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Memories & Candles

“Art, We are sorry to hear of the passing of Frank. He will be missed by so many!!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and his family. Betty ...Read More »
1 of 60 | Posted by: Betty - Enfield, CT

“Frank Vara once said "Without the teaching profession, there can be no others." I say without Frank Vara as one of my best childhood friends I would...Read More »
2 of 60 | Posted by: Gerard Lentini, Ed.D - Athens, GA

“Art, You are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We had a lot of laughs and pranks with you and Frank. We will never forget Frank...Read More »
3 of 60 | Posted by: Calvin & Verna Lang - Tempe, AZ

“How many wonderful memories we have of Frank throughout the years. He always had a smile, laughter, a good word, and good advice. George enjoyed...Read More »
4 of 60 | Posted by: Martha Clark - Newfane, VT

“Art, we are so sorry to hear the sad news about Frank. He will certainly be missed by all the peoples paths he crossed throughout his lifetime. We...Read More »
5 of 60 | Posted by: Jeff and Diana Boyd - Leesburg, FL

“Art, my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved Frank. It was an honor and a pleasure to have meet and served you both. May you find comfort in...Read More »
6 of 60 | Posted by: Leslie Evans - Greenfield, MA

“To the Family, May each of you find comfort in knowing that God is "near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he...Read More »
7 of 60 | Posted by: valerie thompson - VT

“We are so sorry to hear the news of Frank's passing. We are so lucky to have met Frank & Art. They will never know how many people are better...Read More »
8 of 60 | Posted by: Zane & Kay Akins - The Villages, FL

“Art, Our thoughts are with you, always. Sorry I couldn't attend his service. I think of you both every time I drive by your house. As a child, I...Read More »
9 of 60 | Posted by: Deborah Parsons (Akins) - VT

“I read with sadness about the passing of Frank. We lived in the same dorm,Morrill House our freshman year, 1956. Although we were'nt close, I...Read More »
10 of 60 | Posted by: John Kelley - Rutland, VT

“Art, I was shocked when I read the paper this AM. How sad! I was looking forward to next year-50th- at Castleton seeing you guys. I'll never forget...Read More »
11 of 60 | Posted by: Bertram (Bud) Coolidge - Brandon, VT

“Art, I am so sorry to read Frank's obituary in the Rutland Herald. You two were favorites of Tony's and I bet Frank and Tony are catching up and...Read More »
12 of 60 | Posted by: Carmen Citro - Plymouth, VT

“Hi Art, Just to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I will miss all of Franks stories and his love for...Read More »
13 of 60 | Posted by: Jan Bristol - vernon, VT

“So sorry we were not able to attend the service; we both have colds and opted not to spread the germs. We'll remember Frank as a caring man and a...Read More »
14 of 60 | Posted by: Doug/Phyllis Reed - Newfane, VT

“Art We at Karl Roberts are so sorry to hear about Franks passing. He was loved by all of us here. I really miss visiting with you both and telling...Read More »
15 of 60 | Posted by: karl roberts - keene, NH

“My daughter's and I were sorry to learn of Frank's passing. As principal, Frank was an integral part of the "Saint Michael School Experience". He was...Read More »
16 of 60 | Posted by: Peter J. Duff - Brattleboro, VT

“Art, Please accept my sympathies for your loss. You and Frank were, and are still, examples of living a life of courage, determination, morality, and...Read More »
17 of 60 | Posted by: Gerry Gatz - Brattleboro, VT

“Mr. V was my principle at the Dover School he was a great, caring man who helped our family during some difficult times. He was a gifted educator and...Read More »
18 of 60 | Posted by: Justin Bayles - Charlestown, RI

“Art, I'm so sorry for your loss - I hope you take care of yourself..I know you are lost without Frank...Love Jane ”
19 of 60 | Posted by: jane crossmon - Vernon, VT

“Frank Vara was a wonderful man, mentor and inspiration to me when i was growing up. He was my principal at Dover Elementary school. I struggled a lot...Read More »
20 of 60 | Posted by: Amanda Mc Gerigle - cape cod, MA

