Notable NH Deaths: Former Highway Safety Director; Plaistow Selectman

Print More

Bob Charest photo

Old North Pembroke Cemetery on North Pembroke Road in Pembroke. Many of the headstones date back to the early 19th Century. Buried here is Sally Cochran, a 23-year-old married woman who was murdered in 1833 by an 18-year-old boarder living in her family’s home. scans the websites of New Hampshire funeral homes each week and selects at random some of our friends, relatives and neighbors to feature in this column. The people listed here passed away during the previous week and have some public or charitable connection to their community. is now offering obituaries through the service. We view this as part of our public service mission. Click here or on the Obituaries tab at the top of our home page to learn more. And if you know of someone from New Hampshire who should be featured in this column, please send your suggestions to

Peter Meldrim Thomson, 81, of Orford, former chief of staff to his father, Gov. Meldrim Thomson, died Jan. 3, 2023. Republican Meldrim Thomson served three terms as the 73rd governor of New Hampshire from 1973 to 1979. Peter was appointed by President Reagan and then by President Bush as the N.H. State Director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. In 1993, Peter was appointed by Gov. Steve Merrill to the post of director of the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency, an office he would hold for many years, through multiple appointments by both Republican and Democrat governors. He retired from public life in 2015. He served the town of Orford on the budget committee and as town moderator for 38 years until his retirement in 2016 from that position, making him one of the longest-serving town moderators in state history. He helped run the Thomson family’s maple sugar business at Mount Cube Farm in Orford. He loved working in the sugar bush, boiling the sap in the sugar house and bottling the “amber gold” that resulted. (Mayhew Funeral Home)

Plaistow Selectman John Alexander Blinn Sr., 75, of Plaistow, died Dec. 29, 2022. He served on many boards for the town of Plaistow and was a selectman at the time of his death. He owned and operated Blinn’s Auto Body. (Driscoll Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Haverhill, Mass.)

Josephine A. Lamprey, 82, of North Hampton, died Jan. 2, 2023. She was director of nursing at the New England Baptist Hospital and co-founder, president, and part owner of InterQual, a health care consulting company focused on quality assurance and cost containment for hospitals. She joined her brothers in the family home heating and fuel business, Lamprey Brothers,  in 1998. She was a founding member of the UNH Sustainability Advisory Board. In 2008, she received the Granite State Award from the USNH Board of Trustees. In 2012, she established The Josephine A. Lamprey Professorship in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute. In 2014, she joined the UNH Foundation Board and served as director for eight years. She served on the board of The Music Hall and the board of trustees of the New Hampshire SPCA, Families First, and Friends Forever International. She also served as board member and president of the Seacoast Visiting Nurses Association, The First Tee of the Seacoast, and the N.H. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (Remick and Gendron Funeral Home – Crematory)

Carroll W. Stafford Jr., 89, of Laconia, died Dec. 29, 2022. A U.S. Army veteran with 13 years in the Reserves, he was battery commander of C Battery in Laconia and captain for the 368th Engineers Battalion in Concord. He started working as a teller for Peoples National Bank and served as head teller, assistant cashier, cashier and assistant vice president. He went to work for Laconia Savings Bank in 1972 as loan officer and a year later became vice president. Five years later, he became president and served  for 19 years. He served on the board of directors as vice chairman after retiring. He was a 37-year member of the Laconia Kiwanis Club, a life member of the Laconia Lodge of Elks, a member of the Gilford Community Church, past president of the Winnipesaukee Shrine Club, Bektash Shriners, Masons, Mount Lebanon Lodge No. 32, United Way, chairman of the N.H. Association of Savings Banks, director of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society, Belknap Mill Society, president of Union Cemetery Association, corporator of Lakes Region General Hospital and the Taylor Home, past president of Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, and trustee of the Edwin C. Remick Foundation. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Richard Woodworth Freeman Jr., 94, of Keene, formerly of Peterborough, died Dec. 29, 2022. A U.S. Navy veteran, he earned an engineering degree at Tufts University and was a test engineer at the Naval Supersonic Lab at MIT, then later at Avco Corp., followed by a consulting practice. He was involved in creating/coordinating access to youth recreation, local water quality improvement, organizing a Tufts reunion, as well as overseeing infrastructure upgrades for ski club and abutting properties. He was a sailor and piloted the 42-foot sloop “Nakoni” on the Gulf of Maine. He also sailed among the Greek Isles and piloted a canal boat in the south of France. (DiLuzio Foley And Fletcher Funeral Homes)

Gordon Lawrence Abbott, 86, of Exeter, died Jan. 2, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he earned his business administration degree from Suffolk University in 1960. He worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for nearly 30 years. He served as a loaned executive with The United Way, raising funds from corporations for the underprivileged. He and his wife Judy were members of the Exeter First Baptist Church for over 40 years where they served in a range of leadership roles. He was treasurer and president of the Boston Baptist Social Union. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Kenneth F. Lanzillo, 95, of Stratham, died Jan. 2, 2023. A U.S. Navy veteran, he earned his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1950. He worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as chief engineer of PERA SS, a detachment providing planning for the submarine fleet. He then served as assistant to the shipyard commander for modernization of the shipyard. He authored several articles in the Naval Engineers Journal on Submarine Life Cycle Maintenance Planning and Production Line Concept. He was awarded three Navy Superior Civilian Service Awards.  He initiated the Meals on Wheels Program in Exeter and was given a Special Citizens Award by the New Hampshire State Grange for service to his community. He served as Cub Scout Master and Scoutmaster for Troop 185 in Stratham, was a member of the Toastmasters International and the American Society of Naval Engineers, served as master of ceremonies for the Stratham Fair Queen Pageant for 25 years, admission chairman for the Stratham Fair for 38 years, and Stratham town treasurer for 42 years. He also organized and was the master of ceremonies for the Stratham Memorial Day Parade. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Sherwood E. “Joe” Bain, 100, of Exeter, died Dec. 30, 2022. A U.S. Army veteran, he was a longtime investment manager beginning at National Shawmut Bank of Boston in 1949 and concluding with many years at RBC Wealth Management, from which he retired in 2012, after turning 90. He received the Founder’s Day Award from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1992. He served as chairman of the Red Cross and United Way in Cambridge, Mass., and as a trustee at both Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge and the former Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. For 35 years, he was treasurer of the Harvard Musical Association. He also served as president of the St. Botolph Club in Boston and the Abenakee Club in Biddeford Pool, Maine. He was secretary of the Harvard Class of 1945 at the time of his death. He created the Benigno Aquino Jr. Scholarship at Phillips Exeter Academy, named for the Philippines political dissident, and he and his wife Carol endowed the Bain Birthing Center at Mount Auburn Hospital and the positions of archivist at The Boston Athenaeum and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Richard Fowler Williams, 91, of Grafton, died Dec. 29, 2022. A carpenter by trade, he served in many town positions in Grafton, including as selectman and fire warden. He was a member of the Grafton Fire Department for 50 years. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service)

Myeong Chul (MC) Kwak, 53, of Bedford, died Dec. 31, 2022. A native of South Korea, he came to the U.S. at age 26 and was the owner of Joseph Bros. Market in Manchester for several years. (Durning, Bykowski, & Young Funeral Home)

Charles Peters, 101, of Salem, died Jan. 2, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained during a World War II battle in the Rhineland, Germany. He was born and raised on the Peters Farm in Salem and was joined by his sons Michael, John, and some of his grandchildren at the farm and successful farmstand. He continued to work into his 90s. (Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home)

The Rev. Paul L. Gregoire, 93, of Manchester, died. Dec. 29, 2022. A retired Roman Catholic priest, he celebrated 50 years as an ordained priest on June 12, 2005, at Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Dover. He became a member of the Society of St. Sulpice on May 5, 1953, and taught at seminaries in Baltimore, California, and Seattle. He returned to the Diocese of Manchester in 1977 and was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Anne Parish in Berlin. In July 1978, he was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. He served as pastor of Saint Denis Parish in Hanover and Saint John the Baptist Parish in Manchester, and as administrator of Saint Patrick Parish, Manchester. In 1993, he returned to Saint Charles, the parish he considered home. He served Saint Charles for 13 years before retiring from active ministry in 2006. (Tasker Funeral Home)

Annette Maurais Boynton, 86, of Canaan, died Jan. 1, 2023. She was a rural route carrier for 35 years, six days a week, and she retired at age of 83. She was well known throughout her community for being a wonderful and helpful person, but also for not holding back her opinion. (Jenkins & Newman Funeral Home)

Deanna C. Hurley, 84, of Brentwood, died Dec. 31, 2022. A telephone operator and a licensed dental hygienist, she raised her family in East Hampstead and was active in the Hampstead community, as a Cub Scout den mother, a Cooperative Extension homemaker, and an educational aide for the Hampstead School District. (Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home & Crematory)

