WILLISTON — Laurence M. Carnahan, 65 of Williston passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
He was born in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 9, 1950, the son of Robert Gudgell Thomas and Ansley Newman, later to become the adopted son of David Kelly Carnahan. He grew up in New Mexico and New York City. He came to Vermont to stay in 1970, living in Bakersfield, Berkshire and Williston. He received his BA and Master’s Degree from Johnson State College.
Laurence was throughout his life a sportsman, outdoorsman, and voyager. He loved to ski. Skiers everywhere will continue to enjoy “Buckdog’s” legacy of challenging and much loved, gladed trails at Jay Peak (think Buck’s woods, Buckaroo Banzai, Timbucktoo.) that Laurence designed and blazed. For a couple of decades he kept a productive sugarbush in Berkshire. He was crazy passionate about biking, logging thousands of miles every year, working several summers as a tour leader for VT Country Cyclist.
Laurence worked 20 years in special education. For the past 13 years he was Special Education Administrator, most recently with the Cabot and Twinfield School Districts, working on behalf of students with disabilities, English Language Learners and Homeless & Migrant students. He was dedicated to meeting his students’ educational needs, tirelessly advocating for their overall well-being and that of their families. He was committed to helping staff implement new research. Laurence’s quirky sense of humor, phenomenal stories and generous commitment will be greatly missed by staff and families of both schools.
Laurence is survived by his two sons, Jack T. Carnahan and Ben T. Carnahan of Williston; his mother Ansley Carnahan of South Burlington; his brother James Carnahan of Carrboro, N.C.; stepchildren Ilona Blanchard and Joel Fichman of Burlington, and by his niece Eliza Sprecher of Les Houches, France. Laurence was predeceased by his father Robert Thomas, his stepfather Kelly Carnahan, and his longtime partner, Lynda Blanchard.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 4 p.m. in the Ready Funeral and Cremation Service South Chapel, 261 Shelburne Rd., Burlington. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to the children’s college education fund administered by: New England Federal Credit Union, PO Box 527, Williston, VT 05495. Payable to “Carnahan Education Fund”.
To send online condolences to his family please visit www.readyfuneral.com.