WASHINGTON — Funeral arrangements will be handled by Hookers Funeral Home in Barre, with a wake Thursday, Aug. 14 and a funeral Friday, Aug. 15 at the Presbyterian Church in Barre for Marion Carson Milne, 79, who died peacefully at her home in Washington, on Aug. 11.
The daughter of William and Augusta Carson, Marion was born the 11th of 12 children in Brooklyn, New York on Jan. 2, 1935. Only seven of the twelve children lived beyond childhood.
She married Donald Milne on March 15, 1957.
She is survived by her husband Don, the Clerk of the Vermont House of Representatives; her three children, Scott Milne of Pomfret, Chris Milne and his wife Marjorie of Dover, Massachusetts; and Cathy Frey and her husband Scott Frey, of Barre.
She was predeceased by a son Keith Milne in 1971.
She had eight grandchildren: Keith Milne, Elise Milne, Jane Milne, Claire Milne, Lee Milne, and George Milne, Nicole Frey and Alex Frey.
She leaves a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mary Jean and Gus Mastro, brother-in-law John Milne, and sister–in-law Kay Milne. Her sisters Agnes, Irene, and Jean survive her, and she is predeceased by her brothers William, Harry, Charles, John, and sisters Marion (she was named for), Julie, Phyllis and Pauline. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.
She left school at 16 to go to work in a travel agency near Rockefeller Center, then earned her Graduate Equivalency Degree ( GED) in her 30’s and became a graduate of Goddard College, where she earned her B.A. in political science, at the age of 40. In 1975, Marion founded Milne Travel as a one-person woman owned business and worked hard to see it become one of New England’s largest and most successful travel agencies.
Marion served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1994 to 2000, representing the Town of Washington and other towns in her district. Her support for legislation authorizing civil unions was critical to the passage of the act in the House. She was co-chair of the Woman’s Caucus in the Vermont Legislature and recipient of their Legislator of the Year award in 2000. She was also an elected Justice of the Peace in her beloved Town of Washington, a Trustee and former Chair of the Calef Board of Library Trustees, and she was the first woman president of the Central Vermont Chamber. She was also Secretary of Washington Electric Coop and a member of the Board.
She was a founding member of the Vermont Commission on Women, and served on the Judicial Nominating Board, Professional Responsibility Board, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Green Mountain United Way, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce, Central Vermont Chamber where she served as its first woman president, Mother’s March of Dimes, Central Vermont Community Action, Green Mountain United Way, Commission on Healthy Living, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and the Community of Vermont Elders, holding the position of President or Chair for many of these organizations. In 2010, the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce named “Citizen of the Year”. The town of Washington named her and her husband as its “Citizens of Year” in 2010.
On the day she died, Marion had an appointment to have her hair done, planned to work at her desk in the travel agency, and attend a board meeting for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
No one was more courageous, caring, or giving, than Marion.
Flowers from a local florist, or a donation to the Calef Memorial Library, Washington Vermont, 05675 are most welcome in Marion’s honor.
This obituary first appeared in the August 14, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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