College news

• Maria Carfora of Brattleboro was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

• Keigan Illingworth, a dance major from Westminster, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

• Kim Amidon of Vernon, Nicholas Douglass of Saxtons River, Venus Fu of Brattleboro, and Corina Mitchell of Westminster West were all named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.

The following local students were honored for academic excellence in the fall 2023 semester at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York: Jesse Peter Dykes of West Wardsboro, a sophomore majoring in computer science, was named a Presidential Scholar, while Owen Wesley Ameden of Jamaica, a senior majoring in civil engineering, was named to the Dean's List.

• The following local students were honored for academic excellence in the fall 2023 semester at Southern New Hampshire University: Ozzee Haskell of Bellows Falls, Kobe Bazin of Bellows Falls, Nolen Donovan of Rockingham, Forrest Brooke-deBock of Brattleboro, Chelsea Fletcher of Brattleboro, Walter Randall of Brattleboro, Grady Lockerby of Putney, and Miranda Blake of Vernon were all named to the President's List, while Melina Nelson of Brattleboro and Tabish Nabeel of Brattleboro were both named to the Dean's List.

• Elisabeth Keeler of Wilmington, who is studying in the dental hygiene academic program, was named to the fall 2023 President's List at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.


• Ethan Grimes, vice-president of mortgage lending at 802 Credit Union, recently joined Youth Services' board of directors. He grew up in Newfane, graduated fourth in his class from Leland & Gray Union High School, and attended Florida State University, where he majored in economics, with a minor in both business administration and communications. Since 2009, Grimes has worked in mortgages at River Valley Credit Union, now 802 Credit Union. Starting as a mortgage processor, he eventually became a mortgage originator and eventually vice-president of the credit union's mortgage department in 2016. The West River Valley resident looks forward to helping Youth Services prepare for new challenges ahead, strengthen its operations, and serve on its annual golf tournament committee.

• Winthrop Pennock of Townshend has joined the Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital Board of Trustees. Pennock has been a partner with Artisanal Cellars, a wine importation and distribution company in White River Junction, since 2011. His early professional experience is in the hospitality business. He started working in kitchens after graduating from Ithaca College, working first in Colorado, then after five years returning East and enrolling at New England Culinary Institute where he received a degree in restaurant management. He has worked at the Three Mountain Inn in Jamaica, at the Copper Beach Inn in Essex, Connnecticut, and was manager of Windham Wines in Brattleboro.


• Robert "Bob" DuCharme, 88, of Brookline. Died Jan. 7, 2024 at Vernon Green nursing home, where he had been a resident for several years. Bob was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Oct. 19, 1935, and grew up in nearby Milford. As president of his senior class at Milford High, he and his best friend and class vice president, Jim Farrell, performed song and dance routines that they reprised at class reunions over 50 years later. With plans to become an actor, Bob graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1958. While working as an NBC page on Jack Paar's Tonight show, he and several other pages had their own Saturday morning TV show, "Al Rucker and the Seven Teens," on a Providence, Rhode Island NBC affiliate, where they performed skits to the current top hits. Bob's show-business career was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army in 1959. He married his girlfriend, Lorinda (Linda) Case, and she joined him in Germany, where he was stationed. They remained happily married until her death from Parkinson's Disease in 2020. Upon their return to the U.S., he worked in advertising sales at the Milford Citizen newspaper. He began directing plays and musicals in community theaters in southern Connecticut, including the musical Oliver at New Haven's Hopkins School in 1971. After directing several more shows there, he accepted the school's offer of a full-time position as a drama teacher and director in 1973. With the academic schedule leaving his summers free, he produced 12 successful seasons of dinner theater in Milford after he convinced a local Holiday Inn manager to let him build a set and cast and publicize plays by Neil Simon and other popular playwrights. Bob taught at Hopkins and directed several shows a year there until he and Linda moved to Brookline, Vermont in 1985. He then worked on the advertising staff of the Brattleboro Reformer, where Linda was the Night Managing Editor, until his retirement. He continued to teach public speaking and to direct plays and musicals in the Brattleboro area, bringing the total number of productions he had directed in his career up to 118. He loved cooking, gardening, eating, drinking, and traveling with Linda. They made their most recent trip to Europe in 2006, when they visited the German family whom they had lived with 46 years earlier during Bob's military service. Their 61-year marriage was an inspiration to all of their family and friends. Bob will be remembered for his boundless enthusiasm, his sense of humor, his creativity, and his special joy in seeing cast members with no acting experience blossom in lead roles. He is survived by his sisters Joan and Dorothy, his children Bob Jr., Ann, Julie, and Peter, six grandchildren, and a great-grandson. Memorial information: The family is planning a service in the spring, with a reception to follow.

• Mary Elizabeth Piluski Folsom, 74, died Jan. 4, 2024, in Ludlow, Vermont. Mary was born in Bellows Falls on July 28, 1949. She attended St. Charles School and graduated in 1967 from Bellows Falls High School. Mary worked at New England Telephone as a telephone operator. She also worked at Holmes Transportation and H.A. Manning Co. Mary enjoyed sewing, cooking, going for long walks and helping others. She also loved pets and children. Her son, David was the light of her life, and spending time with friends were important to her. Mary was a kind lady, who kept Jesus in her life. She also had pen pals that she kept in touch with. She is survived by a son, David Place of Chester; a brother, Stephen Piluski of Saxtons River; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: By Mary's request, there will be no funeral. A graveside service will be held at a later date.

• Patricia C. Fusco, 86, of Marlboro. Died unexpectedly on Jan. 7, 2024 at her home, following a period of declining health. She was born in Bennington, New Hampshire on Dec. 9, 1937, the daughter of Theodore and Gertrude (Cody) Call. Raised and educated in Glastonbury, Connecticut, she attended public schools and was a graduate of Glastonbury High School. Following graduation, she continued her education earning an associate's degree.With her husband, she owned and operated Alcan Power Equipment, based at their home on Auger Hole Road. Previously, she worked at the former First Vermont Bank in Brattleboro, served as retrofit of turbines administrator at Vermont Yankee and, in her earlier years, worked for the Emhart Corporation in Hartford, Connecticut. For several years, Patricia was an active volunteer at the Winston Prouty Center in Brattleboro. She enjoyed travel and spending time with her family on Lake Champlain in their camper trailer. Most importantly, Patricia was a faithful and devoted wife and loving mother to her son. On Jan. 20, 1968, in Torrington, Connecticut, she was married to Thomas J. Fusco who survives. Besides her husband of nearly 56 years, she leaves one son, Steven Fusco, at home, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was predeceased by eight siblings. Memorial information: A graveside committal service in Williamsville Cemetery will take place in the springtime when the cemetery reopens. Donations to the Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 69, Marlboro, VT 05344. To offer condolences, visit

• Catherine (Cathy) Plummer Hallock, 71, of Grafton. Died on Dec. 19, 2023 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire after a short illness. Cathy was born on Sept. 29, 1952, in Townshend to Joseph and Ann Plummer. Cathy graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 1970 and attended Green Mountain College. In 1972, she graduated with a medical assistant degree and went to work for Dr. Orr from 1972 to 1976. Cathy met Paul Hallock and they were married Aug. 11, 1973. Together, they owned and operated Hallock Boarding Kennel since 1986. Cathy loved playing croquet, playing board games, long drives with Paul and taking pictures of wildlife. Cathy was involved as treasurer of Grafton Cares for 10 years, Grafton Community Church, the Red Hat Society, and loved being part of the Grafton community her whole life. Cathy is survived by her husband, Paul; two sons, Rob and his wife, Sadie, and John and his wife, Kellie; grandchildren Abriella, Will, Kory, and Sophia; brothers John and Joe Plummer; and many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be announced in the spring.

