Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Springfield town leader Don Gurney dies at 86

Don Gurney did a lot for his hometown of Springfield, whether it was plowing snow, trying to create jobs or making sure the town’s annual Alumni Parade was accompanied by calliope music.


Donald lrvine Gurney Sr. 86, passed away peacefully Saturday, October 17, 2015, surrounded by his family at Baystate Medical Center.

He was born August 15, 1929, in Springfield, Vermont, the son of John G. Gurney and Lillian (McDonnell) Gurney. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1948 and then went into the Air Force (1948-52) stationed in Mississippi. On June 19, 1954, he married Arlene (McAllister).
He worked for Bishop Farms in 1953, and then went to work for IBM from 1954-57. In April of 1957, he and his brother, Gordon (Sam), started Gurney Brothers Construction Inc. Don remained working at Gurney Brothers well past his retirement and was still working on few projects up until the time of his death.

Don Gurney was very community-oriented and proud of his hometown Springfield, Vermont. He was active in Rotary and a member of the Boy Scouts of America, serving on their Executive Board of Directors. He was a co-founder and the first president of the SHS booster club; he helped found the Vermont chapter of the Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) and served as its president. He served for 13 years on the Springfield School Board and served for 3 years as a town selectman. He was the founder of the Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) and was the first recipient of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, “Citizen of the Year.” He served on the Springfield Hospital Board. He was inducted into the 2013 Springfield Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

Don is survived by Arlene, his wife of 61 years; and their children Donald I. Gurney Jr. and his wife, Samantha, of North Springfield; his children Francesca Arnoldy (John Paul Arnoldy), Donald Gurney III and Ty Albert; Sharon Gurney Kingsley of Whitehall, NY, her children, Kenneth Helberg (Kelly Helburg), Kathleen Cate (Austin Cate), Richard Kingsley III and Janel Kingsley; Daniel A. Gurney and his fiancé, Lori Muse of Perkinsville, VT; his children, Hollie Conway (John Conway), Erica Murphy (Thomas Murphy), Derek Gurney and Evan & Jacob Muse; Dale G. Gurney and his partner, Gene Limlaw of Ocala, FL.; Douglas C. Gurney and his wife, Lori, of Springfield, VT, and their children Leanne Alexander (Justin Alexander) and Jillian Gurney; Bradley J. Gurney and his wife, Deborah of Weathers field, VT and their children, Michael, Christopher, Sarah and Lillian. 15 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, former daughter-in-law Veronica Todorovich and former son-in-law Wayne Helberg. Don is predeceased by his parents, John and Lillian, daughter-in-law, Nancy Hays Gurney, and son-in-law, Richard Kingsley Jr. Don & his siblings include (in order): Barbara, Priscilla (deceased), Donald, Joy, Gordon, Carolyn, Nancy, Laura, Harriet, David (deceased) and John.

Calling hours will be Friday, October 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Davis Memorial Chapel on Summer Street in Springfield, VT. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 24th at 3 p.m. at the North Springfield Baptist Church on Main Street in North Springfield, VT, with burial immediately following at the Plains Road Cemetery in Perkinsville, VT. Please join us for a time of sharing memories and light refreshments held at the Crown Point Country Club on Weathersfield Center Road in Springfield, VT starting at 4:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Springfield Hospital, PO Box 2003, Springfield, VT 05156 in memory of Donald I. Gurney Sr.

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