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Rev. David J. Bort


1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rev.  David J. Bort Obituary
SANDGATE - The Reverend David J. Bort passed away peacefully on Monday August 21, 2017 in Bennington at the age of 90.

The only child of David J. and Alma M. (Wager) Bort, he was born in Saginaw, Michigan on December 19, 1926 and grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

David had a calling to Christ at a young age. He earned degrees in English, Theology and Divinity at Cornell College ('49) and Drew University ('52, '57). He met his wife of 61 years, Joan Willis, at his first pastoral appointment in Lake Hopatcong Hurdtown NJ. They would go on to serve 5 other United Methodist Churches in NJ (Weehawken, Cranford, Orange First, Succasunna and Park Ridge) before settling in Sunderland VT in 1973. He ministered at West Arlington (1973-1989) and the Sandgate United Methodist Church from 1977 until his retirement in 2009.

David was an unwavering advocate for social justice and non-violence, marching for civil rights in the 50s and 60s, working with organizations to help people rise out of poverty, supporting marriage equality and speaking out against war through his writings for the Bennington Banner "Speaking of Religion". He was a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in some of King's marches.

His interests included music, literature, theater, and history. He played violin with Sage City Symphony for over 35 years. He also played clarinet with The Washington County Band and sang with the Bennington County Choral Society.

He was a founding member of the Friends of Hildene and volunteered as a docent there. He served on the education committee of Vermont Symphony Orchestra. He led summer and winter film festivals for the Southern Vermont Art Center. David was a man of many talents and he performed magic shows at birthday parties, schools, and Mt. Snow ski resort - entertaining children and adults alike.

David was predeceased by his wife, Joan. He leaves daughter Susan and son-in-law Charles Debrot, son David and grandson Jaxton, Sister- and brother-in-law Jean and George Martin, nephews Gary Martin (Bill) and Douglas Martin (Martha), niece Pamela Schumacher (David), and a beloved community with many dear friends.

The family expresses its deepest gratitude to Leona Hynick for the friendship, joy and kind-hearted guidance she provided David in his final year and hours.

SERVICES: A service to celebrate his life will be held on Friday September 1 at 1:00pm, at the Sandgate United Methodist Church.

Memorial gifts may be made to Sandgate United Methodist Church and Bennington Second Congregational Church in care of the Hanson Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 528, Arlington, VT 05250.

To send personal condolences, visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com

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Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 29, 2017
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