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Remembering a former Senator

Road to Brattleboro Country Club renamed to honor Bob Gannett

BRATTLEBORO—Members of Brattleboro Country Club are cleared to rename the stretch of Upper Dummerston Road leading into the club Senator Gannett Drive.

The Selectboard unanimously approved the name at its May 21 meeting.

Brattleboro resident and State Sen. Robert Gannett died Aug. 26, 2012, at 94, after decades of dedicated service to the region.

“He never stopped having an interest in helping others,” retired Brattleboro attorney Chuck Cummings told The Commons at the time. “He was a good friend to a lot of people, and a special friend to me.”

Gannett served in the Vermont House of Representatives between 1953 and 1959, and sat on the Judiciary and Appropriations committees.

He stepped away from the Legislature to tend to his Brattleboro-based legal practice, but returned to the Statehouse, where he served 10 terms in the Vermont Senate between 1973 and 1993.

During those two decades, he sat on the Finance, General and Military Affairs, Institutions, and Transportation committees.

“They called him the Silver Fox because he had so much skill in getting bills passed,” WTSA Radio News Director Tim Johnson told The Commons. “He was thoughtful, and respectful of other people’s views, but he was forthright about his own.”

Johnson covered Gannett for most of his Senate career.

The road dedication is slated for June, said Public Works Director Steve Barrett.

Gannett declined all proposals to have roads and buildings named after him during his lifetime, Barrett told the Selectboard.

He was modest, said Barrett. He said he understands Gannett’s family approves of this naming.

“I just wish the road was longer for him,” said Selectboard member John Allen.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #205 (Wednesday, May 29, 2013).

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