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1176 Main Street
Fairfax, VT 05454
Phone: 802-849-6261
Fax: 802-849-6262
Laurie Huse

Laurie B. Huse

Saturday, March 4th, 1950 - Saturday, May 9th, 2020
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Obituary

Laurie Balch Huse, 70, of South Hero passed away peacefully on May 9, 2020. Her husband, Art, was at her side, as he has been, throughout their 48 year marriage and her 38 year struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. Laurie was born in Middlebury on March 4, 1950, daughter of the late Lois Ann Skillings.

In her school–age-years Laurie moved frequently, graduating from Essex Junction High School in 1968 and from the University of Vermont in 1972. She married Art Huse, in 1972.

Laurie taught seventh grade English at St. Albans City Elementary School for seven years. She then joined the staff at Vermont National Education Association (VT-NEA), where she was Communications Director for more than 30 years. Laurie was dedicated to the betterment of her former teaching colleagues, public education, and her union.

Laurie edited the VT-NEA newspaper "Vermont NEA Today". She also organized the annual Vermont Teachers Convention - considered to be the best in New England. Laurie created the first VT-NEA website and edited an electronic newsletter for Vermont teachers. She also travelled around the country to train other NEA Communication Directors.

As Communications Director, Laurie played a pivotal role in organizing and managing teacher strikes across Vermont. Vermont NEA Executive Director, Joel Cook, later wrote "When she retired in 2006, she took with her the accumulated wisdom of this organization's history and its prudent approach to the use of the strike as a means to help local unions to resolve negotiations with their employers. It is in large measure because of her skills and judgment that out of the 3,000 or so contract negotiations around the state during her career, there were only two dozen school strikes. Laurie lived each of those strikes with our members, walking the picket line until a settlement was reached."

Laurie retired in 2006, maintaining several long and valued friendships that grew from her career. In 2013, She completed her book "Events In Vermont-NEA History, Teacher Strikes, 1978 To 2006". While living in Fairfax in the 1980s, she co-edited town newspaper "The Fairfax News" with her husband Art. She produced church member directories and pamphlets for the Congregational Church of South Hero.

Laurie was a member of the Vermont Human Rights Commission. During the push to pass the E.R.A., She flew to Arkansas to lobby then Governor Bill Clinton to help pass the E.R.A. there. Laurie won many national and regional awards for here work at VT-NEA.

Laurie strongly valued her friends, family, and the Island Community of South Hero. She loved flower gardening, the change of seasons and observing nature at their small cottage on Keeler Bay. She cherished her bridge games with so many players in the islands.

She was a teacher, educator, volunteer, and always a good and thoughtful friend. Those who knew her will miss her generous spirit and sharp sense of humor.

Laurie is survived by her husband, Arthur Huse of South Hero, her brothers, Matthew Balch of Ripton, VT, David Balch of Bonifay, FL and sisters, Jamie Balch of Essex Junction, VT, and Martha Balch of Stow, OH. She leaves a niece, several nephews, and many treasured friends.

At her request, there will be no calling hours. A private scattering of ashes will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in her memory, to Franklin County Animal Rescue, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans, VT 05478.

The family thanks all the staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center for their compassionate care.

Messages of condolence / remembrance can be made on line at – awrfh.com.
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Service Details

At her request, there will be no calling hours. A private scattering of ashes will occur at a later date.

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: Franklin County Animal Rescue.

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Private Condolence
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Angelo Dorta

Posted at 12:06pm

May 22, 2020
Art and Family Members,

Were saddened to read the news of Lauries recent passing and offer our deepest condolences. Your decades of mutual love and devotion and the constant care you personally provided her, Art, were an inspiration to many of us.

To us, Lauries life exemplified fierce courage and determination, an intense spirit of independence, and a powerful commitment to the welfare of Vermont-NEA and its union members. Despite mounting physical challenges caused by MS, these laudable attributes were clearly evident for nearly 30 years as she traveled to the Montpelier office almost daily and also around the state to provide her knowledge and assistance to meet the needs and advance the interests of teachers and students, school support staff, and local Associations. As such, Lauries life has lasting impact on our personal and professional lives and on the well-being of unions and public education in Vermont, a state she loved so much. Laurie will be remembered long after her passing, and our thanks to both of you, Laurie and Art, for all youve given us.

Angelo and Peggy Dorta
PG

Paul Garrett

Posted at 07:00am
I just learned of Laurie's passing. What a loss! I first met Laurie in the 1970's when teaching in Springfield, VT. I was a co-editor of the association newsletter, and Laurie was very helpful in making it better. Laurie noticed some sketches I did at a meeting, and I'm very proud that she asked me to create some cartoons for the Vermont NEA Today newspaper, something I never would have tried without her encouragement. She was very supportive of teachers and played a big role in the success of VT-NEA. My condolences to her family.
EM

Ellen Morris

Posted at 11:26am
When I began teaching in Colchester and joined the Vermont NEA, I met Laurie. When I began working on the Colchester teachers’ newsletter she mentored me though the process. And when I worked at UVM Continuing Education Laurie made sure I had a booth to represent UVM and the College of Education & Social Services at the VT NEA conference each fall. No matter what the question, we’d always just “ask Laurie”. And no matter how busy, Laurie always had time for a quick chat while flashing that warm smile. Thanks to Laurie for her many contributions to education in Vermont.
Ellen Morris

CC

Cindy Coon

Posted at 12:45pm
Laurie was my 7th grade ELA in the mid 1970s, just beginning her career. Having pursued a career in education myself, I am gratified to learn of her subsequent work in advocacy for teachers through the NEA. She certainly left her mark on the lives of many students and teachers. I am sorry to hear of her struggle with MS and of her passing, My deepest sympathy to her husband and family.
Cindy Coon
LB

Laurie Barnett

Posted at 09:36am
Art, I was so sorry to hear of Laurie's passing. Wrapping you in thoughts, prayers and hugs.

Laurie Barnett
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