• Carol Ellen Bascom, 61, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died unexpectedly, in the comfort of her home, on August 24, 2023 following a brief illness. Carol was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts on Dec. 2, 1961, the daughter of Harold E. and Mary J. (Vallee) Nichols. A longtime resident of Hinsdale, she attended Hinsdale public schools, including Hinsdale High School. Carol worked at Pine Heights Nursing Home, which she retired from this past June due to health issues. Previously during her younger years, she worked with the elderly as a caregiver in a position she thoroughly enjoyed. Carol enjoyed fishing, going to the ocean, and time spent with her mother, husband, and grandkids. On Nov. 15, 1986, in Hinsdale during a small ceremony for family and close friends, she was married to Donald Bascom, who survives. Besides her devoted husband of 36 years, survivors include her mother, Mary Nichols of Hinsdale; her three children, Tammy Stebbins (Jesse) and Lisa Bascom-Crosby (Rachel), all of Hinsdale, and Michael Bascom (Deanna) of Alabama; three brothers, Harold Nichols (Candace) of Hinsdale, Donald Nichols (Nicole) of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, and Timothy Nichols (Janice), also of Hinsdale; and a sister, Mary Nichols (Chet) of Hinsdale. Additionally, she leaves, seven grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, and siblings Thomas J. Nichols and Beverly A. Howe. Memorial information: A celebration of her life will be held at a future date and time that will be announced. Donations to the Hinsdale Volunteer Fire Department, 13 Depot St., Hinsdale, NH 03451. If you wish to express condolences, visit

• Thomas "Gunz" Benson, 40, of Guilford. Died unexpectedly at his home on Aug. 21, 2023. Tommy was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on Jan. 23, 1983, the son of Lawrence Benson and Debbie Franklin. He was raised and educated in Guilford and attended Brattleboro Union High School. At the time of his death, he worked as a property manager in Stamford, Vermont and, during the winter months, he was a trail groomer and road supervisor for Mount Snow in West Dover, his favorite job and work place. Previously, he worked at Rashad's Nursery in West Brattleboro and, for several years, was employed at the Marina Restaurant on Putney Road. An ardent outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, chopping wood, and puttering around his home. He had a deep love and profound appreciation for nature and considered the woods his church. Tommy was a devoted Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots fan. He also liked to follow NASCAR. Active in local sports, he was involved with the Greater Brattleboro Area Men's Softball and Basketball leagues. Survivors include his mother Debbie and step-father Mark Rosner of West Springfield, Massachusetts; one sister, Samantha Franklin Jay of Guilford; his favorite aunt, Diane Rounds of Guilford; three uncles, Todd Franklin (Charlene) of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Garrett (Debbie) and Kurt Benson, both of Colrain, Massachusetts; his cousin and partner in crime, Eric Rounds; and cousins Joshua Benson of Colrain and Heidi, Keith, and Kristie Franklin of New York. He also leaves a large host of friends and acquaintances.Tommy was predeceased by his father; maternal grandparents, Russell and Joan Franklin; and paternal grandparents, Lawrence and Nancy Benson. Memorial information: Graveside committal services were conducted on Aug. 26 in Baker Cemetery in Guilford. Donations to Jenna's Promise, P.O. Box 575, Johnson, VT 05656; or Guilford Fair Association, 466 Packers Corners Road, Guilford, VT 05301 in care of David Franklin. If you wish to express condolences, visit

