- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SHELBURNE, Vt. (AP) - Longtime television newsman Marselis Parsons, who helped tell Vermont’s story to its residents for decades, died Wednesday morning. He was 70.

Parsons died at the Vermont Respite House in Williston, said WCAX News Director Anson Tebbetts. He had been suffering from cancer.

Gov. Peter Shumlin called his passing “a huge loss for Vermont.”

“I bet I join all Vermonters in tremendous sadness about losing Marselis,” Shumlin said. “Marselis was a legend in Vermont. He was in our living rooms for the past 25 years, at our dinner tables. He was the voice of reason, of honesty, of fairness, and I kind of regard him as Vermont’s Walter Cronkite. You could trust Marselis as a steady, reliable, insightful newsperson so he was a legend.”

Parsons worked as a radio reporter in Hanover, New Hampshire, for his first job, WCAX-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1evEHC1 ). His first job in television was in Lebanon, New Hampshire, according to WCAX. Parson, who was known as “Div,” began working at WCAX in 1967 as a reporter, and was later an anchor and news director for the station before his 2009 retirement.

“For most Vermonters, Div Parsons defined the role of anchor in our state as television news grew, matured and adapted over the last several decades. He is a friend and for years has been the face of TV news in Verm?ont,” said U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who served as Chittenden County state’s attorney from 1966-1974 during Parson’s early years at WCAX.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch said Parsons influenced the careers of countless young journalists and “inspired viewers to be engaged in the Vermont tradition of civil debate and civic responsibility.”

In his last broadcast Parsons, told viewers it had been an honor for viewers to welcome into their homes.

When he was not in the newsroom, Parsons, who lived in Shelburne, enjoyed sailing on Lake Champlain, the station reported.

He is survived by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.


Information from: WCAX-TV, https://www.wcax.com

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