Why Does Dianne Volunteer to Repair Headstones??

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Meet Dianne, who not only volunteers to repair headstones with the Vermont Old Cemetery Association, but her grandfather founded the organization.

Her grandfather, Leon Dean, was an English professor at the University of Vermont (UVM). He taught from 1923 until he retired in 1956 as an emeritus professor.

Professor Dean founded (among so many other things) the Vermont Old Cemetery Association in 1958. This is the organization for which Dianne volunteers. In fact, she is herself retired.

As you watch this video, you’ll watch her work diligently to straighten a headstone. It takes more work than I would have considered. There is a point in the video when neither of us is talking. I was watching her work with the wooden block and mallett. If you wait through the vocal silence, you’ll hear my question.

It was a pleasure filming Dianne on Saturday, July 15, 2023. We were in the Elmwood Avenue Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont. She answered all my questions graciously as she toiled away.

I should note it was a sunny day. The temperature was 86F and the humidity 85%. It was a miserable day to be outside, especially whilst doing such labor-intensive work.

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