Bill Bartlett, 77 years old, died peacefully at home on August 20, 2022. While he knew that his neurological disease would eventually win, he fought it full on for many years with his determined commitment and vigor. He died with the grace, integrity and peace with which he lived his life.
Bill’s commitment to keeping Vermont waters clean was much of his life’s work. He was the head of the Water Resources Board for many years during which it helped establish and implement many of the clean water regulations that safeguard swimming, fishing, boating, and biological integrity in Vermont's rivers and lakes. Upon retirement, Bill continued his clean water campaigning as “Citizen Bartlett”, the man who generously gave of his volunteer time to testify before many legislative committees to educate, inform and suggest to members ways to keep our precious resource of water, clean and pure. He was respected for his knowledge and his integrity, notably by those who didn’t agree with his positions. He was also a valued sounding board and mentor for many in the community of clean water advocates.
In the mid 1990’s, Bill was a founding member of The Friends of Green River Reservoir and for almost 50 years paddled those waters and camped on those islands with fervent reverence for the beauty of its wilderness-like qualities. During the last few years of his life, friends would take him out for a paddle and a picnic.
Bill graduated from the University of Vermont, where he met Susan, his future wife. He served 2 tours in Vietnam and then returned to Vermont, graduate school at UVM and marriage to Susan. He had a Masters in Geography and loved maps. Surprisingly, to Susan and his paddling and skiing friends, with the exception of up and down, he had no sense of direction.
Bill loved to garden and over the many years at their home, the property has become a delightful, quiet place with many bird and insect friendly plants and trees.
In Bill’s memory, please consider donating to any of the following organizations: Conservation Law Foundation, Vermont Natural Resource Council, Vermonters For A Clean Environment and the Friends of Green River Reservoir.
Bill is survived by his wife Susan Bartlett and many family and friends who loved him.
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