• Irma U. Bartlett, 86, of Winchester, New Hampshire. Died Aug. 29, 2023 at Applewood Nursing Home in Winchester. Irma was born in Warwick, Massachusetts on Sept. 12, 1936, the daughter of the late Warren and Edith (Hescock) Underwood. She attended local schools, graduating from Wilmington High School. Irma worked as a postal clerk for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years. She enjoyed gardening, knitting, reading, bowling, church activities, baking, and the 1955 Group. She cherished times spent with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Irma is survived by her daughters Wendy Brown and her significant other Gary Sanderson of Keene, New Hampshire and Tammy Brown of Brattleboro; her son Kelly Bartlett and his significant other Angel Estepp of Berry, Kentucky; her sister Eleanor Wager of Springfield, Vermont; her brothers Stewart Underwood (Carolyn) of Jamaica, Clyde Underwood (Glenice) and Ronald Underwood (Emily), both of South Londonderry, and Greg Underwood (Jeanette) of Wardsboro; grandchildren Josh (Kate), David (Elicia), Brian (Amy), Susan (Kris), Lisa (Brandon), and Ryan (Alex); and 15 great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband Howard Bartlett, whom she married June 25, 1955, and her brother Leland Underwood. Memorial information: Graveside funeral services for Irma will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m., in Sadawga Cemetery in Whitingham. There are no visiting hours. Donations to the Jacksonville Church, in care of Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215,Wilmington, VT 05363. To send condolences, visit

Thomas Patrick Brennan, 37, died Aug. 21, 2023 of cancer in New Jersey after a time of being homeless in Brattleboro and New York City. Born April 19, 1986, Thomas (Tomás Pádraig Ó Braonáin) was named after his great-great-grandfather and grew up in Rumson, N.J. "in the shadow of Gotham," a.k.a. New York City. His father, George Brennan, died when he was 12, and his mother, Grace Brennan, when he was 21. He often said that losing his parents when he was so young defined and shaped him. His son, George Aloysius Brennan was named after his grandfather. It was very important to him to remember his parents in all that he did. He loved being a father. Thomas was very proud of his ancestry and family history - his ancestors include Nathan Hale, John Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and Ethan Allen - and passionately spent a lot of time researching and visiting sites of his ancestry. He shared the tales and trials of his family members with the world, and wanted his family to be remembered. As a Catholic, he would honor his parents by lighting votive candles at church. Thomas was a fierce advocate for the homeless, wanting to change the relationship that people have with the homeless population. He battled against stereotypes and tried to remind people that the homeless are part of the community, too. People did not always agree with him, but he was known for making people think and reconsider the things they think they know. It was his dream to help other homeless people through his writings. He was a weaver of words who wished to write a survival guide to being homeless in New York City. Thomas loved comic books and Star Wars. He loved talking and making friends wherever he went. He had a smile and a tale for everyone he met. He also leaves the many friends and acquaintances he would make wherever he went. In addition to his son, he is survived by his "adopted big sister" Joanne Neilson and her daughter, Bianca. Memorial information: Services will take place at the Winston Prouty Center's Thomas Hall in Brattleboro on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Thomas would have preferred that you support people who are homeless through donating to Groundworks Collaborative in Brattleboro and other organizations supporting people who are unhoused.

• Eileen Mary Churchill, 79, of Brattleboro. Died Aug. 25, 2023, in the loving arms of her daughter Dawn, following a long illness at home. Eileen was born on Nov. 13, 1943, in Brattleboro. She attended St. Michael's School in Brattleboro and Mount St. Mary's Academy in Burlington. On June 13, 1959, she married Francis J. Eckels and resided in Ellington, Connecticut. She returned to Brattleboro in 1979 and bought her home in West Brattleboro. Eileen worked in many restaurants in both Connecticut and Vermont. Eileen also owned her own craft business in West Brattleboro. Eileen was briefly married to Thomas Churchill of Vernon. Eileen was preceded in death by her son Dennis J. Eckels, also of West Brattleboro, on Aug. 9, 2023. Eileen leaves her daughters Deborah and her husband Samuel Henderson of Fortson, Georgia, Denise and her husband Michael Meyer of Townshend, and Dawn Eckels of Guilford; her son Daniel and his wife Cynthia Eckels of Ellington, Connecticut; and nine beloved grandchildren and eight cherished great-grandchildren, especially her granddaughter Amanda, as they shared a very special relationship. Memorial information: Services will be private and held at a later date with Dennis. To view Eileen's online tribute, send condolences to the family, or for more information, visit

