wishing to share their memories or stories are invited to send correspondence to Scott Bertram, 6 Cottage Lane, Townshend, VT 05353. Donations to NewBrook Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 77, Newfane, VT 05345.

• Navab (Arthur) Clarence Bigelow was born in Randolph Center on July 29, 1958. He died at the age of 65 in Lima, Peru, climbing Alpamayo Peak, doing what he loved. Son of the late Arthur and Christine Bigelow, he is survived by his siblings Doris Graves, Cynthia Batten, and Tim Bigelow; his children Ian Bigelow, Sativa Ananda Bigelow, Eddie Jablonski, and Leif Bigelow; and two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by a sister, Mary Henderson. He will be fondly remembered by Sue Courtney Taylor and Christa Porter. Memorial information: A service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Old Town Hall, 93 Stone Rd., Brookfield.

• Stephen Mitchell Giroux Sr., 66, of Brattleboro. Died unexpectedly on July 28, 2023 at Albany Medical Center. When he was born on Aug. 24, 1956 in Bennington to Beverly (Weatherhead) and Victor Giroux, it must have been with a song in his head, as music was what fed Steve's soul. If you didn't know it by his collection of music, guitars, concert tees and ticket stubs, you would have known it by his "Skynyrd" license plate. If it was music that fed his soul, it was sports that fueled Steve's mind. When he was a kid, it was the Dallas Cowboys games that were shown on television, so they became his team. But football was a side note to his pure passion for baseball, and above all, his devotion to the Red Sox. He started reading the Boston Herald as a young child, poring over the sports section every single day, becoming an encyclopedia of statistics, of stories of games and players, of teams and titles. If you didn't know it by his collection of sports memorabilia and t-shirts, you would have seen it on his jacket, his hat, a bumper sticker, or even a baseball stowed away in his lunch bag! If it was music that fed his soul, and sports that fueled his mind, it was his love for his family that filled his heart. It was his brother Victor who was his oldest and dearest friend, with that bond that only brothers can really understand. His sister Diane, and a special aunt, Bonnie, were dear to his heart. It was in the home and hearts of his "Granny and Phillip" where he found care and comfort, love and support, deep into adulthood. His greatest joys of all were his children. As a young man, it was his first marriage, to Judy (née Jenna), that brought him the thrill of becoming a father - first Carrie, then Stephen Jr., then Dustin. If you didn't know it by his collection of photos everywhere, or the mementos of their childhoods, you would have heard it in his voice - his pride when he talked about his children. Later, it was his marriage, on Aug. 22, 1992, to his beloved Mary Jane (née Renaud), that added his stepdaughters, Amy and Anne. With the birth of his first granddaughter, Daisy, Stephen became Pépé - a role he treasured. With each grandchild thereafter - Olivia, Lily, Cole, Isaiah, Conner, and Nolan - his pride never stopped growing. So many things brought Steve joy, but he also worked hard to battle mental illness. At times, no matter how hard he fought, it would rob him of the ability to fully engage in and enjoy life, ultimately stealing Steve from the people who loved him. But he was not his illness. The real Steve, during times of health, the man who could experience authentic happiness and lightness of being, is the Steve we choose to remember. Steve was an athlete in high school, graduating from Leland & Gray in 1975. He went on to work as a machine operator at several businesses in the area. Steve was thoughtful and gentle and would do anything for anyone whom he had the capacity to help. He was sympathetic and supportive. Steve was kind. He will be missed. He is missed already. Stephen Giroux is survived by his wife of 32 years, Mary Jane Giroux of Brattleboro; his mother, Beverly Warren of Dunnellon, Florida; his daughter Carrie McCauley and her husband Jason and sons Conner and Nolan of York, Pennsylvania; his son Stephen Giroux Jr. and his girlfriend Ellie of Brattleboro; and his daughters Daisy of Burlington and Lily of Brattleboro; his son Dustin Giroux of Guilford and his partner Anna and son Isaiah; his stepdaughter Amy Nelson of Putney and her husband Thomas and daughter Olivia and son Cole; his stepdaughter Anne Murphy of Putney, his brother Victor Giroux of Guilford and his wife Nancy and their children - Kenneth (who is already with Steve) and Melissa Mullarkey of Colchester; his sister Diane French and her partner Mike of Canaan, New Hampshire,;his aunt Bonnie West of Jamaica and her children Dale West of Townshend and Dana West of Jamaica. Steve remained close with the Jenna family, including Judy Plante of Westminster, his former in-laws, Roberta Jenna and the late William Jenna Sr. of Guilford, Katrina Wilson and Cathy Shaw of Brattleboro, and Tammy Derosia of South Carolina, as well as his former daughter-in-law, Renee Kennedy. Additionally, he leaves behind cousins, grand-nieces and nephews and a host of friends. He was predeceased by his father, his stepfather Wallace Warren, his surrogate parents (grandparents) Mildred "Granny" and Phillip Smith, and his nephew Kenneth Giroux. Memorial information: A celebration of his life was held Aug. 6 at the VFW in Brattleboro. Burial was private. Donations to the charity of one's choice. The family asks that if you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, to call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357) for general information and to locate treatment services in your area. Above all, do not be afraid to talk about it. To share a memory or offer condolences, visit

