Gene Sargent, 90, of Chittenden, formerly of Chester

Gene F. Sargent of Chittenden passed away at Rutland Regional Medical Center on the night of Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 after a short stay. He was 90 years old.

Gene was a social butterfly, chatting and sharing stories with the many visitors to his hospital bed up until the end. Beyond his social tendencies, he was compassionate, loved animals (in particular dogs), made friends with any stranger, was a hard worker and loved his family. Many things brought him joy, but a few particulars include fishing, hunting with his brothers in both Chittenden and Worcester, Red Sox baseball and antique cars. Throughout his life, Gene cared deeply about his connections with his family and friends, sense of place, community and faith.

He was born on Aug. 8, 1933 in Rutland to father Fletcher Sargent and mother Grace (Briggs) Sargent. He was one of seven children, having two sisters Sandra and Marylyn and four brothers Jack, Bill, Bob and David. In 1943, the family moved to Maple Lane Farm in Chittenden

Gene met his future wife Glenna Wilder at a local dance, and they were married shortly after on Aug. 15, 1959. Glenna was the love of his life, and they were married for almost 60 years until her death in 2018.

Glenna and Gene had four children: daughters Glenna (Sargent) Cole; Janet (Sargent) Van Alstyne; and Paula (Sargent) Vanasse, and son Matthew Sargent. Gene’s personal relationships meant the world to him. He is predeceased by his parents Fletcher and Grace Sargent, brother John “Jack” Sargent and his beautiful wife Glenna Sargent. Gene is survived by all four of his children, dozens of cousins, nieces, nephews, several grandchildren, a handful of great grandchildren and hundreds of friends.

With his family, Gene lived and worked in several places over the years, including New Milford, Conn., where he was an engineer for the highway department, and in Vermont, Lower Bartonsville, where he briefly worked for the Town of Rockingham’s road department, and Chester, where he launched his small business, the Two Sargents Real Estate. However, his heart always pulled him back to Chittenden. And, after being away, for decades he and his wife returned in 2006 to a piece of land that was once a part of his childhood farm. The location had great meaning to him.

Gene was always involved in his community, no matter where he was living, and cared genuinely about giving back. During the course of his life, he was involved with the Rotary Club, Chittenden Senior Group and the American Legion. Additionally, he served his country in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Korean War and has spoken proudly about it publicly at events in Chittenden. After his military service, he graduated from Vermont Technical College in Randolph in 1959.

His faith was central to who he was. Over the years he attended church gatherings at the Congregational Church in Chester and the Mount Carmel Community Church in Chittenden. He embodied the values of his religious beliefs in particular that of appreciation. When asked on Thanksgiving, just two weeks before his passing, about what he was thankful for he responded, “I have a whole mountain full of grateful.”

Memorial services for Gene are planned for the spring of 2024 in Chittenden and burial will follow in the Horton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Mt. Carmel Community Church,  P.O.Box 86, Chittenden, VT 05737 and to the Chittenden Volunteer Fire Department, 266 Chittenden Road, Chittenden, VT 05737.

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  1. Frankie Popilowski says:

    Papa Gene.. He didn’t want me to call him Mr Sargent. He wanted me to call him Gene. I couldn’t do that because of the respect I have for him. He came up with Papa Gene. We had many, many great talks. Great laughs. He & Glenna changed my life way back in the days of Nicholas Square in New Milford,CT. I have been greatful every day of my life. I know he missed his beautiful bride. I am happy knowing they are together now.
    He told me he adopted an older dog (her name escapes me). She helped him as much as he helped her. He has the biggest heart. He loved all of you so much..
    I miss him so much. I still go to call him. Thank you Janet for letting me talk with him when he was in the hospital. Thank you Glenna gene for texting me & keeping me posted about your Dad’s condition. I will be there in the spring.
    Love to you all, Frankie