• Pastor Matthew John Farkas, 63, died suddenly on Aug. 27, 2023, after church. While he will be greatly missed and the hearts of his friends and family ache, they say they are extremely grateful he is with his heavenly Father. He was born on Aug. 21, 1960 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania to Mary (Huffman) and Victor Francis Farkas. In his youth, his passion was athletics, particularly bowling, swimming, and baseball. He was on his way to the minor baseball leagues when he was tragically hit by a car. After being told he was never going to walk again, Matthew was determined that he would - and walk he did! When he was about 16, a Presbyterian minister started "harassing" the family, and eventually he attended a Baptist school where he came to know the Lord. Afterwards, he attended Rhema Bible Training College in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leaving the love of his life in Pennsylvania, but not for long. Matthew and Brenda Prange of Avondale were married on Dec. 26, 1981. Matthew devoted his life to serving the Lord and others. His greatest desire was for people to know God deeply and personally and to see those trapped in addictions set free, like God had done for him. During his time in ministry, he obtained a B.A. in biblical studies, cum laude; a Bachelor of Ministry from Central Bible College; and a Master of Ministry with honors from Rhema, with Greek as his passion of study. At the time of his death, he was pastor of Living Hope Fellowship (formerly Faith Christian Church) in Bellows Falls. He published a book titled You Can Make it to the Other Side, and had been working on a book about faith. He and Brenda were co-producers of the shows Say What? on Falls Area Community Television and Doing Life on Springfield Area Public Access Television. His children will always cherish the fact that, even during his busiest seasons of life, he made sure he was at every sporting and school event, cheering them on. Some of his hobbies included hunting, gardening, studying the Bible and writing, jigsaw puzzles, watching the Pittsburgh Steelers and having "pizza time," and spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Matthew Farkas was a loving father with a heart of compassion who loved people greatly. He is survived by his wife Brenda Farkas; parents Victor and Mary Farkas of Oxford, Pennsylvania; brothers Victor Farkas of Oxford, and Timothy Farkas of Emlenton, Pennsylvania; sister Melissa Carlis of Philadelphia; his wonderful children Laura Lynn (Farkas) Lewis of Chester, Rebecca Lynn (Farkas) Willis of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Sarah Lynn Farkas of Charlestown, New Hampshire, and Matthew John Farkas II of Bridgewater, Maine, as well as eight grandchildren. Memorial information: A celebration of life service took place at Living Hope Fellowship in Bellows Falls, followed by the burial at Rockingham Meeting House. Donations to Living Hope Fellowship, 582 Rockingham Rd., Bellows Falls, VT 05101, or to Brenda Farkas at the same address to aid in this time of loss and transition.

• Richard "Ric" W. Marsh, 75, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died unexpectedly at home on Aug. 25, 2023. Ric was born in Brattleboro on Jan. 24, 1948, the son of the late Howard Marsh and late Eleanor Donnell, and attended Hinsdale schools. He served in the Army and Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in January 1974. Ric returned to Hinsdale, where he resided most of his life. He married Lona on Oct. 20, 1979. Ric worked in area paper mills for 40 years. He also spent the last 20 years running a cleaning business, servicing many clients in the surrounding towns. When not working, he enjoyed many hours of fishing over the years and was an avid weather buff. Ric loved watching old TV shows, especially those from the 1960s through the 1980s. In addition to his parents, Ric was predeceased by his infant son, Ricky, and three half-brothers. Ric is survived by his dog and best friend Charlie; his wife, Lona of Hinsdale; daughter Crystal Marsh of Austin, Texas; sister Linda Kearney of Maine, half-sister Leslie Henson of Florida; and three sisters-in-law. Memorial information: Per Ric's request, no formal services will be held. The Cremation Society of New Hampshire has been entrusted with arrangements. To send condolences, visit

• Althea Goodwin McBean, 97, of Dummerston. Died on Aug. 24, 2023 at Thompson House in Brattleboro, where she had been a resident. She was born Althea Kendrick Goodwin on Feb. 16, 1926 in Boston to David and Hilda Goodwin. She had one brother, David, who was four years her junior. She grew up in Newton Center, Massachusetts, graduating from Newton High School and Smith College. She married David Seaton McBean on September 20, 1947, at Second Church in Newton Center. In 1960, Althea and David and their four children moved to Dummerston, where she lived until her death. Her last seven years were spent at Thompson House in Brattleboro, where she was loved and cared for by the staff with great kindness and attention. Her favorite places remained the fireplace and the patio at the family home. She had many talents. She was an accomplished pianist, artist, and archer. She was a close and treasured friend to many. She had a great talent for empathetic listening, and many called her "Mom." She loved knitting, sewing and needlework, crafts, BBC television, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and bridge. She was a voracious reader. She was hilariously funny up until the end. She had many jobs: vet technician, office manager, school bus driver, and treasurer for Dummerston Congregational Church and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women for many years. She volunteered at the front desk at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, as Dummerston Congregational Church's choir director, as a Sunday school teacher and as a room mother. She was always happy to assist others. She was a co-founder of the renowned Dummerston Apple Pie Festival, spending at least two weeks every fall constructing pies with other community members. Her great love in her later years was genealogy, and she traveled with her cousin Trish to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick several times to research family history, producing volumes of well-organized data. She enjoyed stints of living in London and Scotland. In 2011, she was reunited with her dear friend Chuck Larson and they enjoyed four years of love and companionship until his death in 2015. She is survived by children Jean Koenig (Steve), David McBean, Alison Kitchen (Steve), and Alan McBean (Judith), as well as nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed. Memorial information: A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. at Dummerston Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. To express condolences, visit

• Christopher Allen Monroe, 54, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died at his home on Aug. 23, 2023. He was born on Aug. 26, 1968 in Brattleboro to Stuart and Judith (Seppala) Monroe. Christopher graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1986. Many will fondly remember Christopher from New Chapter in Brattleboro, where he worked for more than 30 years. When not working, Christopher enjoyed watching his beloved San Francisco 49ers. He also enjoyed wrestling, NASCAR, baseball, and miniature golf. Above all else, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister Pamela Sylvia, his nephew Gregory LeClaire, his niece Sarah LeClaire, and his grandmother Violet Seppala. Christopher was predeceased by his grandfathers Carlton Monroe and William Seppala. Memorial information: Interment took place on Sept. 1 at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro. To leave a message of condolence, visit

• Stuart Johnson Thurber Jr., 84, of West Brattleboro. Died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family with Zinnias waving in a light breeze outside his window and the milking cows grazing in a nearby pasture, on Aug. 27, 2023. An astute farmer, a respected conservationist, and a civic leader, Stuart was an anchor to the Windham County community, stewarding Lilac Ridge Farm, his home for 84 years. Born in Brattleboro on Nov. 5, 1938, he attended the original Academy School in West Brattleboro. Involved in agriculture at an early age, Stuart participated in 4-H and practiced his craft early on at the home farm. A popular story accounts for when he burned his first sugaring pan because he was called in for dinner. He was 10 years old. He graduated from Brattleboro Union High School, where he was an officer in the Future Farmers of America. He supported his family's dairy farm by dropping milk off at the Hillside Dairy Creamery on the way to school. Stuart attended the University of Vermont and received a degree in animal science. While at UVM, he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, played cornet in the band, and made lifelong friends and colleagues in the Vermont agricultural community. He returned to the farm in 1960, and served in the National Guard while endeavoring to make Lilac Ridge Farm a modern diversified dairy farm. On Aug. 7, 1965, he married Beverley Evans from Guilford and forged a partnership that made for a successful farm and family. Over the course of his agricultural career, Stuart's impact was found in the many organizations he was involved in. He served as a director for the Agway cooperative, as well as the Northampton (Mass.) Cooperative Auction, but perhaps he is most remembered for his contribution to land conservation in the town of Brattleboro and to the state of Vermont. He worked as a member of the Brattleboro Agricultural Advisory Board to help create local tax stabilization on farm land in Brattleboro - an effort that continues today to protect and maintain working farmland in the community. In 1987 he was appointed by then-Gov. Madeleine Kunin to serve on the first Vermont Housing and Conservation board. The task to create affordable housing and protect farmland around the state was a fulfilling mission for him and his insight and forward thinking still has a lasting impact on how Vermont looks today. He cherished the relationships that he made with fellow board members. Alongside his civic commitment, Stuart was also a devoted member of his faith community. He served as a Sunday school superintendent and Elder for many years at the West Brattleboro Baptist Church. In his later years, Stuart continued to be involved in Lilac Ridge Farm's transition into organic production. He heartily embraced new technology to manage grass based dairy and enjoyed time working in the woods and helping in the sugar house during the early spring. He also enjoyed serving on the Windham Regional Woodlands Association and continued to take an interest in learning about forestry practices. If there was any version of "retirement" that he adopted, it was to make time to attend the many athletic events that his grandchildren participated in. From high football games to nordic ski races, college track to middle school field hockey, he rooted heartily for all of his grandchildren to compete at their highest level. Stuart leaves his wife, Beverley Evans Thurber, his partner in farming and life, to whom he was married for 58 years; his children Sara Thurber Cobb (and her husband Ed) of Maynard, Massachusetts, Hanna Thurber (and her husband Shabir Kamal) of Brattleboro, Ross Thurber (and his wife Amanda Ellis-Thurber) of Brattleboro and daughter Jessica Thurber Gould (and her husband Eli) of Brattleboro. Stuart was a beloved "Papa" to nine grandchildren: Madeline Cobb Mueller (and her husband Zach Mueller), Rosemary Cobb, Violet Cobb, Isabella Thurber, Henry Thurber, Willem Thurber, Calvin Gould, Eva Gould, and Delia Gould. Of special note, Stuart met and held his first great-grandchild, Colette Thurber Mueller, who was just born in July in Portland, Maine. Stuart leaves his sister Helen Robb (Charles Robb, Sr.) of West Brattleboro and a number of nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Burial will be private. A memorial service and gathering will be held Sunday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m. at the home of Beverley and Stuart at 30 Covey Road in West Brattleboro, with parking at Lilac Ridge Farm. If you wish, please bring a favorite dessert to share, in honor of Stuart. Donations to Vermont Land Trust, 54 Linden St., Brattleboro, VT 05301 and Brattleboro Area Hospice, 191 Canal St, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To express condolences, visit


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, of Dummerston, died on July 3, 2023.

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates