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Bernard Ashley Whitman

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NORTH BENNINGTON -- Mr. Bernard Ashley Whitman, 83, a resident of Mattison Road, died unexpectedly Sunday morning, Jan. 18, 2004 at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Mr. Whitman was born in Williamstown, Mass. on June 18, 1920. He was the son of the late Roy G. and Dorothy (Pease) Whitman.

Following his graduation from North Bennington High School and Vermont Agricultural College (now VTC), he worked on the family farm on Cold Spring Road in Shaftsbury. In 1945 he took over his father’s milk route and opened Whitman’s Feed Store in Shaftsbury, which later moved to its present location in North Bennington. He ran the feed store until his retirement in 1987 when his son Art took over the business.

He was married to the former Avis K. LaClair at the North Bennington Baptist Church on June 12, 1943. She predeceased him in death on Aug. 21,1993.

Mr. Whitman was an active member of the community including the North Bennington Baptist Church of which he served on the board of trustees, White Creek Grange, Grandview Cemetery Board of Trustees, town agent and trustee of public funds for the town of Shaftsbury. He was instrumental in the birth of the recycling program at the Shaftsbury Town Landfill in the 1980s. He was past president of the Vermont Feed Dealers Association, charter member of the Norshaft Lions Club, member of the American Baptist Men’s Association, Vermont and Bennington County Farm Bureau member, past-master of Tucker Lodge No. 48 F&AM, active with Camp Ondawa 4-H camp and on the alumni board at Vermont Technical College.

He garnered many awards from the organizations in which he participated.

After his retirement he could be seen mowing lawns throughout the town. He was recognized as a community leader and dedicated his life to serving others. He is survived by a special friend and companion Madeline Gratton of North Bennington; a son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Kathy Whitman of Shaftsbury; a daughter and son-in-law, Meridyth and James Prouty of Lorton, Va.; a daughter Dale Gordon of Oneonta, N.Y.; a daughter and son-in-law, Marna and Thomas Dailey of Shaftsbury; a daughter Leah Whitman of Londonderry, N.H.; a brother R. Gerald Whitman of Bennington; his grandchildren Mark and Jeff Whitman, Susan and Jay Prouty, Jason, Michael and Seth Gordon Whitman, Graham, Annie and Mary Grace Dailey; great-grandchildren Abigale, Matthew and Eric Whitman; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at the North Bennington Baptist Church on Friday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Penny Rich Smith, pastor of the North Bennington Congregational Church, officiating. Following the services the family will receive friends in the parish hall of St. John the Baptist Church for a time of fellowship and refreshment. The interment with committal prayers will take place in the Whitman family lot in Center Shaftsbury Cemetery on Friday at 4 p.m.

Friends are invited to call at the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home on Thursday from 6-9 p.m. when the family will be present.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial gifts be made to either the Bennington Rescue Squad or the Gove Hill Camp and Counseling Center (a Baptist sponsored camp) in care of the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 957, Bennington, VT 05201.

For directions or to send condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com .

Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2004
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