Joan Rahe
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Joan "Josie" Rahe

1927 - 2015 BENNINGTON Joan C. Rahe, known to everybody as "Josie", a former resident of Garden Lane, died Feb. 22, 2015 in Bennington. Josie, a longtime resident of Bennington and Shaftsbury, VT was born Joan Cathleen Allison on Apr. 12, 1927 in Minerva, Ohio, the youngest daughter of Carlos Allison and Norma Stannis Allison. The family moved to Akron, Ohio where Josie attended local schools. She attended the Women's College of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in English literature. While attending college, she met the love of her life, Robert 'Jim' Rahe, who was attending the University on the GI Bill after serving in the Navy's Pacific theater in WWII. They were married on April 15, 1950 and settled in Cleveland where Josie held a job in the very early years of television, appearing in advertisements for a local bank. In 1951, Josie and Jim moved to Pownal, VT when Jim accepted a position in the newly formed Warren Wire Company and later moved to Bennington where Josie was active in the community and began the life-long task of raising two daughters. Jim's appointment to General Manager of Warren Wire's Goleta, Calif. plant resulted in a cross country move to California and Josie's entry into the book-selling business. She worked at the Tecolote Book Store, a well known independent bookstore. In 1964 they moved to the San Francisco area and lived in Palo Alto, where Josie held several jobs in the Human Resources field. In 1967, the General Cable Company purchased Warren Wire Company and Jim was transferred to General Cable Company's headquarters in New York. The family moved to New Jersey and Josie was hired to be the Director of Admissions at Union College in Union, New Jersey. Josie and Jim reconnected to Vermont in 1970, when they purchased land on Timbertrail Road in Shaftsbury and built a house. Josie purchased the Bennington College Bookstore and ran that business for several years. She enjoyed discussing books and interacting with the artists at the College. When Jim retired, they created their own businesses in East Arlington, running a hat shop and a store focused on collectable toys, especially teddy bears. Josie ran the businesses and publicity for them, garnering loyal customers throughout New England, until they sold the businesses, deciding it was time to really retire. Upon moving from Shaftsbury to Bennington in 1998, Josie became active in the community and went back to book-selling by working at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, serving as co-manager for several years. She very much enjoyed arranging events profiling authors and helping customers find the perfect gift for their children and grandchildren. She also was an original member of the Hospice program, was on the boards of the Bennington Free Library, the Martha Canfield Library, the Council of Aging, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and became Chair of the State Board of Libraries. Josie became involved in gardening, gaining Master Gardener status. She created a Zen garden behind her house on Garden Lane and regaled Bennington Banner readers with a column containing gardening tips and wisdom which may have contributed to the beautification of gardens throughout Bennington. Josie was active in Saint Peter's Church where she led an effort to find and establish a 'sister church' relationship with Saint Peter's Church in Shaftesbury, England. This resulted in Josie and Jim conducting visits to England and hosting English visitors to Vermont and the rest of New England (although no one in either parish ever solved the mystery of why Vermont's Shaftsbury dropped the "E" from the town name). She lived her life joyously, loved her family, and was faithful to her church. Survivors include her husband, Jim, of 64 years, two daughters, Molly Baumgardner of Arlington, VA; Alyson Flint of Barre, VT; and three grandchildren, Paul Flint IV of San Francisco, Natasha Flint of Washington DC and Mark Baumgardner of Baltimore, MD. Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home in Bennington.

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Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 24, 2015.
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Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
February 26, 2015
I worked at the Northshire Bookstore with Josie. She was a friend, a colleague and a mentor - a smart, lovely woman with a wonderful sense of humor who brightened every day I spent with her. My condolences to the Rahe family.
Louise Jones
February 24, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers go out to her daughter Molly and her family.
Tim Briskey
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