Friends remember longtime Burlington bartender

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A well-known Burlington bartender died unexpectedly over the weekend from unknown medical causes. Our Ike Bendavid spoke with friends of Monique Ford about the tremendous loss and a makeshift memorial taking shape downtown.

Friends and loved ones are remembering Monique Ford after the 43-year-old’s unexpected death over the weekend. “The hardest part for me right now is the fact that she was going to bring us back from this pandemic, like the Pied Piper of fun,” said Jason Liggett, a friend of Ford. “Monique was 100 percent the lighthouse of Burlington.”

And that light continues to shine, as a makeshift memorial of flowers and candles continues to grow for the bartender outside the Three Needs Tap Room on Pearl Street. “She touched way too many people to be gone so soon,” said Kim Torrey, a friend of Ford.

“She loves everybody, sharing all this love with each other and that’s just really comforting ‚,” said Luke Ropi, a friend of Ford.

Monique Ford
Monique Ford(Courtesy: Clarke Dempsey)

Friends say the memorial outside the bar serves as a way to show love when gatherings are limited. Ford was known by many for her welcoming smile that filled the bar for the many years she worked as a bartender and manager. “She was a fantastic industrious person. She was built for this,” said Glenn Walter, the bar’s owner. He says she was plugged into the restaurant scene in the area and was known by many.

Walter says the bar has been closed since last March and they were just getting their reopening plans together. “Planning on everything that needs to get done for opening, and now this,” he said.

We spoke with Ford back in 2018 about losing everything during a fire in the late 1990s, and how she gave back to those who helped her get back on her feet. “Just a few acts of kindness can really change someone’s day but also someone’s year and also give someone the energy to fight the fight,” she told WCAX.

And as the memorial grows, friends say that Ford and her memory will keep shining. “We all together will become that light she wants us to be right now,” Liggett said

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