College news

• Annmarie Mulkey of Stratton was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2023 semester at the Albany (N.Y.) College of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.

• Paul Threewitt of West Dover was awarded the fall 2023 Dean's Letter of Commendation, which recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of part-time undergraduate students, at the University at Albany (N.Y.)


• Donald James Baldini, 83, of Westminster. Died at home on March 4, 2024, of cancer. A world-class bass player, he relocated to Vermont after a career as a studio musician in Los Angeles. While in LA, he played on film and television scores and with the Tonight Show band, and toured with prominent singers including Frank Sinatra. Locally, he played with many groups including the Vermont Symphony and Opera North. He taught bass lessons at Dartmouth College and was an Artist-in-Residence at Keene State College for more than 25 years, where he conducted the jazz band and orchestra. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Baldini. Memorial information: A memorial service was held March 16 at the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church. Memorial donations can be made to the Don Baldini music scholarship at Keene State College.

• Patricia Ann "Pat" (Lynch) Besserer, 80, of West Brattleboro. Died on March 12, 2024. A wonderful wife, mother, and sister, Pat was born in Union City, New Jersey, on May 28, 1943. After college, she married Lawrence "Larry" Besserer and taught elementary school until their pioneering spirit led them to West Brattleboro. There, they embraced all things Vermont, starting with ownership of the Vermont Maple Museum where they made maple syrup and homesteaded. Eventually they settled in their forever home and raised five children. Throughout her life, Pat was an avid gardener, active knitter, and passionate environmentalist. Above all, she was a committed educator. Pat loved children of all ages and inspired their love of reading, innate curiosity, and intellectual growth. As a devout Catholic, Pat has been an active parishioner of St. Michael's Catholic Church. Those who knew Pat will remember her kind and caring ways. As vice president and treasurer of the local AARP chapter, Pat set up speaker programs and planned seasonal dinner parties. She always made time to listen and was forever eager to help. Pat instilled her values in her family who are actively committed to making a positive impact on the world in various capacities such as educators and medical professionals. Pat is survived by her husband, Larry; their five children (Janet, Mark, Jennifer, Michael, and David); and 10 grandchildren including baby Rosalie, expected on March 18. Pat is also survived by three loving siblings, sisters Kathleen and Barbara, and a brother, Frankie. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on March 15 at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Donation to either St. Brigid's Kitchen and Pantry, 47 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301,, or Bayada Hospice, 1222 Putney Rd., Brattleboro, VT 05301, To offer condolences, visit

• André Victor "Andy" Dufresne, 77, formerly of Putney. Died on March 9, 2024, following a period of failing health, at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, New Hampshire. He was born on August 8, 1946, in Hardwick to Norbert and Mabel (Richardson) Dufresne. Andy was named after a blessed cousin, Brother André Bessette, who was canonized into sainthood in October 2010 in Italy at the Vatican, which Andy and his sister Bernice attended. Andy grew up on the family farm in Putney and graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1964. Upon graduating, he entered the Navy. He served from 1964 to 1967 on the USS Albany and then the USS Yosemite, where he held the rank of IC3. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. Upon returning from the Navy, he moved to Claremont, where he worked at Holsum Bakery. It was there he met his wife, Virginia Cummings, whom he married on June 1, 1968. He then went to work for New England Telephone and its successor companies until his retirement in 1996. Andy was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 808 and Polish American Citizens Club. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 29 along with being a former member of the Moose. Andy is survived by his wife of 55 years and their three daughters, Mabel Bertot (Michael) of West Warwick, Rhode Island, and Kathy Webster and Mary Judd, both of Claremont; grandchildren Nicholas, Daniel, and Rhiannon Bertot, Victoria and Alysha Webster, and Mariah Dufresne; great grandchildren Allyssialyn Furtado and David Dufresne; sisters Bernice Taylor of Keene, New Hampshire, and Elaine Dupont of Painesville, Ohio,;as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Leopold Dufresne. Memorial information: A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Burial will take place in Hardwick, at the convenience of the family. Donations to Disabled American Veterans (