“Art, I can't begin to tell you how much our family will miss Frank; he was such a caring adminstrator & teacher for two generations of our family. ...Read More »
21 of 60 | Posted by: Fred & Cheryl (Shippee) Bauer - FL

“Mr. Vara was an amazing person and a role model to myself, my sister Lexi and brother Logan. He was a close friend of our family and always put his...Read More »
22 of 60 | Posted by: Lainey Stricker - Lexington, KY

“Art: We share in your grief for the loss of your lifelong friend. Dick and Sandra ”
23 of 60 | Posted by: Dick & Sandra Dowley - VT

“Our state and nation lost an extremely talented educator today and an incredible human being. My prayers and blessings are with Art and with Frank's...Read More »
24 of 60 | Posted by: Geri Williams - White River Jct, VT

“My deepest sympathy for our loss. Frank was a supportive and knowledgeable educator, principal and friend. His bright smile and consistent...Read More »
25 of 60 | Posted by: Genevra Lavigne - St. Johnsbury, VT

“Dearest Mr. V, I can't help but think that you must have had stock in velamints...how we loved you and the millions of velamints you carried every...Read More »
26 of 60 | Posted by: Vanessa Andrews - NYC, NY

“Dearest Cousin Louise and family and Frank's dear friend Art,Although I met you only a few times and a long time ago, I and all our family are...Read More »
27 of 60 | Posted by: Vareen O'Keefe-Domaleski - NH

“Dear Art: I was so sorry to learn of Frank's passing, but I realize he had not been himself the last several years. He was a good friend to me, and...Read More »
28 of 60 | Posted by: Bruce Corwin - Brattleboro, VT

“Dear Art.I'm sorry for your loss.Frank will be missed greatly.I'm glad that I got the oppurtunity to take care of him and to know him and you.You...Read More »
29 of 60 | Posted by: harley laundry - brattleboro, VT

“Art, I was very saddened to read of Frank's passing. You and he were so good to my late mother, Anne, and I do thank you so much. With...Read More »
30 of 60 | Posted by: Barbara Evans Little - Mendon, VT

“Dear Art,I am sorry to hear about Frank's passing. He was a great principal to work for during my time at Dover Elementary School. He always put...Read More »
31 of 60 | Posted by: Becky Tobey - Plymouth, VT

“Dear Art, and Frank's family,I was so saddened to hear of Frank's passing. He was a wonderful guy and I have many fond memories of your trips to...Read More »
32 of 60 | Posted by: Donna Paine - swanzey, NH

“If a train leaves Brattleboro at 45 MPH how long will it take to get to heaven? Who knows but I'm sure Frank gets some express pass and he's there...Read More »
33 of 60 | Posted by: Jim Shippee - Vernon, VT

“Frank, we will miss you. Art, our hearts are with you. I think we could all spend hours and hours on Frank Vara stories and jokes. He was truly a...Read More »
34 of 60 | Posted by: Jean & Conrad Waite - Shoreham, VT

“My Dearest Brother Ted,How do I express the love I have for you in such a short space or the fond memories Of Christmases, 4th of July, our Oct....Read More »
35 of 60 | Posted by: Louise Duniec - Lanesboro, MA

“Dear Art,Our thoughts and prayers are with you on the passing of Frank. My best years of teaching were in Vernon while Frank was the principal. He...Read More »
36 of 60 | Posted by: Leo & Mary Laitres - Brattleboro, VT

“Dear Art - no words can ease your sorrow at this time, but you are in our thoughts and prayers. Frank was a wonderful, thoughtful and caring person....Read More »
37 of 60 | Posted by: Gwen Harris - Brattleboro, VT

“Mr. Vara was a great teacher. I remember him clearly from my Junior High School days in Woodstock. It takes a special gift to engage and teach a...Read More »
38 of 60 | Posted by: Neil Conklin - Rockville, MD

“We have nothing but good memories of Frank. He helped our son when he transferred in to Dover School and even though he did not see you for long...Read More »
39 of 60 | Posted by: Sherry & Steve Rogers - Fleetwood, PA

“Offering our deepest condolences during this time. ”
40 of 60 | Posted by: The Staff of Atamaniuk Funeral Home - VT

