Bill Truex passed away recently, leaving behind an amazing legacy. His mark on Burlington, VT will forever be intertwined with our history. Bill had a vision for Burlington, but lots of folks have a vision. What Bill did was work for two decades to realize that vision: the Church Street Marketplace. It took three votes from the citizens of Burlington to win approval of the plan to pedestrianize Church Street. The work began in 1980 and wasn’t complete until 2005.
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As a part of his work to create the Marketplace, Bill was part of a group of local leaders who created the Downtown Burlington Development Association (DBDA). The organization’s mission was closely tied to Bill’s work on the Marketplace. He was a founder and founding board member of the DBDA which would later rebrand as the Burlington Business Association (BBA) in the 2000s. The BBA honored Bill with its prestigious Nate Harris Award in 1991.
Those are amongst Bill’s most noteworthy accomplishments, but for those of us who knew him, it was Bill as a mentor and friend that we will miss the most. As the leader of the BBA, I turned to Bill on many occasions for advice, information, support, or help. Bill never said no. And he stayed engaged in Burlington; always willing to work to help improve the city and Lake Champlain; two things he loved.
We can honor Bill’s legacy by taking care of the place he loved.
Bill had spent the past three years planning for the International Classic and Antique Boat Show to come to Burlington, VT. It happens this September 5th to 10th. I’ll be there, I hope you will too.