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Edith (Rudd) Kent

Montpelier, Vt. — Edith Rairden (Rudd) Kent, 93 of Montpelier died of natural causes Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at Westview Meadows, her home of the last 10 years, surrounded by her loving family.

Born Oct. 5, 1920, in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, Mrs. Kent was the daughter of Herbert Finley Rudd and Dr. Anna (Corlies) Rudd, who were working in higher education and medicine respectively. The family returned to the United States six months after Edith’s birth and made their home in Durham, N.H., where Edie graduated from Durham High School. She attended the New College, Columbia University, N.Y., and the University of New Hampshire graduating in 1942. She earned her Masters in Nursing from Yale University in 1945.

During World War II she served with distinction in the Army Nurse Corps, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant. While serving at Cushing General Hospital in Framingham, Mass., she met her husband to be while he was a patient, having been wounded while serving with the 10th Mountain Division.

Edie married Hollister “Sam” Kent in Packard Falls, N.H. in 1947. Sam was the son of Ira Rich Kent and Louise Andrews Kent of Brookline, Mass. and Kent’s Corner, Calais, Vt. They began their life together in Hempstead, N.Y. where Edith worked in Public Health for the Nassau County Dept. of Health and Sam worked in admissions at Hofstra University. Throughout the early 1950’s the family was based in Ithaca, NY while Sam worked on his PhD in Urban Planning at Cornell University and Edie birthed and raised their four children. During this time, Sam’s work took the family to Brazil and British Columbia, where in both places Edie utilized her nursing skills in the local communities influencing what would become a lifelong interest in community health care.

In Syracuse, N.Y., she continued her commitment to public health while working at Planned Parenthood and the New York State Mental Health Research Unit. In 1968, Sam’s work brought them to Norwich, Vt., where Edith was instrumental in creating home health agencies in Vermont and New Hampshire while Sam consulted and taught at Dartmouth College.

Edie’s life took a turn in 1974 when her husband died suddenly of a heart attack. Edie continued to raise her family, and then in 1979 with her children grown, she further expanded her education in California with the study of complementary healing practices, including acupressure and Reiki. She spent the next 25 years of her life in Montpelier, committed to alternative modes of healing, expanding her knowledge, and teaching as a Reiki Master. Through her private practice she not only treated many individuals, but trained others, working with local physicians, nurses and many alternative health care providers. She was an active member of the Vermont Massage Guild and Christ Church Episcopal where she was a strong member of the choir. Over the last 10 years she has brightened her Westview Meadows family with healing, loving friendship, and a deep sense of community support. She will be missed by all.

Survivors include her son, Bruce Rairden Kent and wife, Daryl Janick Kent of El Cerrito, Calif.; daughter, Polly Kent Campion and husband, James Walsh Campion of Etna, N.H.; son, Timothy Rich Kent and wife, Lisa Marcoux Kent of Hyde Park, Vt.; son, Nicholas Coburn Kent and wife, Amanda McQuiddy Kent; step-daughter, Margaret Ann Kent Wilkinson and husband, Gregory Wilkinson of Anchorage, Alaska; and six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. She had seven nephews and six nieces. Her husband, her mother, her father, two brothers, William and Ralph Rudd, and sister Carol Rudd Ward preceded her in death.

A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, June 9 at 3 p.m. at Westview Meadows, Montpelier. A graveside memorial will be held later this summer for the family at Robinson Cemetery in Kents Corner, Calais, Vt.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions in memorial to Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, The People’s Health and Wellness Clinic in Barre, Vt., your local Planned Parenthood, or to one’s favorite charity.