Obituary: John Maurice Fagan, 1951-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: John Maurice Fagan, 1951-2024 

Wine connoisseur was an accomplished builder, expert skier and guitar player who loved preparing meals for family and friends

Published January 18, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

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John Maurice Fagan passed away at his home in Waterbury, Vt., on January 11, 2024. Born in Stratford, Conn., in 1951 to Eulalia (Connors) and Leo James Fagan, he enjoyed helping where needed in the family’s restaurant, Fagan’s. John enjoyed spending his summers with the family at his grandfather’s camp on Caspian Lake in Greensboro, Vt., so much so that he moved to Vermont at age 18. As a young man, John developed a talent for building A-frame houses and built one for himself in South Woodbury, where he lived off-grid for 10 years. During that time, John founded a timber-framing company, Entwood Construction, and built post-and-beam homes and barns throughout the U.S. and French West Indies.

John was an accomplished guitar player. When not building houses, he was the guitar accompanist to Vermont’s champion old-time fiddler, Raymond Anair. Together they performed in the house band at Ray & Lucy’s Café in Hardwick. Many well-known bluegrass, rock and country musicians sat in with them.

Having grown up in the restaurant industry, John’s in-depth knowledge of wine led to a position as a wine director at Calmont Beverage Company, which he held for 37 years. In 2018, he started his own business as an independent wine broker, serving Vermont and Maine.

In 1995, John married Laura Hartley, who he met while building a post-and-beam home in New Jersey. Their fraternal twins, Kyle and Colleen, were born in 1999.

John was a true outdoorsman. He was an expert skier who loved the challenge of black diamond trails and backcountry skiing with the crew. He also loved hiking, biking and exploring all that nature offered. Another passion of John’s was gardening. He took immense pleasure in preparing meals for family and friends with vegetables from his garden and the perfect wine from his cellar. A meal with John was always a culinary feast.

John is survived by his wife, Laura (Hartley) Fagan; his daughter, Colleen Fagan; his son, Kyle Fagan; his sister, Lynne Fagan; his stepmother, Alanna Fagan; and his stepbrothers, Daniel and Charles Lay II. The family is planning a celebration of life in the spring, at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to Protect Our Wildlife Vermont or Vermont Food Bank .

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