It was with deep sadness – and appreciation – that the CVRAN community learned that Lou Cherry had died in early April, in Asheville, NC, after a short illness. He had only recently relocated there from Vermont to join his wife, Arlene.
Lou was a person with wide interests, strong personal qualities, and deep commitments.
For CVRAN, Lou was a founding member in the spring of 2015, accomplishing two essential and grounding tasks: drafting and filing the Articles of Association with the State of Vermont, and successfully applying for recognition as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation under federal law. Lou was among other original CVRAN members who were part of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier where the organizing meetings took place.
Over his years of involvement with CVRAN Lou was gracious, caring, informed, and committed. His ability to think through challenges creatively and effectively – always with good humor – was an anchor for the young, dynamic organization. His early contributions provided an essential foundation for the recent years of fruitful engagement with refugees,
asylum seekers, and many volunteers.
Lou especially enjoyed taking part in the Central Vermont visits of the staff of the Mexican Consulate from Boston. They offered valuable services to hundreds of Mexicans who live and work on Central Vermont farms. His competence, personal enthusiasm, and devotion to Spanish were a gift to all. His creative culinary skills were essential when CVRAN organized Latin Fiesta nights.
Lou’s commitments reflected his own life, as the son of parents who came to the US from Hungary. He was deeply appreciative that his son, Eric, had served as a Unitarian Universalist minister in Cluj, Romania. That Transylvanian community had been part of Hungary before WWII and was a Jewish ghetto late in the war.
The following is from the April 29th obituary in the Times Argus, on his move to Vermont in the early 2000s:
With his quiet sense of purpose and wry sense of humor, Lou quickly found productive ways to engage with the central Vermont community and beyond. He had an infectious laugh deeply enjoyed by the community.
The CVRAN community will always remember Lou’s spirit and commitment to many progressive interests.