Vermont Old Cemetery Association has been involved in the preservation and restoration of Vermont’s Cemeteries since 1958. Tom Giffin, president of VOCA since 2001, will present on the history and purpose of the organization as well as the historic, intrinsic value of cemeteries. Current issues facing cemeteries and what municipalities are doing to preserve their old burial grounds using community resources will be discussed.
Tom Giffin holds two Master degrees in education and was a licensed Social Studies/English teacher. Tom spent many years with his mother doing genealogical research in countless cemeteries in Vermont which has led to his interest in preserving Vermont’s burial grounds. He has been instrumental in utilizing many community groups including middle school students, high school/college football teams, legislators, department of correction work crews, civic organizations and even a Vermont 4-wheeler club in his efforts to restore Vermont’s almost 2000 cemeteries.
In addition to his passion for cemetery preservation, Tom is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, First Families of Vermont, Mayflower Association, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, National Society Descendants of American Farmers, and the cemetery commissioner for Rutland City. He was awarded the Historical Preservation Award from the Vermont Daughters of the American Revolution for his efforts in preserving Vermont’s colonial burial grounds.
Tom is an 8th generation Vermonter and lives in Rutland, Vermont with his long-suffering wife, Barbara, who shares his passion for history and genealogy. They have 3 adult children, Justin, Rachel, and Jonathan who have also endured trips (too numerous to count) to VOCA events and cemetery visits throughout Vermont during their childhood.