It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of sweet Linus Grant Hanratty, our son, our brother, our beloved friend. Linus was born in Carmel, NY, on June 13, 1974 and died at his home in Hardwick, VT, on January 31, 2019.
From childhood, Linus was eager to participate in and embrace the traditions of his community. He made his way to Vermont in 1992 to ski and get an education at Johnson State College, where he found his passion in social justice and service to others. He volunteered with the college’s SERVE program and Break Away alternative break excursions, helping in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and on worksites all around the world. It was in Johnson where Linus met many longtime friends, established Vermont as his home, and found his way to Sully, his favorite four-legged friend.
Linus dedicated himself to the work of taking care of plants and animals. He worked on dozens of Vermont farms, where he quickly made friends, showed his deep respect for all living creatures, and developed his love of driving tractors and fixing things. He was a clever, knowledgeable, loyal hard worker, and he was proud to be a part of the agricultural community in Vermont. He could usually be found in the midst of either fixing or building something to improve the fleet or the infrastructure for his work, for his friends, or for himself. He was a fine craftsman, but he excelled at making anything work with minimal materials. Linus always had a soft spot for the more vulnerable in this world, taking special care of older, sick, or one-eyed animals. He spent countless hours rescuing lost pets, making sure turtles crossed the road safely, and running feral cats to the vet. He loved to be around children, who delighted in his attention, and admired and understood him.
Linus loved with an open heart, made new friends wherever he went, and cheered us all up with his elaborate, animated storytelling. Linus was a great friend, always ready to listen, make a joke, and tell us we were loved. He loved sitting on a back porch, watching the sunset, listening to Janis Joplin, and feeling held by our beautiful mountains and landscapes. Linus loved to bring people together, either for a snail race, an afternoon of crafting, a barbeque or an eggplant Parm-making party. We will remember his stories of intrigue and mishap from the junkyard, the hardware store, and many garages and mechanic shops. Linus honored many of his friends with prayer flags that he sewed. This got him started on his project of making dog coats out of old Carharts. He always said sewing brought him peace.
We all wish we could have just one more cup of tea, one more dog walk, one more day pulling weeds or harvesting kale with our friend who inspired us with his unrelenting desire to make the world a better place through his work and friendship.
Life presented Linus with enormous challenges, and he decided to take his own life. We are devastated that our community and social systems couldn’t help him at his darkest time, but we are reminded that Linus never wanted to be defined by his struggles, or his differences, and he wasn’t; we remember him as someone who drew us all in. He will always remind us of the importance of having community, seeing each other as we are, and holding up those who we love. We ask that donations be made in Linus’s memory to the organizations listed below—those that helped him and other humans and pets in need of love and support.
We hold him always in our hearts and prayers, and we hope to lead our lives with as much love for each other as he gave to us all.
He is survived by his mother, Ellen Flynn, and step-father, Regis Flynn, of Suffolk County, NY; his father, Patrick Grant, and step-mother, Margaret Grant, of Putnam County, NY; his brother, Timothy Grant, and sister-in-law, Tara Grant, of Suffolk County, NY; his brother, Owen Grant, and sister-in-law, Alison Grant, of Nassau County, NY; his nieces, Jessica, Fallon, and Alice; his nephews, Liam and Owen; his aunts, uncles, and many cousins. He is predeceased by maternal grandparents, Ellen and James Flynn of Putnam County, NY, and Harry and Agnes Grant of Bronx, NY.
He was honored with a mass of Christian burial by Reverend John J. Fitzgerald at Saint James the Apostle Church in Setauket, NY.
There will be a memorial on Saturday, March 23, at the Lake Lobby of Main Street Landing in Burlington, Vermont, from 2 to 4 p.m.
There will be a celebration of Linus’s life, together with his family, on Saturday, June 8 at the Intervale in Burlington, Vermont.
Donations in memory of Linus may be made to:
The Chittenden County Humane Society https://www.chittendenhumane.org/Donate
Outright Vermont https://give.outrightvt.org/linus