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NO. R-23. JOINT RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF FORMER SPEAKER OF THE VERMONT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WALTER "PEANUT" KENNEDY.

(J.R.H. 15)

Offered by:Entire Membership of the House of Representatives.

Whereas, Walter "Peanut" Kennedy was a loyal son of Chelsea, Vermont, which he proudly called home for all of his 77 years, and

Whereas, the citizens of Chelsea, recognizing a born leader with unique capabilities and undeniable leadership potential, first elected him to represent the town in the House of Representatives in 1960, and

Whereas, he proved to be a hard working and effective legislator who easily survived the perils of reapportionment and won reelection in 1966 to the newly created House District - 35, and

Whereas, throughout the 1960s, Walter Kennedy’s reputation amongst his legislative colleagues as a legislative tactician and very special personality continued to rise, and

Whereas, his uncanny personal ability to develop legislative coalitions and his mastery of the politics of the House resulted in his fellow members twice, at the start of both the 1971-1972 and 1973-1974 bienniums, bestowing on him the institution’s highest honor and most distinguished position, that of Speaker of the House, and

Whereas, as Speaker he was known for his dynamic mastery of the leadership reins, and

Whereas, his colorful and forthright comments became his institutional hallmark, and

Whereas, he had a self-effacing sense of humor and was known to joke that the nickname "Peanut" referred to the size of his brain, and

Whereas, despite his inclination to operate the House in a highly controlled style, he was always delighted to teach the intricacies of the legislative process to new members, regardless of their partisan affiliation, and

Whereas, he had an abiding and deeply held respect for the House of Representatives and its members, and

Whereas, after 15 years of service to the citizens of Vermont, he retired from legislative service, and

Whereas, he concluded his political career as chair of the Vermont Republican Party,and

Whereas, in 1994, he took a nostalgic trip back to his beloved House of Representatives and recalled many fond memories, and

Whereas, all Vermonters were saddened to learn of Speaker Walter "Peanut" Kennedy’s passing, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Vermont General Assembly pays tribute to former House Speaker Walter "Peanut" Kennedy, who left a multitude of friends and admirers and was a legislative leader of the very first order, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly’s deepest condolences are extended to his wife Sylvia, his son James, daughter Mary, and stepson Chris, and be it further

Resolved: That the Clerk of the House be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Sylvia Kennedy.