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Super Senior: Don Weaver - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Don Weaver

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FAIRLEE, Vt. -

On the shores of Lake Morey, Don Weaver feels most at home.

Reporter Joe Carroll: It kind of grounds you here?

Don Weaver: I'm definitely grounded here.

Don grew up in Long Island, but since age 3, he has called the lake his summer home.

"That's my grandfather's house," he said.

His grandfather encouraged Don to be independent; every day was an adventure on the water and the land.

"'I don't care when you have lunch; that's up to you. You'll be washed and cleaned and changed in presentable clothes by 5 o'clock. Have a nice day,'" Don recalled.

Like all of us, Don grew up. He married his childhood sweetheart, Peggy, and they raised a family. Don worked for AT&T figuring out how man and machine could be more efficient on the job.

"Problem solver, problem solver, that basically it," he explained.

After retirement, Don brought his skills to the town of Fairlee and the lake, taking on an invasive species-- Eurasian milfoil. First spotted in the early '90s, the non-native weed nearly destroyed the 547-acre lake.

Joe Carroll: At its worst, how bad was it?

Don Weaver: The lake was lost, literally lost.

Don fought for the use of an herbicide; the weed is now under control.

Joe Carroll: You helped save this lake.

Don Weaver: I tried, yup.

From the water to the shore, the 80-year-old's current project is preserving the Fairlee Town Hall.

"We've been working on this building for years," Don said.

If the building looks familiar, a fellow Super Senior, Russ Smith, gave WCAX a tour a few years ago. Since then, the team has replaced the slate roof and they are close to putting in an elevator to make it handicapped-accessible. The building now has iron bones. They've replaced wood with metal beam to last another 100 years. Last year, the townspeople spent almost $150,000 on repairs. Some of that came out of Don's pocket.

Joe Carroll: My guess is thousands of dollars.

Don Weaver: ...Close.

Joe Carroll: Tens of thousands.

Don Weaver: Close, that's as far as we're going to go.

Don isn't chatty about the money; he's more willing to talk about the community he loves.

"This is where my wife and I picked to remain forever," he said.

He shares a picture of Peggy. When it was taken, they didn't know she had only a year to live. Don and his daughters spent the remaining months with Peggy, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer. She is buried in the town.

"Eventually, when I go for my great reward, I'm going to be buried in this town," Don said.

As the saying goes, the true measure of a Vermonter is not where they were born, but where they plan to die.

Joe Carroll: Best lake in the state?

Don Weaver: Best lake in the United States.

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