Constance “Connie” P. (Trueman) Whippie

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Constance “Connie” P. (Trueman) Whippie, 85, a long time resident of Keene died on Monday, May 27, 2019 at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland.

Constance was born the daughter of the late Gerald Trueman and Alice (Damaziak) and on April 24, 1934 in Gilsum. She was educated locally and graduated from Keene High School class of 1952.

Connie worked as a Book Keeper for the Keene School District at SAU 29 for twenty one years before retiring in 1999.
Connie is survived by her husband, Morton E. Whippie of Keene, her sons: Scott Whippie of Keene and Mark Whippie and his wife Terri of Keene, a sister, Gerry Clark and her husband Glenn of Hadley, MA. In addition, she leaves, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

A gathering of friends and family to celebrate Connie’s life will take place on Saturday June 8th, 11am-3pm at Mark’s home at 164 Jordan Road. Keene, NH. 03431.

All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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Lewis F. Ethridge Jr.

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Lewis F. Ethridge Jr. 79, a long-time resident of Winchester and formerly of Hinsdale died suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday, May 27, 2019 at Cheshire Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Keene.

He was born the son of the late Helen (Place) and Lewis F. Ethridge Sr. on December 17, 1939 in Hinsdale. He was educated locally and attended Hinsdale Schools.

On June 17, 1961 he exchanged vows with Irene A. Powers at the Federated Church in Winchester. They were married with family and friends in attendance and have been married for fifty-seven years.
Lewis was a meat cutter by trade for forty years and retired from Hannaford’s Grocery Stores in Rindge in 2001 to enjoy his golden years with family.

He had many interests over the years. Time was spent cooking and baking pies, cakes and cookies. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years. He liked to go to yard sales. Lewis was a collector of pens and pocket knives. He was a fun-loving guy who always found humor especially with the younger members of the family.

Mr. Ethridge is survived by his wife, Irene A. Ethridge of Winchester. His children; Laura J. Prentice and her husband Michael of Winchester and Joanne C. Ethridge of Winchester. His sister, Helen “Joyce” Whitney and her husband, Hugh of Marlboro, VT. Lewis is pre-deceased by his son, Kevin F. Ethridge who passed in 1964 and his siblings; Roswell Ethridge, Richard Ethridge, James Ethridge and Mary Louise Bonski. In addition, he leaves; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Lewis is pre-deceased by his twin grandsons; Travis Michael and Kevin Lewis Prentice who passed in 1991. In keeping with Lewis’ wishes there are no calling hours. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 10am. in the family lot at Evergreen Cemetery, Forest Lake Rd. Winchester, NH. 03470.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to go in memory of Lewis F. Ethridge Jr. to: Winchester Ambulance and Rescue, C/O Town Hall, 1 Richmond Rd. Winchester, NH. 03470 or to: Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Rd. Swanzey, NH. 03446. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 South Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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Ruth Elizabeth (Landholm) Merritt

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Ruth Elizabeth (Landholm) Merritt, AKA Betty Merritt, died peacefully with joy and contentment in her heart, in her lovely home in Keene, on Monday, Memorial Day, May 27, 2019 at 3:08am, with her daughter Susan at her side and her family close in spirit. She was 98 1/2 years old.

Elizabeth, as she was known in her youth, was born at home on November 19, 1920. She was the oldest of five children raised on a homestead farm in West Point, Nebraska during the Depression. Her parents, the late Ruth Wilhelmina (Persson) Landholm and Edwin Landholm, were both of Swedish descent. At the age of 9 she saw her aunt dressed in her nursing uniform and cap and knew that she wanted to be a nurse. She graduated from Oakland High School in Oakland, Nebraska, in 1938.

There was no extra money for college, but she held onto her dream. Her mother asked her if she would like to go out to California and help her grandmother who was bedridden with arthritis. Up for the adventure and to help her decide if she really wanted to be a nurse, she boarded the train for Kingsburg, California, with food for the three-day journey and newspapers to keep warm, just in case the train broke down in the Rockies.

She returned to Omaha a year later to study nursing at Creighton University’s St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing. In the course of her schooling she ended up in the hospital with pleurisy. That sounds bad, but while there, a friend of hers introduced her to her future husband. The friend was dating Ray Merritt, but couldn’t pursue the relationship because he was Protestant, so she encouraged Elizabeth to “check him out”. When Ray went off to officer’s training and then to do clean up on Guadalcanal, they wrote many letters to one another. She graduated in 1945, and while he was overseas, she returned to California to be a Registered Nurse in the Samuel Merritt Hospital in Oakland, California. Upon his return to the states, they had their first official date on her 25th birthday at the Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland, CA. Through the letters she felt she knew him pretty well, that he came from a good family, so when he proposed, she said yes. She was up for the adventure of moving to Norwell, Massachusetts, having never been east of the Missouri River, and she became Betty. Ray’s sister was called Betty, so Elizabeth became the 2nd Betty Merritt. His sister married and became Betty Keene.

Betty & Ray exchanged vows on January 12, 1946 in Omaha, Nebraska. The marriage between two people-lovers, an outgoing nurse and a gregarious fun-loving Fuller Brush man lasted 53 fun and eventful years. Ray died on March 16, 1999 at the age of 86.

Betty had a 50-year career as a nurse, mostly as a night nurse so she could raise their four children. The family came to Keene in 1960 and she was soon employed at Elliot Community Hospital where she worked for 12 years. She helped move patients to the new Cheshire Medical Center in 1973. She was a night nurse there for about 18 years, until she retired in 1991. Upon retirement, she immediately started to volunteer at the hospital, her 2nd home. For many years she was Thayer Kingsbury’s sidekick at the reception desk on Monday and Friday mornings. In 2014, Betty was awarded A Commendation for her many years of service from the then NH governor, Maggie Hassen.

Betty was a cornerstone of the First Baptist Church in Keene for 58 years, her other 2nd home. She held various titles, filled many roles, and was on every possible committee there; soprano in the choir, bell choir member, church clerk for 20 years, Spire Club member, Women’s Fellowship president and member, attended Bible study, headed up the kitchen for various events at the church, volunteered with Christian Education and intergenerational activities, and supported all the mission efforts. For years she baked little loaves of bread which were handed out to welcome first-time visitors to the church. With her big heart and kind spirit, she always made a point to take newcomers under her wings, at the church as well as the hospital.

Betty’s hands were never idle. She was a prolific knitter, knitting for the Seamen’s Church Institute and kids sweaters for Oxfam and hats & socks for whoever admired them. She sewed for herself, her daughters, and granddaughters. She did a lot of custom sewing for Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities. She was a great cook and baker. For a few years she’d cook two turkeys, the second one for the homeless shelter. Ray & Betty had large gardens and so there was the canning and preserving to manage. Under Betty’s initiation, the family had many foreign exchange students, Frank Simon from Germany, being the nearest and dearest to the family. In the 60’s & 70’s, kids from New York City would come up and stay with First Baptist Church families in a program called Camp Friendly. Betty and the family loved Louis Russell and Louis loved coming up to the country, to the frogs, toads, and snakes, and each year he’d stay longer. Betty loved to travel and often marveled that a farm girl from Nebraska got to travel so much. She cherished the memories of trips to Europe and California, many with Ray, and loved her six-week California sabbaticals with her daughters after Ray died.

Betty had a long productive life and she lived it with enthusiasm and joy. She sought and found inspiration in the best music, writers, thinkers, and doers. Where there was darkness and negativity, she would seek clarity and acceptance of what she could and couldn’t help fix. She was sharp and witty, always had a funny quip or turn of phrase, and loved a good laugh. At the hospital, when other nurses ran into a problem they would say, “Ask Betty. She’ll know what to do.”

Betty is survived by her children, James R. Merritt and his wife, Susan Bos, of Westmoreland; Susan R. Merritt and her husband, Larry Ford, of Felton, CA; Holly E. Merritt and her significant other, Bert Faucher, of Santa Cruz, CA;, Paul Landholm Merritt and his wife, Cathleen Calmer, of Hancock; two grandchildren, Kristin H. Merritt of Boston, MA and Gretchen B. Merritt of Keene; and her dear sister, Lois Swanson of Hudson, WI. In addition, she leaves many cousins, nieces, nephews…a large fan club of family and friends. Betty is predeceased by her siblings; Norman Landholm, Charles Landholm, and Jeanette Dieckman.

The family is very grateful for the faithful loving care given by Ronalee Frost, Heidi Ramirez, and Debbie Marchetta. Also the family gives a heartfelt thank you to the Hospice nurses and aids who made her final months comfortable. This team enabled Betty to die in her home as she so wanted.

A Memorial Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11:30am at the First Baptist Church, 105 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. Burial will be private in the family lot at Monadnock View Cemetery, Park Ave. Keene. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Ruth E. Merritt to: First Baptist Church of Keene, 105 Maple Avenue, Keene, NH 03431, Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, 91 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431, or Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services, 312 Marlboro St., Keene, NH 03431

All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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Richard “Dick” A. Secord

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Richard “Dick” A. Secord, 85, a life-time resident of Winchester died unexpectedly on Sunday, May 26, 2019. He passed suddenly in the comfort of his home with the love of his wife near.

Richard was born the son of the late Elizabeth (Buswell) and Minot Secord on March 31, 1934 in Lowell, MA. He was educated in Winchester where he attended Thayer High School.

On February 14, 1986 he exchanged vows with Norma J. Vaillencourt. They were married at the United Church of Winchester with family and friends in attendance. The Secords have been married for thirty-three years.

Dick was the co-owner of the Forest Lake Camp Grounds in Winchester. He has owned the establishment for fifty-four years.
When his time wasn’t being taken up by the camp grounds he enjoyed playing bingo, going on casino trips and travel.
Mr. Secord is survived by his wife, Norma J. Secord of Winchester. His children; Mary Secord and her husband, Rashead of Athol, MA. Pamela Krusleck and her husband, Kevin of Keene. Joyan Secord of Pittsfield, MA. Carmen Caloon of Fl. Children from the combined marriage; Michele Briggs of Pheonix, AZ. and Kimberly Clark and her husband, Peter of Keene. He leaves his siblings; Patrice Bouchie of Winchester and Harold Secord and his wife, Linda of Marlborough. In addition he is survived by many grandchildren, several great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Dick is pre-deceased by his siblings; Barbara, Stella, Gilbert, Donald, Dorothy and Sally.

In keeping with Dick’s wishes there are no calling hours. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 11am. in the family lot at Evergreen Cemetery, Forest Lake Rd. Winchester, NH. 03470. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in memory of Richard A. Secord to: Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Rd. Swanzey, NH. 03446. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 South Winchester ST. Swanzey, NH. 03446. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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Barbara M. Smyth (Blair) “Geese”

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Barbara M. Smyth (Blair) “Geese”, 86, a long-time resident of Keene and formerly of Massachusetts died on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. She passed peacefully after a period of declining health with her family at her side.

She was born on March 4, 1933 in Northbridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of James and Rose (Duquette) Blair. She was a 1951 graduate of Northbridge High School.

On January 17, 1953 Barbara married Gordon H. Smyth, Sr. Sadly, Gordon passed on April 26, 2015 after sixty-two years of marriage.

Barbara’s favorite vacation destination was York Beach in Maine where she spent time each summer with her family. She enjoyed bowling, playing bridge and participated in civic groups such as Welcome Wagon and the Emblem Club for many years.

Barbara worked as a Sales Person for Izzy Borofsky at his stores for many years and retired from Monadnock Flooring after twenty years of service.

Barbara is survived by her children; Gordon H. Smyth Jr. of Swanzey, Kim Watterson and her husband Brian of Belmont, Cynthia S. Symonds of Keene and Katherine R. Tommila and her husband Cory of Swanzey. Her siblings; Frances Joeschke of Texas, Louise Roy of Massachusetts, Donald Blair and his wife Phyllis of North Carolina. In addition, she leaves nine grandchildren; Jennifer, Kristy, Stephen Jr. Janelle, Ingrid, Lucas, Samantha, Zachary and Matthew. Her eight great grandchildren; Jaydah, Emily, Avajean, Lucy, Mackenzie, Lincoln, Adalynne and Delaney. She will also be missed by cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Barbara is pre-deceased by her son in-law, Stephen Symonds Sr. who passed on January 18, 2018.

In keeping with Barbara’s wishes there are no calling hours. A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11a.m. in the United Church of Christ Church, 23 Central Square, Keene, NH. Burial will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in memory of Barbara M. Smyth to: United Church of Christ in Keene. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com

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