College news

• Jesse Jerome-Wrenn, son of Cindy Jerome and Peter Wrenn, both of Dummerston, graduated cum laude and with honors from Union College in Schenectady, New York with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. Achieving Dean's list all four years, he was inducted into Pi Tau Sigma, the international Honor Society in mechanical engineering, and Tau Beta Pi for achieving an outstanding record in engineering studies and demonstrating excellence of character. In addition, he helmed club soccer and the ski and snowboard club.

The following local students received degrees from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts during its 120th commencement exercises on May 20: Max H. Spicer of Williamsville graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in history, Liam Kennedy of Brattleboro, graduated with a Master of Arts, and Abbe Kathryn Cravinho of Bellows Falls graduated with a Master of Arts in teaching.

• Owen Grinold of Wilmington and Griffin Waryas of Bellows Falls both received undergraduate degrees from the University of Rhode Island during its 2024 commencement in May.

• Jasmine Denny of Whitingham earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the 166th Elmira (N.Y.) College commencement in May.

The following local students recently received their academic degrees from Plymouth (N.H.) State University: Ruchan Karagoz of Brattleboro, B.S. in finance; Luke Missale of Brattleboro, B.S. in history and social studies education (Magna Cum Laude), and Abigail Wimer of Wardsboro, B.A. in criminology.

• Travis Meggiolaro of Dummerston and Niko Huber of South Londonderry were named to the Dean's List at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology for the spring 2024 semester.

• Elisabeth Keeler of Wilmington was named to the spring 2024 President's List at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.

• Liina and Stine Koch of South Londonderry and Hazel Handy of Guilford were named to the Dean's List for winter 2024 at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

• Wyatt Rosinski of Brattleboro was named to the spring 2024 President's List at Norwich University in Northfield.

• Riley Barton of South Newfane and Riley Dionne of Wilmington were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2024 semester at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

• Jonathan Terry of Bellows Falls, Nicholas Campbell of Brattleboro, Olivia Lauricella of Saxtons River, and Shelby Stoodley of Westminster were all named to the Dean's List for the spring 2024 semester at the University of New England in Portland, Maine.

• Caroline Mehner of West Wardsboro and Spencer Butynski of Brookline were named to the President's List for the spring 2024 semester at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut.

• Kim Amidon of Vernon and Venus Fu of Brattleboro were named to the Dean's List for the spring 2024 semester at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.


• Judith W. "Judy" Acampora (née Marshall) died June 28, 2024, in Townshend. Judy's husband Thomas died in 2017. She is survived by her beloved sister, Lee A. Shoemaker of Riverside, California, nieces Lynn Johnson and Margaret Shoemaker Nakane, and beloved Acampora in-laws, Lenore of Newfane, and Judy's extended family. Born in 1940 in El Centro, California and raised in Riverside, she retired from her California law practice in 2001 and moved with Tom to Brookline. She called Vermont her real home. Memorial information: None provided.

• Michael Richard Bleier, 45, died peacefully on June 22, 2024, in the care of Hospice House in Concord, New Hampshire. Michael was born in Mount Kisco, New York on Jan. 10, 1979, to Marjory Bleier Bissette and the late Steven Bleier. He lived in Chappaqua and Bedford, New York until the age of 15, attending Douglas Grafflin Elementary School and Rippowam Cisqua School. Mike graduated from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1997, after he and his mother Marjory and he moved to Vermont in 1994. He attended the University of Vermont, and graduated from Vermont Technical College, subsequently earning his Journeyman and Masters electrician licenses. Michael excelled in soccer, sports, hiking, rock and ice climbing, and skiing. He joined Sugarbush Ski Resort's ski patrol for 13 years. He later taught his children and many of their classmates to ski, and coached soccer and lacrosse. Michael savored the trip-of-a-lifetime to Italy to ski the Alps in March 2023. Working as part of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps at Emerald Lake Park in 1999, Michael met Mary Lauscha of Rutland. They married in 2006 and moved to New Hamsphire, where they settled to raise their own family. In 2011, Michael launched Applied Cabling Technologies LLC (ACT), extending electrical services to business, educational, and residential clients. Michael joined the BNI business association in 2011, which awarded Michael its 2023 Chapter Member of the Year award, noting "over the years, Mike has served Twin City BNI in nearly every position on the leadership team…Even when dealing with numerous health challenges, he continue[d] to serve Twin State BNI as a member of the Membership Committee." In May 2023, Michael was diagnosed with an unmethylated glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Mother Marjory and stepfather Stephen Bissette drove Michael to almost every medical appointment and treatment, and ACT business obligations - allowing Mike's wife and children to lead relatively normal lives until his decision to cease treatment in late May 2024. Michael's love and devotion to family, friends, community, business associates and employees, clients, and everyone whose paths he crossed made an indelible positive difference in countless lives. Michael's quiet, caring, open, and kind nature, his passion, strength, ingenuity, spirit, and smile will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by parents Marjory and Stephen Bissette of Windsor, Vermont, brother William Bleier, stepbrother Daniel Bissette and stepsister Maia Rose Bissette; and his five children Hayden, Rosalyn, Aggie, Jonny, and Reuben, and his wife Mary, of Springfield, New Hampshire. Memorial information: There will be a memorial service on July 27, at 11 a.m., at First Baptist Church in New London, New Hampshire, with a reception to follow. Donations to On Belay (, which supports children impacted by cancer in their families.

• Jeanette Elsie (Dompier) Bookhamer, 88, of Denver, Colorado. Died Jan. 21, 2024, at home with her sons and a daughter by her side. She was born in Keene, New Hampshire on April 4, 1935, the eldest daughter of the late Sherman and Rachael (Pratt) Dompier. Jeanette was educated in the Brattleboro school system. She grew up ice skating and skiing in the beautiful New England mountains. Through her life travels, she lived in many places, including Vermont, Texas, and France (riding on the Queen Mary), and finally in Colorado. She loved her family fiercely, striving to put them first and always present in her heart and mind for those across the country. In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, especially her flowers, butterflies, music, animals and rooting for "her team" the Denver Broncos. She always enjoyed ribbing the football fans in her family in the East by saying, "Go Broncos!" She simply enjoyed spending time with others. She had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh, and loved to make others laugh as well. She embodied the spirit of Christmas and took delight in the lights, decorations, carols, and gift giving by making sure that she had something meaningful for everyone. She is known to her family as a woman who was a presence with a strong independent voice, a distinct laugh, and for being admirably resourceful, especially as a mother of nine and grandmother to several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sons Jimmy Prentice (Karen), Donny Prentice, and Danny and Sherman Bookhamer; and daughters Gloria and Annette Bookhamer. Additionally, she is survived by several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins, and a very special friend Diane Willman. She was predeceased by her husband Virgil Bookhamer in 2007, sister Gloria (Dompier) Turner of Brattleboro in 2015, brother Robert Dompier of Brattleboro in 2023, daughter Christina (Prentice) Smith of Denver in 2008, son Myrle Summerall of Denver in 2014, daughter-in-law Sheron Prentice of Winchester, New Hampshire in 2023, her grandson Shawn Prentice of Townshend in 2018, and her son Sam Prentice on April 18, 2024. Memorial information: A family graveside service was held on June 29 in Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend.

• Joanne E. Burke, 73, of Bellows Falls. Died unexpectedly on June 21, 2024, at her home. Joanne was born on June 14, 1951, in Bronx, New York, the daughter of the late William Weinstein, and Anna Bub. Joanne worked for Whelen Engineering in Charlestown, New Hampshire, in the assembly division. She was a member of the Moose, the Polish-American Club, the Elks, and American Legion Post 37 in Bellows Falls. She was a very outgoing and social person. Joanne was predeceased by her parents and her husband, Brian Burke. She is survived by her children Michael Clark, Eric Clark and wife, Myriah, Constance Williams and husband, Gordon, and Ronda Morris. She is survived by six grandchildren. Joanne is also survived by her siblings Irene Ayer, Anita Lyon, Roland Lyon, and Therisa Lyon. Memorial information: A private graveside service will take place at St. Charles Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date to be announced.

• Ida Elizabeth "Edie" Richards Chamberlin, 91, of Brattleboro. Died peacefully on June 8, 2024, assisted by the Hallowell Singers, daughters and grandchildren singing with angels "hovering 'round." Born July 12, 1932 in Englewood, New Jersey, she was predeceased by her parents Dickinson Woodruff Richards, Jr., MD and Constance Burrell Riley Richards, her former husband Robert West Chamberlin Jr., MD, and most recently her dear sister Gertrude Richards Russell in November 2023 and her husband Isaac. Edie loved animals as a child and rode her first horse at their childhood home in Saddle River, New Jersey. She was a 1954 graduate of Smith College and met her husband Bob while he was a medical student at Harvard Medical School. They married and moved regularly for Bob's medical training and military service, growing their family along the way in Boston, Baltimore, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Lexington, Kentucky, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and finally Rochester, New York, where she worked as a secretary while Bob was a pediatrician at the University of Rochester, all the while spending summers at her beloved Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. Edie moved to Brattleboro after launching four daughters from age 8 to 16 as a single parent and completing her masters in psychology and addiction counseling in 1988 at Antioch University. There, she reunited with her childhood love of horses and found Spence, Beau, and Jasmine ("Jazzy") to light up her life. Edie was a regular at the Green Mountain Horse Association and West River Stables where she won many ribbons and inspired young riders. Many thanks to Debbie Hardy, Michelle Taylor and Gerda's Equine Rescue for helping find a home for her beloved Jazzy when she gave up riding herself, at age 89. Edie had a keen intellect, passions for history and Rachel Maddow, and a knack for shunning the conventions and societal norms for women all of which resulted in her own beloved style of life. Edie is survived by her two sisters, Connie Michelsen of Grantham, New Hampshire, and Ann Ward of Essex, Massachusetts; four daughters: Annie Chamberlin and her husband Charlie Morrison of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Martha Cass of Sherborne, England, Susan Chamberlin and her husband Albert Buzz Scherr of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Mary Chamberlin and her husband Jonathan Jesup of Hanover, New Hampshire; and her grandchildren Conny Morrison and her husband Chris Nelson, Josh Morrison and his partner Rodrigo Castro Comejo, Georgia John and Eliza Cass, Olivia Diorio and her husband Ryan Lavoie, Isabella Chamberlin, Sarah and Brett Hershey, and Alexis Jesup and her fiancé Max Hoffman, and great-grandchildren Theodore and Charlotte Hershey. Memorial information: A memorial stone will be placed in her honor at Green Mountain Horse Association in Woodstock, Vermont. An open house celebration of life will occur at the home of Sarah and Brett Hershey, 119 S. Goddard Hill Rd., Westminster, on Aug. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A private family ceremony will follow at 4 p.m.

• Liam Dayton, 18 months old, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Died unexpectedly on June 17, 2024. Liam was born on Nov. 15, 2022, to Joseph and Lydia (Arezki) in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Liam is survived by his family by his loving parents, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents and his cousins. Liam will always be remembered for his "joie de vivre," his contagious laughter, and his ability to never let a scrape get in the way of a good time. The curls of his golden blond hair shined like the sun above his sky blue eyes which illuminated the souls of everyone around him. The countless moments of happiness shared with his family were unmatched. His family remembers Liam's inherent kindness as he shared the last piece of his favorite chocolate treat with his mom, and all those adorably funny moments when he was determined to sound out those tricky "O's" in "cookie" and "uh oh." Those memories will be cherished, as will the memories of the warmth he brought to everyone. Memorial information: A private service was held at Monadnock View Cemetery in Keene, New Hampshire.

• Jane A. Hall, 85, of Putney. Died on June 25, 2024. She was born on Feb. 20, 1939 to the late Leo A. and Juanita Raymond of Norwich. She was also predeceased by her son, Charles J Raymond, and four sisters and a brother. She is survived by her son, Nathaniel B. Hall, and daughter Kathryn L. (Hall) Railey; her sister Lois (Raymond) Kidder; and seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. She delighted in the natural world around her and never failed to be excited by the sights, sounds, and stories of wildlife. Memorial information: Her children request that donations in Jane's honor be to the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center ( of West Brattleboro.

• Richard Alan Look, 68, of Raymond, New Hampshire. Died on June 19, 2024, at his home with his wife by his side. Richard was born in Brattleboro on Feb. 15, 1956, the son of the late Fred E. Look Jr. and Barbara Haskins,and attended local schools. Richard worked as a machinist and department supervisor for Micromatics for 21 years. Richard enjoyed vintage cars and going to car shows. He was a jack of all trades, enjoyed various kinds of music, and was a Boston Red Sox an. Richard is survived by his wife of 18 years, Terese (Grenier) Look of Raymond, whom he married June 24, 2006 in Raymond; children Douglas Look (Amanda) of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, Danielle Look of Brattleboro, and Allison Tuttle (Kyle) of Eliot, Maine; stepson Michael Auclair (Taylor) of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, grandchildren Quentin Wilson, Mya Adler, Jayden Sweeney, and Adeline and Cameron Look; and nieces Lisa Adams (Derick), Carrie Look, and Heather Look. Memorial information: Graveside funeral services will be held Sunday, July 14, at 1 p.m., at Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington. There are no visiting hours. Donations to the Wilmington Historical Society, in care of Covey-Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. To send condolences, visit

• Paul Maddern, 68, of Brattleboro. Died on June 29, 2024. Paul was born to Rosemary (Carroll) and Arnold Maddern on April 25, 1956. He lived in Montague Center, Massachusetts and went to Montague Elementary School and then Turners Falls High School. After high school, he attended Springfield Technical Community College. Paul was industrious and hard working. He worked with a determination and strength that was pretty amazing for many local companies including Cersosimo Lumber, United Foods, and Pepsi of Brattleboro. Paul had a dry and sometimes dark sense of humor. He loved teasing/scaring his nieces and nephews and playing harmless pranks on family and friends. He had an infectious laugh and was there to help anyone out if he was asked. He loved his music and could get lost in it. He was often caught wearing his earphones and singing at the top of his lungs - most often off-key. He was an avid reader, especially of murder mysteries. He was strong, helpful, independent, and had a very finely tuned stubborn streak. His best days were being out in nature, taking mountain hikes, exploring caves, and being relaxed at the ocean. He especially enjoyed his time spent at Laurel Lake at his sister Jane's camp and at his Aunt Betty's and Cousin Peter's camp. Paul is remembered fondly, especially by siblings Lyn Jenest, Anne Maddern, Jane Devino, Jim Maddern, and Andrea Platner; his closest cousin, Peter LaFrance; and his brothers-in-law Nelson Bernard and George Platner. He was predeceased by his sisters Leigh Bernard and Susan Maddern. He leaves behind several cousins, nieces, and nephews. Memorial information: Calling hours will be held July 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Kostanski Funeral Home in Turners Falls. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you take a walk in the woods, or by a lake or the ocean, and take in the beauty and wonder of this world. They're sure he'll be walking with you.

• Lynn Park Mellish, 80, of Bellows Falls. Died June 7, 2024, at the Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center with his wife and daughter by his side. Lynn was born in Bellows Falls on Nov. 23, 1943, the son of Park and Priscilla Mellish. He attended Bellows Falls High School until he joined the Marine Corps in 1966, serving for four years. After his time in the military, he worked many years in the auto body business and also worked for Bryant Grinder in Springfield, Vermont, for 25 years. He then worked part-time for CNC North in Springfield until retiring in 2012. On Nov. 26, 1966, in Grafton, he married Susan Lake, who survives. He is also survived by his son, Mark Mellish, and daughter, Melanie LaRoss. Lynn also leaves behind two sisters, Debra Monahan of Bellows Falls and Renea Allwood of Virginia, as well as several nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Standing by his side for the last six years were his loving wife and daughter, Melanie, as well as her husband, Mike and their two children, Owen and Ava LaRoss. His grandchild, Amanda Mellish and great-grandchild Elise were also a huge support of Lynn and Sue. Lynn was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Wayne, and sisters Sandra Adams and Susan Haskell. Lynn and Sue went on several adventures together over the last several years to include trips to Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Orleans, and Virginia, but by far, they loved their time in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, the most. They would vacation in Maine every summer, eventually buying a camper in 1996 that they brought to Maine where they would spend every weekend which would then turn into most of the summer that then turned into from spring to fall. Lynn loved Maine and found joy in walking the beach searching for sand dollars which was a tradition that he passed down to his daughter, nieces and nephews and all of their friends who lovingly called Lynn "Uncle Lynnie." Being the kind soul that Lynn was, while searching for sand dollars, if any of the kids didn't find one, he always had a spare one in his pocket that he would throw down in the water so the kids could experience the excitement of finding a sand dollar. Lynn, who was nicknamed the "Mayor of Old Orchard" loved OOB! He loved the excitement of downtown, the carnival games, the pier fries, the loud motorcycles and the hot rod cars, but also loved his campground community. Lynn had "the shed" which was open to everyone and anyone who needed any kind of tools, straps, nuts, bolts, surfboards, or whatever! You name it, Lynn had it. Friends of the family fondly remember their children saying, "don't worry about us while we are in Maine, Uncle Lynnie will take care of us." Another joy of Lynn's was his love for yard sales. The hunt for yard sales would start early in the morning and go most of the day! Lynn would typically buy something little (or big) at every sale because he would feel bad for the people having the sale and wouldn't want to leave empty handed! And all of these purchases ended up in "the shed." Lynn was kind and caring and would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it! Six years ago, after Lynn suffered a stroke, his address would become the Vermont Veterans' Home in Bennington, where he received excellent care after health issues became too much for Sue to manage at home. Brandon Boulevard would be Lynn's unit and the staff lovingly took care of Lynn, as well as Sue. The best times were when Lynn's daughter would bring her dogs to visit him which also brought him much happiness and Lynn was always excited to share the dogs with other veterans on his unit. Because they were "good dogs!" From birthdays to holidays, to simple visits, the staff on Lynn's unit became part of his family and Sue and Melanie will always remember their kindness. Memorial information: A graveside service was held on July 7 at Houghtonville Cemetery in Grafton.

• Evelyn R. Murray, 95, of Vernon. Died at Vernon Green Nursing Home on June 29, 2024. She was born on Feb. 16, 1929, the daughter of Fred and Rena (Martindale) Reed. She was married on Feb. 16, 1946 in Charlestown, New Hampshire to Ernest "Jim" Murray. They were married 70 years prior to his death in 2016. Evelyn worked many years at Vernon Green as a licensed nursing assistant. A women of faith, she attended the Northfield Baptist Church and the Vernon Union Church. She was active in the Vernon Senior Center and the Vernon Historians. She was a supporter of Vermont Chapter No. 1 of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, of which her husband was a member. She leaves sons Ernest J. Murray, and Paul Murray and his wife, Lin, all of Guilford. She also leaves her daughter-in-law Sue Murray of Northfield, Massachusetts. She is also survived by three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandaughter. She was predeceased by her husband, her son Eugene, brothers George and Richard Reed, half-brother Victor Vaughn, and half-sister Vera Vaughn. Memorial information: Funeral services were held on July 9 at Kidder Funeral Home in Northfield, followed by burial in South Cemetery in Vernon. Donations to either American Ex-Prisoners of War, Vermont Chapter No. 1, in care of Richard Hamilton, 63 Hughes Rd. Brattleboro, VT 05301, or the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302

• Barbara A. Nichols, 94, died on June 19, 2024, at Pine Heights in Brattleboro. Barbara was born on Jan. 28, 1930, in Bellows Falls to Reuben Merrill and Flora Hussey. Barbara worked at Robertson Paper Mill for over 30 years. Barbara married Fredrick Nichols, who predeceased her. One of Barbara's favorite things to do was play Bingo. Barbara is survived by her son Gary and his wife, Carol, of Westminster, grandchildren Amber and Jennifer, six great-grandchildren, and sisters Madeline Taylor, Arlene Blake, and Lorna Merrill. In addition to her parents, and husband, she was predeceased by brothers Robert, Kenney, Winston, and Edward Merrill, and her sisters, Nancy Narkiewicz, and Olive Jimerson, and a grandson, Gregory. Memorial information: A graveside service was held June 26 at New Cemetery in Westminster.

• Jane Etta Nies, 94, of Bellows Falls. Died on June 15, 2024. Jane was predeceased by her husband, Wesley E. Nies; her parents, Ellen Whitney Bryant and Leon Bryant Sr.; her siblings John (Wayne), Leon Jr., William, Shirley, and Marion (Sal). Jane is survived by her brother, Daniel, and two children: Dale Nies of Bellows Falls and Deborah Hiltz of Concord, New Hampshire; grandchildren Jason, Jennifer, Juliet, Caitlin, and Aiden; great-grandchildren Danika, Adrienne, Eli, Jaegan, Echo, Arden, Jackson, and Alijah; and great-great-granddaughter, Acacia. Jane was born on Jan. 8, 1930, in Langdon, New Hampshire and grew up in the village of Drewsville, where she graduated from high school. She married Wesley Nies on June 16, 1959, and they were married for 64 years until his death on Sept. 2, 2023. They lived in Bellows Falls and Rockingham, and later moved to Alstead and Keene, New Hampshire, where they raised their two children. Jane was a homemaker for many years and later went to work in gift shops in Keene and Milford, New Hampshire. Jane's interests included sewing clothing and making hand stitched quilts. She started knitting at the age of nine and knit mittens, gloves, socks, sweaters and afghans for her family. She enjoyed camping and picnicking with her family. Her favorite spot was at Hapgood Pond in Londonderry. Her favorite pastime was reading. She joked about having read all the books at the Alstead library, and then started at the Bellows Falls library. While in Alstead, she also served as the substitute librarian. Jane spent her last few years at Morning Glory Manor in Bellows Falls after having a stroke in 2021. She was a spunky, tenacious, funny, and storytelling resident. Memorial information: A private service will take place.

• Oliver Myron "Sam" Prentice lll, 69, of Townshend. Died Thursday, April 18, 2024, at home with his family by his side. Sam was born in New Boston, Texas, on August 22, 1954, the eldest son of the late Oliver Myron Prentice Jr. and the late Jeanette Elsie (Dompier) Bookhamer. Sam grew up and attended schools in Colorado graduating from Sheridan High School. Sam lived in Colorado and New Hampshire before finally planting his roots in Vermont. Throughout the years, Sam worked for Elmer Johnson, Keene Industrial Paper Company, Vermont Yankee, Brattleboro Union High School, The Brattleboro Retreat, Green Mountain Clippers, Riverbend Farm Market, and Eden Park Nursing Home. He retired from Mount Snow Ski Resort in 2020. Sam was known for his caring personality and his unique sense of humor. He may have been known to do a practical joke or two. He enjoyed a good conversation with anyone that he encountered. He enjoyed time spent with family and friends 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, and going on Jeep rides. He especially enjoyed taking his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephew, and friends on "deer rides," which was a ride looking for all wildlife. Sam enjoyed everything about wildlife. He fed and watched the birds in the winter and hummingbirds in the summer. He enjoyed going to and camping at Baxter State Park in Maine with his family, watching the moose, bear, deer and hiking Mt. Katadin. He liked fishing, and deer and turkey hunting, and Sam enjoyed sharing fishing and hunting with his children, teaching them and making many good memories. Sam liked to go on nature walks, cutting sticks and turning them into walking sticks. He sent walking sticks all over the country, including one that he proudly made with Townshend Elementary Students. They all wrote messages, signed it and sent it to U.S. troops in the Middle East during Desert Storm. Many family members and friends are lucky enough to have a walking stick made by Sam. He was a fan of the New England Patriots (and, maybe secretly, the Denver Broncos). His mom teased him for rooting for the Patriots and his son picked on him for liking the Broncos. Sam is survived by his wife, Dora Prentice of Townshend; daughters Tina Prentice (Bobby) of Charlestown, New Hampshire and Samantha Prentice of Gilmanton, New Hampshire; granddaughters Chloe Leonard of Claremont, New Hampshire and Alexandria "Alex" Roberts of Keene, New Hampshire; brothers Jimmy Prentiss (Karen) of Colorado, and Donnie Prentice and Rick Prentice (Heidi), both of Winchester, New Hampshire, and Danny and Sherman Bookhamer of Colorado; sisters Gloria and Anette Bookhamer of Colorado; brother-in-law Dan Lake of N.H, family and friends Karen and Terry Shines; Heather, Kyle, Alyson, Scott and Vivian Francy; Jimmy, John, Sue, Judy and Charlie Larabee; and Ginger Jackson and Amy. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family in New England and Colorado, many special friends, and his beloved four-legged friend Jade. Sam was predeceased by his parents, son Shawn Prentice, sister Christina (Prentice) Smith, brother Myrle Summerall, sister-in-law Sheron Prentice, and his beloved four-legged friend Ebony. Memorial information: A graveside service was held on June 29 at Oakwood Cemetery in Townshend. Donations to to the National Wild Turkey Federation ( To offer condolences, visit

• Donald Earl Prouty, 95, of West Townshend. Died peacefully at home on June 18, 2024, surrounded by his family. Don was born April 18, 1929, in Manchester, Vermont, the son of Benjamin and Etta (Jefts) Prouty. He is survived by a son, Raymond C. Prouty of West Townshend; a daughter, Debra M. Lloyd and her husband William of Apollo Beach, Florida; a sister, Mildred Williams of Bellows Falls; granddaughters Serena M. Lett and her husband Jason of Columbus, Ohio and Jennifer D. Escobar and her husband Alejandro of Orlando, Florida; and many nieces, nephews, and close friends. He was predeceased by his loving wife of almost 55 years, Elaine (Howe) Prouty, and his siblings Theodore, Raymond, Norman, Ralph, Harold, Howard, Clyde, and Edna. At his heart, Don was a proud patriot and family man. He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953 in Germany on post-World War II Allied Occupation duty as a Combat Engineer. After his time in the service, he was a longtime logger and truck driver. He made a loving home with his wife Elaine and his two children in West Townshend. He spent his life caring for others and was often seen at the local diner, attending the July 4 parades, and spending time with his family and friends. Prior to retirement Mr. Prouty was dedicated to his caretaking business and took great joy in serving his community. Memorial information: A graveside committal service was held July 5 at South Windham Cemetery. Donations to Grace Cottage Foundation, P.O. Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353 or Rescue Inc., P.O. Box 593, Brattleboro, VT 05302. To send condolences to the family, visit

• Gary Douglas Puffer II, 61, of Winchester, New Hampshire. Died June 25, 2024 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Gary was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on June 14, 1963, the son of Gary and Carol (Tkaczyk) Puffer. He was raised and educated in Vernon, graduating from Brattleboro Union High School with the Class of 1981. After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and proudly served his country on board the USS Nashville. Following his honorable discharge from active service, he returned home to Vernon. Gary was employed in the Water Department for the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts for several years and, later, for the town of Winchester, where he worked in the position as supervisor. Up until being taking ill, and for a time during his illness, Gary worked as a sales associate at Home Depot in Keene, New Hampshire. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing and boating. He also was a collector of Lionel train sets, which were on display at his home. Gary also cherished time spent with his family. He enjoyed traveling with his wife with trips to Canada to visit family and to one of his favorite destinations, Disney World in Orlando. Gary enjoyed country and western music and attending concerts. On May 29, 1999 in Bothwell, Ontario, Canada, he was married to Paula L. Willson. The couple were married in a ceremony officiated by Pastor Dennis Willson, father of the bride. Besides his faithful and devoted wife of 25 years, Paula Willson, survivors include his mother, Carol Shippee of Vernon; three brothers, Keith R. Puffer of Duxbury, Vermont, Darren J. Puffer of Vernon, and Eric M. Puffer of Tennessee; a sister, Rebecca J. Josey of Tennessee; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends. He was predeceased by his father, paternal grandparents Erma and Raymond Puffer, and maternal grandparents Jane and John Tkaczyk. Memorial information: Memorial contributions in Gary's name may be made to Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Team, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114-1101; and/or to To offer condolences, visit

• Marie B. Williams, 87, formerly of Jacksonville. Died June 20, 2024, at Brookdale Village at Fillmore Pond. Marie was born in Wilmington on Jan. 25, 1937, the daughter of the late Howard and Dorothy DeBell Moore. She attended local schools and graduated from Wilmington High School. Marie had a variety of occupations, working as a secretary, at Mount Snow, as a truck driver hauling from coast to coast, and as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, to name a few. Marie was very active in her church and enjoyed traveling to each of the continental United States. Her passion was her family and she cherished times spent with them. Marie is survived by her daughter, Jacquelyn Williams of Swanzey, New Hampshire; her brother David Moore of Halifax; and seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard Williams, whom she married April 16, 1955 in Wilmington. Richard died in 2018. She was also preceded in death by sons Steven Williams in 2021 and Thomas Williams in 1999, and a grandchild, Kelley. Memorial information: A celebration of life for Marie will be held Saturday, July 13, at 11 a.m., at the Jacksonville Community Church. Following a time of fellowship and refreshments, Marie will be buried with her husband Richard in Jacksonville Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held Friday, July 12, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home in Wilmington, VT. Donations to the Jacksonville Community Church, in care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. To send condolences, visit


Graveside committal services for Mark E. Johnson will be conducted Friday, July 12, at 2 p.m. in the Johnson family lot in Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro. A celebration of Mark's life and reception will follow to be held at the F.O. Eagles on Chickering Drive. Mark, 66, of Port Charlotte, Florida and a native of Brattleboro, died May 21, 2024 at Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, Florida. To view his full obituary and offer condolences to his family, visit

This Milestones item was submitted to The Commons.

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