College news

The following local students at the Community College of Vermont were honored for academic achievement in the fall 2023 semester. Named to the President's List, which recognizes full-time students with a 4.0 GPA (grade point average) were Chiasa Brooke of Brattleboro, Emma Paris of Putney, Julie Cermola and Austin Mallan of Saxtons River, Garrette Shanks of Vernon, and Jessica Waldman of West Dover. Named to the Dean's List, WHICH recognizes full-time students with a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99, were Denine French of Bellows Falls, Erika Favreau of Brattleboro, Sierra Lane of East Dummerston, Bryanna Finnell and Hannah Gouin of Guilford, Conrad Auerbach, Morgan Higley, and Miles Plitt of Putney, Nicholas Petronic of Townshend, Sami Abdallah and Alyssa Batts of Vernon, Amanda Batkin of West Dover, Jasmine Cavanaugh of Westminster West, Marissa Kingsley and Noah Walker of Whitingham, and Garrison King of Wilmington. Named to the Honors List, which recognizes part-time students with a 4.0 GPA, were Jacob Harrelson, Angela Jardine, and Matthew Mickle of Bellows Falls, Eleanor Cautela-Clouet, Jessica Farquhar, Jessica Goulas, Katherine Ray, Alexandria Tupper, and Kyle Woods of Brattleboro, Aubrey Bourne of Brookline, Mistyrose Johnson and Krystal Martin of Dummerston, Sarah Emmons and Deborah Jacobs of Guilford, Colleen Sullivan of Jacksonville, Brittany Schubert and Tolkien Wraga of Jamaica, Rachael Edgar of Newfane, Sarahann Byler, Laura Chapman, Jennifer Hunt-Garland, and Shane Martin of Putney, Martha Jordan of South Londonderry, Jessica Burbridge and April Worden of South Newfane, Paul Jerz of Townshend, Alexander Kemp and Nadine Kissell of Vernon, Jeffrey Rivard of West Brattleboro, Rheanna Pare of West Townshend, and Shelly Hollywood and Rachel Lazelle of Wilmington.

• Gabrielle Beal of Wilmington was named to the fall 2023 Dean's List at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

• Carly Gallivan of West Dover was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at Emerson College in Boston.

• Cassandra Espinoza Heimann of West Dover was named to the fall 2023 Dean's List at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.

• Cassidy A. Fusco of West Wardsboro and Emeline L. Stewart of Wilmington were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at Fairfield (Conn.) University.

• Jonathan Terry of Bellows Falls, Nicholas Campbell and Rachael Rooney of Brattleboro, and Olivia Lauricella of Saxtons River were named to the fall 2023 Dean's List at the University of New England in Portland, Maine.


• Ruth Ann "Jill" Hardy, 73, of Brattleboro. Died on Feb. 7, 2024. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great friend to many. Born in Oakland, California, on July 26, 1950, she moved as a child with her family throughout the country, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Rome, New York, before settling in Berkeley, California, where she graduated high school in 1968. Jill briefly attended Merritt College in Oakland, studying art history, Third World women, and the history of Indian religion. In 1971 she married Philadelphia native John Swartz. The couple moved to Ludlow, Vermont, in 1972. They worked producing maple syrup in Andover and built a house there. It was there that Jill experienced the greatest tragedy of her life with the loss of her first son, Jason John Swartz, to a brain tumor at age seven. They had two other children, Alicia (born 1984) and Matthew (born 1986). In 1989, they moved to Brattleboro. Jill continued her education at the Community College of Vermont, studying sociology and educating children with exceptional needs. She had been an advocate for sick and disabled children ever since. She had a long career as an administrative assistant in higher education and in healthcare, serving Dartmouth College and The Brattleboro Retreat. Jill moved to Morningside Commons in Brattleboro, where she served as a board member of the Morningside Commons Homeowners Association for many years. Her lifelong interest in textile arts led Jill to quilting. Her quilts were soughT-after and she donated many of them to charity. She appreciated natural beauty and had an affinity for art and design. She was also known to collect locally sculpted pottery and curated handmade kimonos. She was known to those close to her as a generous, creative thinker, and achampion for those in need. Jill adopted many pets and showered them with love. Her greatest love was for family. In addition to her son, she was preceded in death by her father Claude Hardy, stepmother Maggie Hardy, and her sister Susan. She is survived by her mother Patricia, brother Brian, stepbrothers Ed and Bob, son Matthew Swartz, daughter Alicia (Swartz) Kraus, son-in-law Joseph Kraus, grandson Jason Kraus, and granddaughter Heidi Kraus. Memorial information: Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m., at Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro. To offer condolences, visit

• Herbert Hayes, 94, of Brattleboro. Died at his home on Feb. 13, 2024, surrounded by family. His earliest years, during the Great Depression, were spent in Waterbury, Connecticut. His father was lucky enough to have a job, but Herb still remembered cardboard in his shoes and how he'd dance a jig when getting a new pair. When the family moved to nearby Wolcott, he helped build their house near Hitchcock Lake - and, most significantly, near the Chase golf course. There he caddied and learned the game which would become a lifelong passion. Indeed, he played up until opening day 2023, long and well enough to shoot his age twice. After graduating Crosby High School in 1947, the family saved enough for him to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute. But that money ran out, and he felt so grateful to secure full scholarships. He washed dishes and gave haircuts for pocket money, when not practicing with the diving or track team, and earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. In his senior year at WPI, Herb met his wife of 65 years, Patricia Loveys of Lake George, New York. He soon enlisted as an Aeronautical Engineering Officer in the Navy. The Korean War was still on, but he and Pat ended up in Jacksonville, Florida, in the aircraft repair department for three years, bearing two of four children in the barracks - right next to the 10th hole of another golf course! Herb reflected often about all he learned as a very green young officer, and wore his Navy hat with pride. For the next 33 years, Herb worked for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft and, with Pat raised four children in Wethersfield, Connecticut (with little time for golf!) He helped develop and then support the JT9D turbofan engine for the famed Boeing 747 Jumbojet - and he was aboard its inaugural flight from the U.S. to Australia. In 1976, Pratt & Whitney sent him to Florida, where he spent more time in a boat than when in the Navy, braving the famously dangerous Jupiter Inlet to fish in the Atlantic. Though proud of his work keeping jets airborne, traveling around the globe to do so, Herb became dismayed with corporate America, and his role in it. He decided to retire early, and set up a place for family on Lost Mile Road in Newfane. For the next 20 years, he brought the old Betterly Homestead back to life, rebuilding stone walls, building a shop and barn, cutting ski trails, and farming asparagus, berries and Angora goats. Most significantly, he rediscovered his artistic self and began a prolific four decades of wood sculpting and painting. Herb said he learned how to sculpt by finishing the work of his late uncle/mentor, George Warrek, who left him a box of wood including unfinished sculptures. In this last chapter, Herb and Pat moved to Brets Road in Brattleboro, just a half-mile from another golf course, his beloved Brattleboro Country Club. He remained active even in his last few days: dancing with his hospice social worker and working on his last sculpture - a man jumping out of a box. Though Herb was a lapsed Catholic, he was devoutly so! His spiritual and personal evolution was inspirational, as his curiosity and reflections deepened over time. Indeed, many of his sculptures and writings are explorations of spirit. He said his time here was to learn how to love, and so many of us were blessed by all he learned. Herb was predeceased by his wife, Patricia, and his sister, Patricia Putetti. He is survived by his children: Kathy Buck, Tim Hayes, Peggy Hayes, and Terri Hayes, and their respective partners, Richard Buck, Pam Bullock, Tim McKay, and Karl Kallinich; his grandchildren Aja Stamp, Delaney Bullock, Quinn McKay, and Rob, Chris and Amy Buck; and nephews, Michael, John and Charles Putetti; and many special friends who loved and helped Herb in his later years. Memorial information: A memorial service will be announced for later this spring. Condolences can be sent to the Hayes Family, 94 Brets Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301.

• James Kendall "Jim" Lucy, 71, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died Jan. 25, 2024, in the comfort of his home, with his family by his side, following a lengthy period of declining health. Jim was born in Townshend on March 25, 1952, the son of Kendall and Arlene (Tuttle) Lucy. He was raised and educated in West Dummerston, attending local schools that included Brattleboro Union High School. For much of his career he worked as a carpenter for several local contractors, eventually establishing his own business. Under the name of Jim Lucy R & R, he renovated and remodeled several Southern Vermont properties and local businesses. Later on in his career, he would travel between Vermont and Arizona, eventually relocating to Ajo, Arizona, where he owned and operated Ajo Home Improvements, LLC. Jim was an accomplished artist, especially with pen and ink, and watercolor. In the late 1980s he started Jim Lucy Designs, a gift card business featuring the covered bridges, churches, and other interesting architecture of New England. He was a history buff of national, regional, and local history. He also enjoyed listening to music and was an avid Beatles fan. He was first married to Cheryl Butler of Vermont, who predeceased him. He later married Cynthia Lucy of Florida, who also predeceased him. He then had a third marriage, to Dawn Knopp of Oklahoma. Survivors include a daughter, Jamie Lucy, and partner, Thomas Niles, of Virginia; a son, James Lucy, of Brattleboro; a brother, Kendall Lucy, of Hinsdale; sisters Anna Lucy and Evelyn Lucy, both of Massachusetts; a grandson, Casey Kent, of Virginia; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by one son, Jesse Lucy; and a sister, Donna Phillips. Memorial information: In keeping with his final wishes, there are no formal funeral services scheduled. Donations to the charity of your choice. To offer condolences, visit

