Obituary: Douglas Tudhope, 1927-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Douglas Tudhope, 1927-2022 

Former Vermont representative and businessman remembered for his innumerable contributions to his community

Published October 21, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated October 21, 2022 at 12:14 p.m.

Douglas Tudhope - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Douglas Tudhope
Douglas Tudhope died peacefully at his home in North Hero, Vt., on October 8, 2022. Doug was born on March 7, 1927, to Katherine Branch Tudhope and Ira Tudhope. He attended Burlington High School and graduated in 1945, at which time he joined the U.S. Navy as an underwater demolitionist, or “Frogman.” Doug then attended the University of Vermont where he was a member of the Sigma Phi fraternity, and he graduated with a history degree in 1950. As teenagers, Doug and Netta “Billie” Engel met at a town hall dance, and it wasn’t long before they married in 1951. The two were together for 69 years and had three daughters: Sandra, Jane, and Mary.

Doug graduated with a master’s degree in teaching in 1968 and was an incredibly devoted educator. He taught at Richford High School, where he coached men and women’s baseball, as well as women’s basketball. Doug would go on to teach history at Shelburne High School and South Burlington High School and was president of the Vermont Education Association from 1971 to 1972. He was appointed to the State Board of Education in 1987 by Governor Madeleine Kunin and was the founding president of the North Hero Educational Foundation. Doug also founded the Public Issues and World Affairs course at South Burlington High School, a course that remains to this day.
Doug was also a seasoned businessman and politician. In 1958, he founded the Tudhope Marine Company and later expanded to include Tudhope Sailing Center. In 1980, he became president of the Tudhope/White Real Estate Partnership, formed to purchase Shore Acres Inn & Restaurant, next door to his home. He was also on the board of directors for the Franklin Lamoille Bank.
Doug’s contributions to government were innumerable. He served three terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, and for six years of that time, he was on the Appropriations Committee. He was president of the Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the board of selectmen in North Hero. Doug was also president of the Vermont Humanities Organization and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1976.

It cannot be overstated how much Doug gave to the community of North Hero. For 13 years, he was moderator on the select board of the North Hero Town Government, a title he was justly proud of. Doug was a figurehead in the restoration of both the North Hero United Methodist Church and its accompanying parsonage. He was chairman of the First Committee, which worked to restore and preserve North Hero’s community hall. Doug was chair of capital fundraising for the Island Arts Center and was given the title of honorary director.

Doug’s accomplishments speak for themselves, but his legacy doesn’t end there. Doug’s family and friends fondly remember him as a generous, kind and loving person. He had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh. Doug was also an avid golfer and bridge player — and fiercely competitive at both!
Doug is survived by his sister, Janet; his daughter, Mary; his grandchildren, Ben Shearer, Dan Shearer, Courtney Shearer, Sarah Bowley and Peter Bowley; and his great-grandchildren, Amelia, Henry, Valerie and Charlie. A private family gathering is being held in Doug’s honor, but another service open to the public may be happening next summer. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Island Arts Center, an organization that Doug was proud to be a part of. Donations can be sent to Island Arts, 1127 U.S. Rte. 2, P.O. Box 108, North Hero, VT, 05474, or online through islandarts.org.
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