John Lancaster, 67, of South Londonderry

John C. Lancaster, 67, of South Londonderry, died suddenly at his home on Jan. 27, 2021.

He was born March 4, 1953 in Glen Ridge, N.J., the son of Joan C. and Edward S. (Ned) Lancaster  Jr. He was the oldest of four siblings.

His early school years were spent in Northborough, Mass., where he was involved with the Boy Scouts and many camping and outdoor activities. In 1963, the family moved to Litchfield, Conn.

Living next door to a dairy farm, he had early jobs delivering milk and helping bring in hay crops. He had early exposure to winter outdoor activities such as sledding, skiing and ice skating. He was also a member of the First Litchfield Artillery (an historic active re-enactment group that performed parade and cannon firing exhibitions throughout New England) with his father and brother, Ted. He attended Loomis/Chafee School in Windsor, Conn., where he excelled in his studies and was on the hockey team and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1972. John moved to Chester, Vt., that same year, thus beginning his lifetime love of the beautiful mountains of Vermont that whispered to him. They were his fountain and foundation.

John began his career in the ski industry as a snowmaker and lift operator at Magic Mountain in Londonderry. He was later a partner in Taylor Rental in Rutland and shared an independent tractor-trailer business, driving throughout the United States. For a time, he sold snowmaking equipment for HEDCO (a division of Dewey Electronics) in New Jersey. This was in the early development of the ability to create man-made snow, which was crucial to the growth of the weather dependent ski industry. Subsequently, he worked as operations manager at Brodie Mountain Ski Area in Lanesboro, Mass., and Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield, Mass. During these years he and Judith (Nash) met, married and had their son, Nash.

In 2004, the Vermont mountains called to him once again and the family moved to South Londonderry. John began work as General Manager at Magic Mountain. In early 2005, he began his career in Association Management at Stratton Mountain. Most recently he was the Community Manager to the Bear Creek, Fairway Meadows, Slopeside, Snowbridge, Stratton West, and Tamarack Heights Homeowner Associations, a position he held until his death. He also served as a long-standing member of the Town of Londonderry Development Review Board.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Judith; son, Nash, and his partner, Ashley, and their son – his beloved grandson and best buddy – Ryder; his daughter, Priscilla of Ft. Edward, N.Y.; his mother, Joan Lancaster of Boothbay Harbor, Maine; his maternal aunt, Lee Havens of Hingham, Mass.; brother Ted Lancaster (Mary Ann Fisher) of Waterville, Vt., and their sons, Sagen and Ellis; sisters Susan Lancaster (Peter Kunkel) of Taos, N.M., and Berry Lancaster of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and her children Alex Williams (Kale), and Abby Snell (Ed); sister-in-law Cynthia Nash (Paul Sheehan) and their daughter, Isabel and many loving cousins, friends, co-workers and neighbors (and his kitties).

He was pre-deceased by his father, Edward S. Lancaster and his brother-in-law, Todd Williams.

John will be remembered for his friendly, generous personality, his great love for his family and dear friends, and his quiet, even-handed approach to problem solving. He was always ready to assist anyone in need even at a moment’s notice. As frequently as he could, he donated to blood mobiles for the American Red Cross. His lifelong love of music was well-known especially ’70s rock which was always playing in the background in his truck and at home.

His favorite place was the family cottage in East Boothbay, Maine, a piece of heaven on Earth, delighting to be surrounded by extended family and friends, out on the water, cruising the islands offshore, fishing and being the family Clambake Master. The SNOWMN will be dearly missed by all.

John was an avid reader of science fiction and so in the words of one of his favorite authors, Robert A. Heinlein’s unique and fascinating protagonist, Lazarus Long, “There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in John’s memory to any one of the following charities: The American Red Cross, Champion Volunteer Fire Dept #5 of S. Londonderry,   the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad or The Stratton Foundation c/o Brewster-Shea Funeral Services P.O. Box 885 Manchester Center, VT 05255.

Due to Covid restrictions, services will be held on a future date. Mortuary services have been provided by the Brewster & Shea Funeral Service in Manchester.

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  1. Matthew Beck says:

    Dear Mrs. Lancaster,
    I am very sorry to hear about John’s passing. I am just, I’m sure, one of the many people who appreciated John for his exceptionally jovial personality.

    I interacted with John on various projects at Stratton Mt and he also trusted us to design your replacement on-site sewage disposal system. John also recommended us to your son for a project and you and I spoke on occasion.

    I shared some of my son’s (in Portland ME) music with him and he shared his love of music with me. We at Beck Engineering will surely miss John but will continue to remember his smiling face and good cheer.

    Respectfully,
    All of us at Beck Engineering
    Matthew Beck.

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