Obituary: James Edward Little, 1952‑2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: James Edward Little, 1952‑2021 

Burlington man served on many civic and community organizations

click to enlarge Jim Little - COURTESY PHOTO
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  • Jim Little

James Edward Little was born in Burlington, Vt., on March 11, 1952, to George Edward Little Jr. and Barbara Elaine Burns Little. He died peacefully on February 11, 2021, surrounded by his family, from the cancer that suddenly returned and overwhelmed his body — but never dimmed his spirit.

Jim was born with a form of cerebral palsy that affected his legs and balance, but he was not defined by that disability; instead, he defined and conquered it. He bravely endured many surgeries and long physical therapies as a child and young man. He never complained about this and at an early age was a powerful example of courage and perseverance. Jim thrived in a loving family and was blessed with fiercely loyal friends. He enjoyed countless idyllic summers at the Little camp at Starr Farm Beach, camping trips around the country, swimming at the YMCA, playing golf, and following with love and joy the lives of his siblings, nieces, nephews and great-nephew. He was also the memory bank for the family’s history and stories.

He attended Taft Elementary School and Edmunds Junior High School and, in 1970, graduated from Burlington High School, where he was a member of the chorus and the Interact community service club. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1974; at UVM, Jim was a member of the Delta Psi fraternity. He remained an active Delt until his passing.

Jim worked at the George Little Press, Queen City Printers, and then the job from which he retired, Lake Champlain Transportation Company. Jim always had great praise for these employers. As in all aspects of his life, at work Jim was diligent, cheerful and always ready to help another.

One cannot say enough about Jim’s character and positive attitude, and his commitment to family and friends. We (and they) will never forget his sense of humor, wit and quick comebacks. His family and friends adored him.

Jim was blessed with a deep and abiding faith. A lifelong, third-generation member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Burlington, he served on many committees there, sang in the choir and volunteered at the Rock Point Summer Conferences. His St. Paul’s family was a big part of his life.

Jim also was active in local civic and community organizations, including Helping Hands, the Discovery Museum, the Interfaith Senior Citizen’s Center, the Greater Burlington Jaycees and the Vermont Masters Swim Club. He chaired a Burlington area ecumenical council dedicated to addressing the needs of low-income residents.

Jim was predeceased by his parents; by his grandparents, Stanley Livingston Burns Sr. and Christine Regina Bayer Burns, and George Edward Little Sr. and Susan Aurilla Mead Little; by his step-grandmother, Barbara W. Burns; by his nephew and godson, Thomas Bayer Chauncey Little; and by his cousins, Ann Elizabeth Thorsson Boblenz, Ray Torrance Bates II, John Gilbert Burns and Stanley Livingston Burns III.

Jim is survived by his siblings, Thomas Arthur Little and his wife, Susan Margaret Keelty Little; William George Little and his wife, Mary A. Roy; and Margaret Elaine Little Cicchetti and her husband, Albert A. (“Bert”) Cicchetti; by his nieces and nephews, Jessica Mead Little and her husband, Tyler D. Vincelette; Carolyn Phelps Little and her husband, Daniel P. Langevin; Julia Marie Cicchetti; Francis George Cicchetti and his fiancée, Erin Whitney; and Lisa Elaine Cicchetti; as well as by his great-nephew, Oliver Thomas Crosby. He is also survived by his cousins and their families, Susan Bates Cottrell, Christine Burns-DiBiasio, Liz Burns Vogel, Karen Elaine Thorsson Howell and Carla Christine Thorsson Zell.

Jim’s family is deeply grateful for the compassionate and attentive care he received at the UVM Medical Center Intensive Care Unit on McClure 4, and for the pastoral care and prayers of Deacon Stannard Baker, who joined Jim and his family in Jim’s final hours.

A service of Thanksgiving will be celebrated virtually on February 27, 2021, hosted by the St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Burlington. The remote access information will be published prior to the service. The family expects to host an in-person celebration of Jim’s life when the pandemic conditions permit.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Music Program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Little Family Fund at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, the Committee on Temporary Shelter, or the charity of one’s choice.

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