• Norma Avis Ives, 86, of Vernon. Died peacefully in the comfort of her home, with her family by her side, on Jan. 4, 2024, following a period of declining health. Norma was born in Langdon, New Hampshire on Sept. 7, 1937, the daughter of Ronald and Martha (Chowanec) King. She was raised and educated in Westminster and Putney and attended Brattleboro High School. For many years Norma worked as an independent sales associate for the Stanley Home Products Company, based in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Gifted with an eye for elegance, art, and home furnishings, she was also an interior decorator. Her unique style and talents were on display in her home. In conjunction with her love for interior decorating, she also enjoyed gardening, knitting, and crocheting, and knitted many hats for newborns and babies over the years. She was first married to Lawrence Cook and, later, married Robert J. Ives in February 1968. Besides her husband, survivors include two sons, David Cook of North Carolina and Michael Cook (Jeanette) of Virginia; two daughters, Linda Donohue (Dan) of North Carolina and Cherie McGrath of New York; three sisters, Cheryl Aplin of Brattleboro, Dolores Sylvester of East Dummerston, and Frances Brochu of Manchester, Connecticut; one brother, Alton King of Putney; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was predeceased by siblings Raymond, Reginald, Frederick, Dennis, and Randall King; and Joyce Keeler, Clarice Short, Darlene Hutchins, and Sheila Lawrence. Memorial information: Graveside committal services in Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery will be conducted later in the springtime at a date to be announced. Donations to Vernon Advent Christian Church, 4554 Ft. Bridgman Rd., Vernon, VT 05354; or to Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To offer condolences, visit

• Brent LaDeau, 66, of Brattleboro. Died at home on Dec, 15, 2023, with family by his side. A beloved husband and father, Brent was born on December 28, 1956 in Claremont, New Hampshire to Barbara Jean and Donald LaDeau. He leaves behind Karen (Ferland) LaDeau, his wife of 48 years, his daughters Shannon LaDeau and Hilary Aplin, their spouses April Horton and Jason Aplin, and three grandchildren, Trevor, Dylan and Sophie. His family was always his greatest source of happiness and pride. He is also survived by his mother, Barbara Jean (Whitcomb) Stoughton of York Beach, Maine; Michael and Susan LaDeau of New Jersey; Joanne Stoughton and Herb Henry of Maine; Scott LaDeau and Tiffany Shepard of Maine; and sisters Lori, Leslie, and Michelle and many nieces and nephews. Brent also leaves behind his faithful canine companion, Lexy. He is predeceased by his father, Donald LaDeau, and his stepfather Perley Stoughton. Brent was known for his kindness and generosity. He was always ready to lend a hand or ear to anyone in need. He enjoyed snowmobiling, fly fishing, and kayaking. He listened to music by his nephew, Jon LaDeau, during treatments and enjoyed relaxing to Justin LaDeau's piano pieces. He fixed everyone's appliances and loved working on home renovations. He did not like heights but braved ziplines and cliff walks to be with his grandkids. He was a longstanding and active member of the Brattleboro Masonic Lodge. Brent was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2023. He handled his illness with grace and courage. He was ever loving and generous with the time he had. He had many wonderful friends and family and he will be deeply missed by all. Memorial information: The family will host a celebration of life and Masonic service on Feb. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Ker Phaneuf Funeral Home, 57 High St., in Brattleboro. Donations to the pancreatic cancer organization,, at or to Groundworks Collaborative, where Brent intended to volunteer in retirement, at To view an online tribute, visit

• Bernard J. "Bernie" Mandeville Jr., 74, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died on Jan. 1, 2024, following a long illness. He was born in Northampton, Massachusetts on July 3, 1949 to Bernard and Penny Mandeville. He joined the Marine Corps in 1969 and served with the First Marine Division in Vietnam, earning the Combat Action Ribbon and attaining the rank of corporal. He retired from the Northampton Department of Public Works after 25 years of service. He also delivered mail as a contractor in Plainfield, Massachusetts for several years and was a bartender at the American Legion Post 236 in Haydenville, Massachusetts for 10 years. Bernie never met a stranger he didn't like and enjoyed a bourbon and conversation at veteran's clubs in the tri-state area. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, most recently of Post 4234 in Hinsdale. He also enjoyed crosswords and watching feeder birds out of his back patio door. Bernard was predeceased by his son Seth in 2023. He is survived by his wife Sharon, whom he married on Aug, 16, 2006; three children, Bernard III of Florida, Sandra and Giselle of Massachusetts; siblings Karen and Rae of Massachusetts; and nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Memorial information: Pursuant to his wishes, there will be no formal services. To send condolences, visit