• Joshua Mosher, 45, of Bellows Falls. Died suddenly at his home on Feb. 10, 2024. Josh was born on Dec. 29, 1978, in Bellows Falls to Gary and Kelly (Young) Mosher. Josh graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 1997, having worked at Green Mountain Herbs and Fletcher's during and immediately after graduation. He had just celebrated his 22nd anniversary at Sonnax Industries in January, 2024, where he worked across many divisions and greatly enjoyed his team and time there. Outside of Sonnax, Josh worked at the Bellows Falls Opera House for many years, where he interacted with the community frequently and often promoted the cinema and the arts in general, his true passion. Josh was an avid musician, both playing and writing music, and was known for his generosity, playing many benefits for individuals and organizations with his bands Kaos, Curst, and Spectris. Moreover, Josh was a gifted artist, specifically in pen and ink, and digital arts. Josh was never shy with his opinion about movies, music, books (he was a voracious reader), and other items which often landed him in the infamous "Facebook Jail," something of which he was always quite proud. Lastly, Josh could often be recognized due to his love of hats, specifically Scally caps, as well as all forms of Star Wars and music attire, especially Prince. Josh is survived by his parents; grandmother Joanne Barry; brothers Karl and Jordan Mosher; uncles Steven (Kathy) Young, Scott Young, and K. Scott (Mary) Mosher; aunts Christina Martin, Jill Dorsey, and Gail Bailey; as well as many cousins especially Edward (Monica) Wylie. Josh is also survived by a countless number of friends with whom he shared deep bonds with and will miss his energetic and positive presence dearly. Josh was predeceased by grandparents Virginia and Kenneth Mosher and Kevin Barry, as well as aunt Karen Nashshad. Memorial information: A celebration of his life will take place on Friday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m., at Fenton & Hennessy Funeral Home in Bellows Falls. Burial will follow in Saxtons River Cemetery. Donations to Rockingham Entertainment Development (RED), P.O. Box 653, Bellows Falls, VT 05101, or online donations can be made at

• Nancy (Rice) Powling, 84, of Williamsville. Died unexpectedly on Feb. 10, 2024, following an extended period of declining health. Nancy was born in Brattleboro on Dec. 10, 1939, the daughter of Carroll and Ethel (Dorr) Rice. She attended Brattleboro public schools. For more than 35 years, she was employed as a school bus driver, as well as the bookkeeper for her husband's logging business. For numerous years, Nancy worked different jobs to help support the family. Nancy held membership in the American Woodsman Association, was a former member of FFA (Future Farmers of America), and was a member of the Eastern Draft Horse Association. While raising her family, she served as a Cub Scout leader, and supported her boys when they moved on to the Boy Scouts. Nancy loved to plant all kinds of gardens, and she was still growing fresh vegetables up until last year. Her greatest joy was showing her children and grandchildren the joy she found working with her hands. Crafting, sewing, quilting, canning, making jams, and most of all, cooking; she was always happy to share the kitchen. From an incredibly early age, Nancy enjoyed being outdoors; hunting and fishing were great pastimes she loved and shared with her entire family. A strong woman of faith, she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints in Keene. On August 16, 1980, in Brattleboro, she married to Percy F. Powling, who predeceased her on Jan. 7, 2023. Nancy is also survived by one daughter, Wannetta Powling, and her husband, Mark of Williamsville, as well as 14 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, as well as countless nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sons Leon Knapp, Jr., Milo Knapp, Sr., and Alonzo "Peter" Gilbert, Jr.; a sister, Beverly "Chris" Matteson; brothers Carroll Rice, Jr. and Paul Rice; and a grandson, Jason Gilbert, who died in infancy. Memorial information: There will be no calling hours. Graveside services will be held at the family lot in the South Newfane Cemetery in the springtime when the cemetery reopens. Donations to NewBrook Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 77, Newfane, VT 05345, or the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To offer condolences, visit

