September 8, 2014

Burial Date

Obituaries » LOLA AIKEN

AIKEN, LOLA PIEROTTI, died September 8, at The Gary Home in Montpelier, where she has been a resident for the past several years. This remarkable and vibrant lady was born more than 102 years ago in Montpelier. After graduating as valedictorian from Montpelier High School and working for a local law firm, Lola applied for a State House job at the office of the secretary of state, and her life’s destiny was forever changed. She soon became acquainted with many of the state’s political leaders, including the horticulturist from Putney, George D. Aiken, who served as speaker, lieutenant governor and, starting in 1937, governor until his election to the United States Senate in 1940. Newly elected Sen. Aiken recognized Lola as a politically astute woman with strong management skills, and upon invitation she joined his staff on Jan. 10, 1941. Later in the 1950s, the senator appointed her as chief of his Washington staff. After the death of the senator’s first wife, Lola became his social companion, and on June 30, 1967, they wed. At the senator’s and Lola’s direction, she was removed from the Senate payroll and served without pay until the senator’s retirement in 1975. They came home to Vermont and settled in George Aiken’s hometown of Putney. When the Governor (as Lola fondly referred to him) died in 1984, she returned to Montpelier and spent the remainder of her life in the city she loved with the people who loved her. Lola became active in many community and state commitments. She served on the boards of the George D. Aiken Lecture Series, Champlain College, Old Rockingham Meeting House Assoc., Friends of the State House, VT Historical Society, Judicial Conduct Board of the VT Supreme Court, University of Vermont School of Natural Resources, President Calvin Coolidge Foundation advisory board, honorary chairwoman for the Central VT Home Health and Hospice Capital Campaign, and NECI Scholarships. She also received Doctor of Laws from the University of Vermont, Doctor of Laws from Champlain College, Outstanding Service Medallion from Board of Fellows, Norwich University, and the first Grace Coolidge Award. Throughout her life Lola was always an optimistic, positive, outgoing and caring person. She never passed a young child without stopping to say hello, always bringing a smile to the youngster’s face. Lola touched many people with her kindness, generosity and love. Her legacy will continue to embody the spirit of Vermont. Lola is survived by three nephews, Doug Robie and wife Margie Torrey, of Underhill, Scott Robie and wife Ellen, of Naples, Fla., and Lee Robie and wife Penny, of Loveland, Ohio; and many grandnephews and grandnieces as well as the stepchildren and family members of the Aiken family. Lola was predeceased by her sisters, Rosina Pierotti and Ollie Robie.

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