College news

• Hana L.S. Aleshnic, daughter of Barry Aleshnick and Martina Sczesny, has graduated with a dual Masters of Science in Nurse-Midwifery and Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Nursing in Ann Arbor. With a focus on removing health inequities in our healthcare system, she will start a fellowship in the fall at Erie Healthcare Centers in Chicago.

• Amy Nelson of Putney was named to the President's List for the 2023 winter Practical Nursing term at Vermont State University. The President's List designation is reserved for the students who maintain full-time status and a term grade point average of 4.0.

• Jonathan Griffin, a business administration major from West Townshend, was named to the spring 2024 President's List at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.

• Ella Bursky of Westminster was named to the spring 2024 Dean's List at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.


• Elizabeth "Lisa" Blake of West Dummerston died on Nov. 28, 2023 on her way to her morning routine at the Colonial Pool. She spoke often of the next life, which she firmly believed in, and how much she wished to connect with the souls in her family who had passed before her. She was born in Boston to Mary Rhoades Hartmann and Eric Hartmann, along with two elder siblings, William and Erica Hartmann. She was predeceased by her eldest son, Marshall Atwater Blake, and her husband of 47 years, James Marchbank Blake. She is survived by her children, Alex Blakeson and Natalie Blake, and three grandchildren, Bjorn Eloy, Magda Carmel, and Kata Nur Blakeson. Lisa attended Milton Academy as a faculty "brat" (as she loved to say) and studied voice at Bennington College. She was a homesteader in Norwell, Massachusetts, with her three children and husband for seven years, following in the footsteps of her German father and Bostonian mother who raised ducks and chickens and grew and canned much of their own food on the same homestead that her parents established. She became a Baha'i in 1972 while living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, struck by a spiritual radiance in her lifelong friend, Grace Bates of Boston. In 1982, she moved to the island of Saint Vincent in the West Indies, with her husband Jim and her two younger children Alex and Natalie. Jim and Lisa spent the next 10 years as active Baha'i "pioneers," contributing their skills to the Baha'i community on the island. Her younger children made their way back to the States for school while Lisa taught music in Vincentian schools for several years, driving all over the island, even to the most remote villages along the rugged coasts. Lisa was an artist; she often would exclaim "Color! I love color!" with a zest in her voice characteristic of her vivacious energy. She loved making things with her hands, which she found later in life, through her beautiful pottery which she made avidly for seven years, traveling all around the East Coast with Jim in their RV selling at craft shows. For the last 10 years of her life, her "infamous" scarves, thousands of which she knit, were received by homeless shelters, schools, community centers, and her friends, all throughout New England. She was a prolific poet, writing about her reflections on this life as a way to piece together her upbringing, her place in her family, her thoughts on faith, spirituality, politics, social complexity, music, art, and many other topics. She struggled with depression and repressed trauma for years in Norwell, and often spoke of this time outwardly, not wanting this to be hidden from the realness of her life, and of life for many like her. In those days, there was little attention given to mental well-being, of which she often made note, and was grateful that the subject was being addressed in her later years. She lost her eldest son Marshall to suicide when he was 22. Lisa was a strong advocate of racial equality, equality of men and women, and world unity. She held firmly to her faith, even though it was not widely recognized. She was part of the Brattleboro and surrounding Baha'i communities up until her death. She loved music, writing, and talking about anything deep. She despised small talk and was willing to talk about death, life, trauma, depression, anxiety, and "the birds and bees" with anyone. She was an avid reader and would exclaim about the many wonderful writers she was reading at any time, mostly books checked out from her beloved Lydia Taft library. She read to Natalie's business staff while they made art, for a few years. She attended writing groups and loved "prompt" writing. She was spontaneous and full of surprises. She had a true mind of her own. In her later years, she spent a lot of time observing, thinking and writing about life. She always loved listening to her favorite music - Bach, Mozart, spirituals, Peter Paul and Mary, and Bob Marley. Memorial information: She will be celebrated at the Lydia Taft Library Geranium Festival on Saturday, May 18, which is dedicated this year to her and Susan Kern. Her pottery can be purchased at Fire Arts Gallery on Route 30 and proceeds will go to the Jim and Lisa Blake memorial fund for learning through the craft arts at Fire Arts Vermont. Lisa's Celebration of Life on May 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is open to anyone who knew her and would like to come hear her poems, have some fun stories, and hear the incredible music of John Hughes (African Kora) and Stephen Katz (Cello). It will be held at Natalie's orange church in West Dummerston, 156 West St. Donations can be made in her name to the Lydia Taft Library.

• Arden "Booie" Fagelson was born on a Thursday in 1936 in Chicago, and died on May 7, 2024, at her home in Brattleboro, with her family by her side. Booie was the middle of Billy and Joan Friedman's three daughters. She graduated from Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago in 1954, attended the University of Illinois for two years, and completed her B.S. in Education at Northwestern University in 1958. Booie was a fifth-grade teacher at the Thomas Edison School in Morton Grove, Illinois, for eight years. She met her husband, Bob, in an elevator at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Within two weeks they were engaged, and within three months they were married at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. Booie and Bob lived with their three children in the Chicago area until 1975, when they moved to Brattleboro. As a resident of Brattleboro for nearly 50 years, Booie was highly engaged in the community, as a Brattleboro Union High School board member, member of the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary, and the founder and moving force behind the Secret Santa Program. Booie always took care of people, whether that meant looking out for her younger sister at sleepaway camp, taking care of her young nephew when her older sister moved in with her family, helping patients as the office manager of her husband Bob's medical practice, or initiating and running the Secret Santa program. Booie was also adventurous. She traveled extensively as a single young woman to Europe and Israel. She moved away from family and lifelong friends in Chicago to make a new start in Vermont. She also once impressed her extended family by doing a memorable belly flop into the Salmon River in Idaho at the age of 65. Anyone who knew Booie knows that she was always looking for things to do, and she picked up many hobbies along the way. At different points in her life she painted, practiced calligraphy, sewed, did needlepoint, collected postcards, enjoyed downhill and cross country skiing, picked wild berries, jogged, played bridge regularly, and golfed. Booie also believed that nothing was worth doing if it wasn't done right. As a result, she often took the lead or did things herself. That said, it seems she could never imagine her children or grandchildren could do anything wrong. Booie is survived by her husband, Robert Fagelson of Brattleboro; children Margee Fagelson of Brattleboro, William Fagelson and Jennie Burger of Austin, Texas, and Adam Fagelson of Brattleboro; grandchildren Madeline Fagelson, Emily Fagelson, and Nathaniel Fagelson; and sister Janie Isackson. She was predeceased by her parents and by her sister, Merle Foster. Her loved ones are confident that Booie sat on the couch before leaving. Memorial information: In lieu of gifts, the family ask that friends donate to the Alzheimer's Association or the Brattleboro Fire Department. To offer condolences to Booie's family, visit

• Thelma Lanphere Mason, 92, of Newfane. Died on May 2, 2024. Thelma was born on Jan. 1, 1932, to the late Earl and Evelyn (Moody) Lanphere. Thelma graduated from Lamoille Central Academy in Hyde Park, Vermont, in 1952. She then attended the Frederico Beauty Institute in Sacramento, California. Thelma married the love of her life, the late Bruce Mason, on Oct. 17, 1952, in Phoenix, Arizona. Thelma worked at JCPenney's for more than 20 years. When not working, Thelma enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and puzzles. She also enjoyed traveling. Thelma was a faithful congregant of Cavalry Chapel Church. In addition to her husband and parents, Thelma was predeceased by her older sister Eleanor Mauthe. Thelma is survived and will be missed by her two sons, Paul and Scott Mason, her grandson Dominick, her sister Linda and her husband Peter, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial information: Calling hours for Thelma will be held on Friday, May 17, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Cremation Society of New Hampshire, 57 High St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. A burial will take place at Jebediah Hyde Cemetery in Hyde Park later this spring. To send condolences, visit

• Carol Moriarty, 84, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died peacefully at home while embraced by the love of her family on May 8, 2024. This concluded an extended period of declining health. During that period, however, Carol was blessed to attend the marriage of her only granddaughter and was sustained by the joy and love of the great-grandchildren, now ages six and three, from that beautiful union. Carol was born on April 11, 1940, to Anthony V. and Ozella (VanNess) Mincolla in Binghamton, New York. As the second generation to immigrants from Sicily, Carol grew up absorbing their wisdom, life skills, love of family, cooking, gardening, and the appreciation of art, music and the simple pleasures of life. She graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1958 and attended the University of Miami until January 1960, when she transferred to Syracuse University. After completing her sophomore year at Syracuse, Carol attended secretarial school in Binghamton and worked at her father's wholesale beverage business. Before heading off to college in 1958, Carol and former high school classmate, Fred Moriarty, began dating. This courtship blossomed into their engagement in 1960. At that time Fred was attending Ithaca College, which was opening a new campus in Ithaca, New York, in the fall of 1961. Carol applied and was hired to be secretary to the Dean of Men at the new campus. She and Fred were married on Sept. 2, 1961, classes began on the 6th, and the couple shared their different roles on campus until Fred's graduation in 1963, which led to a move to Springfield, Massachusetts. Carol continued to work as a secretary in Springfield until 1966, when their daughter, Kelly, was born. Fred's career took the family to Kansas City, New York City, Binghamton and, ultimately, to Brattleboro, as treasurer of the Holstein Association. Kelly graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1984. In 1993, following the birth of their granddaughter, Erin, Carol and Fred opened Creative Woods Unfinished Furniture as a family business, drawing on Carol's enjoyment of interior decorating and tole painting and on Fred's experience in business. The store thrived for 19 years and closed upon their retirement in 2012. In 2016, Carol's health began to decline and she experienced another setback in 2020 when her condition was determined to be terminal. In 1981, Carol and Fred acquired an historic farmstead and barn in Hinsdale and have continually worked to restore and improve the property which now includes several perennial gardens designed, planted and nurtured by Carol. The barn stabled three horses and a goat, along with four ducks and a bunny, while the house has been the residence for a continuous sequence of dogs and cats and a parrot, all endowed with membership status in the family. The farm has become the central gathering place for the extended and growing branches of the family tree where three more generations have learned from "Auntie Carol" about wisdom, life skills, love of family, cooking, gardening and the appreciation of art, music, and the simple pleasures of life. Carol was predeceased by her parents, her brother Anthony Jr., and her nephew Michael Phalen. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, her sister Rhonda Diniz (Americo), brother Mark Mincolla, daughter Kelly Fletcher (Stephen), granddaughter Erin Rafus Astley (Ryan), grandson Galen Fletcher, great-grandson Luca Astley, great-granddaughter Sofia Astley, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews (including her beloved godson Kevin Moriarty), and by her special "adopted" daughter Darlene Klaski and family. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be conducted at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Brattleboro on Friday, May 17, at noon. The family will be available to receive friends prior to the Mass in the church garden next to the church entrance from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Burial will take place following the Mass in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Hinsdale. Donations to the Hinsdale Education Foundation, P.O. Box 837, Hinsdale, NH 03451. To offer condolences to Carol's family, visit

• David E. Robarge, 74, of Saxtons River. Died peacefully, with his family by his side, on April 28, 2024, after complications from pulmonary disease. David was born Oct. 24, 1949, in Bellows Falls. He was the oldest of six children to Richard and Rita (DeMag) Robarge. He graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1967. After high school, he started working with his father as an apprentice plumber and eventually took over the family business. In December 1967, he met the love of his life Maureen Robarge (Waryas) and they married three years later on Dec. 31, 1970, at St. Charles Church in Bellows Falls. Together they had four children, Becky Bryant (David Jr.) of Springfield, Vermont, Joel Robarge (Shana) of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Melissa Benson (Adam) of Bellows Falls, and Joshua Robarge (Nicole) of Alstead, New Hampshire. He enjoyed spending time with his eight grandchildren, teaching them how to "fix" whatever was broken and passing on "words of wisdom" whether or not it was elicited. He could be counted on for his wit and keeping you on your toes. He enjoyed watching birds, feeding his fish, and tinkering. He was predeceased by his parents, and brothers Richard "Ricky" Thomas, Lawrence, and Jaime, and a brother-in-law, James Waryas. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren (David and Branden Bryant, Levi and Eden Robarge, Logan and Elizabeth Benson, and Bryce and Addisyn Robarge), and a brother, Clifford Robarge of Windham. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on May 6 at St. Charles Church, with a private interment to be held at the family cemetery at a later date. Donations to the American Lung Association, 372 Hurricane Lane, Williston, VT 05495.

• Susan Stebbins, 66, of Saxtons River. Died April 27, 2024, at Springfield Hospital. She was born in Philadelphia on March 30, 1958, to her adoptive parents Grant and Katherine Frazer. Susan worked many years waitressing at Rita's Coffee Stop in Bellows Falls and drove trucks for St. Pierre Trucking. Susan loved nature, flower gardening, and all animals. Susan was a history enthusiast, especially local and Vermont-related development. She loved collecting and dealing with antiques, if only for the story behind the items. Her rebellious wit and humor were legendary to all she encountered, and she easily struck up a conversation wherever she went. Susan loved architecture and construction design and, as such, building was her passion. Susan is survived by her children, Dr. Rachel Stebbins-Navy, Amy Vandergriff, and Caleb Stebbins. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Jasmine Auclair, Noah Auclair, Hope Navy, Amon Bingham, and Lucas Perrigo. She also leaves many friends. Susan was predeceased by her parents and son-in-law. Memorial information: None provided.


A graveside service for Julian Mitchell "Mickey" Jackson will be held on Saturday, May 18, at noon, at Friedsan Cemetary in Chesterfield, New Hampshire. A reception will follow at Dummerston Congregational Church. Mr. Mitchell, 86, of West Chesterfield, died on Jan. 14, 2024.

Come share your stories to celebrate the life of Jane Southworth on Saturday, May 18, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., at The Marina Restaurant on Putney Road in Brattleboro. A longtime, beloved, and hearty Brattleboro resident, Jane died Sept. 2, 2023, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, of complications from pneumonia.

Committal services and burial for Pamela G. Chickering will be conducted Sunday, May 19, at 11 a.m., in Chesterfield West Cemetery on Poor Road. Mrs. Chickering, 82, of West Chesterfield, New Hampshire, died March 27, 2024, in the comfort of her home following a lengthy and courageous battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. To view her full obituary and offer condolences to Pamela's family, visit

A Celebration of Life for Cathy Hallock will be held on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Grafton Chapel. All are welcome. Mrs. Hallock, 71, of Grafton, died on Dec. 19, 2023.

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

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