• Verne Richard Bristol, 91, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on Aug. 23, 2023 at his home. He had spent five wonderful days preceding his death celebrating his 91st birthday with family, through visits and telephone conversations. Verne was born on Aug. 17, 1932, in Brattleboro, Vermont, the fifth of 17 children born to the late Elizabeth (Pratt) Bristol and Everett Edwin Bristol of Brattleboro. All of his primary education was in Vermont, attending schools in Townshend, Dummerston, and Brattleboro. He graduated from Brattleboro High School with the Class of 1951, where he excelled as a student-athlete in basketball, cross country, and track and field. His school record for discus throw stayed intact for nearly 25 years after his graduation. During high school, Verne was also a member of the Vermont National Guard. In 1996, Verne served as Grand Marshal of the BUHS alumni parade. Immediately following graduation, he joined the Army and served in the 101st Airborne Division. Promoted to corporal out of leadership school, he spent 19 months in the Far East Command (Korea). He spent the majority of his career as a squad leader early on in the war, then trained as a Morse code radioman during the latter part of the war. He earned 6 service medals as well as the Combat Infantryman's Badge. Verne joined the Brattleboro Ski Patrol in high school and continued his association upon discharge from the military. He led the Brattleboro Ski Patrol for three years and was selected Patrolman of the Year in 1972. He served in the National Ski Patrol system for more than 25 years. His chosen profession was as a printer, as were many of the Bristol men in his family. He worked for Stone Typesetting, The Book Press, and spent the majority of his career as an offset printer for American Stratford, all in Brattleboro. Although his chosen profession as a printer spanned 25 years, his greatest love has always been that of helping people and emergency medicine. In 1966, he and 15 others, all members of the National Ski Patrol, formed what is now Rescue Inc. As a founding member, he worked as a medical volunteer and as a president of the organization. In 1984, he accepted the full-time role of CEO/Administrator and was able to enact a great deal of change in the organization prior to his retirement in 1997. He wrote the by-laws of Rescue Inc. and designed the basis for the current organizational structure for the squad. This helped to lay the groundwork for what has made Rescue Inc. a premier rescue squad in the region today. During his leadership tenure, Rescue Inc. was honored as the "Best Rescue Squad" in the entire state of Vermont. He was a pioneer in the early days of Emergency Medical Services as he and 14 other members of Rescue Inc. were among the first certified in the state of Vermont as EMTs to give intravenous fluids in the field. As a charter member, he was one of the first nationally-certified EMTs when the program started in the early 1970s. He was appointed to the 9-1-1 committee and was instrumental in helping to bring the 9-1-1 system to the state of Vermont. For this work, he was honored in 1972 by the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce as its "Man of the Year." Verne also served on the Board of Directors of both Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Putney Credit Union. He also volunteered as an Auxiliary State Police officer for more than five years. The Rescue family, including past and current leadership, have remained close friends with Verne throughout the years, and he was especially grateful to continue that connection. Upon his retirement from Rescue, a day was set aside as "Verne Bristol Day" in Brattleboro. Verne also received numerous awards from the Vermont State Police, local police, service clubs, the Red Cross, the Heart Association, the March of Dimes and from the membership of Rescue Inc. In 1955, Verne met the love of his life, Mary Graves Bristol. They were married a year later on March 31, 1956 at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro, where they have been members for the past 67 years. They were blessed with five children. They were always known as "Mary and Verne" or "Verne and Mary." They were a team. He was a loving, compassionate, and loyal family man. They enjoyed their friends and especially the closeness of family. Their home was always open to friends and family. They took many vacation trips with their children when they were younger and many more as they grew older. Throughout their lives they loved going to the beaches of Maine and to visit family throughout Canada. Their favorite beach was Popham Beach, which they shared with their older grandchildren on several trips, still to be known to them as "Pom Pom" beach. The grandchildren remember apple picking, or going to beaches, hiking up a mountain for blueberries to the "old shanty" in Dummerston and setting up for the annual Easter Egg hunt at their house in Guilford. Verne always loved to see the smile on their happy faces! He always had a friendly lap for the great-grandchildren to sit upon. Verne was an avid organic vegetable gardener, and his gardens were beautiful, bountiful, and without weeds. He would spend hours in his gardens and perfected new methods for growing his tomatoes or cucumbers to get the best yield. He wrote a "white paper" on growing tomatoes organically and shared it with family members so everyone could learn from his experience. He was the family expert and the one everyone looked up to. He spent hours reading and researching through books, not computers, different methods and putting his own twist on them. This knowledge has been passed down for generations. Verne also enjoyed skiing, hunting and fishing, collecting war movies, and his beloved Red Sox and Patriots. Verne was predeceased by his parents, and siblings Edwin, Margery, Eugene, George, Barbara, Robert, Virginia, Shirley, Esther. He is survived by his wife of 67 years and their children Patricia Higgins, John (Janet) Bristol, James Bristol, David Bristol and Wendy Pritting, and Heidi (James) Gray. He leaves behind siblings Betty Jane Wellman, and Neil, Charles, Dean, and Stewart Bristol, along with 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Verne touched many lives and will always be known for being a kind, caring, and compassionate man willing to always help someone in need. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Memorial information: Services will be on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m., at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro, with an ambulance procession starting at 10:30 a.m. from Rescue Inc. on Canal Street. The service will also be livestreamed on Zoom at Donations to Rescue, Inc. P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro VT 05302.

