Robert A. “Bob” Barker

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Robert A. “Bob” Barker, 85, longtime resident of Keene, died early Monday morning, Sept. 9, 2019, at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

He was born on March 31, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York, to the late Caroline (Hummel) and William Barker. He attended high school in Brooklyn and two years of college through the U.S. Air Force, where he worked on radar towers in Libya, Morocco, and Santa Fe, NM. While in Santa Fe, he performed the heroic deed of delivering a stranger’s baby in the back of a moving vehicle.

On May 16, 2003, he married Jean A. (Lecuyer) Wilmott in a simple service at Ashuelot River Park. They have been married for sixteen years. Bob and Jean owned a lighting store, The Lighting Showroom, in Keene for several years. Before that, Bob ran other businesses in Manchester, VT., and Texas, including a plumbing and heating supply store and an excavation business. He retired in 2004.

Bob enjoyed creating paintings for family members, camping, going to the casinos, traveling, reading, and his Maltese dog, Barney, the apple of his eye. He loved to share his passion for history and stories of his time in the military with his step grand-children.

Bob was a 50-year-plus member of Freemasonry.

Bob is survived by his wife Jean of Keene. A son, Jonathan Barker of Miami Beach, FL. and another son and two daughters, all of New Jersey. Three stepchildren: Troy Wilmott and his wife Jessica of Alstead, Frederick (Rick) Wilmott Jr. and his fiancé, Britany Caparelli of Providence, R.I. and Sharon Wilmott Koshar and her husband, Glenn of Keene. Five grandchildren and seven step-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother, William Barker and his sister Carol McKune.

In keeping with Bob’s wishes, there are no calling hours. A memorial service with military honors to follow will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 11 am. in the funeral chapel. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431.

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Bonnie (deSousa-Oropallo)

Bonnie 10/29/17. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie 10/29/17. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie (Oropallo), 11, a three and one half year canine resident of Peterborough NH died on Tuesday September 3rd, 2019. She passed in the comfort of Charles and Susan Oropallo’s arms at the Animal Hospital Monadnock in Peterborough.

Bonnie was an eleven and one half year old miniature poodle born on March 31, 2008 in the Land O’ Lakes, Florida area.

Arlene deSousa fell in love with her as a puppy. Arlene brought Bonnie home where she and her husband, Mario deSousa, raised Bonnie in their home in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

Mario passed in 2012. Arlene ultimately moved to an assisted living community in Tampa, Florida area, taking Bonnie along with her.

The assisted living facility had many, many senior residents. Bonnie became used to being around a large number of different people and varying personalities in that environment. Nearly all the residents and staff at the facility knew Bonnie by name and loved having her around. Bonnie appeared to love everyone she came in contact with.

Arlene deSousa with Bonnie 12/25/15. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Arlene deSousa’s last Christmas with Bonnie 12/25/15. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Arlene deSousa became ill in April 2016 and was temporarily moved from her assisted living facility to a nursing home in Tampa, Florida to convalesce. Bonnie at that time was being cared for by a friend of Arlene’s in the area. Bonnie was supposed to have had a short stay with Arlene’s friend while Arlene convalesced in order to return to the assisted living a facility.

While he was visiting her, Arlene asked her son, Charles Oropallo, if he would mind just temporarily bringing Bonnie, who just turned 8 years old, to visit with him and his wife, Susan Oropallo, until she could get back to her assisted living residence. Charles and Susan agreed they’d care for Bonnie long enough for Charles’s mom to return home. Bonnie traveled up the coast to Peterborough, New Hampshire, where she would stay with them.

From the time of her arrival with Charles and Susan, Bonnie’s full time job was as the CharlesWorks greeter.

Bonnie at her lookout post watching the driveway and street 5/3/18. This is where she could be found waiting for when Charles and/or Susan came home or for anyone visiting Bonnie's home. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie at her lookout post watching the driveway and street 5/3/18. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Whenever web clients came to talk about websites or vendors came to talk to CharlesWorks they got to meet Bonnie. She always had a wagging tail and was so happy to see everyone.

In June of 2016, Charles Oropallo and Susan Oropallo took Bonnie with them for a ride to Florida to visit Arlene deSousa at the nursing home she was in. Bonnie got to see Arlene just before Arlene was taken to an intensive care unit. There are no words to describe how happy Bonnie was to see Arlene.

