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Harold J. Howrigan, Sr.

June 23, 1924 September 7, 2009
Harold J. Howrigan, Sr.
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Obituary for Harold J. Howrigan, Sr.

Fairfield – Harold J. Howrigan, Sr., well known Fairfield dairy farmer and sugarmaker, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday afternoon, September 7, 2009, with his loving family at his side. He was born in the stone house on the Home Farm on June 23, 1924, the youngest son of William and Margaret (McCarthy) Howrigan. Harold married Anne Rowley in St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Milton on August 8, 1953. Anne survives him. Following graduation from St. Mary’s High School in St. Albans, he was a lifetime Professor Emeritus of Pine Hill Academy and steward of the land. He and his wife, Anne, established H.J. & A. Howrigan & Sons, Inc. in 1992. He was a lifelong communicant and 60-year choir member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fairfield and a charter member and former President of the St. Patrick’s Credit Union for over 40 years. Very active in Franklin County and Fairfield town affairs, Harold was currently serving as Town Moderator, Justice of the Peace, and on the Board of Civil Authority. He was a charter member of the Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department. He was a member and leader of many organizations: Fairfield Town Democrats, Franklin County Democratic Committee, Franklin-Grand Isle Regional Planning Commission, Franklin County Field Days, the Vermont Maple Festival Committee and the Vermont Sugarmakers State Association. He was the last original charter member of the Franklin County Maple Producers Coop. His tenure in agriculture included serving as a director of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery for 25 years and President for nearly 20 years. He was a former member of the Vermont Dairy Promotion Board and was appointed by three different Vermont Governors to the Vermont Milk Commission. He belonged to the Vermont Farm Bureau. He was on the Agricultural Advisory Committee for Senator Patrick J. Leahy and former Senator James Jeffords, who continued to seek his advice. He served on the Advisory Committee for the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Science and was former Chairman of Green Mountain Federation of Coops. His influence in the dairy industry extended beyond Vermont, as chair of the Vermont Delegation on the New England Dairy Compact Commission. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Regional Cooperative Market Association and a Director for 20 years of the National Milk Producers Federation. He was on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board from 1994 to 2000 and served as both Vice-Chairman and Chairman. He was instrumental in uniting the forces of United Dairy Industry Association and the National Dairy Board to become Dairy Market Incorporated. Fraternally, he was a member of St. Albans Lodge 1566 B.P.O.E. and the Owl Club. Over the years, Harold and his family received many awards and much recognition. In 1988 they were Vermont’s Outstanding Maple Family; in 2001 he received the Richard E. Lyng Award for “distinguished service to dairy promotion and research” from the National Dairy Board, and in 2007 Vermont Farm Family of the Year. He was inducted in the Vermont Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2005 and just last week received the St. Albans Rotary Citizen of the Year award. Although he received many accolades and awards, his most precious reward was his grandchildren. He enjoyed watching them work with enthusiasm, being their best fan at sporting events, and playing Texas Hold’em with them. Harold lived and farmed his entire life with a passion that was second to none. He inspired others with his eternal optimism and unwavering commitment to improve dairy and maple for future generations. He was a veracious reader and lifelong student of new technologies and methods. His advice and counsel was sought by many – first and foremost his family as well as his friends. He loved his Irish music, the sugaring season, shooting pool at the Club, dancing to good music, driving his daily circuit, and deer hunting with his extended family. He was so proud to be an American. There certainly weren’t many cloudy days in his life. Occasionally, there was just … an awful nice rain. In addition to his wife of 56 years, Anne, Harold is survived by three sons and their wives; Lawrence and Lisa (Lee) Howrigan, Michael and Penny (Paradee) Howrigan and Harold J. Howrigan, Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth (Heald) Howrigan all of Fairfield, two daughters and their husbands; Bridget and Gerald Rivet of Fairfield and Ellen Paradee and Andrew Paradee of Grand Isle. He will be missed by his grandchildren; Harold John III, Brendan, Amy, and Adam Howrigan, Cullen and Kathryn Howrigan, Ryley and Timothy Howrigan, Emerson, Austen, Brennan and Oliver Paradee. He also leaves his brothers and sisters; Robert Howrigan and his wife, Virginia, Dr. Thomas G. Howrigan, and Loretta Magnan and her husband, Henry of Fairfield, Rose O’Connell and Kathleen Connor of Burlington and Teresa Manahan and her husband, John of St. Albans. He also leaves his brother- and sisters-in-law; Bernard Connor of Fairfield, Joan Hurley of Hamburg, NY, Theresa Cosgrove of Silver Springs, MD, Ann Rowley of Milton, and scores of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Sgt. Raymond “Pat” Howrigan USMC, killed in action at Iwo Jima in 1945, Frederick J. Connor in 1996, Senator D. Francis Howrigan in 2001 and his wife Neva in 1998, and Mary (Howrigan) Connor, R.N. in May and Emmett J. O’Connell in June of this year. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11:00 A.M. in St. Patrick’s Church, Church Road in Fairfield. Interment will follow in the family lot in St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Following the burial there will be a reception at Harold’s home on the Howrigan Road. Friends may call at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 So. Main Street on Thursday from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to consider the Harold J. Howrigan Scholarship Fund, in care of Bridget H. Rivet at 329 Pelkey Road in Fairfield, VT 05455 or Franklin County Home Health Agency, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478. The family extends special thanks to Dr. Christian Thomas and the Home Health nurses who provided the hospice care. Assisting the Howrigan family are our friends at the Heald Funeral Home of St. Albans. Condolences and memories may be sent to the family through

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