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Obituary Condolences

GILBERT W. RIST, O.D. - BURLINGTON - Gilbert W. Rist, 96, died peacefully on July 6, 2012, at his South Union Street home, where he has lived since the age of four. Born July 11, 1915, the son of Gilbert F. Rist, M.D. and Mary Weller Rist, he attended the Adams School, BHS 1933 and UVM 1937. At UVM, he was a member of Delta Psi, varsity football and ROTC. Gil had fond memories of his boyhood summers at Camp Abnaki as camper and counselor. After UVM, Gil attended Mass. College of Optometry in Boston, graduating Doctor of Optometry in 1939. His first office in St. Albans was short lived with the onset of W.W.II in 1941. Gil attended OCS, commissioned, serving in England, France, and Germany. Returning to the U.S. in September 1945, he joined his father at 159 Cherry St., Burlington, where he practiced for the next 64 years, retiring in 2009, at age 93. His nephew, Gilbert Suitor, O.D., joined in 1980, spanning three generations of 107 continuous years in private practice. Gil served as President of the VT Optometric Assoc. in the 1960s, and was a lifetime member of the A.O.A. A loyal Burlington LION, he worked many cold nights selling light bulbs, and working the pancake breakfast. Gil traveled worldwide, and especially enjoyed cruises. Every Sunday after church he skied at Stowe, and swam at North Beach every summer evening. He was a longtime member of the Ethan Allen Club, where he enjoyed the bowling league, poker and social events. Gil was 6th generation and proud of his Vermont heritage. His oldest ancestor, David Weller, arrived in Hinesburg in 1784. Gil's grandfather, Ralph Weller, served in the Civil War, Vermont Volunteers, Co. B., 14th Regiment. Always known as UNK to family, he is survived by three nephews and their spouses, John Suitor Jr. and Birget of Aspen, Colo, Gilbert Suitor and Alice of Burlington, David Weller Suitor and Linda of Southboro, Mass., and their children, Kasey and Abigail; grandnephews, John Suitor III (8th generation) and wife, Gail, of Dorset, and their children, Elizabeth, Madison, and Catherine; grandnephew, Eric of Aspen, Colo; special friend, Shirley Stockwell of Jericho; caregivers, Eric, Tracie and Joanne, allowed Gil to stay at home. A memorial service to be announced for a later date this summer. Arrangements in the care of Stephen C. Gregory and Son, Shelburne.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 18, 2012
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