Notable NH Deaths: Donor of $4M for Hudson’s Library; Top Radar Expert

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Pine Hill Cemetery is located at 131 Central Ave., Dover, and was first used as a burial ground in 1730. 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

Alvin Henry Rodgers, 91, of Nashua and formerly of Windham and Fort Myers, Fla., died Feb. 15, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he, his brother Phil, and Rodgers Brothers Builders built 2,500 single-family homes, 450 apartment units, 600 mini storage units, and the Nashua Tennis Center. They donated $4 million to the town of Hudson to build the George H. and Ella M. Rodgers Memorial Library. He was a life member of the Hudson Lions Club, serving as president and district governor. He chaired many committees that oversaw the building of the Rec Center on Oakwood Street, the Lions Hall (now the Hudson Community Building), the Lions baseball field, and a swimming pool. He was president of the Home Builders Association of New Hampshire and was the Citizen of the Year for the Hudson Chamber of Commerce.  (Farwell Funeral Home)

Todd T. Gregory, 51, of Unity, died Feb. 16, 2023. He was the former fire chief of the town of Unity, serving from 2019 to 2022. He spent 28 years on the Unity department, first volunteering for the Lempster Fire Department starting in 1992. He was also a deputy forest fire warden and Unity’s emergency management director. He worked for Sturm Ruger for 28 years as a foundry worker, then in a senior lead position. (Stringer Funeral Home)

David Knox Barton, 95, of Hanover and formerly of Lexington and Harvard, Mass., died Feb. 11, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he tracked German V-2 rockets while in the service, and worked as a radar engineer at White Sands from 1949 to 1953, before helping develop radar for instrumentation of missile test ranges. He was awarded RCA’s first David W. Sarnoff Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering in 1958. He was a consulting scientist at Raytheon from 1963 to 1983, designing radar systems. In 1997 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was an author and editor of books and articles. His first book, “Radar System Analysis” (1964), was an internationally accepted text in the field for over two decades. He was a consultant to the Defense Intelligence Agency Advisory Committee, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, NSA Scientific Advisory Panel, and the CIA. (Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory)

Richard Gordon Beattie, 79, of Whitefield, died Feb. 12, 2023. He and his wife owned several businesses including The Cookstove Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, the Colonial Inn in Gorham, and the Hilltop Marketplace Gift Shop in Whitefield. (Bailey Funeral Home)

Raymond A. Hamel, 86, of Somersworth, died Feb. 11, 2023. He spent much of his early career at Dunfey Hotels on the seacoast, then along with his wife Suzanne owned and operated Emporium Framing and Gallery in South Berwick, Maine. (Bernier Funeral Home)

Freedith A. Longley, 91, of Exeter and formerly of Hampton and Derry, died Feb. 10, 2023. She was a member of the Women’s Relief Corps, the Business Professional Women’s Group, and was a co-founder of the Jolly Elves 4-H Club in Hampton.  She worked as a bookkeeper for many years at the Hampton Cooperative Bank, then as a secretary at the Congregational Church of Hampton. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Patricia (Bennett) Heenan, 86, of Windham, died Feb. 12, 2023. She was Windham’s deputy town clerk for 15 years. She was a Girl Scout Leader and belonged to the Ladies Sodality of St. Raphael’s Church in Medford, eventually serving as Prefect. (Carrier Family Funeral Home)

Lloyd Clayton Bennett, 91, of Lebanon, died Feb. 14, 2023. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he worked for Mascoma Savings Bank, starting as a teller and retiring in 1993 as vice president and senior loan officer.  He served on the board of governors for many years at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon.  He was treasurer of the Lebanon Alumni Association for many years, and was a member of  the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon Citizen Scholarship Fund board,  Hartford/Lebanon Elks Clubs, Lebanon Outing Club, and Whaleback Ski Club. He also was treasurer of the Upper Valley March of Dimes board, Lebanon Lions Club and several scholarship selection committees. (Chadwick Funeral Home)

Susan E. (Pickering) Durgin, 74, of Walpole and formerly of Keene, died Feb. 12, 2023. She was director of nursing at McGirr Nursing Home in Bellows Falls, Vt., retiring in 1998. She was a 4-H leader and an active member of the First Congregational Church of Walpole, teaching youth education classes and singing in the church choir. She was a deacon of the church and member of Women’s fellowship. (Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel)