• Sylvia M. Renfrew, 91, of Brattleboro. Died Feb. 8, 2024, at Vernon Green nursing home. She moved from her beloved mobile home in August 2018 to Holton Home in Brattleboro until requiring the more skilled nursing that Vernon Green provided. Sylvia was fortunate to be able to play Bingo, cards, and dominoes until the end. She always said "they like me here because I don't complain." She really didn't, and she always smiled a lot. She was born on January 3, 1933 in Brattleboro, to the late Clayton R. and Florence (Ames) Renfrew. She attended Academy School with her neighbor George Martin, meeting her best friend Jeane when she married George. She was the "go to" babysitter for many families in Brattleboro for many years. Although she never married and had no children of her own, Sylvia always thought of the kids she sat for as her kids. She talked about those days with many fond memories. She was active at First Congregational Church in West Brattleboro, participating in many activities, such as Friendship Club and Thursday Night Club. She especially enjoyed cooking and baking for the church and her friends. She also loved travel and swimming. Memorial information: A funeral service will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m., at First Congregational Church, 880 Western Ave. Light refreshments at the church will follow. Sylvia's burial will be held privately at Meetinghouse Hill in Brattleboro. While Sylvia loved flowers, she was also appreciative of the services she was provided as a child at Boston Childrens' Hospital, should you wish to make a contribution to them in her memory. To send condolences, visit

• George Henri Schneeberger, 92, of Wilmington. Died Feb. 9, 2024 at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. George was born June 27, 1931 in Moutier, Switzerland to Emile and Germaine (Romy) Schneeberger. During his childhood, he lived and attended schools in the French speaking town of Court. He initially became familiar with the machining trade while working at his father's shop which specialized in making parts for the Swiss watch industry. After secondary school, he enrolled in a machine tool apprenticeship program at the Andre Bechler company in Moutier and upon completion accepted a position as a Sales Engineer for Bechler in the United States. In 1952, at the age of 20, George set off for New York City to sell and service the machines that he had learned so much about. He was based in New York, but his work with Bechler brought him to numerous areas of the country where he made lifelong friends while learning the English language and experiencing new cultures. On Nov. 15, 1957, he became a U.S. citizen, of which he was very proud. He spent many of his weekends in Wilmington at a dairy farm belonging to fellow Swiss natives Charlie and Viola Beuche. Vermont reminded him of the region in Switzerland where he grew up and, in 1958, when he decided to go into business for himself, he chose to do so in Wilmington. G.S. Machine Works was started in a small building along the Deerfield River and produced tooling for Bechler machines as well as custom machined parts. As it grew, the name was changed to G.S. Precision and a new facility was built on Route 9. Eventually, the business would expand to Brattleboro, Mexico, and Keene, New Hampshire, and now employs more than 700 people. When talking about the growth, George usually referred to the number of employees rather than revenue or profit because that was most important to him. His standards for quality and productivity were high and he was considered by many as demanding, but he cared deeply for all of his employees and their families. In 1963 a young nurse from Germany was moving to New York for a job and George was asked by a mutual acquaintance to show her around the city. That nurse was Krimhilde Ziegler and, in July 1966, they were married in Wilmington. Together they had two sons, Norman and Raymond. George was very proud that they both became involved in the family business. George and Hilde were married for 56 years until her death in 2022. They enjoyed traveling together and had fond memories of trips to places around the world. While his life was certainly centered around the business, George had many other interests and shared them with his family. He was proud of his Swiss heritage and exposed others to it through food, drink and music. He and Hilde always had a bountiful vegetable garden. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and spent a great deal of time in the woods and on the water with his sons. For many years he raced sail boats on Harriman Reservoir with the Windham Sailing Club. When he was able to take a step back from his work he purchased the Bueche farm, where he and Hilde would eventually reside, and raised beef cattle and sheep. He especially enjoyed hiking and mountain climbing and was a member of the Swiss Alpine Club. In 1989, at age 58, he completed a lifelong dream of climbing the Matterhorn to its summit. George was a generous, technically brilliant, driven and outgoing man. He was also a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by all. In addition to Hilde, he was predeceased by his brother Francis. He is survived by sons Ray and Norm, Norm's partner Lindsay Kessen, and grandchildren Hunter, Nicole, Mia and Madison. Memorial information: There will be a celebration of life at a time and place to be announced. Donations to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Development Fund, in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.

