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Doug Tschorn

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Doug Tschorn Obituary
Doug Tschorn

1935 - 2014 SANDGATE Doug Tschorn, 79, longtime proprietor of West Arlington's Wayside Country Store Douglas Allan Tschorn, 79, proprietor and co-owner of the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington, Vt., and a 46-year resident of Sandgate, Vt., passed away at home on Dec. 10, 2014, after a three-year battle with cancer. Born in Bennington on Feb. 9, 1935, he was the son of Frank H. and Miriam (Squyer) Tschorn. Living in a handful of states growing up (including Vermont until the age of 14), some of his accomplishments included serving as an honorary mayor of Jackson, Tenn., and becoming an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Richmond Academy in Augusta, Ga., in 1953 and Colgate University in 1958, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics from the latter. Drafted between the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, he was inducted into the United States Army and served as a medical librarian at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he would fortuitously meet a Second Lieutenant by the name of Nancy Jean Schweitzer whom he would eventually marry in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Aug. 11, 1962. After a stint in the Sears Roebuck and Company management training program, where he rose to the rank of assistant manager of the Sears store in the Walnut Hill Plaza in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Tschorn moved with his wife and three small children to Sandgate, Vermont. The two purchased the former Benedict's Garage on Route 7 in Arlington, turning it into the Chem-Clean Furniture Restoration Center, an establishment that, in the finest Vermont tradition combined the services of furniture repair and refinishing, Stihl chainsaw sales and service and a gasoline station. In May 1984, the couple purchased the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington as a "retirement project," and, over the course of the next three decades it would become more of an all-consuming passion and the quintessential mom-and-pop country store. An active member of the Vermont Grocers Association (now the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association) for the entirety of that time, Tschorn served in various board positions including association chairman, convention chairman and, until shortly before his passing, an honorary board position created specifically for him. He was a 1993 recipient of the National Grocer's Association's Spirit of America Award and, six years later, Doug and Nancy were awarded the 1999 Local Storekeeper Award for outstanding service to the community and excellence in storekeeping by the Preservation Trust of Vermont in conjunction with the Vermont Country Store. The VRGA has announced plans to honor his legacy by naming its scholarship fund in his honor. Over the years, generations of people came to know Doug either as customers across the counter or members of the informal early-morning coffee-drinking club known as the Knights of the Round Table, and he always had a pretzel rod at hand for the kids, a joke for the grown-ups and a heart-felt welcome to anyone who made the cowbell on the front door clang. Away from the store, Tschorn served as an enthusiastic volunteer ski teacher in the local Junior Instructional Ski Program, and used his ham radio skills (his call sign was WA1 DMT) as part of the group involved in monitoring the Vintage Car Club of America's annual Mount Equinox Hill Climb. In addition to his wife Nancy, Doug is survived by a brother, Donald Tschorn of Gainesville, Fla., daughter, Sara-Lynn Moore Slusher of Brooklyn Park, Minn., son, Allan Tschorn of Sandgate, son, Adam Tschorn of Los Angeles, Calif., and daughter, Susan Tschorn of South Burlington, Vt. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Ryan, Caitlin, Kristin, Rachelle, Chelsea, Alizabeth, Preston, Spencer and Macy and two great-grandchildren, Cassie and Carter. He also leaves behind a knit emotional support animal, Bartholemew J. Sick-Monkey of Schenevus, New York. "His children were so, so important to him," says Nancy Tschorn. "They were what motivated him throughout the years." FUNERAL NOTICE: A private family service will take place Monday, followed by a public celebration of Doug's life on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Chauncey's restaurant, 5403 Vermont Route 7A in Arlington. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the organizations that brought Doug much joy and comfort are encouraged: The VRGA scholarship fund (checks payable to the Vermont Community Foundation), Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, 148 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, and Saint James' Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 25, Arlington, VT 05250.


Published in Bennington Banner from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2014
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