From the board of directors of Vermont Independent Media and the staff of The Commons
Alan O. Dann.

From the board of directors of Vermont Independent Media and the staff of The Commons

With great sadness, we learned that our friend and colleague Alan O. Dann - one of the founders of this newspaper, and a dear friend, ally, and adviser - died peacefully this past Sunday night at his home in Marlboro. We send our condolences to his widow, Deirdre Donaldson, and to the rest of his family.

It is not an exaggeration to say that this newspaper would not exist today without the hard work and dedication of Alan Dann in its formative years. He shepherded us though our first decade as a member of our Board of Directors; he served as treasurer for most of our young nonprofit's duration. Even after leaving the board in 2012, and as recently as last month, he was still volunteering to do his little piece of Commons distribution every single week, shuttling the papers through Marlboro, Halifax, and Jacksonville.

His fingerprints are all over this newspaper and nonprofit: his meticulous and conscientious stewardship of our meager funds, his appreciation of hard-hitting investigative journalism, his enthusiasm for introducing young people to the higher calling of this profession, and his constant story suggestions and contributions to our Letters from Readers column. Over the years, we have come to appreciate his special and varied interests and community passions (telecommunications, energy, politics, faith, music, maple sugaring, economic development, Estey organs, foreign travel, and all things Harvard, to name just a few).

He was an exquisitely intelligent and curious man of deep convictions and ethics. His occasional criticism (“garbage!”) could be deliciously and deservedly deep and withering, yet his more-frequent praise (“magnificent!”) would lift you to the moon. When he set out to do something, he did it with gusto, with a full heart, and often with twinkling eyes and a two-second-delayed roaring laugh.

Alan Dann will be deeply missed, and we dedicate this issue to his memory.

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