• Wendy Lynn Chadwick (Morissette), 68, of Hobe Sound, Florida. Died on Aug. 6, 2023, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was born on Aug. 28, 1954 in North Carolina, and grew up in Brattleboro, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School and then the University of New Hampshire. She worked in the restaurant industry for 30 years before expanding her skills and sharing her talents at Riverwood's retirement community where she was a beloved concierge. Her effervescent personality and positive attitude was well received by the elderly residents. Wendy excelled at connecting with people wherever she went. She was an extrovert who recharged by being with people, and she could light up a room with her larger than life vivacious, friendly personality. She was an excellent cook. Entertaining friends and family was one of the joys of her life. She was always up for company and a game of cards. Wendy loved the ocean. She lived within minutes of the coast for most of her adult life, including New Hampshire, California, South Carolina, and Florida. She loved to travel especially by boat and she took many large and small cruises. In 1993, she married Phil Chadwick, the love of her life. She doted on her three nephews so much that many in the family simply referred to her as "Auntie." Wendy is survived by her loving husband Phil, his brother Kenneth and niece Elisha, mother Elsa, sisters Roxanne, Mikell, and Tara; brother-in-law Bryan Archibald; nephews Nate, Calvin, and Max; and brother-in law Gianni Hohl Rome. Memorial information: A private service is planned for a future date.

• James S. "Jim" Chickering, 74, of Saxtons River. Died peacefully on Aug. 21, 2023 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Jim was born Sept. 19, 1948 to Leslie and Marion (Smith) Chickering and was raised in North Walpole, New Hampshire. He attended schools in Bellows Falls, and went on to work for J & L and Ruger through his adult years. James loved fishing, tending to his yard, playing card games and telling stories about his adventures. Jim was also a trustee and faithful member of the Community Christian Church in Athens. James is survived by his son Patrick (Michelle) and their children Liam and Max Parker and Alanna (Benjamin) Cox, and great-grandson Caleb Cox; his daughter Tracie Shaughnessy and her children Ryan and Jordan Newcomb. He is also survived by his beloved stepchildren: Shawn Bartlett (Maryann) and their children Elizabeth and Maddox; Shane (Nicole) Bartlett and their children Conner and McKenna, Joshua (Sheena) Bartlett, and their children Caitlin, Alex, Ashley, Gracie, Waylon, and Jenna; Jennifer (Alphonso) Chambers and their children Elizabeth and Kaleb; and Jessica (Tim) Akusis and their children Briana, Kylee and Gracie and Rachel Greenberg. James is also survived by his siblings Robert Chickering, Kathleen Aldrich, and Patricia Paulhus. James was predeceased by his parents, his first wife Anita, his second wife Donna, as well as his son-in-law Micheal Shaughnessy and siblings Elizabeth Lawlor and Ann Robinson. Memorial information: A funeral service took place Aug. 27 at Community Christian Church in Athens, followed by burial in Saxtons River Cemetery. Donations to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756.

• Mary Cota, 76, of Jamaica. Died at her home, with her family by her side, on Aug. 19, 2023. She was born on Feb. 27, 1947 in Springfield, Vermont to the late Richard and Bernadine (Richmond) Garropy. Mary loved to go hunting, fishing, and camping with her husband Gary and their children. She is survived by her husband, Gary Cota; her children Shawn Howard of Jamaica, Dawn Howard and her companion Scott Johnston and Kelly Howard of Bellows Falls; her grandchildren Dylan, Rhett, Angel, Grant Jr., and Nicole; and four great-grandchildren. Memorial information: There will be no services at this time. Donations to Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353. Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield is assisting the family with the arrangements.

