Peter B. Breen, Sr., 72, of Troy, died Monday evening, June 13, 2011 after courageously battling lung cancer. He passed away peacefully at home with his high school sweetheart and devoted wife of 52 years, Elsie, by his side. He was further comforted by many members of his family, as well as his best friend, Gary Sheldon.
Mr. Breen grew up on Long Island, NY, and was greatly influenced by his Great Grandmother, Margaret Burns, who instilled in him a love for his family heritage by talking often of Irish tradition and leprechauns. He moved to Troy in 1956 after first enlisting in the US Army Reserves, a commitment he maintained until being Honorably Discharged in 1965. Sent to NH ahead of his family by his father, he learned how to operate a dairy farm, rising at 4am. each morning to tend to livestock before attending Troy High School, from which he graduated in 1958. He and Elsie Kathleen (Judd) were married November 29, 1958 at the Immaculate Conception Church and settled in Troy to raise their family.
Mr. Breen attended Keene State College and received an Associates Degree in Industrial Engineering from Regis Correspondence School. He was devoted to “purposeful self-education,” also studying at UNH, Cambridge Business Institute, North Eastern University Extension, and various others institutions with special focus on law enforcement, business management, and industrial engineering and safety.
Mr. Breens life employment included being a patrolman for the Keene Police Department, Project Planner for the Minute Man Missile Afterburner Assembly, Personnel Manager for Troy Mills, Inc., Director of the Community Development Department at Rural Housing Improvements, Inc., in Winchendon, MA, and NHs first certified Industrial Safety Engineer. He was also a successful local businessman. With his wife, Elsie, he owned and operated several businesses, including Breens General Store, Amaranth Apartments, Breens Ice Cream Shop, and more recently, Baile McBreens Gift Store.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Breen freely expressed his patriotism and gratitude for those men and women serving in the US Armed Forces. He also remained committed to community service, holding memberships in such local volunteer organizations as the Troy and Meadowood Fire Departments, the Friends of the Gay-Kimball Library, Troy Youth Baseball, and the MRHS PTA. He served as Chairman of the Troy Planning Board, Cub Scout Pack #309 Scout Master, and was Troys correspondent for the Keene Sentinel. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of the Troy Teen Canteen, Troy Explorer Post #440, and the Troy Emergency Ambulance Service. In 1977, Mr. Breen received considerable media recognition for his cooperation with local clergy and fellow merchants to ban pornographic literature from his store in Troy. and from 1979 to 1981, he was further recognized for his advocacy efforts to release the hostages taken in Iran.
Affectionately known in his later years as “Grampo,” Mr. Breen was an avid fan of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. He also enjoyed researching local and regional peoples and events, maintaining membership in the Historical Society of Troy. One of his lifes work was writing a comprehensive update of the towns history, a nearly completed effort which he relinquished to his son and the Troy Historiette Committee before his death.
But most of all, Mr. Breen was unwavering in his devotion to his wife and consistently expressed his love and commitment to his children and extended family. He is survived by his wife Elsie K. Breen, of Troy. His children; Daniel P. Breen Sr and his companion Melissa Montgomery of Winchester, William A. Breen and his wife Cindy of Stewart, VA. Peter B. Breen Jr. of Troy and Deanna S. Kellogg and her husband David of Bennington. He is also survived by his sister, Patricia D. Bauries and her husband Dick of Swanzey. Grampo will be missed by his eleven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren and his extended family; Patricia Egan, Barbara and Robert Lammela, Nancy Dunchus, Carrie Mattson, Robert Judd, Mary and Dana Taylor and Jean Breen. Also, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will miss his presence. Peter is pre-deceased by his brother, Edward M. Breen who passed in August, 2010.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 17, 2011 from 6 to 8pm. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 10am. All in the funeral home. Burial will take place on Saturday, June 19, 2011 at 10am. In the family lot at Mountain View Cemetery, Main St. Rt 12 North in Troy. Mr. Breen requested that donations be made in his memory to the Troy Fire Department and Ambulance Service. C/O 14 Central Square, Troy, NH. 03465. All Services are under the direction of Cheshire Family Funeral Home 46 South Winchester St. West Swanzey, NH. 03446. www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com.