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RICHARD W. MALLARY

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RICHARD W. MALLARY Obituary
RICHARD W. MALLARY - BROOKFIELD - Former Congressman Richard Walker Mallary, 82, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. He was born in Springfield, Mass. on Feb. 21, 1929, the son of R. DeWitt and Gertrude Robinson Mallary. He moved to Vermont in 1942. Mallary had a long and distinguished career in politics, business and agriculture. From his election as Chairman of the Fairlee Selectboard at the age of 22 until his dedicated work in retirement on Vermont issues and public policy, he exhibited wisdom, a straightforward style and a dry wit. Mallary graduated from Bradford Academy in 1945 and received his degree in Philosophy from Dartmouth College in 1949, Summa Cum Laude. His first career was in agriculture, owning farms in Fairlee and Bradford. In 1956 he became a partner with his parents in Mallary Farm in Bradford. That partnership thrived, with a herd of Holsteins that achieved national and international recognition. The partnership lasted until 1970 when the Mallary Farm herd was dispersed, in large part because of Mallary's increasing role in public life. He was first elected to the state legislature in 1960. In an unprecedented and historic turn of events, a group of young progressive legislators of which Mallary was a leading member - The Young Turks - took the reins of power in the House of Representatives. In just his second term Mallary was appointed as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1966, serving in that role during the first session following the reapportionment of 1965. He was elected to the Vermont Senate in 1968. In 1969 he served on the Commission on Administrative Coordination, redesigning government agencies and structure for the Deane Davis administration. In 1970 he left the Senate to become Davis' Commissioner of Administration, becoming the first Secretary of Administration in 1971. In September of 1971 United States Senator Winston Prouty died, and Congressman Robert Stafford was appointed to the Senate. Mallary won the special election to succeed Stafford in the U.S. House. He was reelected in 1972. He served during the tumultuous years of Watergate and Vietnam, building many national political relationships. In 1974, following the retirement of Senator George Aiken, Mallary ran for that seat, losing a close election to Patrick J. Leahy. Following his departure from Washington he worked for two years for the Farm Credit Bank in Springfield, Mass., but then returned to serve again as Secretary of Administration, this time in the administration of Governor Richard Snelling. Mallary's career in business was focused on energy. He was Executive Vice President at Central Vermont Public Service in the early 1980s, then owned his own geothermal company and finally served as President and CEO of the Vermont Electric Power Company from 1986 until his retirement in 1994. Mallary served on many boards and commissions in and out of government including the Business Roundtable, the Howard Bank, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Snelling Center for Government, Gifford Medical Center, Shelburne Museum, Vermont Health Foundation, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Judicial Conduct Board and the Vermont Higher Education Planning Commission. Locally, among other duties, he was Chairman of the Brookfield Planning Commission and Town Meeting Moderator, a role he particularly enjoyed. After 25 years Mallary returned to elective politics, elected in 1998 to the Vermont House as Representative from Randolph, Brookfield and Braintree. He served one term, defeated because of his steadfast support of the Civil Union Law. He also served as Tax Commissioner during the early months of the Douglas administration. A lifelong and loyal Republican, Mallary was consistent in his core beliefs, moderate to conservative fiscally and progressive in matters of social policy. Though born in Massachusetts, Dick Mallary was a real Vermonter, wearer of many hats all of which he wore with a distinctive thoughtful grace. Mallary had a great love of the Vermont landscape. He loved logging and chopping wood. He enjoyed working his own local landscape, planting and gardening. He also had a passion for hiking, having climbed many of the most challenging peaks in the north woods. He was a wicked poker player, loved foreign policy and belonged to local groups that specialized in each. Mallary was married to Mary Harper Coxe and they had four children, Richard, Anne, Elizabeth and Sarah. They divorced in 1974, and in 1979 he was married to Jeannie (Loud) Brownell. He had three step-children, Jonathan, Lydia and Hayden, and between both families had many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Mallary is also survived by his brother, DeWitt and wife, Vera. He loved all of them dearly. A commemorative celebration is planned for Oct., 29, 2011, at the State House in Montpelier, and will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are by the Day Funeral Home in Randolph.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Sept. 30, 2011
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