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Remembering People and Places (1/00)

Pirk Pirkanen

Many longtime Burlington Section members attended a memorial service for Walfrid E. Pirk Pirkanen in Middlebury on November 7. Pirk and his wife Dot were active members of the section when they lived in Burlington in the seventies, and in the Middlebury-centered Bread Loaf Section after their move to Starksboro twenty years ago.

Until recently they were adopters of Duck Brook Shelter on the LT. They were also Thursday volunteers at club headquarters where they were beloved by staff and other volunteers. Pirk was a former director of the Green Mountain Club.


Be a Part of History

As the new Burlington Section historian, I'm finding much information and many records from the past. Our past is fascinating, but we're also making history right now. Don't let this history go un-recorded.

I've started a section photo album and would appreciate any pictures youd like to share. I will make computer copies and return the originals to you. Pictures showing section events for example, trail work or hikes and clear pictures of members, would be especially welcome. If possible, identify all people in the photos.

Scenery and wildlife photos, while they are often my favorites, are not appropriate for this purpose. Pictures of non-section events are also not needed. We could make an exception and include GMC or other outings and work trips if they include a clear picture of a section member of whom we don't have other photos.

It’s also possible to use slides, but this is a more expensive process. I would use them if they are not duplicates and if we have an appropriate number (approximately 25-50) to make a computer disk. This could include slides from several people.

To contact me, write to 7 Patrick St., Burlington, VT 05401.



Following Pirk's death from cancer on October 15, a Burlington Section member wrote about the wonderful dinners that the Pirk's put on for all the hike leaders when they were outing chairpersons. Everything they did had a special warmth and excitement. People wanted to lead hikes because of the fellowship they provided. Another member said “If there was a prize for bringing the most laughter and joy to Burlington Section outings over many years, it would surely go to Dot and Pirk."

The GMC has lost a dedicated member. Many of us have lost a friend.


Sumner Williams

Summer Williams, a member of the Burlington Section, died October 11, 1999.

Sumner became an official adopter of Puffer Shelter in 1992. But I was told he had been looking after the shelter long before that. He loved the outdoors and the remoteness of this shelter location. On his own he carried roofing in stages to the site and replaced the roof. Concerned about hiker safety, he also helped remove the decaying fire tower on Bolton Mountain.

Sumner did volunteer work at Puffer during the week. Weekends were time to be spent with his family. He told me he became involved because he wanted the Long Trail to be there for his children.

Several Burlington Section outings were held at the Proctor Maple Research Center where Sumner worked. He was a friendly and gracious host and guide. We will miss him, his work, and his special talents.