• Elliott Ralph Freeman, 80, died on March 12, 2024, due to complications from congestive heart failure and Alzheimer's disease. A longtime resident of Brattleboro and Dummerston, Elliott was born on March 19, 1943, to Lawrence Shaw Freeman and Alice Jean Freeman (neé Elliott) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was raised in Michigan with his older sister Janet Jean Hudak (nee Freeman). Their early life after their father sold the "Freeman Market" in Ann Arbor was spent managing the "MarLawn Resort" on the shores of Lake Michigan north of Manistee. Summers were idyllic with large grass pastures, towering pine trees, and sandy beaches, but winters were rough. After a few short years, the family moved back to Ann Arbor. Elliott graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1961 as a member of the student council and varsity swim team, matriculated at the University of Michigan to study architecture, and joined Air Force ROTC. Flying was Elliott's dream so, in 1963, he entered the U.S. Navy flight school in Pensacola, Florida, and earned his wings as a Navy helicopter pilot in February 1965. His active service included duty on the U.S.S. Randolph with the highly decorated Seawolves squadron in Vietnam, and on Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. There, he flew scientists and VIPs to penguin rookeries, dry valleys, and glaciers. While serving at McMurdo Station, he joined some "Kiwis" and climbed Mt. Erebus. He also had a mountain in Antarctica named for him. Later, on leave in New Zealand, those same acquaintances introduced him to trekking. He mustered out of the Navy in Christ Church and took six months hitchhiking home through New Zealand, Australia, Southeast, and South Asia on a "road less traveled," cutting his trip short in Turkey after learning of his father's death. He returned home to Ann Arbor to settle his father's estate, drove his teenage brother in a Land Rover on an adventurous cross country journey to the West Coast for his brother to live with Janet and her young family, to renovate and eventually sell the family home, and to graduate with an aeronautical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. While waiting to vote in the 1972 presidential election near the university campus, he introduced himself to the person in front of him in line, Diane Larsen, who had just served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia. They regaled each other with their travel stories. Diane and Elliott were married in May 1974 and moved to Granby, Connecticut, so Elliott could work on the space shuttle for United Technology. However, Elliott was not happy with working in a corporate atmosphere, so when Diane finished her Ph.D., and accepted a faculty position at UCLA, he was glad to leave Connecticut, and move to Los Angeles. While in California, Elliott participated in frequent flying missions with the Naval Reserve in San Diego (and later South Weymouth, Massachusetts), rising to the rank of Commander, and worked with an entrepreneur to develop designs for solar greenhouses. Their first son, Brent, was born in the spring of 1978, and Elliott lovingly devoted himself to the role of stay-at-home father. The young family left the bustle of southern California and moved to Brattleboro with Diane's appointment to the faculty at SIT in the summer of 1978. Elliott found Brattleboro a place to live and thrive, purchasing a pair of multi-unit houses on Pleasant Street, refurbishing the apartments, starting an organic garden, and pursuing an active recycling program (long before it became a common practice). Their second son, Gavin, was born in 1983 in Toronto, Canada. Shortly thereafter the family moved to their "forever home" in West Dummerston. In addition to caring for the house, vegetable garden, pool, and kids, Elliott and the boys joined Diane on international travels to Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Japan, Mexico, and Peru. Elliott was engaged in everything from bird-watching to hiking to international travel. His interests included history, nature, architecture, environmental sustainability, sports, and politics. At his heart, though, Elliott was a loving husband and father and nothing made him happier than ensuring the family had everything they needed. He cherished his grandchildren as well and would save "treasures" from the forest to share with them. They resolve to carry on his sense of decency, dry humor, inquisitiveness, generosity, kindness, and compassion. Elliott is survived by his wife, Diane Larsen-Freeman, sons Brent (Jen) and Gavin (Grace), grandchildren Thea, Noah, and Lucia, brother Larry Freeman (Elizabeth) and many grand-nephews and grand-nieces. Memorial information: A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held at a future date and time to be announced by the funeral home. Donations to Guilford Community Church, 38 Church Drive, Guilford, VT 05301. To offer condolences, visit

