Sanborn Partridge passed away peacefully at Wake Robin Retirement Community in Shelburne, Vermont, on January 13, 2013.
He was born on April 30, 1915, in Proctor, Vermont, to Frank C. Partridge and Sarah Sanborn Partridge.
He graduated from Westminster School, Magna Cum Laude from Amherst College in 1936, and in 1939 he earned one of few combined degrees ever granted by Yale Law School and Harvard Business School.
During the next three years he practiced law in Rutland, was Town Grand Juror and got his private pilot license. From 1942 through 1945, he was in the Army Air Corps and the Army Air Force, becoming a first lieutenant in the intelligence section.
He did graduate work in geology at Yale from 1946 to 1950, and then taught geology first at the University of Kansas and then at Amherst College, and did extensive field work in Utah. He then returned to Vermont and became an expert in oriental rugs and old coins, especially Vermont coins, and was able to give a set of these to the Fleming Museum and another set to the American Numismatic Society.
From 1961 to 1970, he served in the Vermont General Assembly, and 1970 to 1981 in the Senate. (See the State of Vermont, House & Senate Resolution H.C.R. 23 in commemoration to Sanborn Partridge at: 2013 Vermont House & Senate Joint Resolution). He was a part of the “Young Turks,” a group of Republicans and Democrats who worked together on many projects for the good of Vermont including the highway sign bill, and reapportionment. He was a member of the executive board of the University of Vermont, serving as Chairman for one year. He also served on the boards for the Proctor, Rutland and Vermont Historical Societies, several library boards, the Rutland Hospital, the Red Cross and the Union Church of Proctor. He led over 25 canoe trips with the youth groups of the Union Church, and later even two trips from Wake Robin.
He was active with the Boy Scouts, serving as a scoutmaster, as President of the Green Mountain Council, on the Region One Executive Board, and the International Committee of the BSA’s National Board. He attended many international jamborees and was awarded the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope and the Order of the Arrow.
Sanborn Partridge spent his last years happily at Wake Robin, with his siblings. He was predeceased by his sister Frances Coulter and brother Charles, and is survived by his sister Ruth, brother David and sister-in-law Dee, eight nieces and nephews, 15 grandnieces and nephews, and 5 great-grandnieces and nephews.
His family cherishes their memories of his love of camping and the out-of-doors, and of his devotion to Vermont and its history. His family is grateful for the presence of Wake Robin and especially to the staff at Linden for the great care and support he received in his last five years. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Green Mountain Boy Scout Council or the Vermont Historical Society. (From: Rutland Herald Obituary)
Sanborn, always challenging himself even at the age of 92, attended the CPRA 2008 season opening event at Fort Ticonderoga. It was a lovely warm spring day in May and CPRA attendees had the Fort all to themselves. It was a memorable event and we were glad to be able to share this day with him.
Sanborn was a great supporter and friend of the Crown Point Road Association; serving as researcher, hike leader, officer and historian. In 1992, when it became apparent that the old guide book (published 1965) was out-of-date, Sanborn took to the road recording directions and calibrating mileages from marker to marker across the state. He compiled and edited the new marker book, including detailed maps and commentaries from early CPRA historians Flora Weeks and Martin Howe. The guide has since been re-printed three times with only minor revisions.
My Personal Remembrance:
Sanborn Partridge was a well respected geologist who possessed an extensive knowledge of the geology of New England, the Appalachian Mountains, and Atlantic Canada. I recall attending a Vermont Geological Society field trip in the late 1990′s which involved a hike up Mount Philo in Ferrisburgh. My Father Ellery and Sanborn were both along for the trip. I had just returned from a drilling project in Newfoundland the day before and when Sanborn heard of where I had been working (thanks to my Dad) he rolled right into an almost unbelievable story of his experience as a research geologist in Newfoundland (maybe when he was at Amherst College?). I don’t recall all the details, but the long and short of the story was that Sanborn and his colleagues had arrived on the island by ship and while exploring the geology of the highlands near what is now the Gros Morne Provincial Park, they stood on a remote peak high above the sea and watched their ship sink at it’s mooring! How the group got home from what was then, and what still is today, remote and exceedingly rugged terrain in Newfoundland I do not recall. I do, however, recall the smile on Sanborn’s face as he related this experience. The situation likely put his research group into quite a predicament, but my sense was that, for Sanborn, this was exactly the type of challenging experience that served to enrich his life – well lived.
Jim Purdy (Admin)