October 5, 2023
Musician and early childhood educator Mark Ransom dies at 72
Musician and early childhood educator Mark Ransom dies at 72
Mark Ransom performs the bass. Photograph through Fb

Mark Ransom, a Burlington musician and early childhood educator, died on Tuesday resulting from issues from throat most cancers therapy he underwent a couple of decade in the past, in keeping with his son, Drew Ransom.

Ransom performed in a number of bands throughout Vermont and even in Hawaii, together with the Chrome Cowboys, the N-Zones, the X-Rays, Mango Jam, the Saloon Pilots and Barbacoa — to call just some. He was additionally an everyday performer at Honky Tonk Tuesdays at Radio Bean in Burlington.

“I wager 50% of the inhabitants in Chittenden County was at a marriage that he performed at,” mentioned Brooke Hadwen, Ransom’s ex-wife. “I believe that is a part of how he obtained to know everyone, from both being in a bar or enjoying at their wedding ceremony or political occasions.”

Drew described his father as an “extraordinarily form and mild individual” with an “extremely broad social life.” After they went to Residence Depot collectively, the elder Ransom would inevitably run into at the very least 4 individuals he knew, Drew recalled.

A lot of these connections got here from his father’s music profession.

Ransom was notably recognized for enjoying the bass, particularly his 1966 Fender jazz bass, to the purpose the place the blue coating was stripped off to disclose a picket and white undercoat and an indent fashioned from use. 

Brett Hughes, Ransom’s bandmate within the Chrome Cowboys, mentioned Ransom’s demise felt sudden.

“That is a part of what’s so onerous about it’s, you understand, I used to be wanting ahead to getting by means of the vacations and having him out and recording some stuff over the winter and simply hanging out,” Hughes mentioned.

Hughes was an undergraduate pupil on the College of Vermont in 1977 when he first encountered Ransom enjoying at Hunts, the since-shuttered Burlington membership. 

“He was as a lot a rockstar to me as, you understand, as anybody might be,” Hughes mentioned. “However he was additionally actually each approachable and pleasant. And he made pals simply and he welcomed youthful musicians into his world.”

Creston Lea, a member of Barbacoa and a guitar builder, mentioned Ransom was a “pure instance” of find out how to play music “the proper manner.” He described being round Ransom as “an actual schooling.”

“A lot as I liked him, once I (noticed) him come by means of the door once I was on stage, my coronary heart would simply sink and I might play at my worst as a result of I had such a reverence for his method to bass enjoying that I might develop into actually self-conscious each time I noticed him stroll in,” Lea mentioned.

Lea mentioned Ransom wasn’t shy about giving recommendation or criticism if he thought Lea may enhance one thing or was getting one thing fallacious. The truth is, Ransom did so in early December at Lea’s efficiency on the Gentle Membership Lamp Store — however he at all times gave critiques in a “actually beneficiant and supportive manner,” in keeping with Lea.

Ransom’s key recommendation, in keeping with Lea: Preserve bass-playing easy, be aggressive and, most significantly, rock each observe.

Ransom balanced his night performances together with his job as an early childhood educator at Trinity Kids’s Heart in Burlington. 

Maureen Danielczyk, the middle’s former government director, mentioned she labored with Ransom for nearly twenty years. 

“He was among the best lecturers we had there. He was great,” she mentioned. “And you understand, labored actually onerous and performed music at night time, however you’ll by no means realize it as a result of he was at all times vibrant and cheerful when he got here in within the morning.”

Chelsea Grey, an early childhood coordinator, first met Ransom at Trinity as a pupil intern within the early 2000s. She recalled Ransom’s light presence with youngsters, at all times talking to them with mutual respect and by no means with a harsh tone regardless of having a deep voice.

Grey additionally mentioned Ransom was very vocal, particularly in his advocacy in opposition to struggle as a result of he misplaced a brother within the Vietnam Struggle. “He was a peaceable man, however he actually meant it and he lived it,” Grey mentioned.

In hiring preschool lecturers, Grey mentioned she “at all times look(s) for males that remind (her) of Mark.” 

“He actually at all times approached issues with, you understand, a transparent head and you understand, a considerate presence,” she mentioned. 

Even when Ransom wasn’t on stage, Grey mentioned his music nonetheless shined by means of him.

“He would draw a crowd on the playground together with his guitar.”

Mark Ransom. Photograph courtesy of Creston Lea

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