Maria Palangas, 84, of Manchester, died Feb. 15, 2023. A native of Greece, she came to America at age 13. She worked for more than 30 years at the Goldenrod Restaurant owned by the Spiro Family.  Later, she was employed at the Elliot Hospital in the coffee shop and food services for many years. She volunteered at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral and was active with the Anagennesis Ladies Society and the Daughters of Penelope. (Connor-Healy Funeral Home and Cremation Center)

Ronald B. Rowell, 76, of Greenville, died Feb. 11, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran,  he served two tours in Vietnam. He was post commander of the Post 13 American Legion in Greenville. (Cornoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center)

Dennis A. Groulx, 81 of Salem, died Feb. 9, 2023. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus Council Np. 6902 in Pelham and was awarded Knight of the Year three years in a row. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 4442 in Salem. He worked for Gillette for many years and was a substitute teacher for nine years. He was a Eucharistic minister and usher at St. Patrick’s Church. (Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home)

John Emmett Murray, Ed.D., 84, of Charlestown, died Feb. 14, 2023. He served two years in the National Guard and the U.S. Army Air Defense Command from 1958-1962. While attending Keene State College, he was selected a community ambassador in West Pakistan for 10 weeks during the summer of 1963. He graduated from State University of New York at Albany in 1982 with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, serving in several school districts as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He was an active member of the Rotary Club for many years and a member of the Silvertones Choir in Charlestown. (Charlestown Memorial Chapel)

Francis “Frank” Sarra, 72, of Candia, died Feb. 14, 2023. A U.S.  Navy veteran, he was an active member of the Rockingham Masonic Lodge No. 76 of Candia for the past 19 years. He served the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire as Grand Pursuivant from 2018 to 2019. He was currently serving as Deputy Grand Tyler. He was Past Master of Rockingham Lodge No. 76. For his service to his Lodge and Freemasonry, he received the Major General John Sullivan Service Medal in Bronze in 2010. He was a welder at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard until 1983 and opened his own company, Sarra Signs and Truck Lettering. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

William F. Vickers, 84, of Sandown, formerly Andover, Mass., died Feb. 13, 2023. He was the quarterbacks and defensive backs coach for the Andover High Golden Warriors football team. He was the JV basketball coach and head coach of the baseball team. He taught AP Math at Andover High School, Reading (Mass.) Memorial High School and at Timberlane High School for a total of 51 years. He also taught at Phillips Academy summer sessions. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

George E. Green, 92, of New London, died Feb. 16, 2023. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he and a partner started a construction company called Middlesex Steel, and their first job was installing the windows in the control tower at Boston’s Logan Airport. After his partner retired, he ran the company for another 15 years, doing large projects throughout New England.  He owned several commercial and multi-family properties. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service)

The Hon. Gary Sean Hopper, 66, of Weare, died Feb. 12, 2023. He was a state representative for Weare, Goffstown and Deering from 2008-2022, and while in the Legislature was chair of Fish and Game and also served on the Criminal Justice and Judiciary committees. He co-hosted a cable television show, “Rock, Paper, Handgrenades” in Manchester. (French & Rising Funeral Home)

Gregory S. McCrone, 69, of Dover, died Feb. 12, 2023. He was a pharmacist at Dover Drug in Dover and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Pharmacy in Concord. He was one of the first herbal pharmacists to work at The Herbal Path of Portsmouth and Dover, retiring in 2020. He traveled the world to see birds of all kinds, including to McMurdo Station, South Pole. (Tasker Funeral Home)

Joanne Hinds, 90, of Newmarket, died Feb. 10, 2023. She was director of volunteers for the Order of St. Anne Bethany, a residential home and workshop for developmentally disabled women, in Lincoln, Mass., then director of volunteers for Easter Seals of NH and VT, and director of alumnae relations for Colby Sawyer College. She became director of volunteers for Hospice with the Visiting Nurses of Concord until 2022. (Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home & Crematory)

Ronald Leo Pomerleau, 88, of Amherst, died Feb. 14, 2023. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran attaining the rank of sergeant, he taught French at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton. He and his wife then  pursued careers in real estate, homebuilding, and land development. He was chairman of the Amherst School Board and served on the Ways and Means Committee in Amherst. (Smith & Heald Funeral Home)

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