Michael Bennett Carson, 75, of Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — Michael Bennett Carson died on January 23, 2020. In the words of a Monty Python sketch that never ceased to make him chuckle: “He has passed on. He has ceased to be. He is no more. He has expired and gone to meet his maker. He has run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.” He was 75 years old. Michael was born in Middletown, N.Y., on Nov. 11, 1944.
As he would be eager to tell you (even from beyond the grave) Michael was an army brat, and went to seventy-three different schools in twelve years while his father served in the military. His young life was marked by constant movement, and Michael would continue this pattern throughout his adult life, living in New Jersey, Vermont, Washington, California, and New Mexico over the course of his life.
As he would also be eager to tell you, Michael possessed a keen analytical mind and was an engineer by trade and passion. He worked for a number of engineering and aeronautics firms over the course of his career. His meticulousness and attention to detail was his greatest strength and greatest weakness, making him highly sought-after in his field and sometimes frustrating to work with.
This same meticulousness contributed to his love for model trains, which combined his passion for engineering, love of history, and aptitude for highly detailed, focused work.
Anybody who met Michael was immediately struck first by his imposing physical presence. Those who knew him a little longer were then struck by his cantankerous misanthropy. Only those who knew him for years came to see that underneath these intimidating features hid a gentle and deeply silly soul. The mischievous giggle that followed some of his more egregiously punny pronouncements was infectiously silly and he held a lifelong love of Looney Tunes, the Muppets, and absurdist humor.
Michael is survived by his ex-wife Joan in Huntington, (who, he would be eager to tell you, has been a nurse for thirty years, so he has some experience with and knowledge of the medical profession), his daughter Maggie Gardner in Vergennes, and his son Paul, in Long Beach, Calif.
A celebration of Michael’s life will be held Sunday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bixby Library in Vergennes. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to charities near and dear to Michael’s heart: The Bixby Library 258 Main St Vergennes, VT 05491 and the Rutland Railroad Historical Society, 99 Sleepy Hollow Manchester Center, VT 05255.◊
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