Alan Lancaster of Saxtons River passed away on February 5, 2017, at home after a long illness. Born November 14, 1942 in New Haven, Conn., to Joan "Joanne" Oak and Stephen Lancaster, Alan, known also as "Steve," resided in New York City and Long Valley, N.J. before moving to Saxtons River in 1973. He graduated from St. Bernard's School in Gladstone, NJ, studied at Johns Hopkins and Rutgers Universities, and received his baccalaureate degree and teaching certification from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
He taught English at Pequannock Township High School in Morris County, NJ, and at Springfield, VT High School, before joining the faculty of Leland and Grey Union High School, Townshend, VT in 1976, where he taught English, History, and Social Studies for ten years. Later, he taught Ethics and History as a fill-in instructor at Vermont Academy, and English at Bellows Falls Union High School.
He married his Leland and Grey colleague, Constance Ranney Frederick, on December 16, 1978 in Newfane, VT. Together they operated his mother's business, Scand-Oil.
Alan's pursuits and talents were extensively demonstrated in his writing, art, and photography. He was active in multiple sports, including horse jumping, auto racing, and motor-cross in his younger years. He took up skiing with his son as a parent volunteer for the local elementary school winter sports program and became a ski instructor at Okemo. He was an avid fisherman for whom the Connecticut River was his go-to place to unwind while fishing from canoes and small boats, some of which he built himself. For years, he ran the Saxtons River Recreation Area children's fishing derby. Seldom seen without his Nikon, he was known for generously sharing his photographs. He combined many of these interests with his passion for politics in his weekly newspaper columns published by The Valley Times Journal from 1994 through 1996.
Alan was a kind person, who will be remembered for his devotion to family; his dedication to teaching and learning; his intelligence, wit, and eloquence; his enthusiasm for BMWs and Formula I racing; and his lifelong affection for collies. He enjoyed classical music, especially Prokofiev. He loved language, and could discuss a wide-range of subjects with understanding and insight. He knew how to tell a lively story, and had a boundless supply of stories to tell, to any willing listener. His voice is dearly missed.
Predeceased by his parents and infant brother, he is survived by his wife Constance, children Christopher Lancaster (Jessica Anne White) of Reading, VT. and Sarah Frederick (Christopher Lehrich) of Sherborn, MA, three grandchildren, and his stepmother, Ellen Whitman of Albuquerque, NM.
Alan's family is grateful to all who helped with his care. Friends are invited to celebrate his life on November 4, 2017, at noon at the Saxtons River Inn.
Suggestions for memorial gifts: Connecticut River Conservancy, Saxtons River Recreation Area, or Collie Rescue League of New England.
Published by Brattleboro Reformer from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, 2017.