• Grace Josephine Shelc, 98, formerly of Bellows Falls, Died on Feb. 7, 2024, with her loving family by her side, at Keene Center Genesis in Keene, New Hampshire. Grace was born on March 5, 1925 in North Walpole, New Hampshire, the daughter of George and Emma (Weiber) Bushway. She was a 1943 graduate of Bellows Falls High School. Grace worked as a telephone operator and served as a caregiver to elderly seniors in their homes. On May 27, 1950, she married Anthony (Tony) Shelc and they enjoyed 41 years of marriage until his death in 1991. A devout Catholic, Grace found great comfort in her faith. Her family will forever miss her but will be comforted by years of cherished memories. Surviving are her children, Michael Shelc of Kennesaw, Georgia, Mary DeCourcy of Merrimack, New Hampshire, Thomas Shelc of Nashua, New Hampshire and Dianne Quigley and her husband Donald of Goffstown, New Hamsphire; grandchildren, Mark DeCourcy, Christopher DeCourcy, Patrick Shelc, Elizabeth Shelc, Brian Quigley and Jennifer Quigley; and great-grandchildren Layla, Matthew, Ruby, and Janessa DeCourcy. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Grace was predeceased by her siblings Albert, Bernard, Ernest, Harold and Joseph Bushway, Gladys Hindes, and Rose Cloutier, and son-in-law Edward DeCourcy. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held Feb. 14 at St. Charles Church in Bellows Falls, with burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Westminster. Donations to the Alzheimer's Association, 15 Constitution Dr., Suite 1G, Bedford, NH 03110.

• William G." Bill" Staats Jr., 93, of Newfane. Died peacefully, surrounded by his family and with his wife of 71 years, Florence, by his side, on Jan. 31, 2024 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend. Bill was born in Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 14, 1930, the son of William G. Staats, Sr. and Martha (Donnelly) Staats. A proud veteran, he served his country in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge, he returned home to Brooklyn. On Dec. 6, 1952, in Brooklyn, he married the love of his life, Florence Schafer. They moved to Jamaica, where they raised their family, and later moved to Newfane where they resided for 40 years in the home they built. Survivors include his wife of 71 years, his children William III, Barbara Bourne, Thomas Staats, Michael Staats, Dolores Clark, Steven Staats, Jean Wilde, and Jenna Staats. Additionally, he leaves nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and nieces Liz and Kristine. He was predeceased by his infant daughter Diane, brother Richard Staats, and sister-in-law Mary Staats. Bill will be greatly missed. He was an inspiration to his wife and children, a most rare and beautiful relationship. Memorial information: In keeping with his final wishes, there are no formal funeral services scheduled. Because of his love for animals, especially cats, donation may be made to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or to Grace Cottage Hospital, 185 Grafton Rd., Townshend, VT 05353. To offer condolences, visit

• Hugh William Whitney, 86, of Marlboro. Died peacefully, in the comfort of his home, on Feb. 9, 2024. Hugh was born at home in Brattleboro on Oct. 4, 1937 to J. Perry and Pearl (Elmer) Whitney. In his early years, he spent time between Marlboro, where the family kept animals, and Brattleboro, their main residence. He attended schools in Brattleboro. After graduating from Brattleboro Union High School in 1955, Hugh enlisted in the Army and served three years before being honorably discharged in 1958. On May 25, 1957, in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, he married Joyce Ethridge, who survives. They lived their entire 66 years together in Marlboro. He worked as a mason for O'Bryan Construction in Brattleboro, then owned and operated, with his family, Whitney's Marlboro Grocery on Route 9. He also drove a school bus for the Marlboro School District. In semi-retirement, he worked for Southeastern Vermont Community Action, owned and operated Marlboro Glass & Supply, and continued to work and do other odd jobs and services for people in the community. Hugh was a member of the Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department and Marlboro Historical Society. He also served the town of Marlboro as a Lister and Weigher of Coal. He was a proud life member and 32nd Degree Mason, Brattleboro Lodge #102, F&AM, Scottish Rite Bodies, and was a member of the Mt. Sinai Temple Shrine of Montpelier. Hugh loved the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, walking in the woods, and cutting and whittling canes were just a few of his many interests and hobbies. He cared a great deal for animals and had many throughout the years. His favorite were the teams of oxen he raised and trained. Hugh was also very interested in history, particularly local history and family genealogy. The thing he enjoyed most was family and the times spent together. He is survived by his wife and his daughters: Lynn Lundsted (Martin) of Marlboro, Kathleen Coulombe (George) of West Halifax, and Deborah Osowski (John) of Northfield, Massachusetts; and a brother-in-law, Norman Hewes. He is also survived by six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his sisters, Susan Margaret O'Connell, Catherine Emond, and Barbara Hewes. Memorial information: Graveside services will be conducted later in the spring in Center Cemetery in Marlboro with officers and members of Brattleboro Lodge #102 conducting their Evergreen service. Donations to the Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 69, Marlboro, VT 05344 or the Marlboro Historical Society, P.O. Box 242, Marlboro, VT 05344. To offer condolences, visit

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

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