Unfortunately, Charles’s mom, Arlene deSousa, passed a little over a week from that time. Her obituary can be seen here on the Cheshire Family Funeral Home website.

Bonnie hiking with Susan and Charles. Photo by Charles Oropallo 5/29/16.

Bonnie hiking with Susan and Charles 5/29/16. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Susan and Charles had become extremely attached to Bonnie by that time. So Bonnie officially became adopted by Charles Oropallo and Susan Oropallo. They referred to her as Bonnie Oropallo.

Since Bonnie’s birth, whenever Susan and Charles visited Arlene in Florida they would take Bonnie out for walks. Bonnie was a very happy, great natured little dog.

Charles and Susan could not imagine their household without Bonnie in it. Moving to New Hampshire had to have been quite an experience for Bonnie. Her first winter was Bonnie’s first experience with snow and with freezing cold weather.

Bonnie warming up at fireplace 11/28/18 after being out in the cold. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie warming up at fireplace 11/28/18. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie didn’t seem to like wearing booties and sweaters and so on in the winter time but despite that, she did wear them. She actually seemed to understand that they made her more comfortable outside during the freezing weather. And Bonnie loved to go out – the only exception being when it was raining.

Bonnie loved going for rides more than anything else. Once in the car and we were underway she’d usually just lay down. Go figure. However, once a turn signal went on or we stopped she’d be up and wondering where we were and what adventure lies ahead. Sometimes in nice weather Charles would leave the passenger side window open and she couldn’t resist being a dog and sticking her head out as we drove. Charles and Susan’s cars had little nose prints from Bonnie checking out where we were or what was going on outside.

Bonnie loved going to places like Belletete’s and Home Depot – where staff nearly always fussed over her and gave her treats. Same with her trips into People’s Bank and the GFA Federal Credit Union where she was always welcomed. She loved going to the Alltown gas station where Charles would always take her for a walk around the grounds.

Bonnie with Susan kayaking in Dublin Lake in NH. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie with Susan kayaking in Dublin Lake in NH 5/23/16. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Bonnie liked going for walks with Charles and Susan in the park adjacent to the Peterborough Post Office. Another spot Bonnie seemed to really enjoy was going for a ride to the Howard Memorial Park on route 202 near Jaffrey NH and walking around there with Charles and Susan.

Another favorite ride was to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Manchester with Charles. Bonnie was a hit with the vets and staff she came into contact with there. She loved to walk along the Veteran’s Administration grounds with Charles.

Charles took Bonnie just about everywhere with him. And Bonnie loved sniffing everywhere!

Charles and Bonnie all set to go for a ride 3/23/19. Photo by Susan Oropallo.

Charles and Bonnie all set to go for a ride 3/23/19. Photo by Susan Oropallo.

After rides, just going out for a walk was always a favorite. She enjoyed catching up with Barney, the Chihuahua that lived next door. If Charles or Susan asked Bonnie if she wanted to see if Barney was outside she would look out the front window towards Barney’s house next door to see if she could see him. Barney was one of the few dogs in Bonnie’s life that she was slightly larger than. She always looked for Gerry walking him when she went for walks.

Walks in any grassy areas were always fun for her. She enjoyed practicing her hunting skills – mostly in the back yard – by catching and eating grasshoppers.

Bonnie liked to initiate play. Even up to her last day, she would grab a toy and bring it to Charles or Susan and growl and dare them to take it from her. Bonnie had a few games she played that she appeared to make up. It was Charles and Susan’s task to figure out the rules for those games. Bonnie was a lot of fun. She was very affectionate and just relaxing and great to be around.

Bonnie had some folks who she seemed especially excited to see. Robin Snow and Bruce Carlton were special to her. She saw Robin when Robin came to work each day. Bonnie stayed at Robin and Bruce’s home many times when Charles and Susan went away. Pat Tetreault and Keum Joo Green were special to her as well. Bonnie had been part of camping trips with them. She also was fond of Neil Jeneral and Ingrid Allen. Neil had given Bonnie some ice cream once and there seemed to be a special bond there. Evan Cole was another special person in Bonnie’s life – he stayed with her at Charles and Susan’s home when they were away. And she loved visiting Matt Burke at his office. Bonnie had stayed with Matt and his wife Melissa in the past.