• George S. Haynes, 80, died Feb. 27, 2024, surrounded by his wife Rose and his children, following a brief illness. Born in Brooklyn, New York on May 8, 1943, and raised in Bay Ridge, he forever carried fond memories of his childhood days growing up near Fort Hamilton and watching the ships sailing by the bay and soldiers marching in step. His family moved to North Bennington in December 1946, where they remained and where George and his brother Rick were raised. In 1961, he began what would become a lifelong banking career, working in the bookkeeping department at Vermont Bank and Trust Company (now TD Bank). He quickly rose through the ranks, and by the age of 21 was named assistant manager. In 1967, at age 24, he became a branch manager and assistant treasurer, becoming the youngest to achieve an officer's position in the bank's history. In 1977, George embarked on an endeavor that would define his style and compassion for the rest of his life, helping people financially by establishing an office of Consumer Credit Counseling, a nonprofit whose only concern was to help people manage debt without family or personal disaster. He initially served as advisory board chairman and later was elected to serve on the board of directors. In 1985, he became president of the organization and remained in this position until 2008. In 1982, George was asked to cover the retail credit department in Brattleboro. While this was intended to be a short-term assignment, he remained for 10 years, moving to Brattleboro and making it his forever home. During these 10 years, he rose through the ranks once again, eventually becoming senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vermont Mortgage Group, and senior vice president of First Vermont Bank, both part of what is now TD Bank. In 1991, George was approached by the search committee of Brattleboro Savings & Loan and, on Jan. 27, 1992, he became its president and chief executive fficer, serving until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2007. Under his stewardship, BS&L experienced unprecedented growth and received numerous honors, including two Community Bank Awards (in 2006 in recognition of its Community Person of the Month program, and in 2007 in recognition of Project Feed the Thousands), and was the 2007 recipient of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility's Small Business of the Year. George was very proud of the programs that he instituted during his tenure at BS&L, including Community Appreciation Day, the Community People Award, the establishment of a living wage policy for all employees, the commitment to donate 10% of net profits to local organizations, and first and foremost the establishment of Project Feed the Thousands in 1994. A stalwart of the Brattleboro community, George served on numerous boards and donated his time to a number of community organizations and services. George's retirement was preceded by a trip to China in April 2007, sponsored by the UVM Asian Studies Outreach Program. George was invited to join educators and students to learn more about education in China, and to share his insights based on his commitment and experience with the bank branch at BUHS and Windham Regional Career Center. He suddenly gained new perspective and realized that there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored and he wanted to be a part of it. A lifelong baseball and sports fan, George played semi-pro ball as a teenager and then became the power-hitter for the BS&L softball team where he helped the team win two championships. One of the main joys of his life was traveling around the country and Canada, visiting ball fields with his son George Jr. Although they did not make it to all 32 parks, they shared some special memories in the quest. He was, of course, thrilled to see his beloved Red Sox win the World Championship in 2004, and several more times thereafter. On March 9, 2010, in St Augustine, Florida, George married Rose (Robertson) Cavanagh, the love of his life and forever soulmate. Together, they traveled the world and shared many wonderful adventures. His 70th birthday was spent in Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow in the lagoon. In addition to their international travels, George and Rose were proud to say that they had visited every state, taking two extended cross-country road trips in 2012 and 2015. Rose was his companion and partner and they built a beautiful life together. They made a point to spend time with family, including with his daughter Tiffany Finck-Haynes in Washington, D.C., and his son George and family in Cambridge, New York. He embraced Rose's entire family, becoming a father to Rose's four children, and was a beloved Pop-Pop and Grampa George to his many grandchildren and step-grandchildren. George is survived by his wife Rose; his children Robin Haynes Gardner, George Spencer Haynes Jr. (Eileen), Tiffany Finck-Haynes (Jorge Aguilar), and Spencer Haynes; and Melissa Cavanagh, Stephanie Cavanagh, Jessica Doleszny (John), and Gregory Cavanagh (Starr Bruce), along with many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Rick Haynes (Sue); and by George Jr., and Robin's mother, Leona Center. A man who truly embraced his extended family, he is also survived by his mother-in-law, Irma Robertson, along with many, many members of both the Robertson and Cavanagh families. He was predeceased by his father Spencer Haynes and his treasured mother Roberta Stultz Haynes. George was confident, courageous, intelligent, generous, and funny. He had nicknames for everyone. He could be very firm in his opinions and he loved a good debate. Even until his death, he lived his life on his own terms. His family, his dear friends, and the entire Brattleboro Community mourn his loss but will cherish many fond memories forever. Memorial information: A celebration of George's life will be held at the VFW on Black Mountain Road in Brattleboro on Saturday, March 23, beginning at 2 p.m. His family invites everyone who knew and loved George to join them for light refreshments, fellowship, and the sharing of stories and memories. Donations to Project Feed the Thousands, a nonprofit whose sole goal is to provide food for local families. Along with Rose, George remained active in Project Feed from its inception in 1994 until 2024. He was very proud that, through his efforts and the efforts of the board and staff, they were able to serve (and continue to serve) thousands upon thousands of families. Checks can be mailed to Project Feed the Thousands, in care of 802 Credit Union, P.O. Box 8366, Brattleboro, VT 05304; or gofundme/f/project-feed-the-thousands-2023.

• Phyllis M. Gigante, 76, of Brattleboro, formerly of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Died March 9, 2024. Phyllis was born on Aug. 2, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of the late Michael and Candida (Santomauro) Gigante. Phyllis was a child care specialist at Early Educational Services in Brattleboro for 10 years. Prior to that, she was librarian for the Lincoln Consolidated Schools in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for 30 years, where she was affectionately known as "Mom." Phyllis was known to be one of most kind, giving, and generous people you could know. She delivered food and medicine in Brattleboro during the COVID-19 pandemic and had been chosen to be the first recipient of the "Heroes of West Brattleboro," which will be awarded this summer. She enjoyed knitting, sewing, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. Surviving are her loving children Donna (Dana) Greiner and Michael (Michelle) VanArman; brother Michael Gigante; grandchildren Samantha (Patrick) Mackay, Noah Jackson, Gabriel Jackson, Katelyn Greiner, Kimberly Greiner, Miranda VanArman, and Meadow VanArman; and great-grandchildren Melody, Jamison, and Charlee. Memorial information: There will be a celebration of Phyllis's life scheduled at a later date in Michigan and Vermont.

• Raymond Harold Gregory Jr., 81, of Grafton. Died peacefully at his home on Feb. 24, 2024. Born on March 15, 1942, in Bellows Falls, to Cynthia (Palmer) and Raymond Harold Gregory Sr., he was the oldest of two children. His brother John Gregory and Raymond have both been lifetime residents of Grafton. Raymond attended Grafton Elementary School and then graduated from Leland & Gray Seminary High School in Townshend in 1960. He enjoyed playing his favorite sport of baseball in elementary school and high school and then continued playing for years for the Grafton baseball team. He also played softball. Raymond worked for Wilson and Lawrence as a laborer on tennis courts before entering the Army in 1964. He received an honorable discharge in 1966. He returned to his home afterward and went back to work with Wilson and Lawrence. Raymond left there in 1973 to work for the Windham Foundation, from which he retired in 2009. Raymond was a member of the American Legion for 57 years, the Bellows Falls Moose Club for 35 years, and a lifetime member of the NRA. He was an avid reader of all kinds of books, especially the history of different wars. He enjoyed his trips to Boston for Red Sox games and trips to Maine for vacations with his wife, Eileen. Raymond had many lifetime friends, and enjoyed fishing with his friends from Michigan and in Maine. Raymond also liked hunting locally in Vermont. Raymond loved his dogs and cats; he would tell stories of how his dog Merlin would hear the truck start up and he was ready to go, and he would ride around to different jobs with him during the day. He was well known around the community for helping anyone that needed help with their firewood for the winter. Raymond leaves his brother, John Gregory and his wife Linda (Fisher) of Grafton, and nephews John Gregory Jr. and Jamie Gregory. He was predeceased by his parents and his wife, Eileen (Pinkley) Gregory. Memorial information: A service will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory to either Grafton Cares, P.O. Box 134, Grafton, VT 05146, Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302, or any VFW post.

• Mary B. Griswold, 91, of Bellows Falls. Died March 5, 2024. Mrs. Griswold was born on March 25, 1932, in Bellows Falls, the daughter of John and Nora (Gorman) Barry. She was the granddaughter of Irish immigrants, a heritage of which she was very proud. She attended St. Charles Parochial School in Bellows Falls and graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1950. Following graduation, she was worked for the state of Vermont as a secretary and dispatcher for the Vermont State Police. She left the workforce to raise her children. When they entered school, she worked as a Title I Aide at St. Charles School. When the school closed in 1970, she worked as secretary and bookkeeper by the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, a position she held for 25 years. Upon retiring, she worked as secretary for St. Charles Church. She was a volunteer at local blood drives for the American Red Cross, a ballot clerk for the Town of Rockingham/Village of Bellows Falls, and a corporator for Greater Rockingham Area Services. She spent the happiest times at family gatherings, especially vacations in Maine. Her children and grandchildren were a great source of joy and pride. On April 16, 1955, she married Clayton Griswold, who died in 2013. She is survived by daughters Karen Brown and husband Charles of Burlington, and Mary-Jo Mumford and husband Walter of Underhill; grandchildren Amy Veilleux and partner Eric Gregorek of Milton, Christopher Brown and husband Rick Pingert of South Burlington, Anna Mumford and husband Jon Kennedy of Vergennes, Kaylee Mumford and her husband Jason Hartman of Underhill, and Andrew Mumford and wife Alison of Grantham, New Hampshire; and great-grandchildren Liam, Carter, Geoffrey, Nora, and Maeve. She was predeceased by her parents, her daughter Noreen Ann, and her brother John. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on March 16 at St. Charles Church, followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in Westminster. Donation to Kurn Hattin Homes, P.O. Box 127, Westminster, VT 05158.

• Kathi Renaud, 91, died peacefully on March 2, 2024, with family at her side. Born on Oct. 31, 1932, to Gottfried Kohli and Frieda (Hofer) Kohli in Häutligen, Switzerland, she grew up on her family's farm with her three older siblings, Verrena (Vreni) Bartschi, Hans (Johnny) Kohli, and Daniel (Dan) Kohli. At 15 1/2, after graduating school in Switzerland, Kathi moved to the French part of Switzerland where she learned French. After about a year, Kathi went to business school in Bern, Switzerland. At 19, she went to London and, after a year in England, Kathi left for Canada. She lived in Montreal for a number of years, working for a family and, later, for Swiss Bank Corporation. At 23, Kathi met her future husband, Romeo Renaud, who was on a fishing trip at Lake Memphremagog. About a year later, in 1956, Kathi and Romeo moved to Brattleboro and got married at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Kathi and Romeo later built their house in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, in 1966, where they raised their family. Kathi was a loving wife and mother to her two children, Audrey Renaud and Godfrey Renaud. Kathi was grandmother (Grossi) to her three grandchildren, Rachel Hill, Logan Turner-Renaud, and Cooper Turner-Renaud. She was a loving person and was loved deeply by her family and friends. She enjoyed travel, was adventurous, beyond caring & nurturing, strong, hardworking, and truly the matriarch of her family. At 91, Kathi was very active and often gathered her remaining family around her table with her deliciously cooked homemade meals. Not one dinner passed without her saying, "If you leave the table hungry, it's your own fault." Her family can confidently say they always left the table with full bellies and love in their hearts. Kathi will be sorely missed by her family and friends and now rests peacefully reunited with many of her family and friends. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Brattleboro. Burial will follow in St. Michael's Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her husband. Donations to St. Brigid's Kitchen and Pantry, 47 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To offer condolences, visit

• Jane Ann Walker, 92, formerly of Brattleboro. Died March 8, 2024, in Concord, New Hampshire. Born on Feb. 19, 1932, Jane was employed by the Holstein Association USA for her entire career. After retiring, she happily volunteered at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Gift Shop for many years. Jane enjoyed gardening and the many trips that she took after retirement. She was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star, Vermont Grand Chapter, and The Ladies Shrine. Jane was predeceased by her husband, Irving M. Walker, and her stepdaughter Brenda E. Walker. Jane leaves her stepdaughters, Carol Walker Dumont, Theresa Beaudry, and Susan Shaw; seven grandchildren ,and four great-grandchildren. She also leaves a niece, Lorinda Gilbert; a great-niece and great-great-niece, and a nephew, Ian Graham. Jane's beloved sister, Virginia D. Graham, died just two days before Jane. The sisters spent much time together in their final months, living in the same community in Concord. Memorial information: A private burial will take place at Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. Donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 10014. To offer condolences, visit

• Louise Jeanette "Lucky" Woodlock, 85, of Marlboro. Died March 7, 2024, in the comfort of home with her eldest daughter at her side. Lucky was born in Revere, Massachusetts, on Nov. 17, 1938, the daughter of Fred and Dorothy (Perkins) Collar. She was raised on Revere Beach and was a graduate of Revere High School. In the late 1960s, she took a vacation that brought her to Higley Hill in Marlboro, where she stayed at a country inn operated by Alice "Grandma" Whitney and family. It was a life-changing trip. She would soon make Marlboro her new home. On Oct. 18, 1969, at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Wardsboro, she married Edmund "Woody" Woodlock. They spent nearly 50 years together prior to his death on Aug. 25, 2019. Together, they built their own log home with the help of family and friends. With her husband, she owned and operated The Berry Shed Sugar House, a berry farm in Marlboro. In conjunction with running the farm, Lucky was the assistant nursery school teacher at the Marlboro Meetinghouse School from 1983 to 1990. Lucky's young students honored her playful nature by referring to her as "The Big Kid." She will be remembered fondly for her elaborate extended-day rodeos. Gifted with a beautiful singing voice, Lucky played guitar and ran sing-a-longs for the Horizon Inn in Marlboro for many years. Along with playing the guitar, she also played the accordion, banjo, tin whistle and several other instruments. Lucky loved John Denver's music, old Western movies, canoeing with her husband, and animals. Survivors include her daughters Danielle Marie "Dani" Woodlock of Marlboro and Teresa Dorothy Woodlock of Brattleboro; Melody "Little Sister" Squires of Guilford; brothers-in-law John Woodlock of Norwell, Massachusetts, and Gerard Woodlock (Bernice) of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; sister-in-law Ellen O'Connell (Timothy) of Norton, Massachusetts, and first cousin Barbara Oliver (Victor) of Dunnellon, Florida. Additionally, she leaves a host of dear friends, including lifelong friends Liz Averill of Wareham, Massachusetts, William Gibson of Winthrop, Massachusetts, and the MacDougall family, originally from Medway, Massachusetts. She was predeceased by her brother, Fred Collar. Memorial information: Graveside committal services in King Cemetery in Marlboro, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, will be private. Donations to Marlboro Cares, P.O. Box 222, Marlboro, VT 05344. To offer condolences, visit

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

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