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Around The Grange
Cheshire's last dairy farmer dies
 

By Stacy L. Graham-Hunt, Meriden Record-Journal

  FEBRUARY 26, 2008 -- The town's last dairy farmer died on Sunday.

Gilbert Asa Lassen, Sr., 76, was the former owner of Boulder Knoll Farm. His family operated the 95-acre farm since 1904. The farm once had 325 milking cows and produced about 6 million pounds of milk in a year, which would be shipped through a farm cooperative to the Guida-Seibert Company.  The town purchased the farm land for open space in 2000.

"It got too expensive for him," said his lifelong friend and retired policeman, Myron Verner, 76.

Lassen was a town resident all of his life. He graduated from Southington High School and went to Cheshire Academy, according to his obituary provided by Slater Funeral Home.

After Lassen retired from the farm, he drove school buses for Dattco Co. in Cheshire. He was also a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and of Doolittle School's Parent Teacher Association, his obituary said.

Lassen was also a past president of Cheshire Grange and drove the farm tractor in the Cheshire Memorial Day parade, of which he also served on the committee. He also was a leader of the 4-H Livestock Club of Cheshire, served as chairman of the Connecticut State Grange Agriculture Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Middlefield-North Haven Agway Committee.

Verner met him when they both served in the National Guard. Verner remembers Lassen's laugh.

"If you told him something funny, he would laugh, and laugh, and laugh," Verner said. He said Lassen had a funny laugh.

Although he laughed, Verner said if something was wrong, Lassen would let it be known.

"He would take no guff from anybody," said Verner.

Lt. Kerry Deegan, Lassen's neighbor and member of the police department said he had never seen Lassen's bad side. He was the type of person that would go out of his way for someone, Deegan said.

Sometimes when it was snowing, Lassen would plow Deegan's driveway unexpectedly.

"He was just a good neighbor to me," Deegan said.

Lassen was in a lot of pain and suffering, said Verner. He's not sure why he was in the hospital, but wished he could have seen him before he died.

"It's bad that it happened, but I know he's in a better place," Verner said.  "I'm gonna' miss him."

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 27, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church of Cheshire on 111 Church Street. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, February 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Slater Funeral Home on 242 South Main Street, Cheshire.
 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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