Bonnie seemed to be in great health until recent issues with what was apparently a worsening heart issue. On Thursday August 29, 2019 she suffered a serious heart problem. Bonnie spent much of that day at the Animal Care Clinic in Peterborough, New Hampshire under Dr. Chuck Devinne and his wonderful staff’s care. Dr. Devinne indicated that day that we couldn’t tell how much time Bonnie had left.

Charles and Susan brought Bonnie home that afternoon and she seemed to rally. Not knowing how long they’d have with her, Charles and Susan spent the following days pampering Bonnie as much as possible.

On the following Tuesday afternoon, September 3rd, 2019, Bonnie suddenly appeared to become extremely weak. She got to spend a few minutes being held by Robin before Charles and Susan rushed Bonnie to the Animal Care Clinic again. At about 2:20 PM, Bonnie passed. She was in Charles and Susan’s arms as they were assuring her over and over what a good little girl she was and that she was loved and that it was okay for her to sleep now.

Bonnie was a fantastic little poodle. She had never even had an accident in the house in the three and a half years she was with Charles and Susan in Peterborough. Their home is so much emptier without her. Bonnie will always be missed very, very much.

The Cheshire Funeral Chapel and Crematories were kind enough to help with Bonnie’s cremation process for Charles and Susan Oropallo.

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Kathleen “Kathy” (Andrews) Knight

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Kathleen “Kathy” (Andrews) Knight, 72, a long-time resident of Marlborough died on Saturday, August 31, 2019. She passed unexpectedly in the comfort of her home with the love of family near.

Kathleen was born the daughter of the late Beatrice (Davis) and Charles Andrews on October 14, 1946, in Keene. She was educated in Alstead and graduated from Vilas High School class of 1964. She went on in her studies earning her Associates of Applied Science in Accounting from Franklin Pierce College in Jaffrey.

On May 21, 1966, she exchanged vows with David A. Knight at the Methodist Church in Marlow. They were married with family and friends in attendance and have been married for fifty-three years.

Kathy worked in the family business as a co-owner and bookkeeper for Dave’s Automotive in Marlborough for thirty-six years.

She enjoyed; painting, her dog Sam, traveling and family time. She was the family entertainer with great wit and a knack for telling stories. When time permitted, she was the family genealogist exploring the family history. Kathy was also a giver of time to her community. She was a former member of the Marlborough School Board, Town Treasurer and former President of the Auto and Truck Recyclers Association

Mrs. Knight is survived by her husband, David A. Knight of Marlborough. Her daughters; Michelle K. Ferranti and her husband, Dean of Marlborough and Kelly Knight and her husband Greg Dubois of Swanzey. Her siblings; Carol Pacetti and her husband, Richard of Brattleboro, VT. and Charles Andrews and his wife, Jacinthe of Leominster, MA. Five grandchildren; Bethlyn Ferranti, Michael Ferranti, Nathan Gauvin Dubois, Sarah Dubois, and Kate Dubois. In addition, she leaves; three great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 from 5 to 7pm. A celebration of life service will occur on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 10am all in the funeral chapel. Burial will be held privately. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Kathleen A. Knight to: Kitty Rescue and Adoption. 11 Plantation Dr. Jaffrey, NH. 03452 or to: Fast Friends Grey Hound Adoption, 14 West Swanzey Rd. Swanzey, NH. 03446 or to: Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Rd. Swanzey, NH. 03446. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431.

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Cynthia Ann Palmer Ryder

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Cynthia Ann Palmer Ryder, 87, of Winchester, NH, passed away on Friday, August 30, with family at her side. She remained fully involved with her family, friends, and community until the very end.

Cyndy was born to Boyd B. Palmer and Rachel Akers Palmer in Santurce, Puerto Rico on June 24, 1932. She remained proud of her Puerto Rican roots and often visited her childhood home in San German.

Cyndy attended the Northfield School for Girls (1950), an early connection to this corner of New England. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College (1954) and earned an MS from the Yale School of Public Health (1956). Despite requesting an internship in South America, Cyndy was placed with the Quincy, MA Health Department. Brooks Ryder served as the Health Officer at the time. Brooks soon left to direct the Haile Selassie Public Health College in Ethiopia, and from there he wrote to Cyndy to propose. They were married in Paris in 1957.

For the next ten years, Brooks continued his Public Health work with governments across Africa; in each country, Cyndy volunteered with public health and community projects. Their daughters were born in Ethiopia (Ann, Priscilla), Mali (Penny), Burkina Faso (Phyllis). They were evacuated from Egypt during the Six Day War. The family then lived in Indonesia for nine years before returning to Winchester.

Cyndy advocated for health and equality in every part of her community. She served on the Boards of Planned Parenthood of New England; Home Health Care, Hospice and Community Services; and the Tobacco-Free Coalition, among others. She was a fixture at Winchester Town Meetings, where she spoke with great conviction. Working on the Winchester Star ignited long-lasting friendships. She was a founding mother of the Winchester Learning Center. A former member of the Winchester School Board, she remained active with Community and Schools Together. Throughout, she was a beloved and devoted leader at the United Church of Winchester. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen named her the NH Volunteer of the Year in 1996.

Known for her warm, gracious hospitality, Cyndy connected friends across oceans and decades. She loved to garden and created beautiful flower arrangements. She supported people individually and collectively. She seemed to understand what each person needed; if she couldn’t provide it herself, she called someone else to get it done.

Cyndy leaves her children: Ann Ryder of Branford, CT; Priscilla Ryder of Maynard, MA; Penny Ryder Vaine (Jeff) of Winchester, NH; and Phyllis Mentzell Ryder (Eric) of Takoma Park, MD; grandchildren Ken Burdett, Emily Burdett; Martin Ryder; Amanda Vaine, Laura Collins (Mike) Marie Vaine; Jacob Ryder and Alex Mentzell; and three great-grandchildren. In addition, she leaves her sister-in-law Marie Riley of North Attleboro, MA. cousins; Jane Akers Stallman and Judy Akers. In addition she is survived by, many beloved nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Sept. 21, 2019 at 2pm. at her home, 90 Pudding Hill Rd. Winchester, N H. 03470

In her memory, she would be grateful if you would enjoy a day in a garden, write a letter to the editor, or pray for peace. And remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

In lieu of flowers, Cyndy requested donations to the

United Church of Winchester
97 Main St. Winchester, NH. 03470.

Planned Parenthood of New England
784 Hercules Dr. Ste. 110
Colchester, VT. 05446. or

a globally focused peace/justice organization of your choice. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 South Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03446.

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Rodrigue “Rod” J. Croteau

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Rodrigue “Rod” J. Croteau, 82, a long-time resident of Keene and formerly of North Walpole died unexpectedly in the comfort of his home.

Rodrigue was born the son of the late Beatrice (Gallant) and Leo Croteau on November 28, 1936 in Berlin. He was educated in Berlin and graduated from Berlin High School class of 1955.

Rod was a patriot, serving his country from 1954 to 1961. He served in the New Hampshire Army National Guard, attaining the rank of E-2. After an honorable discharge, he then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He proudly served his country with distinction and was honorably discharged again on November 29, 1961 at the rank of Corporal E-4.

On May 3, 1958 he exchanged vows with Therese “Terry” R. Montminy at St. Joseph’s Church in Berlin. They were married with family and friends in attendance. Sadly, Terry passed on May 2, 2019 one day short of their sixty-first anniversary.

Rod enjoyed many things in life. He loved going on casino trips. Time was spent fishing, traveling, and going to the Good Sam Campgrounds with his family. He was always up for a game of cards. He was a member of the Monadnock Squares with his wife. He was also giving of his time to the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 478 in Keene.

Mr. Croteau is survived by his son, Michael R. Croteau and his wife, Elizabeth of Leominster, MA. His siblings; SR. Roberta Croteau of Manchester, Grace Chauvin of Manchester, Marcelle Aubin of Manchester, Lucien Croteau of Berlin. In addition, he leaves; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Rod is pre-deceased by his son, Robert L. Croteau who passed on May 16, 1980 and his siblings; Joseph Croteau, Normand Croteau, Roger Croteau and Sylvio Croteau.

In keeping with Rod’s wishes there are no calling hours. A mass will be held on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 10 am. in St. Margaret Mary Church, Parish of the Holy Spirit, 33 Arch St. Keene, NH. 03431. Burial will follow in the family lot with military honors at St. Peter’s Cemetery, Drewsville Rd. Walpole, NH. 03608. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made in memory of Rodrigue J. Croteau to: St. Vincent DePaul Society, C/O Parish of the Holy Spirit, 185 Main St. Keene, NH 03431. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431.

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