Jeremiah Wadsworth(1927 - 2014)

Jeremiah Wadsworth, 87, of Farmington, CT, beloved husband of Lois Reeve Wadsworth passed away peacefully Monday, April 14th at the UConn Medical Center in Farmington. Born in Hartford, Connecticut January 27, 1927, son of the late Adrian R. and Cecil (Dwight) Wadsworth, Jr., Jerry attended Noah Wallace School and graduated in 1945 from Farmington High School where he played on the baseball, basketball and football teams (captain of the football team) and was elected president of his senior class. Immediately after high school he entered the Army and served with the occupation forces in Germany. Upon his return he attended the University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture at Storrs, graduating in 1950. In August of 1947, while at UConn, he married his high school sweetheart, Lois Reeve. Upon graduation Jerry returned to Main Street in Farmington to live out his life's dream, working alongside his father and uncle at their family farm business, which had been a Wadsworth legacy for over three-hundred years. Over the next twenty-three years the farm continued to evolve as his and Lois' family grew to six children. During these years Jerry was very active in the community serving on the Farmington Town Council for eight years, with six of those years as Chairman. Even today many citizens of the town continue to refer to Jerry as "Mr. Mayor". While serving as Chair of the Council Jerry was chosen to be the first chairman of the newly formed Capital Region Council of Governments. In later years Jerry continued to demonstrate his belief in public service by serving twenty four years on the Farmington Board of Assessment Appeals, over twenty years on the Conservation Commission and many years as a trustee of the Farmington Memorial Forest. Jerry was always very proud of his thirty-one years as an active member of the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department. Jerry was an equally proud member of the Unionville Masons, Evening Star Lodge #101. He was also a longtime member of his beloved neighborhood church, having attended the Meetinghouse at First Church of Christ Congregation for over seventy-two years. Jerry was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for more than sixty years. During the 1950's and 1960's Jerry was very involved in farm organizations and cooperatives. He was a leader in the cooperative movement to develop artificial insemination of dairy cattle and served as the president of the Connecticut Artificial Breeders Association which became the New England Selective Breeders Association and he was also instrumental in the formation of the Eastern Breeders Association. He also served on the board of the Connecticut Milk Producers Association as a regional director after his father retired in the early 1960's. In the 1970's Jerry worked with other dairy farm leaders to help create the Yankee Milk Cooperative, the predecessor to AgriMark, Inc. which now owns Cabot Cheese. Jerry's leadership ability was recognized by others and in 1971 Governor Meskill appointed Jerry as chairman of the newly formed Power Facility Evaluation Commission, now known as the Connecticut Siting Council. This commission was created to oversee the installation and operation of high voltage power lines and the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Energy Plant. When the family farm ceased operations in 1973, Jerry was appointed State Executive Director of the offices of USDA's Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service in Connecticut. At the end of his appointment Jerry accepted a position with the USDA in Washington D.C., where he worked for seven years on agricultural and environmental issues, including the implementation of provisions of the Clean Water Act on farms. He returned to Farmington in the mid 1980's and finished his career with USDA as District Director of all county offices of the Farm Service Agency in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Jerry was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and neighbor who loved to be around his family and friends. He believed strongly that all citizens should be active in their communities. Jerry was committed to the Town of Farmington and to preserving Connecticut Agriculture. Over the course of his life Jerry accomplished a great deal but he was never happier than when he was farming the land that had been in his family for over three-hundred years or serving the citizens of his beloved Town of Farmington. Jerry is survived by Lois, his wife of sixty-six years and his sister Adriane Stewart of Ashawa, Ontario, Canada, and five children, Adrian and his wife Jennifer of North Turner, Maine, John and his partner Cathy Loiacono of Bloomfield, New York, Cecilia and her husband, Jack Mulroy of Salt Lake City, Utah, James and his wife Adina of Washington, D.C., Cynthia and her husband, Mark Lorenzoni of Charlottesville, Virginia, his son-in-law Austin D.B. King of Harwinton, CT, sixteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Jerry was predeceased by his two brothers, Dwight and Winthrop and recently lost his beloved daughter, Elisabeth (Beth) King. Friends may call at the Ahern Funeral Home on Monday, April 21st from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 22nd at 10:00 a.m. in The Meetinghouse of the First Church of Christ Congregation 75 Main Street, Farmington with the Reverend Steven Savides officiating. Burial will be private in the family plot at Riverside Cemetery, Farmington. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 200, Farmington, CT 06034 or the Farmington Food Pantry, First Church of Christ, Congregational, 1652, 75 Main St, Farmington, CT 06032.

Funeral Home

Ahern Funeral Home - Hartford
180 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 522-1155

Published in The Hartford Courant from Apr. 18 to Apr. 20, 2014