Around Town: Feb. 22


Louise McCarren passed away at her home on Friday, Feb. 16. She was born in San Mateo, Calif., in 1947, not long after the end of World War II. Her ancestors on both sides came from long lines of early California settlers. Her father was a bomber pilot in the Pacific during World War II, once bailing out over China towards the end of the war.

Louise McCarren

As a child she enjoyed skiing and waterskiing near their family cabin at Lake Tahoe that her father built in the 1950s.

Louise attended Notre Dame high school in Burlingame, graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1969. This was an interesting time as her brothers were serving in Vietnam, and the counter-culture revolution was unfolding in the Bay Area. She then graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1972, where she reportedly drove a motorcycle around Los Angeles.

She moved to Vermont in the early 1970s with her first husband, Peter McCarren, where they had her first son, Patrick McCarren. She began practicing law in Vermont at a time when there were not many female lawyers and was considered a trailblazer in that regard. Her first marriage ended in divorce, perhaps prompting her to publish an early guidebook on how women could obtain a divorce in Vermont.

She met her second husband Edwin Amidon in the late 1970s, outside a courtroom where he was an acting judge. Their first date to Trader Dukes at the Sheraton was supposedly a bomb, but she was taken by his sense of adventure, and they soon began whitewater canoeing together as early members of the Vermont Canoe Cruisers club. They built a house in Charlotte in 1979, which was completed just after giving birth to their son, her second child William Amidon.

Louise’s career took her into regulatory economics. She eventually became chairman of the Vermont Public Service Board under Governor Richard Snelling in the 1970s and subsequently the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service. She briefly became involved in Vermont politics, unsuccessfully running for Lieutenant Governor against Howard Dean in 1988.

She served as a senior vice president for the Chittenden Bank, and during the 1990s, began consulting for utilities, eventually becoming president and CEO of NYNEX, later Verizon Vermont, in the late 1990s. By the mid-2000s, she became chief executive of the Western Electric Coordinating Council, which helps to manage the western U.S. power grid. Through the years she was known as a strong leader who could “cut to the chase” and connect with employees at all levels of an organization, while gaining national recognition for visionary thinking in regulatory environments. Over the years, she served on numerous corporate boards, including the Fletcher Allen Hospital, ISO-New England, Vermont Law School, Campaign for Vermont and the National Life Insurance Company.

Louise was an avid athlete and adventurer who was rarely idle. During the ’80s and ’90s she was a triathlete, once competing in the Hawaii Ironman. She shared a passion for wilderness canoeing with her husband Ed, and they worked together to launch many multi-week canoe expeditions to the Canadian Arctic on rivers such as the Coppermine, Kazan, Hood, Burnside and Noatak. She also enjoyed gardening and was known for gifting huge bouquets of flowers to everyone and anyone. In her later years, she played tennis and women’s hockey and greatly valued being a part of those communities.

Louise returned to Charlotte full time around 2013 and became involved in the life of the town. She was a frequent volunteer at the Charlotte Food Shelf and the Charlotte Senior Center and served on the selectboard for several years. She enjoyed being able to spend time with her sons and her two granddaughters, Pippa and Marley Amidon, who brought her a great deal of joy. Her final show of strength was as a steadfast caregiver to her husband Ed until his passing in late December 2023.

Louise lived a vibrant and generous life, touching the lives of countless people with her generosity. She was constantly focused on what she could do for others, providing assistance to countless friends and strangers over her life. Louise is survived by her sons Patrick McCarren and William Amidon, her granddaughters Pippa and Marley Amidon, her step-daughters Jane Amidon and Martha Amidon Ware, her brothers Michael and Tony Moroney, and her sister Mollie Moroney. She will be dearly missed by many.

John Peter Trono, 73, of Charlotte, VT, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Feb. 2, at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Peter was a lifelong Vermont resident. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1968 and served as captain of both the baseball and football teams. While stories of his academic prowess at Burlington High are less discussed, Peter was sure that it was well known that he especially excelled on the football field, earning All-State and Shrine team nominations his senior year. After a year at Bridgton Academy in Maine, he went on to play football at the University of Vermont where he served as team captain and was selected to the All-Yankee Conference team his senior year. He would often be seen proudly wearing a “UVM Football, Undefeated Since 1974” T-shirt.

At the conclusion of his senior year at UVM, Peter was just a handful of credits shy of eligibility for graduation. Rather than returning to school to earn those few credits, he jumped into the business world, taking over Trono Fuels and Trono Construction from his father. Nonetheless, Peter was very proud to have attained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont in the fall of 2018, a mere 44 years later. He often joked that he was contemplating moving back into on-campus housing as he pursued those last few required credits.

Peter worked very hard over many years to turn his businesses into successful, prominent establishments. As he approached retirement age, rather than get a new set of golf clubs or look for a condo in Florida, as some men are prone to do, he decided to try his hand at beef cattle farming and started Fat Cow Farm in East Charlotte in 2010. That too has turned into a successful venture. He was most proud, however, that he was able to run his businesses with the help of his three sons.

Peter will be remembered as a wonderful, generous man, who was revered by his many friends. He was as comfortable on the stool in the dive bar as he was in the boardroom and was as happy playing shuffleboard at the Redwood as he was playing handball with a chief justice. If you were a friend of Peter’s, you were a friend for life. His sense of humor and good-hearted antics will not be forgotten anytime soon. To quote a friend, “Peter will always be a part of Burlington’s history and lore and stories that he was either a part of, or the start of.”

Hunting and the outdoors were among Peter’s most passionate pursuits. Opening weekend of rifle season at his camp in Montgomery was among his favorite days of the year. He greatly enjoyed hunting trips to the furthest reaches of Canada in search of trophy bucks. His hunting trips often conflicted with Thanksgiving, at which point his family would send photos of a beautiful turkey dinner, with all the fixings, to which he would respond, with a photo of a bologna sandwich from the inside of a drafty tree stand somewhere in Alberta on the edge of the Northwest Territories.

Peter was predeceased by his parents John and Bertha Trono. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 28 years Wendy, his three sons, two daughters-in-law and four dearly loved grandchildren: Lucas and Genevieve (Parker and Flynn), Derek and Antonia (Trae and Mia) and Zachary. Peter also leaves brothers Paul (Diane) and Chris (Renato Salvador) Trono, as well as sisters Toni Marie Trono, Gina (Mark) Auriema, Julie Trono (Ted McCarthy) and Lisa (Tony) Perez, as well as many nieces and nephews. The family would like to acknowledge the overwhelming outpouring of support from those that knew and loved him.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski, VT, on Friday, Feb. 16, at noon, followed by a reception where the sharing of stories and laughs is encouraged. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Merrymac Farm Sanctuary, 490 Lime Kiln Rd., Charlotte, VT 05445.


James Anair and Wesley Simard of Charlotte were named to the fall president’s list (4.0 grade point average) at the Vermont State University.

Jacob Russell and Janet Smith of Charlotte were named to the dean’s list (3.5 or higher grade point average) for the fall at Vermont State University.

Elizabeth Breen of Charlotte was named to the College of the Holy Cross fall dean’s list.

Zachary J. Santos was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Fairfield University.

Marissa Green and Malcolm Ziter of Charlotte were named to the student honor list at the Community College of Vermont this fall.