George Shumlin, father of Gov. Peter Shumlin, dies at 88

George Shumlin, the father of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, died Thursday at his home in Westminster West. He was 88.

Gov. Shumlin issued the following statement:

“Yesterday afternoon, my dad George Shumlin passed away surrounded by all of his kids and our mother, Kitty, his wife of 62 years. We will miss him terribly but are so glad he enjoyed almost 89 healthy years and that his decline was brief. We will be honoring his life and love for his family privately. My dad was a great friend as well as a great father, and every day I’ll work to live up to his example.”

Statement from President Pro Tempore Senator John Campbell:

“On behalf of the Vermont Senate, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Governor and the Shumlin family with the passing of the Governor’s father, Mr. George Shumlin. Those who knew George saw him as a loving father and husband, a voice for his community, and a model Vermont Citizen. He will be missed.”

George Shumlin, father of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, died April 10, 2014. Courtesy photo

George Shumlin, father of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, died April 10, 2014. Courtesy photo

Obituary for George Shumlin

George Shumlin died April 10th at his home after a short illness, surrounded by his wife and children who loved him.

Born in May, 1925, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Elliott and Betty Shumlin, he graduated from Plainfield High School in 1942. His college education was interrupted by World War II in which, after five months’ training at the Newport, Rhode Island, naval training station, he served for three years as quartermaster and as senior petty-officer of the Ship’s Control Division of a U.S. navy amphibious landing ship, the LST 1011. The 1011 participated in landings and in re-supply operations in both the European and the Pacific theaters of war. George was awarded the European and the Asiatic-Pacific service ribbons with battle stars.

George received a B.A. in English and Theater from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. He attended graduate school in Theater Arts at the University of Iowa and later earned a Master’s Degree in Education at the Putney, Vermont, Graduate School of Teacher Education (now known as Antioch New England). He served as a trustee and as chairman pro-temp of the board of trustees of The Graduate School, and he also worked on the school’s faculty as the Supervisor of Apprentice Teaching.

George worked as an actor, a stage-manager, and a director in regional theaters and summer theaters, as well as on Broadway and on network television. Later, he taught at the Putney School and at the Verde Valley School in Arizona.

In 1952, George married Kitty A. Prins of The Hague, Holland. The Shumlins settled in Westminster West, Vermont, in 1955. Together, they founded Putney Student Travel, an international, educational experience for high-school students, of which George was president for thirty-three years. He was co-founder of The Grammar School in Putney and served for eight years on its board of trustees, the first six years as treasurer. He was one of many co-founders of The Vermont Civil Liberties Union.

George loved hiking, cross-country skiing and working in the Vermont woods, maintaining the family woodlot for sustainable production and recreation. He especially enjoyed his family and he took great pride in their achievements.

George Shumlin is survived by Kitty, his wife of 62 years, and by his daughter Kate Shumlin of South Burlington and his two sons Jeffrey Shumlin of Westminster West and Peter Shumlin of East Montpelier. He is survived also by five grandchildren, Kyle Arnold, Olivia, Becca, Julia and Ben Shumlin, by a great-grandson, George Arnold, and by the mothers of his grandchildren and great-grandchild.

A celebration of George’s life will be held at a later date.

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  • Kelly Cummings

    Dear Governor Shumlin,

    My thoughts go out to you and your family.

    That is a beautiful picture of your father. He looks and sounds like he was an interesting man.

    I am so glad you get to say your dad was a good friend as well as a great father. It means he must have loved a great deal while he was here. And too, was loved in return.

    I wish the luck of that phrase for everyone….and much peace for your family.

  • Paul Lorenzini

    sorry for your loss, wish I could say it better, but I mean it, wholeheartedly.

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