Gary J. Weymer, 73, of Stratham, formerly of Connecticut, died Dec. 29, 2022. He was the former owner of the Robinson, Wright and Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, Conn., for 26 years. He was active in many civic organizations including Essex Rotary, where he was a past president and Paul Fellow recipient, and the Exchange Club. He was a volunteer firefighter for 50 years, a 37-year member of the Essex Fire Engine Co No. 1, a six-year member of the Chester Hose Co and most recently the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department. (Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home & Crematory)

Jeffrey T. Photiades, 56, of Bedford, died Jan. 3, 2023. He was a wealth management advisor for Northwestern Mutual for 32 years.  He was a member of NAIFA, Million Dollar Round Table, active committee and board member of Northwestern Mutual Financial Representatives Association, serving as the president of the board in 2021-22. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

Francis W. (Skip) O’Connell III, 75, of Moultonborough, died Jan. 2, 2023. He taught business classes at Suffolk Uniuversity, Boston University and U-Mass Lowell after a career as vice president of international human resources at The Gillette Company in Boston. (Mayhew Funeral Home)

Anne Hurrell Ford, 84, of Hampton, died Dec. 30, 2022. She co-created educational programs for children on public television and served as the on-screen host. She was an administrator at The Lavelle School for the Blind, a teacher at Sacred Heart High School and a campus minister at Fordham University. A proud New Yorker who spent most of her life in Riverdale, N.Y., she retired to the seacoast region of New Hampshire. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home)

Martha Noble Griffin Pusey, 88, formerly of Canaan, died Jan. 1, 2023. In the early 1980s she began her career as a teacher of special education at the Canaan Elementary School, a position she held until her retirement in 2001. She also served as clerk of the Canaan Municipal Court, spent decades as a library trustee and supervisor of the checklist. She was a board member of United Developmental Services and the Enfield Shaker Museum. She was a founding member of the Canaan Players and the Mothers Bluegrass, Gospel and Country band. She was a choir member at Canaan Methodist church for nearly 60 years. (Ricker Funeral Home)

Paul M. Cognata, 72, of Pembroke, died Jan. 1, 2023. He participated in the prison ministry in both Concord and Berlin for over 18 years and was named assistant chaplain. (Roan Family Funeral Home)

June M. Plummer, 74, a longtime resident of Sanbornton, died Dec. 31, 2022. She was a seamstress, a manager of the Sanbornton Seafood Market and cleaned rooms at the Landmark Hotel in Laconia, but most people will remember her for her meticulous attention to detail at the Sanbornton Transfer Station, which she ran with an iron fist. (Smart Memorial Home)

Wallace K. Hooper, 97, lifelong resident of Mont Vernon, died Jan. 3, 2023. He and his wife, Charlene, operated the antique shop “Hilltop Nook” in Mont Vernon. He was active in the Grange as a member of the Prospect Grange, Hillsborough County Pomona Grange, N.H. State Grange, National Grange and served over 35 years as a deputy for the Subordinate Granges. He was also a member of the Sons of Union Veterans. (Smith & Heald Funeral Home)

Theodore W. Meedzan, 89, longtime resident of Milford, died Jan. 3, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran who retired as a master sergeant after 34 years of service, he was an assistant scout leader to the Boy Scout Troop No. 720, Nashua, and volunteered at the SHARE Center, Milford. (Smith & Heald Funeral Home)

Kevin M. King, 84, of Stratham, died Dec. 30, 2022. His father started King Chevrolet in Exeter in 1952, then added Oldsmobile in 1959. Kevin worked in all departments and became general manager at age 27. He also built and managed commercial real estate. He was a 54-year member of the Masons, Shriners, and Exeter Lions Club. (Stockbridge Funeral Home)

Ronald G. Perra, Jr., 74, of Newport, died Dec. 30, 2022. He was best known for his position as general manager of Dartmouth Motors GMC in Newport for many years. For the past 33 years, he and his family have been members of The Willey-Perra Community Christmas Giving Program board of directors. For many years, the Give Day was held at Dartmouth Motors. Three weeks ago, he was honored at the Red Star Baton Twirlers’ Christmas Show at the Newport Opera House with an award plaque commemorating his dedication to Newport’s needy children. (Stringer Funeral Home)

Comments are closed.