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Luther Frederick Hackett
Luther Frederick Hackett, age 85 of Shelburne, VT and formerly of South Burlington, died of Alzheimer’s disease on October 8, 2018 at the Wake Robin Continuing Care Retirement Community.
Fred was a sixth generation Vermonter and spent most of his life building a business and providing assistance to ventures he felt would make a positive difference to the future of his beloved State of Vermont. He was an active public leader as well as a private advisor and solid friend, someone who was rock solid in his religious beliefs, his patriotism and his deep love and dedication to his family. He especially loved spending time with his 5 granddaughters, who have memories of skiing in Stowe, fishing at the Trout Club and hiking Grandpa Fred’s beloved Camel’s Hump.
Fred was born on June 20, 1933, the son of Barbara L. Stearns and Luther C. Hackett of Burlington, VT. He was a graduate of Burlington High School in 1951 and received a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Vermont in 1955, where he was deeply involved with the Delta Psi Fraternity and the UVM Ski Team. Joining the UVM Air Force ROTC program, he then served from 1955-1959 in Texas, Japan and Hawaii. He was an intelligence officer in the 6920th Security Wing and received a certificate of Recognition by the Wing in 1958-1959.
In June of 1955 Fred married Sally L. Smith. After her graduation from UVM in 1956 she joined him in Texas for the rest of his tour in the Air Force.
In 1959 Fred returned to Vermont to join his father in a new insurance business. He was Chairman of Hackett, Valine and MacDonald Inc., Champlain Captive Management, Inc. and Benefit Investment Advisors, Inc. He was a Director of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association Board in the early era of the Captive Industry in Vermont.
In 1965 he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives from South Burlington. He served on the Appropriations Committee, and as Chairman from 1969-1970 and served as republican majority leader from 1967-1968. He was Chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee of the Vermont House and Senate in 1969. In 1972 he won the Republican Primary for Governor. He lost the Governor’s race to Thomas Salmon in the general election.
Fred served as Republican National Committeeman of Vermont from 1977-1979. He enjoyed serving on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1971-1972, 1991-2006, and as Chair from 1977-1984, and 1991- 2006. He was honored to receive the National Governors Association Award for Distinguished Service to state government in 1983. He was also Director of the Vermont Institute for Government Effectiveness.
Fred was an environmentalist. He proudly assisted with the legislation in 1969 for preservation of certain land abutting the Camel’s Hump State Park, creating a state-owned Forest Reserve that formed Camel’s Hump State Park. He was instrumental in the creation of ACT 250 and heavily involved with the Clean & Clear Task Force for Lake Champlain.
Early in his career he was active serving on Rotary, becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, a Director of the US Biathlon Association, a Director of the Central Vermont Railway, and was one of the founding Directors of the Vermont Community Foundation.
One of Fred’s greatest joys was being on the Board of the Howard bank. He served 26 years, with 15 years as Chairman of the Howard and then Banknorth Group, Inc. Fred was the founding Chairperson of the Vermont Technology Council and he served as Chair from 1992 to 1997. In 2001 he co-founded the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, and he served as Chair from 2001 to 2007. He was also the Chairperson of the Vermont EPSCoR program from 2001 to 2007.
Fred was a Director of the New England Telephone Co from 1981-1995, chairing the audit committee. He served as Directors of the Central Vermont Public Service Co. from 1979-2004, and Catamount Energy Corporation from 1981-2004. He also chaired Vermont Electric Power Company from 1983-2004.
Fred was a Director of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation and Associated Industries of Vermont and was honored by them in June of 1988 for Excellence in Economic Development. He also served as a Trustee of the Shelburne Museum, and as Treasurer from 1983-1991.
He loved his time on the UVM Board of Trustees from 1971-1977, 1986-1994 and chaired the Board from 1991-1993. He was awarded a Doctorate of Laws in 1979 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980.
Fred was recognized for his community service in 1990 by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year in 1997.
Fred Hackett is survived by Sally, his wife of 63 years, his son Luther Stephen Hackett and his wife Ruthann Clark Hackett of Williston, his daughter Elizabeth Hackett Robinson and her husband James B. Robinson of Weybridge. He leaves his five special grand daughters, Sarah and husband Scott Hackett-Dalgliesh, Stephanie, Kate, Hadley and Emily. He is also survived by his brother Thomas Hackett and wife Colleen and a sister, Sue and her husband Stephen Harris; his sister-in-law, Nancy Tracy, Debbie and her husband George Bedrin, and a brother-in-law, L. David Smith and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on November 3, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Shelburne, VT. A gathering of family and friends will be held following the service.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Fred’s memory may be sent to the Fred and Sally Hackett Scholarship Fund at UVM which provides assistance to Vermonters who demonstrate a commitment to community service. Recipients are enrolled in the School of Business Administration or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The UVM Foundation, 411 Main Street, Burlington VT 05401. Gifts may also be sent to the Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482.
The family would like to convey a special thank you to Dr. Chris Hebert, Dr. Joe Haddock and the wonderful caring staff at the Linden Health Center at Wake Robin.