Alan Walter Curler

Alan Walter Curler

New Haven – Alan Walter Curler, a life-long Vermonter and pillar of the New Haven community for nearly 30 years, unexpectedly passed away in his sleep during the early morning hours of January 20, 2020.

The oldest of five boys, Alan grew up in “the Hollow” in North Ferrisburgh, where his mother, Pauline (Thorpe), and his father, Walter Curler, fostered his kindness, humility, selflessness, and work ethic, while his brothers taught him to have patience and a sense of humor. Although he was not the most studious as a young man, Alan graduated from Vergennes High School in 1968, then went on to earn his Associates degree from Vermont Technical College in 1970 and a Bachelor’s from the University of Vermont in 1972, both focused on Agricultural Technology.

After finishing his schooling, Alan returned to Randolph as the VTC herdsman where he met his wife-to-be, Elizabeth (Carlson). Alan, always knowing a good thing when he saw it, waited only three weeks before proposing to Betsy; they were married on May 1, 1976. Heather and Matthew, their first two children, were born in Randolph; their second son, Jesse, joined the family a few years later. It was obvious how proud Alan was of the men and woman his children had become. His two grandchildren, Sullivan and Rosemary, brought him great joy and he coveted opportunities to show off pictures of them. Alan loved his family and friends dearly; they were the most important thing in his life.

When the opportunity arose, Alan returned to Addison County with his family in 1990, taking over an old farmhouse on North Street in New Haven, where he lived the remainder of his life. It was here that Alan and Betsy raised their family and created a home. Alan could frequently be found puttering around in his garage woodshop, tending to his large vegetable garden, and spending Sunday afternoons processing those vegetables while watching his beloved Giants. He enjoyed movies and the time spent on the couch with his family watching them, though you were just as likely to find him “resting” his eyes as watching the film. Alan relished any opportunity to mix up a batch of cookies; he would bake mounds of them to share with neighbors for the holidays and would make a batch for special occasions or just to brighten your day. Alan was always the first to call on birthdays and anniversaries and never missed an opportunity to send a greeting card.

Alan was musically gifted. He learned the guitar as a young man, before embracing bluegrass music and teaching himself to play the banjo. Throughout their childhood, his children would fall asleep to his nightly banjo picking. More recently, Alan added the fiddle to his repertoire and spent his time learning songs to play for his family and grandchildren. In addition to his instruments, you could count on Alan to bring his playing cards and cribbage board to family functions. He was an avid card player, with cribbage and nickels being his favorites, though you could also find him playing Uno with his nieces and nephews. Alan’s competitive spirit extended beyond the card table to include bowling and horseshoes. He participated in the Shelburne bowling league for the duration of his time in New Haven and filled box upon box with trophies from his horseshoe tournaments.

Alan was a lifelong supporter of Vermont agriculture. Following his upbringing working on local dairy farms with his father and brothers, he continued working on dairies in his early career and later became an agricultural lender for the USDA. He spent the remainder of his career working with dairymen, and other agricultural producers, to develop business, marketing, and succession plans, as well as finding ways to help them fund their ventures. He cared deeply about the dairy industry and the farmers with whom he worked; he was a favorite of innumerable dairymen in Vermont and the surrounding areas. He was also the “only banker to show up on a Harley” for many of these farmers.

Alan believed in giving back to his community. He also felt strongly that children should have access to the many opportunities he did not as a child. His commitment to children and community shined through in the organizations he supported with his time. His contributions are too numerous to list and tenures of such duration we’ve lost track. Alan helped build the New Haven recycling program from its inception; he served as Cubmaster and Den Leader for generations of Cub Scouts in Pack 600; in addition to coaching the New Haven girls’ softball team, he served as coordinator for New Haven Little League and later President of the Mt. Abe Little League District; he served as President of the Addison County 4-H Foundation and Treasurer of the Vermont FFA Foundation, and, for 19 years, from 6AM to 11PM, you could find him behind the grill at the Dusty Chuck at Field Days, where he refused to allow the 4-Hers to use a calculator, insisting they should learn to do the math in their head. Alan also served the VTC Alumni Association as Treasurer and, later, President; Eastern States Exposition and New Haven Congregational Church as a trustee; and his bowling league as President.

Alan received numerous awards and recognition for his community service and although he was proud of the contributions he made, he was modest and rarely spoke of his accomplishments. His most recent acknowledgements included: the Honorary American FFA Degree, recognition in the New Haven Town Report; a Vermont House concurrent resolution honoring his “outstanding civic service”; and VTC Alumni of the Year.

Those who have been fortunate enough to know Alan (and there are many), speak of his kindness, thoughtfulness, his passion and dedication, his sense of humor, and their thankfulness to have had the opportunity to know such a wonderful man, a gentle giant. His presence will be missed by all. Alan is survived by his wife Betsy; daughter Heather; son Matthew (Jennifer); son Jesse; grandson Sullivan and granddaughter Rosemary. He is also survived by his brothers Peter (Laurie), Kenneth (Robin), and John (Penny); his wife’s family; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their children. Alan was predeceased by his parents and his brother Lee.

Alan’s legacy and ideals will long survive him through the dozens, hundreds, and probably thousands of lives that he influenced with his love and caring.

A celebration of Alan’s life will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday January 25, 2020 at the North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church. Calling hours will be 5:00-8:00 PM on Friday, January 24, 2020 at Brown McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made, in his name, to the Addison County 4-H Foundation and/or the Vermont FFA Foundation.

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Cindy Corkins
4 years ago

Dear Betsy and family, My heart is very sad with the loss of Alan. He was a dear friend to all and he will be dearly missed. Sending loving prayers,

Ginny and Steve Nightingale
4 years ago

We will miss you Alan… your warmth, sense of humor, music and phone calls of course. We send our deepest sympathies to the Curler family, including the grandchildren we share, Sullivan and Rosemary.

Beth Dawley
4 years ago

Betsy, my thoughts go out to you and the family. Your loss will be felt throughout the Vt agricultural community. Happy memories to sustain you.

Carol Kalikow
4 years ago

Dear Matt, Jennifer, Betsy and the entire Curler family. We were heartbroken to hear of the sudden passing of Alan. By all accounts he was an exceptional human being. His family is a testament to that. It is always so hard to say a final goodbye and we hope that you’re wonderful memories will help you through the sad days ahead. We will keep you in our hearts and prayers. Love Carol, Richard and Max Kalikow

Judy L Hayes
4 years ago

Betsy and family, So very sorry for your loss. May all the sweet memories of Alan bring you solace during this difficult time. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Judy, Allison and Brian Hayes

David and Tanya Carter
4 years ago

Hello Elizabeth & family:
I was fortunate to work with Alan over these past few years at VEDA. Besides all the friendly and heartwarming qualities of which you are already aware, Alan was an excellent loan officer. His knowledge was broad and deep and he gave generously from this wealth of experience. Alan will be missed. Peace be with you and with Alan in the days to come.
David and Tanya Carter

Patty Marsh
4 years ago

I’m so very sorry to read of Alan’s passing. He was a well known and respected man. My condolences to all the family.

Jean Quesnel
4 years ago

Heartfelt sympathy to the entire family. He was an icon in this community and will be so missed.

kimberly Curtis
4 years ago

So sorry for your loss, What a wonderful person.

Sherry Ouellette
4 years ago

My heart is breaking for you Alan’s beloved family and for my family who had the pleasure of having Alan in our life. We are one of the Ag. families that Alan connected to thru FfA 4-H and helping us with long time plans to keep farm go into the future with the next generation. He got it! The love of keeping Agriculture alive .we will miss him and remember Alan as we go into the future of our life as a farm family. Thankyou for sharing Alan with our family .ps his cookies were really good I accused him of Betsy making them. May you find peace in yourtime of such sorrow in knowing how he touched so many lives in the Ag community .

Bridget Floyd Calacci
4 years ago

Oh, Betsy and family, we were all so saddened to hear this news. We will see you on Saturday, I will be bringing dad with me. I like to imagine my mom greeting Alan as he arrived up there, and that they have shared some stories and laughs just like they used to.

Marie Hart
4 years ago

My name is Marie Thompson Hart. I am Jerry Thompsons sister. He sound like a wonderful man. I think my brother played horseshoes with him. Sorry for your lost. Our sister passed away and her funeral is Saturday. So I understand your sadness.

Rachel Plant
4 years ago

Dear Betsy and family,

I am saddened that this wonderful man has passed away. Alan was always quick with a smile or a joke and oh those great hugs.

He towered over everyone, but you never felt small in his presence, you felt welcomed . He genuinely enjoyed in hearing stories and sharing stories. He was a quintessential Vermont farmer; and he reminded me so much of my farming Grandparents in Charlotte .

We would see one another ; not often enough. Yet, when we did meet we would resume our stories and he’d share old time memories of his folks. I shall miss him. I last saw him just before Christmas , when we shared our last set of stories and a hug.

I am so sorry for your loss. Yet I know all those marvelous stories, memories and melodies will in time be a balm for your deepest sorrow.

Ronald Allbee
4 years ago

Alan was a rare human with empathy, love, caring, dedication and compassion. He helped and cared for many. His contributions to Vermont Agriculture was huge. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you

Nate & Sue Miller
4 years ago

We will miss seeing him “everywhere” in our Ag. community!

4 years ago

Thank you Alan for your grace and dedication given to your community and dairy farmers. You will be missed.

Kathleen Lowe Warner
4 years ago

Peter,Ken & family-
I was so sad to hear of the loss of your wonderful brother! All of you “boys” have such a beautiful spirit & though I did not know Alan personally, I can see where he must have been as kind & considerate as the 2 of you are.
May God bless & comfort you all during this difficult time.
Kathleen Lowe Warner

Susan Coombs
4 years ago

Coach was always a big part of my daughter Lauren’s earlier years as she played Little League and softball. He was so kind and really enjoyed coaching his team(s). When I read about his passing, I had an instant hole in my heart as I remembered Coach and the joy he brought to so many children and adults alike. He will be deeply missed by us all who knew him. There will never be another Coach (man) as him. We were blessed to have known him…

Please know you and your family are in our hearts and prayers.

Susan Coombs & Lauren Higbee

Dottie Bouton
4 years ago

It is such a sad day for all of us whose lives Alan touched and there are many, My thoughts and prayers go out to you Betsy and family.

Larry Myott
4 years ago

Dear Betsy and family,

My sincere condolences on the passing of Alan. It was a shock to get the news. Alan was certainly a good friend to all the agricultural community. I was very pleased to get the chance to work with him on UVM Extension projects, Alpha Gamma Rho professionalism and much more over the years. I will not be able to attend the services, though I wish I could. We are in Florida for the winter.

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes