John S. Rider, 70, a long-time resident of Swanzey, died on Friday, February 14, 2020, in the comfort of his home. He died peacefully surrounded by his loving family, following a courageous three year battle with Multiple Myeloma.
John was born in Peterborough, son of the late Nellie B. (Patterson) and John Rider, on February 12, 1950. He was raised by his mother, affectionately known as “Snookie”, and his stepfather, Alfred “Buddy” Merrill. John graduated from Conant High School in Jaffrey in 1969 where he participated in baseball, basketball, soccer and the ski team.
John was a Veteran of the US Army Reserves and served from 1971-1977.
On February 25, 1972, he exchanged wedding vows with Karen Madden at Fort Jackson, S.C. They were married in a simple service and had been married for nearly 48 years.
Over the years, John had worked at several jobs. Most recently, he worked at Agway Energy Products, Webber Energy Fuels, and Dead River Company. He had been a member of the Better Home Heat Council of NH.
He especially enjoyed his most recent employment at Southwestern Community Services because it fit in with his desire to do something meaningful within his community. There, he worked as an Outreach Coordinator for homeless veterans, and as an assistant apartment manager in housing services. Prior to working at SWCS, he had served on the board of directors.
John was especially proud of his family and his involvement in the community. He was a member of the Rotary Club, where he had served as president and was a recipient of the Paul Harris Award. His participation in the program called “Jane’s Kids” was very special to him.
Through the years, John continued to enjoy sports. He was both the president and a player in the Greater Keene Men’s Softball League as well as the Keene Senior Softball League. He was a Swanzey Little League Coach, a Swanzey youth soccer coach and a co-founder of the Monadnock Soccer Club. He also coached J.V. softball at Monadnock Regional High School.
John was a member of the American Legion Post 4 in Keene. He was a past Senior Vice Commander and a member of the Color Guard. He was a Trustee of Mt. Caesar Union Library. He started the Keene Veterans Summit and was one of the founders of VET Inc.
John also participated in the Jaffrey community where he was raised. There he served on a committee to raise funds to build the Park Theater. He also participated in the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce.
John enjoyed hiking, hunting, fishing gardening, and volunteering. He loved camping with his family at Hermit Island where he had previously camped with his Mom and Dad since he was a child.
John is survived by his wife, Karen Rider of Swanzey, his sons; Kyle Rider, Jeremy Rider and his wife Sarah, and Matthew Rider and his wife Naomi. He and Karen were blessed with four grandchildren; Alyson Clarabut and Declan, Delaney and Bodhi Rider.
John is also survived by his half-siblings; Terry (Rider) Mcgligott Cummings, Joseph Rider, and Gary Rider as well as Jody Rider Brewer who recently passed away. He was so happy to have reconnected with them and their families over the last few years.
Besides his sister Jody, John was pre-deceased by his father John Rider, his mother Nellie B.”Snookie” Merrill and his stepfather Alfred “Buddy” Merrill.
In keeping with John’s wishes, there will be no services. A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. Flowers will be gladly accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of John S. Rider, to:
The Mt. Caesar Union Library Elevator Fund
628 Old Homestead Hwy
Swanzey, NH 03446 or the
American Legion Post 4
797 Court St.
Keene, NH. 03431.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 South Winchester St., West Swanzey, NH 03469. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com