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'Hot Dog Lady' passes away - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

'Hot Dog Lady' passes away

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The woman known to generations of Burlington visitors as the "Hot Dog Lady" has died. Lois Bodoky passed away at age 91, but she will be fondly remembered for years to come.

WCAX News reporters visited with Bodoky many times over the years. She was a fixture on the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington for more than three decades.

"My first dog was 55 cents, soda was 5 cents," she told WCAX in 2005.

Bodoky started her vending business after a block fire in Burlington destroyed her beauty salon. Her husband wasn't so keen on the hot dog idea.

"He said you've done some pretty nutty things in your life, but this is the nuttiest I've ever heard," she laughed in 1999.

But the idea was a hit with customers.

"People are hungry," she said. "They love hot dogs."

She was known to locals and visitors alike simply as "the Hot Dog Lady," easily identified by her beehive hairdos and her distinctive glasses.

"I like that look," she explained. "They're called cat eyes."

But Bodoky's food and her look were not all that made her memorable. Maureen Short owns a jewelry cart and has been on Church Street herself for 30 years. Short says it was Bodoky's friendliness that kept customers coming back.

"Always cheerful," Short said.

Lois finally called it quits in 2005 and sold her cart to a new hot dog lady. She moved to California last year to live with her daughter. Her family says she passed away early Thursday.

"We lost a great lady," said Tim Halvorson, who owns a restaurant on Church Street.

Other longtime Church Street business owners were saddened to learn of her passing.

"Just a wonderful person," Halvorson said. "An icon for Church Street."

Lois' legacy lives on, her image on the marketplace mural and her contribution recorded in a Church Street plaque.

"It means that the people I loved so on the street loved me in return," she said.

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