“Dear Art,You are in my thoughts and prayers. Frank was one of the kindest and most thoughtful educators I have ever worked with. He was so generous...Read More »
41 of 60 | Posted by: Robyn Wallace - Taylors, SC

“Dear Mr. V,"Now just settle down and have a Velamint. Tell me what happened."My brother and I were both students at Dover Elementary from K-6. Mr. V...Read More »
42 of 60 | Posted by: Corynn Hemmings - Buena Vista, VA

“Art and Family, my prayers are with you during this difficult time. Frank was a wonderful man, he always had a smile and a kind word to say! I am...Read More »
43 of 60 | Posted by: Colleen Vera - Hinsdale, NH

“Dear Art,My prayers are with you. I will always remember all of the fun times that we all had in Newfane. Frank was a very special person. I will...Read More »
44 of 60 | Posted by: Shirley Joyce - Zephyrhills, FL

“Dear Art, My thoughts are with you and Franks family. ”
45 of 60 | Posted by: Chip Winter - Brattleboro, VT

“Frank Vara was a gem of a man. When I was in elementary school at Oak Grove School in the 1960's, he was assistant superintendent of schools. He...Read More »
46 of 60 | Posted by: Fran Lynggaard Hansen - VT

“Mr. Vara was my principal at St. Mike's from knidergarten-7th grade and I have so many wonderful memories of him.He will be greatly missed by friends...Read More »
47 of 60 | Posted by: Emily - VT

“Mr Vara was my principal at Dover Elementary School and was by far one of the kindest and gentlest souls I've ever known. After all these years if I...Read More »
48 of 60 | Posted by: Melody Szulanczyk - Dummerston, VT

“Frank Vara was the most wonderful man, mentor and inspiration to me when i was growing up. He was my principal at Dover Elementary school. I...Read More »
49 of 60 | Posted by: Amanda McGerigle - MA

“Dear Art,So many memories of you and Frank from our Castleton days. My Aunt Helen loved you both for the funny stories of our college faculty. She is...Read More »
50 of 60 | Posted by: Elaine Ko-Talmadge - Fort Johnson, NY

“Ted's passing leaves a void not only in Brattleboro, but in his family as well. Rest in peace. ”
51 of 60 | Posted by: Alys and Ray Walke - Whitman, MA

“Uncle Ted,You will be missed very much. Thanks for being at my graduations, communions, soccer games in the freezing cold and our annual Christmas...Read More »
52 of 60 | Posted by: Jefferson Oranellas - ME

“Art, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Uncle Ted will be dearly missed but never forgotten. You both have been very kind and generous to our family...Read More »
53 of 60 | Posted by: Heather Oranellas - ME

“Mr. Benedict:So sorry to hear the sad news about Mr. Vara. I have very fond memories of both of you while growing up in Newfane. Will always...Read More »
54 of 60 | Posted by: Tammy (Joyce) Pollard - VT

“Dear Art and all those who lives were made better for knowing Frank, We will always fondly remember the two trips to Montreal that we made with Frank...Read More »
55 of 60 | Posted by: Lynda and Eddie Starorypinski - VT

“I have known Frank, (and Art) since 1979. Frank's humor always got me laughing. I shall always remember the story about when he drank the Humming...Read More »
56 of 60 | Posted by: REV. THOMAS SHANKLIN - LUTZ, FL

“Mr. Vara was the best principal I had. I was young when he was here in Vernon but I remember him well. He was a very thoughtful man. ”
57 of 60 | Posted by: Brian Wheelock - Vernon, VT

“Dear Art,Our prayers are with you. Frank was a wonderful man. We know you will miss him along with alot of other people. ”
58 of 60 | Posted by: howard&bernadette haskins - VT

“Art and Mr. Vara's Friends and family I am sorry for your loss Mr. Vara was a great guy for me to have met. Rest In Peace Frank. ”
59 of 60 | Posted by: Rebecca VanNess - Brattleboro, VT

“Frank had a genuine kindness and compassion for each person he met. We were blessed to know him. ”
60 of 60 | Posted by: Joan, Frank and Abby Lipinski - GA


Brattleboro- Frank Joseph Vara, 73, of West River Road in West Dummerston, died peacefully Tuesday evening, February 17, 2009 at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with his devoted friend, Art Benedict at his side, following a period of declining health.

Mr. Vara was born in Medford, Massachusetts on December 18, 1935, the son of Louis and Dorothy (Earle) Vara. He was raised and educated in Hanson, Mass and was a graduate of Whitman (MA) High School and later Dean Academy in Franklin, MA.

He went on to attend Castleton Teacher's College where he earned his B.A. in Education and later graduated with a Masters in Education Administration from Plymouth State College.

Mr. Vara began his teaching career in 1959 in the Tinmouth, Vermont Rural School. He later taught 7'Th and 8'Th grade social studies and language arts in Woodstock, Vermont.

From 1964-1966 he taught at Hanover, New Hampshire High School, along with Norwich, Vermont was the first Interstate School System in the United States signed into law by then President John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Vara was Elementary Supervisor and then Assistant Superintendant of Schools for Windham Southeast Supervisory Union that encompassed schools in Guilford, Dummerston, Putney, Vernon and Brattleboro Elementary schools that included Oak Grove, Canal Street School, Green Street School and Academy School in West Brattleboro.

He later assumed the principal's position at Vernon Elementary School for several years, then went to Dover, as principal, where he retired from in 1995.

In September of 1995 he was recruited by the late Rev. Normand Nadeau, pastor of Saint Michaels' Church to become principal of Saint Michaels' School in Brattleboro until his retirement in 2006.

During his tenure at Saint Michaels', the school's enrollment showed steady growth because of his dedication and commitment of the precepts of parochial education.

Mr. Vara held a deep affection for children and was loved, cherished and respected by his many students and faculty through the years.

For one summer session he instructed fellow educators in a program held at the University of Vermont. During the summer of 1968 he taught in the Better Chance Program at Dartmouth College, a study designed for inner city teenagers.

His professional memberships included, The National Administrators Association, National Education Association, Department of Classroom Teachers of Vermont, National Reading Teachers Association and the Vermont State and National Administrators Association.

He was an active volunteer and current president of the Dummerston Community Chest.

A devout Catholic, he was a communicant of Saint Michaels' Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. He was a man of deep spiritual faith who respected all religions from Methodist to Orthodox Jewish.

Of his pastimes and interests, he enjoyed trains and rail travel. In 2001, in recognition for his 40 years as an outstanding educator, he traveled across the country by rail through a gift presented to him by the Saint Michaels' School community.

He also collected Lionel train sets and antique telephones.

Mr. Vara was especially fond of the ocean and spent summers vacationing in Maine. In 2008, he spent the winter on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Survivors include, his dear friend of almost 49 years, Art Benedict of West Dummerston, a sister, Louise Duniec of Lanesboro, Mass, two nieces, one nephew, one grandnephew, two great grandnephews, one great grandniece.

Additionally he leaves a large host of extended friends who were considered family to him as well as his former students from throughout the years.

Services will include the Liturgy of Christian Burial to be celebrated Saturday at 11:00 A.M. at Saint Michaels' Catholic Church on Walnut Street with Rev. Richard O'Donnell, pastor of Saint Michaels' Church, celebrant. Concelebrating the Mass will be former pastors and associates of Saint Michaels' Church. Assisting on the alter will be the Rev. Thomas Mousin. A reception in his honor will follow the Mass, to be held in Rand Hall in Saint Michaels' School.

Burial in Taft Cemetery in West Dummerston will be in the springtime when the cemetery reopens.

Friends are invited for calling hours and a visitation to be held in the sanctuary of Saint Michaels' Church on Friday from 2 to 8 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mr. Vara's name may be made to a special fund for the enhancement of Saint Michaels' School, to be used for student or faculty achievement, 48 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT. 05301, c/o Rev. Richard O'Donnell, Pastor.

Funeral Home
Atamaniuk Funeral Home
40 Terrace Street Brattleboro, VT 05301
Tel. (802) 254-8183
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