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Sean Francis Mullen

Published: 1/18/2020 3:01:06 AM
Modified: 1/18/2020 3:00:10 AM

THETFORD CENTER, VT — Sean Francis Mullen, age 67, died peacefully at home in Thetford Center, Vermont on January 13, 2020, surrounded by family. The cause was brain cancer. He was born on April 1, 1952 in Gloversville, NY where his parents Francis and Valerie Mullen had a glove manufacturing business. He spent his childhood in Upstate New York and Hanover, NH.

Sean was a 1970 graduate of Hanover High School, where as goalkeeper he helped lead varsity soccer to its first state championship in 1968. His verve not limited to sports, Sean also cofounded and coedited Hanover High’s radical antiwar, antiestablishment Advarp newspaper. After high school, he was reluctant to follow a typical path, instead choosing to spend a year in Europe and Israel visiting cousins, traveling, and working on a kibbutz. Upon his return, Sean studied at Goddard College and, decades later in anticipation of fatherhood, finally completed a BA in English at the University of NH. He met some of his closest, lifelong friends in Hanover and at Goddard.

In 1974 Sean chose to root his life in Thetford, earning a living as a waiter, carpenter, and special education paraprofessional. Sharply intellectual and connected to place, Sean spent as much time consuming books of history and literature as he did working the land to create his home at the end of Poor Farm Road. Sean was also engaged in his community, both serving on and chairing the Thetford Development Review Board and working at Thetford Academy until his cancer diagnosis in 2019. He remained an infectious lover of sports, coaching and refereeing throughout his life in Thetford. For a New Englander, he was also iconoclastic in his choice of teams: a diehard fan of the Baltimore Orioles, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and all underdogs.

Sean will be remembered for having lived a self-reliant and determined life characterized by kindness, community, humor, positivity, persistence, political resolve, and a love for firewood, brush fires, and backyard sugaring. He would also readily admit to a hefty dose of hardheadedness. Sean took pride in knowing that the works of his physical labor would outlive him as well as his legacy as a father to many sons-his son, Evan; his stepsons, Sam and Matthew; and his nephews, Nils and Seamus. In his words, his greatest accomplishment was “Poor Farm Road until the birth of Evan.”

Sean is survived by his wife, Judy Harvey of Thetford Center; son, Evan Mullen of Brooklyn, NY; stepsons Sam Williams of Jackson Hole, WY and Matthew Williams (Nina Otter) of Moretown, VT; sister Tara Mullen (William Lockwood) of Charlotte, VT; nephews, Nils Mellquist (Daria Sanford) of Brooklyn, NY and Seamus Mullen of Los Angeles, CA; former wife, Dr. Julie Fago (John Fago) of Bethel, VT; dog, the intrepid Corgi Xavi; and dozens and dozens of friends and cousins scattered throughout the US and Europe.

A memorial for Sean will be planned for later this year when the weather is warm and mud-season has concluded; details will be sent at a later date.

Sean’s family would like to thank all those who cared for him at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Bayada Hospice Care and express gratitude to his wonderful and loving community of friends and neighbors for their support and compassion. In Sean’s memory, contributions may be made to the Sean Mullen Memorial Child’s Pond Fund (c/o Steven Bradley 144 Tucker Hill Road Thetford Center, VT 05075) or Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (784 Hercules Drive, Suite 110, Colchester, VT 05446).

Condolences may be made to his family at an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com

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