Albert Thomas Lunna
January 23, 1942-April 15, 2018
Albert Thomas Lunna, beloved husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and coach passed into his Eternal Life on Sunday, April 15th. His wife and best friend, Linda, remains to carry on.
Al had been hospitalized since March 2nd in Albuquerque, New Mexico, having developed complications from end stage Renal Disease. He had bounced back from numerous operations since 1996 stemming from Osteoarthritis and referred to himself as a â€œbroken down athlete.â€
Born in St. Albans, Vermont on January 23, 1942, the oldest son of Loretta Rivard Lunna and Henry Chaffee Lunna, Al grew up as a farm boy, living in Bradford, Vermont and attending a one room schoolhouse before his family relocated to Newport Center to help run the Lunna Family Farm. World War II took his father to Omaha Beach with the U.S. Army when Al was very young, and he remembered living in an apartment with his mother and older sister, Louise, near Lake Memphramagog in Newport. He spoke of how his grandmother brought them eggs and milk from the farm and how the outside stairs went up the outside of the building to their 4th floor apartment. He also remembered meeting his father when he returned, wounded, from the War in France.
The Lunna Family grew and by the end of the 1940â€™s, there were four children; Louise, Albert, Claire, and Henry. Life on the Lunna Farm was full of hard work, milking and caring for their dairy herd, haying, adventures maple sugaring with a horse team, swimming in the old swimming hole out back, and looking for new kittens in the barn.
Al graduated from Newport Center High School in 1959 where he was Class President, played basketball and baseball, was a Thespian—loved acting, and sang in the Vermont State Music Festival. He was active in his Alumni Association and enjoyed their bi-annual reunions in Newport, lately at East Side Restaurant on the big lake.
Following high school, Al enlisted in the Air Force at 17 with his parentsâ€™ permission, served four years during the VietNam era, then attended Lyndon State College, graduating with a Bachelors in Health Sciences. He pursued a Masters at Springfield College in Mass., with studies being interrupted and resumed in the 1980â€™s at UVM. Al graduated with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction while teaching at Mt. Abraham UHS. He also served in the Vermont Army National Guard for several years and was a Deputy Game Warden in the Northeast Kingdom while teaching PE and coaching first Football, then X-Country, Wrestling, and Track and Field at North Country Union High School in Newport, VT.
Alâ€™s teaching career in VT spanned 36 years and included teaching elementary school in Glover, being a Teaching Principal in Lowell, and teaching PE at NCUHS in Newport. In 1981, he joined the Mt. Abraham UHS faculty as a Science teacher where he taught primarily Middle School Science. He coached mainly X-Country and Track & Field, loving those individual sports and athletes the most of all the sports. A gifted teacher and coach, Al also coached Soccer, Basketball and Wrestling at Mt. Abe. The success of his programs in the 1980â€™s and 1990â€™s is evident in the trophy cases and on the banners that grace the walls of the Mt. Abraham UHS gym. He inspired many with his â€œI believe in youâ€ and â€œNever Give Upâ€ attitudes.
After â€œretiringâ€ from Mt. Abe in 1997, Al went on to work with
students at Kingsland Bay School, the Garvin School in Essex Jct., and Middlebury Union Middle School as a permanent substitute.
He and his wife, Linda, and daughter, Kim, created and ran the Lower Notch Berry Farm in Bristol. That little business continues to thrive, producing tons of luscious blueberries for the wider Addison County Community. Al was a Deacon at the New Haven Congregational Church on the Green, where he was a strong Tenor in the Choir and a happy kitchen helper for their Church Dinners. For many years, he also enjoyed singing with the Ecumenical Choir at Christmas and Easter time.
In his later years, Al enjoyed traveling extensively with Linda, visiting twenty world destinations from the great American Southwest to Scotland, Shetland, Italy, the Greek Islands, Turkey, Portugal, and cruising across the Atlantic as well as the Eastern and Western Caribbean Islands. If ever there were a â€œwanderlust,â€ it was Big Al.
Al was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Louise Kennison, his brothers-in-law, Don Kennison and Bill Wright, his father-in-law, Earl M. Farnham, his sister-in-law, Susan Farnham, and his first wife, Bonnie Boig Lunna.
He is survived by his loving wife, Linda; his daughters, Kimberly and husband Edwin Wells of Rockingham, VT; Renee and husband Geoff Falconer, of Brownington, VT; Shelli and husband Craig LaPlante of Plattsburg, NY; his son, Deric A. Lunna and wife Shirley, of Sheldon, VT, his sister, Claire Wright of Orleans, VT, and his brother, Henry Lunna and wife Sue Mary of Newport, VT. Al was the proud grandfather of Geoffrey Thomas Falconer, Bonni May Lunna, Quentin Allen Lunna, Noah Leland LaPlante, and Audrey Elizabeth LaPlante. He also leaves many cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Alâ€™s life will be celebrated on Saturday, June 23, 2018 with calling hours from 9 a.m.- Noon at Brown McClay Funeral Home, Bristol. A Memorial Service at the New Haven Congregational Church on the Green will follow at 2:00 p.m. Internment in the Greenwood Cemetery, Bristol, and a reception following at the NHCC Fellowship Hall. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to a scholarship trust fund to be established for a deserving X-Country and/or Track & Field athlete from Mt. Abraham UHS. To send online condolences to his family please visit brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com