Notable New Hampshire Deaths: Franconia Artist Jean Colquhoun

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Bob Charest photo

This burial mound at Chester Village Cemetery, in the center of Chester at the junction of routes 102 and 121, contains the remains of former Gov. John Bell (1765 to 1836), who was a state representative from Londonderry before moving to Chester. He was also a state senator, executive councilor, and high sheriff of Rockingham County. He defeated incumbent Gov. Benjamin Pierce, father of the 14th U.S. President Franklin Pierce, but lost to Benjamin Pierce in the next election for governor in 1829. Also buried in this cemetery are Bell’s younger brother Samuel Bell and son Charles Henry Bell, who both served as New Hampshire governors. The Chester Village Cemetery is one of the oldest graveyards in the state and was entered in the National Register of Historical Places in 1979. 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

Jean Bethia (Johnstone) Colquhoun, 89, of Franconia, died May 16, 2023. Settling in Tuftonboro, in 1964 she taught herself to paint with oil on wood and for the next 60 years created thousands of paintings that captured early American life, from pretty town commons to nautical works that were carefully researched for authenticity. Her art was featured on the Christmas cookie tin distributed nationally in 1988 by Pepperidge Farms. She illustrated two books: “Angel Baskets: A Little Story about the Shakers,” which won the prestigious Small Press silver medal award for the illustrations in 1989, and “Christmas in Water Village,” also published in 1989. She created some of the first shopping bags for high-end stores and retailers, including Orvis. Through the years, her artwork found its way into collections around the country, and she participated in numerous fine art and craft shows around New England well into her 80s. She worked as an air hostess in the early and mid-1950s, for Eastern and United Airlines. (

George Raymond Glines, 69, of Canterbury, died May 11, 2023. He was part of the fourth generation to be raised on the family dairy farm in Canterbury. He served many years on the N.H. Holstein Board, Granite State Dairy Promotion Board, Merrimack County 4-H Advisory Council, Eastern A. I. Advisory Council, Canterbury Planning Board, Canterbury Board of Selectmen, Budget Committee, and as the Deacon of the Canterbury United Community Church. (Smart Memorial Home)

Renee Manheimer, 55, of Norwich, Vt., died May 12, 2023. A native of Lima, Peru, she was head of the Language Department at Crossroads Academy in Lyme. She was described as a passionate Spanish teacher who used a variety of techniques to entertain and educate her students. She completed her masters training at Plymouth State University and her doctorate at the international Catholic University. (Knight Funeral Home in White River Junction, Vt.)

The New Hampshire Union Leader family lost two retired long-time employees this past week. Bertrand C. Provencher, 91, of Manchester, died May 11, 2023.  A U.S. Navy veteran during the Korean War, he completed his apprenticeship for the typographical union and worked many years at the Union Leader as a compositor. (

Raymond R. Prud’homme, 87, of Manchester, died May 14, 2023.  A New Hampshire Air National Guard veteran, he attended a typographical trade school in Boston and was a newspaper compositor for the New Hampshire Union Leader for 38 years, mostly as a linotype operator. He was a lover of all things Disney, and in retirement, he continued searching for misspellings in anything that he read.  He was a member of the Legion of One Thousand Men of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Knights of Columbus, and Catholic War Veterans. (Boufford Funeral Home)

Mary Lee Keech, 82, of Deerfield, died 14, 2023. She was a longtime teacher, retiring from Highland Goff Falls in Manchester. She previously taught in New York, Virginia, and Italy. She was an active member of the Candia Congregational Church and was an integral part of the Missions Team. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 103, where she served as past president. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Kevin J. Kimball, 68 of Salem, died May 16, 2023. He started his career as a firefighter with the Salem Fire Department in 1975 and rose through the ranks, retiring as captain. He also served his colleagues as union president to the fire department. (Carrier Family Funeral Home & Crematory)

Randall E. Kelley, 54, of Bristol, died May 13, 2023.  He started his own business, “Dirty Deeds Professional Services” in Londonderry. He served on the Bristol Planning Board and was chairman of the CIP committee.  He could be found Friday mornings at “The Pit” where he and other like-minded citizens would debate and consider what next steps could help to better the community, state, and country. (Emmons Funeral Home)

Thomas McCoomb, 89, of Portsmouth, died May 11, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was an aircraft mechanic and supervisor, working and flying on the B-45, B-47 and B47E with SAC and the C130 H with Air Rescue/Recovery in California, The Philippine Islands and New Hampshire, also on crews in Germany, Turkey, Iran and Thailand. He retired from Pease AFB as senior master sergeant, and the day after started a new career as a firefighter for the North Hampton Fire Department, then the Portsmouth Fire Department, retiring after 17 years. He was a member of the Corpus Christi Parish, the American Legion, the DAV, VFW, and the Knights of Columbus Council 140. (J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel)

Roland J. Proulx, 68, of Millsfield, died May 14, 2023. He was an entrepreneur who owned several businesses over the years, including the Queen City Inn in Manchester and the Back Woods Tavern in Errol.  For the past 17 years he lived in Millsfield where he owned and operated Log Haven Campground with his partner Carol. (Lambert Funeral Home)

Steve Stavros Panagoulis, 77, of Holderness and formerly of Plymouth, died May 16, 2023. A U.S. Navy veteran, he grew up in the restaurant business, starting with his parents’ Riverview Restaurant in Nashua and later owning the Monarch Diner in Milford, the Peppermill Restaurant in Amherst, Lionel’s Market in Plymouth, and Steve’s Restaurant in Rumney. He was Plymouth selectman for six years, Grafton County commissioner for 10 years, president of the N.H. Association of Counties, and a board member of the Municipal Bond Bank in Concord. He also served as chairman of the Grafton County Republican Party. (Mayhew Funeral Homes)

Thomas Alan Sumner, 77, of Londonderry, died May 14, 2023. He taught math at Nashua’s Fairgrounds Junior High School, and later owned and operated Shenanigan’s Pub in Londonderry for several years. An avid tennis player and golfer, he once captivated his golf partners with a hole-in-one while playing with a 9-Iron on the 11th hole of the Londonderry Country Club. (Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium)

Robert MacNeil, 74, of Grantham, died May 15, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he was an accountant for  SCA Services, a national solid waste management company, and in 1984 transferred to Londonderry to become division manager of their Londonderry division. He purchased Noel Vincent Trucking in White River Junction, Vt., in 1985, growing the company into Northeast Waste Services, then selling in 1996 to Casella Waste Management.  He then bought and rehabbed an old home in Wilmot, the Village Plaza and the Wilder Mansion in West Lebanon, and his biggest project, a 40,000 square foot building in Grantham which ultimately became Grantham Indoor, an indoor soccer facility. He and his wife Patricia Stetson operated Grantham Indoor until closing the facility in 2018. (Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory)

Beulah G. (Thorpe) Yeaton, 92, of Epsom, died May 16, 2023. She was a member of the American Legion Post No. 112 and the Ladies Auxiliary, where she served as president for three years.  She was also involved with the 4-H as well as the Epsom/Chichester Girl’s Club.  She was one of the first library trustees in Epsom and was named Epsom Citizen of the Year in 1985. (Roan Family Funeral Home – Still Oaks Chapel)

Morris E. Rolfe, 86, of Derry, died May 15, 2023. He was employed for more than 35 years as a school bus driver for the Auburn/Hooksett schools. He served on the Hooksett Village Fire Department and retired as a captain after 32 years of service. (Roan Family Funeral Home – Still Oaks Chapel)

Jean Amero, 71, of Tilton, died May 13, 2023. A registered nurse, she and her husband were the owners and operators of Belgian Acres Farm in Tilton for many years, hosting weddings and every winter would bring their horses to Mills Falls in Meredith for families to enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides. Together they were very active in the Lakes Region Respite Care program. (Smart Memorial Home)

Diane Marie Marden, 56, of Belmont, died May 15, 2023. She published a book of Belmont postcards and was a member of the Belmont Historical Society, the Cemetery Trust, and an original member of the Heritage Commission. She initiated the Save The Gale School project and worked hard to see the school moved to the new location. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.” Paulo Coelho de Souza, Brazilian novelist, born Aug. 24, 1947

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