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Co-founder of Vermont's Killington Ski Area Dies at 83

Joseph Sargent, a co-founder of Vermont's Killington ski area has died, 56 years after he helped begin the process that led to the opening of the resort that is now the largest ski area in the eastern United States.

Sargent died Wednesday in West Hartford, Conn. He was 83. The cause of death was not released.

In 1956 Sargent worked with Preston Leete Smith to found the Sherburne Corp., which carved the resort out of the Calvin Coolidge State Forest in what was then the town of Sherburne.

On Dec. 13, 1958, Killington opened with seven trails, two surface lifts and a Depression-era building serving as a base lodge.

Smith tells the Rutland Herald that in the early days Sargent pitched in on trail clearing and other chores.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.