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Lucia M. Houlihan

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Lucia M. Houlihan 1934 - 2008 DORSET Lucia M. Abate Houlihan, 74, died Oct. 22, in Bennington. She was a resident of Dorset since 1972. She was born in New Britain, Conn., on Aug. 18, 1934. Mrs. Houlihan was the daughter of Joseph A. and Giovina Abate. Her elementary and high school education were completed in New Britain, Conn., followed by her formal education at Central Connecticut State College. She was married to Dr. Edward F. Houlihan, originally of New Haven, Conn., and the former Superintendent of Schools for the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union in Vermont. Dr. Houlihan died in 2003. Dr. and Mrs. Houlihan are the parents of Cathlin Houlihan Palmer of Stafford Springs, Conn., Megan A. Houlihan of Exton, Pa., Brenna A. Houlihan of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Shana A. Houlihan of Dorset, Vt.; grandchildren include, Alden John Palmer II, Caitlin Marie Palmer and Christian Brennan Palmer of Connecticut. Mrs. Houlihan also leaves her brother, Joseph A. Abate and family of Farmington, Conn. Mrs. Houlihan was a lifelong advocate for children, especially those with mental and physical disabilities. She began her charitable and volunteer career in 1953 in the Connecticut Federation of Women's Clubs. She served as Connecticut's state mental health chairwoman for the Federation before moving to Vermont in 1963. In Vermont, Mrs. Houlihan served as the Vermont State President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) with Special Olympics and mental health programs as her state projects. She was elected to the office of President for the GFWC New England Region from 1990-1992. Mrs. Houlihan was also appointed to the GFWC National Board of Directors for 14 years. In 1998, Mrs. Houlihan received Vermont's Woman of Achievement Award, presented by the International GFWC. Mrs. Houlihan was the recipient of the Kennedy Foundation Special Olympics Award from Senator Edward Kennedy and Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Mrs. Houlihan was also recognized in 1982 for her volunteer service by President Ronald Reagan with a special action volunteer award. She was also appointed by former Governor Richard Snelling of Vermont to the Vermont Development Disabilities Council for two terms where she continued to be an advocate for disabled adults and children. Mrs. Houlihan initiated Vermont's involvement with the Hugh O'Brien Youth (HOBY) Foundation in 1982. HOBY is a leadership program designated for high school sophomores. She served for 16 years on Vermont's HOBY Corporate Board of Directors, many of which were in the capacity of president. In 1982 to 1984 she was named national chairperson of the HOBY organization. In 2004, Mrs. Houlihan was recognized nationally by HOBY with a "Volunteer of the Year" award for her distinguished service and was honored by Hugh O'Brien in New York City. Memorial gifts may be made to the Manchester Rescue Squad or the St. Anne's Shrine in Isle La Motte, VT c/o Brewster Funeral Service PO Box 885 Manchester, VT 05255. To send personal e-mail condolences to the family please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com
Published in Bennington Banner on Nov. 1, 2008
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