Obituary: Virginia Ann Baker McLoughlin, 1931-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Virginia Ann Baker McLoughlin, 1931-2022 

Civic-minded Charlotte woman was active volunteer and served as a delegate for Howard Dean's presidential campaign

Published August 23, 2022 at 6:05 a.m. | Updated August 23, 2022 at 1:26 p.m.

click to enlarge Virginia Ann Baker McLoughlin - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Virginia Ann Baker McLoughlin
Virginia Ann Baker McLoughlin, 91, of the Terraces in Shelburne, passed away on Thursday, August 18, at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Although her death was sudden, it was peaceful, and she was surrounded by family.

She was born on July 6, 1931, in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Lester and Dorothy Freeland Baker. She was a graduate of Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, N.J., and earned a BA from Denison University, class of 1953, where she majored in history with a minor in math. She also studied at Champlain College, the University of Vermont and the Sorbonne Université in Paris, France.

While there, she was swept off her feet by her future husband, Samuel McLoughlin. Sam was on the GI bill after World War II. The two toured around Europe on Sam’s motorcycle, with Virginia in the sidecar. They were married in Paris, France, then moved to Long Island for a brief time before finally settling in Charlotte, Vt., where the Baker family has a long history. As a youngster, she spent her summers swimming in the lake, playing tennis, and romping in the lakeside woods on Thompson’s Point with the whole Baker clan. Virginia raised her children in a beautiful old farmhouse at the foot of Mount Philo, where she spent the next 60 years.

Over the years, she worked at Champlain Valley Union High School, Colonial Distributors, the Lake Champlain Committee, Shelburne Museum, Champlain Valley Work and Training Programs, and as the director of human resources at Porter Medical Center, where she eventually retired after 20 years. Being civic-minded, she was very active in volunteer efforts and local politics, including the Charlotte Planning Committee, the Charlotte Senior Center Board and the Vermont Mozart Festival. She served as a delegate for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and volunteered for other political campaigns.

Along with volunteering, Virginia led an abundantly full life. You could find her oil painting a landscape; tracking woodland creatures in the snow; identifying wildflowers; cooking up unique concoctions; blazing secret trails to the top of Mt. Philo; traveling the world with her sister on birdwatching trips, going from one elder hostel to another; tending her vegetable and flower gardens; attending theater performances; snowshoeing and cross-country skiing; and engaging in an array of arts and cultural activities. She was always up for a party and a back-road adventure. She was inherently vibrant, often sassy, perpetually joyful, quick-witted while being full of laughter … and she smiled until the end.

She is survived by her daughter, Sharon McLoughlin Riley, of Cape Cod; her son, Geoffrey Lee, and wife, Wendy Auer McLoughlin, of South Burlington; granddaughters, Emily Baker Riley of South Burlington and Laura Stevens Riley of Philadelphia; her older sister, Barbara Joan Baker, of Shelburne; along with many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, August 25, at 3:00 p.m., at the Charlotte Congregational Church Vestry, 403 Church Hill Road, Charlotte, VT 05445. We invite all to attend and share their memories of Virginia. 
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