Welcome to THE COMMONS — News and Views for Windham County,

College news

• Erin Morrison of Londonderry earned a B.S. in design from the University of Utah during its commencement ceremonies in May.

The following local students have been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at the University of New England in Portland, Maine: Nicholas Campbell, Hannah Geno, Mollie Patenaude, Riley Patenaude, and Leah Silverman of Brattleboro, and Olivia Lauricella of Saxtons River.

The following local students have been named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at Springfield (Mass.) College: Alyssa Scherlin, an exercise science/pre-athletic training major from Vernon; Marielle Meyer, a health science/pre-physician assistant major from Brattleboro; and Nathan Claussen, a sport management major from Townshend.

• Nina King, a hospitality and tourism management major from Bellows Falls, and Travis Meggiolaro, a civil engineering technology major from Dummerston, were named to the Dean’s List at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology for the spring 2022 semester.

• Mary Howe, a psychology major from Brattleboro, was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.

• Venus Fu of Brattleboro and Abigail Sargent of Dummerston were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

• Samuel Kendrick of Saxtons River was named to the spring 2022 Dean’s List at Kalamazoo (Mich.) College.

• Tyler Morris of West Townshend and Jessica Weiner of Brattleboro were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at The College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Mass.

Transitions

The Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development welcomes Peter Elwell to their Board of Trustees. Elwell recently retired as the Brattleboro Town Manager after seven years in the role. Before his tenure in Brattleboro, he was the Town Manager in Palm Beach, Fla., for 14 years. He also worked for 15 years in management roles in Roxbury Township, N.J. He graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in 1980, attended Middlebury College and received a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Milestones

• Stephen “Steve-O” Cheeney of Westminster. Died July 10, 2022, after a brave battle with cancer. He was born in Lowell, Mass., but moved to Langdon, N.H., as a small child. He attended schools in Langdon. Steve married his high school sweetheart, Louise Dulong, in 1980. Steve spent most of his adult life working as a machinist and doing restoration on antique MG cars. He considered himself a jack-of-all trades. He could build or fix most everything, but he hated plumbing. Steve was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan and attended many games at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium. He even ventured into “enemy territory” and attended a Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium. Steve was a lifetime member at the Bellows Falls Elks Lodge. He was very involved there. He was an officer for many years culminating in being the Exalted Ruler. He and his wife and a close knit group of friends traveled to many Elk conventions including Chicago, Houston, Anaheim, and New Orleans. Many good memories were made. Steve had a huge vegetable garden at his home and would make 50 or so gallons of fresh spaghetti sauce each summer. He did many spaghetti luncheons at Sonnax and raised thousands of dollars for local food banks. Steve had friends everywhere and will be missed by all. He is survived by his wife of 42 years and their son, Joshua, of Springfield. He leaves behind granddaughters Maya Gross of Bellows Falls, Marijane Cheeney of Westminster, and Angel Gross of Virginia. Steve is also survived by his older brothers, Freddie Cheeney and wife, Debbie of Upland, Calif., Bruce and Ginger Cheeney of Langdon, and David Cheeney of Westminster, as well as many loving nephews and nieces. Steve was predeceased by his parents, Marge and Fred Cheeney, and siblings Nancy Chobotor and Michael Cheeney. Memorial information: Calling hours will be at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St., Bellows Falls, on Saturday, July 23, from 3 to 5 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Westminster Cemetery on Sunday, July 24, at 11:30 a.m., with a reception following at the Westminster Fire Station. Donations may be made to the Elks Silver Towers Camp, 56 Silver Towers Road, Ripton, VT 05766.

• Timothy Edward Hamilton, 73, of Brattleboro. Died July 15, 2022 after a short battle with cancer. He was born on Sept. 10, 1948, to Ruth and R. Edward Hamilton and was raised on the family’s dairy farm. Timothy was well known as a sawyer, sawing custom pine and hemlock lumber. He spent the summer months excavating and loved to create unique features like ponds and stonewalls in many backyards. He was a lifetime sugarmaker, a trade he enjoyed alongside his family including his mother and father. When he was young, he would help his mom gather the sap while his dad would boil it down into maple syrup. Later, he would spend the spring days making syrup with his wife, children, grandchildren and friends. In June 1971, he married Patricia (Lowell) Hamilton; the two were happily married for 51 years. He is survived by his wife, two children, Lindsay (Hamilton) Porter and Mark Hamilton; their spouses Eric Porter and Sarah (Kendall) Hamilton; his three grandchildren Katelynn, Kyle and Tyke Hamilton; his sister Betsy (Hamilton) Neumeister; his brothers Dean and Jay Hamilton; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and a nephew, Jesse Hamilton. Memorial information: A Celebration of Life will be conducted at Grace Community Evangelical Free Church in Spofford, N.H., on Friday July 22, at 10 a.m., where all who knew Tim are welcome to attend. Graveside services for immediate family will be in the Hamilton family lot in West Brattleboro Cemetery on Mather Road. Donations to Smile Train, International, an organization which provides quality cleft palate care all over the world, P.O. Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090. To send condolences, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Parker Huber, 82, of Brattleboro. Died on July 8, 2022. In his final weeks, he was surrounded by a few devoted friends and hospice nurses who cared for him lovingly. He lost his capacity to bicycle in early 2020 due to Parkinson’s disease, but his love of walking enabled him to stay connected to his beloved outdoors and the people on the streets of Brattleboro. Parker was a contemplative, quiet man, yet paradoxically he connected with and touched the lives of many. He was a true inspiration and a guiding light with his generous, supportive presence and his extraordinary capacity for deep listening. He commonly understated his unique accomplishments, attributes and gifts, and was likely unaware of the profound effect he had on others’ lives. Parker was a weaver of connections through the many groups of which he was a member. Circle Dancing was a great love of his, and he danced joyfully in the Brattleboro Circle Dance community for 35 years. For years he organized and facilitated the “Moment for Peace” at Centre Congregational Church in conjunction with Gallery Walk. He was a member of the Putney Friends Meeting for 25 years and, more recently, became involved with St. Michael’s Episcopal Church through their contemplative and centering prayer groups. One of his greatest legacies was to the community of nature writers, both local and national, for whom he created a space where nature writing came into its own as a contribution to today’s literary culture. In 1986, he convened the first gathering of writers at Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, N.H., in collaboration with Orion Magazine. His vision for Glen Brook was to provide a stimulating setting for nature writers to share their work and reflections on the role of nature writing. Once Glen Brook was established, Parker’s initiative continued to generate new ventures. In 1991, the John Hay colloquium on Cape Cod drew 30 writers together from across the country to honor Hay’s achievement: in the words of one participant, it was “a gathering of the tribe.” In 1992, Parker initiated Writing Nature, first as a bibliography of nature writing, and soon expanded to include original work. In 1995, he convened the first retreat for Western writers at Crestone, Colo., which continued to meet for the next several decades. Through all these ventures, Parker’s signature style was quiet and meditative, the sense of community woven together by his active correspondence with group members. Parker was himself a skilled naturalist and writer and was known for his yearly pilgrimages to the top of Monadnock on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps less well-known, he climbed mountains all over the country, and served as a wilderness guide. He published several books based on his own adventures, often woven together with those of the writers he admired most, Thoreau and Muir. In The Wildest Country, he followed Thoreau’s journeys in Maine on foot and by canoe. Parker will be remembered breezing through town on his bicycle, standing in silent vigil for peace at the Brattleboro Post Office on Saturday mornings, and sending his friends notes on scraps of recycled paper in his green scrawled handwriting. He was respected, admired, and loved by many people across the continents, and will be greatly missed. Memorial information: A celebration of his life is planned for September. To honor Parker’s memory, and in lieu of a monetary donation in his name, consider making your own dedication to a practice that contributes to peace within and stretching your capacity for generosity and kindness toward all people as well as to the diverse forms of life that support all of us everywhere.

• Karen A. Puzzo, 81, formerly of Brattleboro. Died July 3, 2022. Karen was many things — a Vermonter, a singer, a gardener, a seamstress, a baker, a crafter, a volunteer, a caretaker, a consummate organizer, a poet, a devoted daughter, a loving sister, caring mother, a kind friend and, above all else, a selfless giver. She was born in Barre on April 11, 1941 to Cornelia and Dante BaiRossi. Karen immediately became the apple of her dad’s eye, much to the chagrin of her eight-year-old brother Danny. Karen’s other brother, Steve, was born six years later, and the family moved to Blakeslee Street in Brattleboro. Karen attended St. Michael’s School and was involved in many clubs including the school band. She eventually graduated at the top of her class and headed off to the University of Connecticut to study physical therapy. Unfortunately, a serious car accident right before she left for school squashed those dreams and, after just one year at UConn, she realized that she needed to reset her life plan. Her next stop was Longmeadow, Mass., where Karen graduated from Bay Path College. Karen found her calling in medical administration, not the career she had set out for, but one she came to love, with friends that she remained close to for decades. After college, she returned to Connecticut to work at St. Francis Hospital. Her roommate set her up on a blind date with a young student from the University of Hartford named Paul and they began a lovely courtship. They married in 1967 and settled in Bloomfield, Conn., and had two children, Julianne (Julie) and Paul, Jr. (PJ). The family held block parties, went Christmas caroling, and had annual Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day parties, and Karen oversaw just about everything. Of course, not all good things have good endings, and neither the marriage nor the neighborhood lasted and everyone went their separate ways. In 1980, Karen joined the Farmington Valley Chorus group, a women’s barbershop choir, a part of the Sweet Adelines organization. Karen always loved to sing, at the altar at Christ the King Church and as a member of The Kings Players, a Bloomfield theater group. Finding a group of women dedicated to the love of music was the perfect outlet for Karen. She quickly become the head of the costume committee, covering her living room floor with satin and sequins for weeks on end. Then she started writing scripts to turn their concerts into elaborate shows. Using her administrative expertise, Karen became the competition coordinator for Sweet Adelines in the Northeast; subsequently she sat on the Regional Board of Directors and eventually became Regent. She was honored with the Marge Bennett Angel Award. With Sweet Adelines, she traveled the country and eventually the world, even singing at Carnegie Hall. Karen was a mom’s mom, even though she only had two of her own children, there are many people far and wide that consider her mom. When she became a grandmother (Nonnie) to Andrea, she was so excited. But then her great-granddaughter Codi came along; the love between Codi and Nonnie was what she had been waiting for her whole life. Karen was also a friend. Over the past three months, the number of cards she received from friends were too numerous to count. Those people were just giving back what she has been giving to her friends her whole life. She made everyone feel loved and cared for, especially during tough times. She believed that love conquered all and manifested that belief every day. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held on July 18 at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. A Celebration of Life will be held at Farmington Gardens in Farmington, Conn., on July 20. For more information, please contact the family. The Karen Puzzo One Voice Scholarship at the Farmington Valley Chorus has been created in her honor. Donations to Farmington Valley Chorus, 900 Misty Meadow Lane, South Windsor, CT 06074. To share a memory or send condolences, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

• Jane Wilson Scott Reed, 94, of Brattleboro, Died peacefully at Pine Heights nursing home on July 4, 2022. Janie, as she was known to all, could light up a room with her smile. She was born in Akron, Ohio on July 14, 1927, the daughter of Winfield and Ruth (Potschner) Scott. She was raised and educated in Akron. She graduated from Stephens College in Missouri with an Associates Degree and then attended Denison University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Following graduation, she worked as a designer for Heisey Glass Company in Akron, a producer of fine crystal. One of her many designs is now a collectible. In 1954, she married the Rev. Robert H. Reed. They moved to Long Branch, N.J., in 1955, where their two daughters were both born. In 1960, they moved to Paramus, N.J., to start a new church, Trinity United Presbyterian Church. Janie took part in a wide variety of volunteer activities in the church and community. In addition to being one of the charter members of the church, she sang in the choir and directed plays for presentation during worship. Active in the Civil Rights Movement, one of the high points of those years was taking part in the historic March on Washington in August 1963 with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1970, the family relocated to Portland, Ore. There she was ordained a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. She obtained a degree in Library Science and became the school librarian for Robert Gray Middle School. In 1979, Janie and Bob moved to the Brattleboro area and she became the assistant librarian in the children’s department of Brooks Memorial Library. They split their years between their Brattleboro and Marlboro residences. Janie enjoyed acting in community theater and took part in many productions of the Actors Theater Playhouse and the Vermont Theatre Company. She loved all forms of art, especially calligraphy, teaching classes and created numerous posters for plays. She loved watercolor painting and contributed paintings to an annual Brattleboro Senior Center calendar. An active member of Centre Congregational Church since 1981, she served as a deacon. Janie was predeceased by her husband in 2017. Besides her husband, she was predeceased by her only sister, Christine Scott Shelhart. Janie leaves behind two daughters, Nan Reed Mann of Brattleboro and Susan Rowell of Newfane and her husband Robert Rowell, three grandchildren, Louisa-Marie Mann, Dr. Ali Nemeti and husband Nick Nemeti and Flint Rowell and his wife Audrey Tin Latt, two great-grandchildren, Eve Louisa Nemeti and William Nathan Rowell, and several nieces and nephews. Memorial information: A memorial service will be conducted in Centre Congregational Church at a later date. Burial will follow in King Cemetery in Marlboro, where she will be laid to rest beside her husband. Donations to Centre Congregational Church Book of Remembrance or Brattleboro Centre for Children’s Starfish Scholarship Fund, which she helped to found. To share condolences, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

Services

Graveside committal services for Charles M. “Charlie” Ogden Jr. will be conducted on Saturday, July 23, at 10 a.m., in Christ Church Cemetery in Algiers Village in Guilford. Mr. Ogden, 57, of Sweet Pond Road, died June 24, 2022 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. To view his full obituary, visit www.atamaniuk.com.

A celebration of life in memory of Christopher J. Russell will be held on Saturday, July 30, at 1 p.m., at his family home on 74 Lawton Drive in West Brattleboro. Family and friends are welcome.

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