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NO. R-209. JOINT RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF SUMNER WILLIAMS.

(J.R.H. 166)

Offered by: Representatives Symington of Jericho, Brown of Walden, Colvin of Bennington, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, Deuel of West Rutland, Doyle of Richmond, Hathaway of Barton, Heath of Westford, Hooker of Rutland City, Hube of Londonderry, Hummel of Underhill, Larrabee of Danville, Maslack of Poultney, McGrath of Ferrisburgh, Metzger of Milton, Miller of Shaftsbury, Milne of Washington, Palmer of Pownal, Postman of Brownington, Rivero of Milton, Rogers of Castleton, Seibert of Norwich, Smith of New Haven, Smith of Sudbury, Starr of Troy, Valsangiacomo of Barre City, Vincent of Waterbury, Weiss of Northfield, Willett of St. Albans City, Winters of Williamstown, Woodward of Johnson and Young of Orwell.

Whereas, Sumner Williams, in his role as assistant director of the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill Center, dedicated his professional career to improving the quality of Vermont's maple sugar, and

Whereas, he developed an unsurpassed expertise in all aspects of the maple sugaring process, from the planting of new saplings to the annual spring tapping and boiling of the new sap into syrup, and

Whereas, Sumner Williams improved the production capacity at the Proctor Maple Center, raising the yields to approximately one-half gallon of maple syrup per tap and, in turn, raising the expectations of sugarmakers throughout Vermont, and

Whereas, he brought tremendous enthusiasm and humor to his work with the staff at the Proctor Maple Research Center and his fellow sugarmakers as he passed on his knowledge and expertise at producing high quality maple syrup, and

Whereas, Sumner Williams was a welcomed participant and speaker at maple sugar conferences in Vermont and around the world, and

Whereas, he considered himself to be a steward of Vermont's rich maple forestry resources, and

Whereas, in 1999, in recognition of his enormous contribution to maple sugaring, the Vermont Maple Industry Council named Sumner Williams its Maple Person of the Year, and

Whereas, Sumner Williams communicated his love for Vermont's productive forests and other priceless natural resources, not only through his professional work, but also by exploring Vermont's mountains, woods, and waters with his wife Susan, and his children Sumner and Catherine, and

Whereas, Sumner developed a reputation for his extraordinary internal thermostat, so that his friends hold clear mental pictures of him hiking hand in hand with his son, Sumner, both in shorts and fleece where others buried themselves in layers to brave the natural elements, and

Whereas, he was one of the first persons in Vermont to regularly monitor acid rain which resulted in the Proctor Maple Research Center becoming a nationally recognized source for environmental monitoring, and

Whereas, Sumner Williams was always available to offer assistance to other sugar makers, as well as to foresters, land managers and scientists who shared his vision of understanding our forest ecosystem through applied research, and

Whereas, the life of this ingenious, and much admired, leader in the maple sugar industry, who was both quick of wit and quick to smile making the longest days seem shorter, was tragically shortened in an accident at the Proctor Maple Center in October 1999, and

Whereas, his family and many friends will miss Sumner Williams who was a truly undisputed leader in the maple sugar industry and a devoted father and husband, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is deeply saddened by the death of Sumner Williams and extends its sincere condolences to his family, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State is directed to send a copy of this resolution to his wife, Susan Williams and the University of Vermont.