Larry Mandell MONTPELIER — Larry Mandell, 72, passed away surrounded by family and friends on Jan. 21, 2019, after a short and unexpected illness. Larry was born on Oct. 25, 1946, in Willimantic, Connecticut, the second son of Jack and Lillian Mandell's three boys. Larry spent his childhood playing on his school and Little League baseball teams and playing sandlot ball with his brothers and cousins in the neighborhood. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1968 and Boston College Law School in 1974. Between college and law school, Larry and his college roommate, Bob Elson, spent a memorable year on Vashon Island off the coast of Washington State. During a visit to Seattle, Larry met and fell in love with a young teacher named Marcie Andres. That summer, Larry planted his first vegetable garden. He proudly presented Marcie with the first head of lettuce he ever harvested. In addition to working in his garden, Larry and Bob built a 15-foot yellow fiberglass canoe. As summer ended, Larry and Marcie packed everything they owned into Larry’s 1968 Volkswagen Bug, strapped the canoe to the roof, and drove across country to Boston so Larry could start law school. Larry and Marcie loved living in Boston and Marcie was a little bit surprised when, after law school, Larry announced that they were moving to Vermont. During the Vermont bar review class in the summer of 1974, Larry met a cohort of idealistic young lawyers who would remain lifelong friends. Marcie and Larry were married that fall at the Greenhurst Inn in Bethel, within sight of the inn’s tennis courts. In 1975, Robert Brower and Larry used a federal job training grant to start Woodbury Associates. Woodbury’s first program trained unemployed Vermonters for careers in the newly emerging paralegal field. Larry believed that, in a democracy, everyone should understand something about the law and didn’t think people should have to go to law school to do it. Robert was an educator with a background in experiential learning. Their shared vision for democratic, student-centered learning guided Woodbury’s pedagogy for decades to come. Woodbury transformed the lives of its students and its graduates transformed their communities in many ways. Woodbury grads include advocates, nonprofit leaders, lawyers who read for the law, government commissioners, legislators and a Vermont Supreme Court justice. Larry became president of Woodbury in 1982. Over the next 30 years, he and the dedicated faculty and staff transformed the school into a fully accredited college, eventually offering a bachelor’s degrees in Prevention and Community Development, a groundbreaking nationally recognized master’s degree in Mediation, and an innovative online Master of Science in Law. Woodbury merged with Champlain College in 2009. While still leading Woodbury, Larry served as the chair of the board of the Vermont Community Foundation and on the Accreditation Committee of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. After he retired, he became the chair of the board of the Public Assets Institute where he became more involved with policy to promote racial, social and economic equity. In 1976, Larry and Marcie moved into an old farmhouse in Middlesex where they raised their daughter, Bekah, and their son, Jeff. They were active members of the community. Marcie taught at Rumney for 25 years. Larry coached the kids' T-ball teams and he and the kids had a huge vegetable garden. In 2016, Bekah and her family purchased the farmhouse and Larry and Marcie moved into Montpelier. They transitioned into life in town, walking to the movies, out to dinner and to classes at the Senior Center. Larry was the best husband, father and grandfather. He was incredibly proud of his kids and was an irreplaceable mentor to both of them. His daughter, Bekah, taught at Woodbury after she graduated from law school. Larry loved working with her on social justice projects in Vermont. His son, Jeff, earned a master’s in Mediation from Woodbury and trained students in the Mediation program after he graduated. He went on to apply those skills as a program director with Kids4Peace International. More recently, Larry was a regular in Jeff’s Men’s Yoga class at the Montpelier Senior Center and he never missed one of Jeff’s AcroYoga performances. Larry loved being a grandparent and was an integral part of his grandchildren’s lives. Every Thursday, he took his grandson, Loren, and then later, his granddaughter, Calla, to music class and then out to lunch in Montpelier. A lifelong baseball and tennis player, Larry developed a passion for golf as he neared retirement. He was a quick study, going from spending most of his time in the rough to winning tournaments within just a few years. Last fall, he was the Barre Country Club Gold Flight Champion. Larry was predeceased by his nephew, Koby. He is survived by his wife, Marcie; their two children Bekah and Jeff; Bekah's husband, Patrick, their two children Loren and Calla; his brother, Richard and wife Marilyn, and his brother, Seth and wife Sherri; as well as his nieces and nephews Avi, Julia, Daniel, Eliana and Gavi, their partners and their kids. He is missed by every single one of them. There will be a memorial service honoring Larry at Alumni Hall on The Vermont College of Fine Arts Campus on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Larry Mandell Fund for Racial, Social, and Economic Equity at the Public Assets Institute online at publicassets.org or by check to Public Assets Institute, P.O. Box 942, Montpelier, VT 05601.

(2) entries


Marcie, Know that my thoughts are with you. We will all miss Larry and his wonderful caring spirit.
Sandra Robinson


Marcie, I am so sorry to hear of Larry's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.