John E. Follett, 1939-2022

John E. Follett, 1939-2022. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – John E. Follett departed our home on June 14, 2022. John was born on April 16, 1939 in Springfield, Vt. to John C. Follett and Velma Wiggins Follett. The family moved to a farm in Chester, but moved back to Springfield when John was in second grade. A 1958 graduate of Springfield High School, John graduated from Bates College in 1962.

With his father, John E. Follett owned and managed E.R. Wiggins Builders Supply and later Wiggins Concrete Products, a local manufacturing/retail business with five locations in Vermont and New Hampshire. The companies provided building materials for all sorts of constructions, near and far, including the dormitories for athletes competing in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. Those buildings were then scheduled to serve as a Federal prison in Raebrook, N.Y. after the Olympics.

In 1962, John married Patricia Jones of Springfield. Together, they raised four daughters. John enjoyed hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, hiking, and cross-country and downhill skiing. The couple also provided homes for two AFS exchange students while their daughters were in high school.

John was devoted to Vermont and Springfield and served as Justice of the Peace for 30-plus years. He served on the Springfield Board of Selectman for three terms, including time as Chair of the Board. He served as Springfield’s Representative to the Vermont Legislature for two terms. John also served as an alternate on the Act 250 District Environment Commission. John served on the boards of Springfield Hospital, Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, AIV, and on the Board of Directors of Connecticut River Bank for 47 years.

He enjoyed hunting with family and friends in the Northeast Kingdom where he and his father built a hunting camp. He was a longtime supporter of Vermont Traditions Coalition in the Kingdom.

A frequent traveler with his wife and daughters in this country and around the world, he visited each of the seven continents. He was admired and respected for his thoughtful planning, sound decisions, and wise prediction of future events. His good humor and sharing of memorable stories of Vermont, politics, hunting, and the construction business were a delight to his listeners.

In 2010, John married Winifred McDowell with whom he was able to continue his interests in traveling and enjoyment of his family for some years.

John was predeceased by his parents, his sister Kathryn Follett, his first wife Patricia J. Follett, his brother-in-law Neil J. Martin, and niece Colleen Martin.

John is survived by his second wife Winifred McDowell; his daughters Susan F. Lusi, her husband Steve, and their children Robert and Christina; Nancy F. Wiese, her husband Michael, and their children Max and Abigail; Gail F. Suitor, her husband John, and their daughters Elizabeth, Madison, and Catherine; Jane F. Difranza, her husband David, and their children Patryck and Alicia Edgerton; his sister Patricia F. Martin; niece Sandi Prescott and her husband John; and by Norwegian A.F.S. exchange student Astri Enevoldsen Sletteng, her husband Egil, and their children Trine Lise and Sondre.

Arrangements are in the care of Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vt. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date at the discretion of his family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Vermont Community Foundation, 3 Court Street Middlebury, VT 05753 to “address the Foundation’s greatest need on behalf of John E. Follett.”

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