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Donald Gustafson Lockhart

1925 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Donald Gustafson Lockhart Obituary
Donald Gustafson Lockhart

Charlotte - Donald Gustafson Lockhart, of Charlotte, Vermont, age 92, died on September 14 at the McClure Miller VNA Respite House in Colchester, following an unexpected decline in health that began in April.

Don Lockhart was born in 1925, the son of Raymond John Lockhart and Mary Louise (Gustafson) Lockhart. His childhood was spent in Massapequa, Long Island, where his father was Superintendent of Schools. It was there, on the Great South Bay, that he developed his lifelong passion for sailing. During World War II, when Don was midway through his high school senior year, he was chosen by the U.S. Navy for the V12 program, and was sent to Middlebury College. He then deployed to the South Pacific, where he served as a radioman in planes and in air traffic control towers on remote islands. After returning home and graduating from New Paltz college, he followed in his parents' footsteps and became an educator, obtaining a Masters in Education at Hofstra University, and pursuing post-graduate study in film and education at Columbia University. His career began at Fifth Avenue Elementary School in Bay Shore, Long Island, teaching in upper elementary grades and honors science classes, eventually becoming Principal of the school. As Principal, he oversaw one of the early trends to integrate the education of special needs children into mainstream classes and activities, an effort he documented in a 1970 film titled "World of a Different Drum," which received a Golden Eagle award from The Council on International Nontheatrical Events, representing the United States in foreign film festivals.

Having skied and hiked the Green Mountains since 1940, and building a log cabin vacation home in Wallingford in 1965, Don moved to Charlotte, Vermont with his family in 1974, settling into an historic farmhouse that he restored. From 1974 until 1981, he served as Principal of Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington. He is fondly remembered by former faculty members, students and families. Don and his wife Betty Ann then formed a video-film company called Perceptions, particularly focusing on agriculture, the natural sciences and education, receiving numerous honors and awards. In recent years the couple devoted their creative efforts to promoting the Vermont maple sugaring industry, serving on the Vermont Maple History Committee, the Maple Promotion Board, and the Maple Foundation, working with the annual Vermont Maple Festival, and authoring numerous maple-related videos, books and pamphlets. In recognition of this work, Don and his wife were inducted into the American Maple Museum Hall of Fame in Croghan, New York.

Whether navigating the waters of Lake Champlain, climbing to the summit of Camel's Hump, skiing the trails of Mount Mansfield, hiking through backwoods, traversing the state in support of maple sugar-related events, or simply making his way to the barn or through the pasture to care for his sheep, Don continued his love for Vermont and nature. He was a member of the Lake Champlain Yacht Club, an officer of the Charlotte Historic Quinlan Board, a member of the U.V.M.-based Center for Research on Vermont, and a communicant of Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne, Vermont.

Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Ann, by two children, Donald "Skip" Lockhart, and Elisabeth "Beth" Lockhart, and by granddaughters Zoe and Isabelle Lockhart. Donations in his memory may be made to Trinity's Memorial and Meditation Garden, 5171 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, Vermont 05482. A memorial celebration of Don's life will be held in the spring in the church garden.
Published in The Burlington Free Press on Sept. 16, 2018
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