• Jay Bernard Ginsburg, 82, of Westmoreland, New Hampshire. Died on Aug. 19, 2023. Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 24, 1941, Jay grew up in nearby Ventnor. He was driven throughout his life by intellectual pursuits, which were sparked at an early age. As a youngster, he listened to opera, read extensively (acquiring a large collection of Heritage Books, many of which have been donated to the Keene Public Library), and was a founding contributor to his high school literary magazine. From his earliest days, he worked in the regionally-renowned Ginsburg's Bakery with his father and uncles. Jay attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he met the love of his life Susan Liebersohn. They married in 1966, and had five children (four of whom survive), and 12 grandchildren. Jay served in the Army as a clerk during the Vietnam War. This experience was something he grappled with throughout the remainder of his life. After returning home, he worked briefly as a stock broker, and then in the insurance industry. Jay and Susan moved to Keene in 1981 to pursue their dream of promoting healthy living by opening a natural food store. Foodstuffs was the first of several locally well-known health food stores in Keene and, for a time, featured a deli and a sister restaurant, Butternuts. Throughout their lives, Jay and Susan were avid art collectors. They recently donated Japanese prints which Jay started acquiring during his service in the Vietnam War to the University of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Thorne-Sagendorph Museum at Keene State College. In the last decade Jay wrote and Susan edited two self-published memoirs, Post-It's From My Life: Searching for Meaning in the Mundane and Post-It's From My Life: Still Searching, Tome 2. In addition to appreciating intellectual pursuits, healthy living, and the arts, Jay was well known for his love of a good sandwich. He passed this along to his surviving family. Jay will be greatly missed by his children, David and his wife Rivka (Maxwell) of Cleveland, Ohio; David's children Meir, Lindsy, and Adina; and David and Rivka's children Yeshiyahu and Devorah; Nathaniel and his wife Rebecca (Wechter) of East Greenwich Rhode Island, and their twins Esme and Baya; Steven with spouse Shannon (Raider) of New Haven, Connecticut, and their child Lev; Miriam and her husband Matt (Meserve) of Springfield, Vermont, and their children Maggie, Maxwell, McCoy, and Maverick; and his dear sister Susan Roman. He was predeceased by his parents Benjamin and Cecilia "Bunny" Laskin, and his daughter Mirra, who died in infancy. Memorial information: In Jay's last few months, his quality of life was greatly improved by Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services. Donations to them are suggested (P.O. Box 564, Keene, NH, 03431, To offer condolences, visit

• Ann Lavalla, 91, of West Chesterfield and Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died at her daughter's home in Winter Garden, Florida on Aug. 8, 2023. She graduated from Brattleboro High School with the Class of 1949, and was a homemaker and secretary, retiring from JCPenney. The daughter of Shirley and Esther (Darling) Bevis, Mrs. Lavalla was the wife of the late Charles Lavalla. She is survived by her brother [George] Steven Bevis; her children, Mark Lavalla, Kevin Lavalla, and Holly Morelli; and five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Memorial information: Graveside services were held Aug. 28 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale. Donations to the Peace Ridge Sanctuary, 1111 Littlefield Rd, Brooks, ME 04921 (

• Earl Ivan "Buster" Whidden, 69, of VanBuren, Maine. Died on Aug.17, 2023. He was born in Pennsylvania on Dec. 21, 1953, the son of Roseanna and Elroy Whidden Sr. Earl is survived by brothers Donald Gleason and Elroy Whidden, Jr., both of VanBuren, Maine; a sister. Rosemary (Whidden) Sisto of Brattleboro; his children, Jennifer Powers of Vermont and Jason Eagen of Maine; grandchildren Jordan, Austin, Katie, and Megan of Vermont, Faith of Connecticut, and Willow and Emmett of Maine. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Earl was predeceased by a sister, Minnie Williams, brothers Harold Gleason and Alan Whidden, his parents, and a son, Earl. Memorial information: None provided.


There will be a celebration of life service for Steve Napoli on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m., at the VFW, 40 Black Mountain Rd., Brattleboro. Mr. Napoli, 49, formerly of Dummerston and Chesterfield, New Hampshire, died on July 3, 2023 in Patchogue, New York.

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates