Mr. Richard ‘Dick’ Jamieson, 6th generation Vermonter, farmer, skier, grandfather

Mr. Richard ‘Dick’ Jamieson, 6th generation Vermonter, farmer, skier, grandfather

Richard “Dick” Jamieson passed away peacefully on May 27, 2022 with his family by his side following complications from heart surgery in Salt Lake City, UT.

A sixth-generation Vermonter, Dick was born in Bennington on January 2, 1944. He grew up on a dairy farm on Waitsfield Common with four siblings (including his “Irish twin” brother, David, who participated in many of Dick’s exploits ) until he was 15 years old. His mother feared the children would be exposed to ‘bad influences’ when moving to Waitsfield Village in 1959, but they appear to have escaped that fate.

Two things framed Dick’s life the most: farming and Vermont’s thriving ski industry. One was in its early decline and the other ascendant. Dick loved Joe Sherman’s book Fast lane on a dirt road which chronicles this conflict – a part of the book that takes place in the Mad River Valley.

Farming gave Dick his love for animals (especially dogs and cows) and an aversion to seeing any animal suffer. He made sure his children experienced farm life while gardening and raising a variety of livestock in the 70s and 80s. Animals were harvested each fall, teaching his children the commitments of caring for them, but also the local food chain circle and the value of good home-grown food (long before Farm to Table).

The ski industry had a huge impact on Dick’s life. He learned to ski at Mad River Glen through a program where local children were transported to the mountain mid-week, fitted with equipment and taught by professional instructors. He would later compete at the high school level when athletes had to compete in all three disciplines of Nordic, Alpine and Jumping. He recalled a Norwegian trainer (Karri Torkle) who found old surplus skis from the 10th Mountain Division and took them to Ryford Joslin’s carpentry shop to cut them to regulation width. The community arranged local donations (timber from Baird’s Mill) and labor to build a ski jump on the grounds of the Couples Club in Waitsfield.

Dick attended an engineering program at Southern Technical Institute after graduating from Waitsfield High School (class of 17) on a scholarship provided by Waitsfield Telecom, but eventually found Marieta Georgia (not a welcoming place for a boy yankee in 1962) and engineering was not his path.

Back in Vermont, Dick went to work for Fred Pabst at Bromley Mountain, a south-facing ski area that was an early adopter of snowmaking technology. As chief snowmaker, he was a dashing figure atop snowcats, bulldozers and of course skis. In 1967 (the summer of love) he met a striking female ski instructor (Constance née Campbell) whom he would marry and eventually they returned home to the Mad River Valley where Dick pursued a career in the insurance business. . The timing was perfect. The MRV had three popular ski areas and economic growth helped him start a career in 1969 and eventually start his own agency in 1977. Dick was very proud of his achievements in the business, including leading his group of industrial commerce and the growth of a successful legacy business which his son would eventually buy from him in 2003. The career in insurance has also allowed him to serve his community as a selectman, member of several city councils, founding member of the Mad River Valley Rotary and board member of Chittenden Bank. He served his country and state as a member of the Vermont Air National Guard – Green Mountain Boys.

After retiring from the insurance industry, Dick and Connie followed their skiing habit to Park City, Utah, where they joined old friends in the industry. He spent many winters in Park City hosting his children and grandchildren, providing them with a home base for skiing and road adventures out West. The family spent many special summers at Moot Point on North Hero, VT. Dick’s other passions included cars, boats, good food and drink and especially meeting strangers (much to the chagrin of his family). He was well known for his gift of “chattering” and was affectionately referred to as the “mayor of the parking lot” during his days in the insurance business. After his daily trip to the post office, he often found himself deep in conversation with customers, friends, and anyone who passed by. Dick’s friends and acquaintances appreciated his wealth of local knowledge and his love of telling stories about his childhood in the Mad River Valley. Many remember his gregarious radio commercials on WDEV, including the memorable musical jingle and catchphrase “Dick Jamieson – Insurance Guy!”

He will be missed by Connie, his beloved wife of 55 years, his siblings David (Linda Sue), Larry, Judy and Don; children Jon (Amy) and Krissa (Dan Harwood); grandchildren Isabel, Eli, Oliver, Anna, Luke and Ethan who affectionately called him by the nickname “Grumpy”.

A memorial service will be held in Waitsfield later this summer.

Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org and the Lake Champlain Land Trust www.lclt.org


Family Information

He will be missed by Connie, his beloved wife of 55 years, his siblings David (Linda Sue), Larry, Judy and Don; children Jon (Amy) and Krissa (Dan Harwood); grandchildren Isabel, Eli, Oliver, Anna, Luke and Ethan who affectionately called him by the nickname “Grumpy”.

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