• Henry William "Billy" Nelson Jr., 76, of Brattleboro. Died Jan. 4, 2024 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by family, following a lengthy battle with cancer. Billy was born in Brattleboro on Jan. 15, 1947, the son of Henry and Allethaire (Brockington) Nelson. He was raised in Brattleboro where he attended public schools and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1965. Following graduation, he served in the Coast Guard. Working as a pressman all of his career, Billy was employed at the former Town Crier/Windmill Publishing Co. and later worked at the Brattleboro Reformer for a combined 40-plus years in the printing business. Billy was a member of American Legion Post 5, VFW Carl M. Dessaint Post 1034, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445, and the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, Brattleboro Lodge #1499. He played men's league softball in Brattleboro for many years and he and his wife also played on a bowling league at the French King Bowling Center in Erving, Massachusetts. Billy enjoyed deep sea fishing and day trip visits to the coast of Maine. He took great pride in growing vegetables in his garden. However, Billy's most favorite thing was spending time with his family and friends. He always made sure that his children and grandchildren had everything that they needed and in his final months he especially enjoyed long car rides with his wife. He was known by all of the pups in his neighborhood as "The Cookie Fairy," and he was famous to anyone else who knew him well for his lemon pepper grilled chicken wings. On March 8, 1975, at St. Michael's Episcopal Church he married Judith Adie, who survives. Besides his wife of 48 years, he leaves his three daughters, Sheri Ornate (Dave) and Dawn Wassillie, all of Alaska, and Michele Nelson Rayno (Ray) of Brattleboro; grandchildren Max, Jaxson, Kaitlyn, Freddie, Kelsea, and Colton Wassillie; William Rayno, and McKenzie Grover; step-grandchildren, Rebecca Short, and Katarina, Max, and Anthony Rayno; one brother, Edward Nelson (Dana) of Vernon; and two sisters, Donna Macie of Vernon and Carol Hazlett of Putney. Additionally, he is survived by many nieces and nephews, cousins, and great-grandchildren. Billy was predeceased by his parents and a grandson, Wyatt Wassillie. Memorial information: Friends are invited to call at Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Terrace Street on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. A reception will follow the calling hours, to be held at American Legion Post 5 on Linden Street. Billy will be laid to rest later in the year at Morningside Cemetery. Donations to the Oncology Department at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave., Brattleboro, VT 05301; or to Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To offer condolences, visit

• Susan Ann (Fitts) Thomas, 55, died away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Dec 25, 2023. Susan had been battling health issues for several years. Born onApril 6, 1968 in Brattleboro to Elizabeth Kimball and Arthur Bushey, Susan was a free spirit who loved and understood nature, and found God's beauty in all living creatures. Before her illness, she enjoyed going to church at Grace Christian Fellowship with her pastor Matthew Worall. She was a garden enthusiast, and an avid fisherwoman, She had a love for life and all its adventures and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She will be missed by many, but will forever be in the hearts and memory of all who knew her. Susan was predeceased by her nephew, Scott Fitts Jr., and her brother, Scott M. Fitts. She is survived by her mother; a sister, Brenda Mecheski; brothers Timothy and Arthur Fitts; a daughter, Christine (Rabideau) James of Kansas; a son, David Rabideau of Florida; and many grandchildren. She is also survived by her ex-husband and lifetime friend, Gary Thomas; a niece, Christal Cassell; and a nephew Stephen Mecheski, whom she was close to, as well as many other nieces and nephews. Memorial information: None provided.

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

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