Arlene M. Kathan, 1923-2021

Arlene M. Kathan, 1923-2021
Arlene M. Kathan, 1923-2021. Photo provided

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Arlene May Kathan, 98, of Old Terrace in Bellows Falls, a longtime resident of Brattleboro, went to heaven to be with her Lord and family Tuesday morning, Sept. 28, 2021 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital during the autumn season of color which she loved.

Arlene was born at home in Putney, Vt., July 26, 1923, the daughter of George Andrew and Marguerite Edna (Blakeslee) Stockwell.

She was raised and educated in Putney and attended the East Putney one-room schoolhouse, later moving to Brattleboro where she graduated from Saint Michael’s High School with the Class of 1941.

Arlene went on to attend Castleton State College where she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Additionally, she completed extensive courses at Keene State College and extension courses at UVM and Boston University.

Arlene then taught in elementary schools in Williamstown, St. Johnsbury, Vt., Westmoreland, N.H., Westminster, Putney, and Brattleboro, Vt. During the later part of her career, she also taught on a part-time basis at Saint Michaels’ School. She retired after 40 faithful and dedicated years as a teacher.

On Aug. 21, 1947 in Putney, she was married to Dexter Warner Kathan Jr., the love of her life. The couple was blessed with five very musically talented children who went on to form the band, The Innovations, which Arlene and Dexter managed and joined them on stage.

Steadfast in her lifelong walk of faith, Arlene was a longtime communicant of St. Michaels’ Roman Catholic Church where she served as Eucharistic minister for the parish, taught religious education and catechism, was chaplain facilitator at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (20 years), was a member of the St Michael’s Church Choir, and held membership in the Daughters of Isabella, Ave Maria Circle 128. Arlene had the distinguished honor of being the recipient of the annual Bishop’s Award in 2008.

For many years, she was active with the Vermont Right to Life Program.

Arlene will be fondly remembered for her pleasant personality, generosity, and spirit of friendship.

Of her pastimes and interests, Arlene enjoyed gardening, bird watching, sewing, music and time shared with her family.

Survivors include one son James Kathan of Belmont, N.H.; three daughters Donna Kathan of Bellows Falls, Deborah Armour of Gilmanton Ironworks, N.H., and Judith Wolfe of Westminster; 11 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband Dexter Jr.; one daughter Dianne Lawrence; four brothers Earl, Raymond, William and Harold Stockwell; and two sisters Marjorie Callahan and Hazel Campbell.

The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church with Fr. Henry Furman, pastor, celebrant. Committal Rites and burial will follow in St. Michael’s Parish Cemetery. A reception in Rand Hall at St. Michael’s School will follow the graveside services.

Memorial contributions in Arlene’s name may be made to St. Michael’s School, 48 Walnut St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. To send messages of condolence to the family, please visit

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