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Alvan J. Lawrence

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SHAFTSBURY -- On July 31, 2006, because of complications from heart disease, Alvan J. Lawrence, 80, was promoted to his new position overseeing the operation of Polymeadows Farm from the heavens.

Alvan began life on his parents’ farm in Morristown on Sept. 16, 1925, as the oldest of five sons of Ila (Ballard) and Keith Lawrence. He graduated from Peoples Academy in 1944, then served in the U.S. Navy-AETM, 2nd class from 1944 to 1946. Following his time in the service, Al studied at the University of Vermont, where he received his B.S. degree in dairy production in 1950 and where he met Eleanor.

Eleanor June Scribner became his bride on June 22, 1949. He leaves her behind, as well as his beloved daughter, Wanda Bezio of Burlington, and son, Melvin Lawrence of Shaftsbury. He also leaves his mother-in-law, Gwendolyn Scribner; his son-in-law, Danny Bezio; Wanda and Danny’s children, Bart and Molly; Bart’s wife, Kylee; and twin great-grandchildren, Caleb and Meghan Bezio; Melvin’s children, Jarred and Ashley Lawrence; and his daughter-in-law, Jennifer Lawrence, and her children, Leelynn and Lillian King. He is survived by his brother Allan and wife, Kathie; his sister-in-law Virginia; his brother James and wife, Marion; and his brother Carroll; as well as several nieces and nephews. Al is predeceased by his brother Richard. His cat, Marty, has been missing his company.

From 1950 to 1953, Al managed Hi Ho Farm in Darien, N.Y. He then moved to Polymeadows Farm in Shaftsbury, where he was the manager from 1953 to 1966, when he purchased the farm. He operated the dairy, where he raised and milked registered Jersey cows until he “retired” in 1988. He was once voted Vermont Outstanding Dairyman of the Year. In 2003 Alvan and Eleanor, with the help of the local community, had their beautiful farm conserved for agricultural use only through the Vermont Land Trust. His son Melvin has been operating Polymeadows Farm since 1988 with Alvan’s guidance.

Al was devoted to his family, his dairy operation, his community and to Vermont agriculture. He was known to put his heart and soul into any and all of his activities. The county and Vermont state Dairy Herd Improvement Association and Vermont Farm Bureau especially were dear to his heart. He was president and director of the Bennington County Farm Bureau for five years. He served as director and vice president of the Vermont Farm Bureau, as well as being involved in other agricultural organizations. Al was also director of Farm Family Insurance for eight years. In the town of Shaftsbury, he served on the Select Board for nine years and as justice of the peace for several years. Al remained in contact with his classmates and was very faithful in attending class reunions. He and Eleanor were members of the Shaftsbury United Methodist Church.

Up until his recent illness, Al was actively involved with the farm operation and especially enjoyed going to farm auctions. He continued to be interested in local politics. Most important to him was, as always, spending time with his family. He is sorely missed.

Calling hours with the family are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, at Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at Shaftsbury United Methodist Church on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the Shaftsbury Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements are being made by Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home. Contributions in his name may be made through the funeral home to the Bennington County or Vermont State Farm Bureau or to the Vermont Land Trust in care of the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, 213 West Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

To send condolences to the family of Alvan J. Lawrence, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 3, 2006
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