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Life of Otter Valley teacher remembered

BRANDON - John Herman Brutkoski, age 66, died Jan.8 at Rutland Regional Medical Center. He was born in Proctor, Feb. 12, 1943, oldest of six children of Herman and Mary (Kamuda) Brutkoski.

The Brutkoski family moved to Brandon in 1951 and ran the Union Street Market. Brutkoski was a member of the last graduating class of Brandon High School in 1961. He worked for the Vermont Marble Company and then entered Castleton State College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education in 1966. He later earned a master's degree from the College of St. Joseph. He taught junior high and middle school social studies at Otter Valley Union High School from 1966 until he retired in 2003.

Brutkoski's 37 years of service remain the longest of any faculty member in Otter Valley's history. In addition to his work in the classroom, for many years he sold tickets to OV basketball and football games, and each summer he, Coach Pattie Candon, and other staff members gave the school's hallways a fresh coat of paint for the coming year. In the 1980s, he worked as a counselor for OV students participating in the Vermont Summer Youth Employment Program.

Many students spoke of him as their favorite teacher, and he in turn was always proud to see a former student succeed. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, gardening, reading and traveling. He was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and also followed football, college basketball, tennis and auto racing. He was a communicant of St. Mary's Church in Brandon, where he had served as an altar boy as a child. John enjoyed people and sharing stories with them. His sense of humor and interest in others made him enjoyable company. He will be missed by many who counted on him because of his caring and generous nature.

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