Vermont Freedom to Marry bids sad farewell to an early supporter, John Hall Cushman. Joseph Watson, who produced our first informational video in 1996, writes:
Sadly, I'm sharing the obituary of Vermont Freedom to Marry supporter Hall Cushman. Hall and his wife Marion appeared in our first informational video in 1996, speaking eloquently about how much their long-term marriage meant to them and how they wanted the same for their son.
It's so nice to notice how the survivors are listed in the obituary. He had three sons, and daughter in-law, and a son-in-law. Such simple language, but it would have been considered confusing back in '96. We've come a long way, thanks to the efforts of people like Hall and Marion.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — John Hall Cushman, 85, died at home at Friends House in Santa Rosa, Calif., on April 16, 2012. During the past year, he was cared for at home with deep love and grace by his wife, Marion, caregivers from The House of Esther and the staff of Memorial Hospice.
Hall was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1926 to Frederick Bennett Cushman and Isabel Norton Cushman. He attended the local public elementary school, Hoosac School in Hoosick, N.Y., and Governor Dummer Academy in South Byfield, Mass. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944–1946, earned a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1950. He remained a joyful Harvard Man his entire adult life.
Family was at the center of Hall’s life. He was passionately devoted to his wife of 62 years, Marion Gaines Cushman, whom he met on a blind date when he was 21 years old. He viewed his and Marion’s most fulfilling accomplishments to be their loving marriage and the three caring and responsible sons they raised — Frederick Bennett Cushman II, David Brand Cushman and John Hall Cushman Jr. Wherever they went, Hall and Marion cultivated an extensive and enduring chosen family of friends of all ages. And Hall took great pride in his family’s 200+ year history in Vermont, including ancestors who fought in the American Revolution and Civil War, founded the Norton Pottery and the H.T. Cushman Manufacturing Co.
Hall deeply touched many lives and will live on vividly in their hearts, especially his devoted family — his wife, Marion; his three sons, Ben, David and Hall Jr.; son in-law George Tuttle; daughter in-law Caroline Christian; and grandson Andrew Walker Cushman. We honor and celebrate his life and the love, warmth and insight that he brought to our lives.
Donations in Hall’s honor would be welcomed by Our Place Drop-In Center, 4 Island St., Bellows Falls, VT 05101; American Friends Service Committee, 65 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; or Memorial Hospice, 821 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401.