Ready Funeral Service, Inc.
261 Shelburne Road
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-0991
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DAVID KIRK HAKINS - SOUTH BURLINGTON - David Kirk Hakins, 66, publisher of Vermont Life magazine, died July 23, 2013, at his home, surrounded by his loving family, after a five-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Dave was the son of Walter and Isabelle Hakins and grew up in Rutland. He attended Rutland High School and Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J. He lived in Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes, N.J., for most of his business career. Dave returned to his beloved Vermont in 2005 to serve as director of sales and promotion for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. He has since served as executive director and COO of the Vermont Convention Bureau and as director of business development for the Essex Resort & Spa. Dave joined the Vermont Life team in May 2011 and was named publisher and CEO in December 2011. Dave also directed Vermont Life's advertising and bulk subscription sales and new business ventures. Prior to returning to Vermont, Dave managed group travel programs and marketing events as the founder, chairman and CEO of Hakins Meetings and Incentives since 1986. Before that he served as vice president and director of corporate promotion and vice president and director of internal communication for Chase Manhattan Bank. His prior career included corporate writing and editing positions for Pfizer, General Foods, JCPenney and Schlumberger. Dave started his career while still in high school as a sports writer and photographer for the Rutland Herald then moved up to the editorial staff. A few years later he moved to Alaska and had editorial positions at the Anchorage Times. He served in the Air National Guard in Alaska, Vermont and New York. Dave was especially proud of being one of the founding members of the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame and serving as chair in its inaugural season. He served as a board member of the Essex Rotary, Vermont Hospitality Council, and Prevent Child Abuse Vermont. Dave was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, cousin, son, nephew and uncle. He was the epitome of a gentleman, universally known for his kind heart, gentle soul, grace and integrity. He garnered tremendous respect from business associates, friends and family throughout his lifetime. His passions included, first and foremost, his adoring grandchildren who provided light and laughter in his life. His free time was often spent discovering and exploring new walking trails in northwestern Vermont. He loved UVM and St. Mike's basketball, dogs (especially his boyhood and adulthood English setters, all named Missy, and his granddogs), Vermont history, the Boston Red Sox and NASCAR. Yes, NASCAR. Dave certainly wasn't an auto mechanic or Mr. Speed, but he loved auto racing. Where some might just enjoy the race and cheer on their favorite drivers, Dave would get to know the drivers, announcers, the business, and even start a magazine about the sport. He was a fine professional writer and experienced public speaker. If you were to challenge him on a detail of the English language, it would not be a good bet. He was creative and entrepreneurial to the core. One friend described him as being able "to create business from nothing more than the germ of an idea and to bring it to fruition." He enjoyed mentoring others, especially young people, in their career pursuits, particularly during his short stint as an adjunct faculty member at Champlain College. Those who knew Dave well enjoyed his often hidden dry and droll sense of humor. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jane Wilbur Hakins; son, David W. and wife, Heather Hakins of Aldie, Va.; son, Bradley and wife, Michele Hakins of Oakland, N.J.; and four grandchildren, Amanda Hakins, Ryan Hakins, Trinity Hakins and Mila Hakins. Dave also leaves behind his sister, Martha Thompson of Arcadia, Calif.; "Cuz", Barbara Gold and her spouse, Carl Rubino, of Utica, N.Y.; a nephew, Eric Thompson, and niece, Karen Thompson, of Collegeville, Pa. Dave was predeceased by his parents. Final arrangements are in the care of the Ready Funeral and Cremation Service, Burlington. Visiting hours will be at the funeral home, 261 Shelburne Rd., on Thursday, July 25, 2013, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Friday, July 26, 2013, from 1 to 4 p.m. A memorial service will be held at a later date. A private family burial will take place in Tinmouth Cemetery, Tinmouth, Vt. Dave's family extends its heartfelt thanks to the amazing oncology team at FAHC and the VNA, especially his gentle, compassionate hospice nurse, Brenda Neil. They will be forever grateful to dear neighbors Debbie and Jack Dubrul who have been unrelentingly supportive and caring throughout Dave's illness. The family has deep gratitude for the many, many friends, neighbors and family members who have shown kindnesses and shared special thoughts and memories with Dave throughout his cancer and stroke journey. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy (; specify state of Vermont); the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame (c/o Rick Milliken, 1117 Williston Rd., South Burlington, VT 05403); and Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (www.pcavt. org). To send online condolences, please visit

Published in The Burlington Free Press from July 24 to July 25, 2013
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