• Brittany Leigh Olliver (Shirley Mae Bristol), 86, of Brattleboro. Died July 29, 2023, in the company of loved ones, at Pine Heights Nursing Home. Brittany was born in Brattleboro on August 26, 1936, the daughter of Everett and Elizabeth (Pratt) Bristol, and was one of 17 children. Brittany attended Brattleboro public schools and was a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Class of 1954. Brittany married George Leclair, also from Brattleboro, in Nov. of 1957. Brittany and George went on to have three children, Mark (Danny) Leclair, Todd Leclair and Lori Leclair. Brittany and George were to divorce some years later. Brittany became a telephone operator for New England Telephone/AT&T in Brattleboro. Brittany later relocated to the Bangor, Maine area, where she continued her career as a telephone operator. Brittany retired from AT&T following many fruitful years of service with the company. She was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. Brittany loved the ocean, especially Wells and York Beach, Maine, where she would later reside for several years before returning to Brattleboro. Brittany was even cast as an extra in a Stephen King film, The Graveyard Shift, while she lived in Maine, which she was very proud of doing. Brittany loved to country line dance and listen to country music. Brittany also loved to play Bingo and take trips to the casinos. Most importantly, Brittany cherished time spent with her family. Brittany was predeceased by a son, Mark (Danny) Leclair; brothers Donald, Edwin, Eugene (Gene), George, Robert (Bobby), and Merlin, and sisters Barbara Harris, Virginia (Ginger) Gordon, Marguerite (Esther) Lamb, and Marjorie Bristol, who died in childhood. Brittany is survived by a son, Todd Leclair of West Brattleboro; a daughter, Lori Leclair of Proctorville; brothers Verne of Brattleboro, Neil of Concord, New Hampshire, Charles and Dean, both of Guilford, and Stuart of Lyman, Maine; a sister: Betty Wellman of Brookline, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Memorial information: A celebration of her life was conducted on Aug. 6 at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Brattleboro. She was laid to rest in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery. Donations to Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, 708 Kurn Hattin Rd., Westminster, VT 05158 or by calling them directly at 802-722-3336. To offer condolences, visit

• Gerrit van Oene, 70, of Vernon. Died peacefully, with his family by his side, on July 25, 2023 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born in Solenberg, Germany, on Sept. 5, 1952, the son of Gerrit and Marianne van Oene. His sense of humor was evident even to the very end when he was able to tell a joke to one of the Bayada nurses. Through his life, he was in construction and worked for his father making scissors for various companies, including Revlon. He is survived by his wife, Patricia van Oene, his former wife Karen and their children Mikal and Jan. He is also survived by his nephew Michael and his great nephews Cory, Tanner, and Caleb. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Dirk, and his niece Cristina. Memorial information: Per Gerrit's request, there will be no services. Donation to Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To offer condolences, visit

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