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DONALD B. RATHBONE, JR. SHELBURNE - Donald B. Rathbone, Jr., 80, of Shelburne, passed away on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at home surrounded by his loving family. Don lived life with vigor. He has been described as "the toughest man I've ever met," "a good friend," and "a generous man." He was born in New York, N.Y. on May 22, 1929, the son of the late Donald B. Rathbone, Sr. and Elizabeth A. (Rusch). On June 16, 1951 he was married to Mary M. Mellor in Norwich, Conn. She predeceased him on Sept. 26, 2003. His time playing football as an offensive guard at 155 pounds for Trinity College shaped his character for a successful and wonderful life. He graduated from Trinity College in 1952. Don's fraternity of lifelong friends from Trinity College football has been a treasure for him. After a few years in the Air Force, Don began a successful career with Connecticut General Life Insurance Company which later became CIGNA. In 1957, he became group manager in the CG Burlington Office for a 30 plus year career. After retirement from CIGNA, Don opened his own insurance consulting business, Rathbone & Company, and fully retired in 2002. When his son Bill was ready to play football, he coached with the Jaycee Flag Football program. His team, the Steelers, consisted of 6th to 8th grade boys. It was a fantastic experience for him and all of the kids he worked with. He later assisted in coaching with Bill Landers at Rice Memorial High School, another good experience for all. Don introduced his family to skiing in 1958, where his children were involved with the racing program at Stowe, Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (MMSC). After being neighbors with the Cochran family, we eventually skied at Cochran's Hill in Richmond on Tuesday and Thursday nights. It was a fairytale experience for us all. Don became a huge fan of alpine ski racing. He was a founder of Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA). In 2004, Don was inducted into the VARA Hall of Fame. Don has been a member of the Lake Champlain Yacht Club (LCYC) since 1981. Sailing became a great passion in his life. He became an ardent competitor at racing his sailboat. He thoroughly enjoyed the many crew members that were aboard 'Maverick' over the years. Don's many sailing friends were very dear to him and were a huge support to him in many ways these past years. Don was a member of the Shelburne Rotary Club. He also enjoyed mentoring with the Shelburne School for several years. Don has touched many lives and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. He will be remembered as a wonderful Dad and a great friend by all who knew him. Don loved life! Don is survived by his children, Mary Ellen Ford and her husband Mark of Bend, Ore., and William M. Rathbone of La Jolla, Calif.; and his four grandchildren, Tyson Ford, Christa Rathbone, Amy Rathbone, and Tommy Ford. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, March 5, 2010 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service South Chapel, 261 Shelburne Rd., Burlington, VT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 6, at 11 a.m. in St. Catherine of Siena Church, Shelburne. Burial will be in the spring in Shelburne Village Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don's memory may be made to the Vermont Lung Association, 372 Hurricane Ln. Suite 101, Williston, VT 05495. To send online condolences to the family please visit

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 18, 2010
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