Obituary: Laurie Tedford, 1961-2020 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Laurie Tedford, 1961-2020

Woman with Down syndrome said 'I can do it!' — and she did

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Laurie Tedford
  • Laurie Tedford

Laurie Tedford, 58, daughter of Walter “Ted” and Marie Tedford of Underhill Center, died peacefully at Pennington House group home in Burlington on Sunday, February 2.

Laurie was born on July 26, 1961, in Manchester, Conn. She graduated from Essex (Vt.) High School’s Diversified Program.

Laurie had Down syndrome but never let that stop her. Her refrain was, “I can do it!” And she did. She learned to read and write and engage the world. She loved life.

Laurie was a longtime client at Champlain Community Services (CCS) in Colchester, and she worked part time for more than 10 years at the Visiting Nurses Association in Colchester. She also worked part time at August First bakery and café in Burlington.

She loved listening to music, especially Willie Nelson and Fleetwood Mac, among other musicians in her CD collection. She enjoyed the annual picnic sponsored by CCS and was ever ready to get up and dance.

She loved being with people. At gatherings every year, Laurie composed an essay she would read aloud to family and friends. She was happy to be a writer, just as many in her family are. She often wrote on her computer, and she sang karaoke with her cousin, using her own karaoke machine kept in her neat-as-a-pin bedroom.

Laurie loved to travel, and for many years she drove with her parents to visit family in Tennessee in the spring. She loved the ocean and enjoyed vacations in Maine and Cape Cod.

Laurie is survived by her parents and brothers and sisters; their wives and husbands; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and cousins across the United States and Canada.

This is a poem Laurie wrote that was published in the CCS newsletter, "DIY":

SPRING

I like spring very much

Yes I do like going for a walk in the park

Yes I am so happy

Spring is here to stay

Yes that makes me very happy

To be here to look at it

Flowers come out in the spring

I love going for walks and

All the beautiful things

The sky is blue and clouds are white.

Laurie is greatly missed.

No immediate service is planned. A memorial celebration will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Champlain Community Services, 512 Troy Ave., Colchester, VT 05446.

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