The sudden passing of Rich Svec, former Cavendish Town manager, on Town Meeting Day (March 5, 2018) has been a shock to the community. Having worked for the town for almost 30 years, and continuing to serve the community in his retirement in various capacities, this Monday was the first town meeting that many attended where Rich was not present.
In an incredible show of strength and courage, the town office-Brendan McNamara, town manager, Bruce McEnaney, Asst. Town Manager; Diane McNamara, Clerk; Jen Leak and Ginny Garrow-made sure that the Annual Town Meeting went off without a hitch. "Rich would have expected this of us," was a frequently heard comment.
Rich's contributions to Cavendish are lengthy and he has steered the town through revitalization (Proctorsville Green and village); the recovery from tropical storm Irene without the town having to go into debt; and the installation of solar power to name just a few. However, it was his human touch that people are talking about. One family wrote, "Rich always treated us so well even though we were the worst at paying our taxes etc. on time."
Cynthia Stoddard wrote " As a new Town Manager a few years ago, he always made me feel so welcome and at ease when we all gathered together. He will be missed by so many."
Steve Birge summed up what many are writing on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page. Such a great man, a very special man. He will be missed beyond words.
What free time he had, Rich was devoted to his family-his wife Peggy and children Max and Kathryn. However, he had a serious addiction-curling! In fact, he recruited others in town to play on his team. In fact, when the US Men's Olympic Curling team won in February, we were only too happy to direct people to Rich who wanted to know more about the sport and how they could participate.
Many have asked about services. At the family’s request, we are posting the following information: There are no services at this time. However, early in the summer there will be a celebration of life for Rich. It will be piggybacked with the dedication of the Proctorsville Town Green, as it will be the twentieth anniversary of his much loved community project.
If you wish to make a donation in his memory, the family has selected the following, that were very near and dear to him:
• Upper Valley Curling Club 69 Kings Highway West Windsor, Vermont 05089
• Cavendish Family Fund. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Cavendish, with the reference/subject listing: Cavendish Family Fund. They can be mailed to Cavendish Town Office, PO Box 126, Cavendish, Vermont 05142. Donations can also be dropped off at the Town Office during normal working hours
As much as Cavendish is grieving the loss of Rich, we know how much harder it is for his wife, children and family. We send to them are sympathies, love and the knowledge that we will be for them in the same way Rich was always there for the town.
An obituary will be forth coming and we will keep the town informed about the Celebration of Life.