Notable NH Deaths: Russell Van Billiard, Who Helped Bring the U.S.S. Albacore to Portsmouth

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The statue of former N.H. Gov. John Gilbert Winant greets visitors to the State Library building on Park Street across from the State House in Concord. Winant was appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the first chairman of the Social Security Board. He served as governor from 1925-1927 and 1931-1935, a total of three terms. He died in 1947, and the life-size bronze statue was dedicated in 2017, funded through private donations. Concord also has an 85-acre park dedicated to Gov. Winant and his wife Constance off Fisk Road in Concord. 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

Russell Van Billiard, 93, of Portsmouth, died Aug. 24, 2023. He served in the U.S. Navy and was commissioned a lieutenant, junior grade (LTJG). He worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a submarine design engineer, and later as a shipyard business manager, but he was best known as a founding member and director of the U.S.S. Albacore Committee, which brought the historic submarine to Portsmouth.  Through his dedication and networking of agencies and individuals over many years, he helped to make the project happen. In 1985, Albacore was towed from Philadelphia to Portsmouth where she began her new mission of being a permanent display and museum. He also served on the Portsmouth Economic Commission for 17 years and was chairman for five years. He served as vice chairman of the Portsmouth Citizens’ Council for Community Development in the mid-seventies. (J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel)

Jason Keim, 51, of Weare, died Aug. 29, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he served as a Manchester police officer for 24 years. He served in many capacities, including patrol, community policing and as a detective in the Domestic Violence Unit. His last assignment was working in the department’s Training Division. He coached his sons in baseball, both at the recreational level as well as in the town’s school district. (French & Rising Funeral Home)

Robert J. Duggan Jr., 71, of Salem, died Aug. 25, 2023. He was a physical education teacher in Lawrence, Mass., and coached basketball and football at Georgetown High School, as well as football at Nashoba Valley Technical High School. He worked at Foss Manufacturing Company and Polartec, retiring as plant manager. He coached his sons in various sports over the years. He was a member of the Haverhill Lodge of Elks 165, and served as exalted ruler of the club three times during his 48-year membership. (Dracut Funeral Home)

Merrill Green, 90, of Meredith, died Aug. 29, 2023. A photographer in the U.S. Navy, he lived in Juniper, Fla., before moving to Gilford in 1995. He was past president of the Riviera Beach, Florida Kiwanis Club and past commodore of the Winter Harbor Yacht Club of Gilford. He was a pharmacy volunteer at the Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for many years. A commercial and instrument-rated pilot, he owned several airplanes. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Pauline Ada (Wilson) Richards, 90, of Laconia, died Aug. 24, 2023. She and her husband Jules opened the Tavern on the Green Restaurant in Laconia, and she was hostess and baked all the breads and desserts. She retired from the restaurant in 1991. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Kenneth William D’Angelo, 73, of Northwood, died Aug. 28, 2023. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he worked for NASA during the first space shuttle mission, serving as lead air-to-ground communications technician from the Kawai, Hawaii base station to the shuttle Columbia. He and his wife Judy owned and operated their own business. He was a talented woodworker and builder. (Purdy Funeral Service)

Seth Wathen Presby Jr., 91, of Lyman, died Aug. 24, 2023. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was a lineman for 30 years for the N.H. Electric Co-op.  He was a Boy Scout leader and a founding member of the Lisbon Stump Jumpers snow machine club.  He also served on the Lyman Planning Board. (Ross Funeral Home)

David Leslie Clark, 82, of Penacook and formerly of Hampton, died Aug. 26, 2023. He was a mechanical engineer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for several years before becoming a sawyer for Concord Lumber. He then worked for Concord’s water department for 20 years, retiring in 1996. He taught math and biology at Daniel Webster College and N.H. Technical Institute. He owned and maintained several aircraft. He was a member of the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunk, Maine, and volunteered at Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Granite State Gas & Steam Engine Association local meets and helped restore the 1880s water-driven sawmill at Sanborn Mill Farm in Loudon, where he was sawyer for several years. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home – Crematory)

Alrick P. “Rick” Hammar Jr., 70, of Rumney and formerly of Pelham, died Aug. 22, 2023. He was a second-generation artist and sign painter, and he and his wife Brenda founded Hammar’s Art Studios in 1976, which they later merged with Hammar and Sons to create Hammar and Sons Sign Company and Art Center. The business was sold in 2011. He was a board member of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Pelham Taxpayers Association, and board member of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce. He was a founding member and former chairman of the Pelham Economic Development Committee, and served on the business advisory panel to Granite State Electric. He served on Pelham’s 250th Committee and coordinated the brick sidewalk in front of the historical society building. (Pelham Funeral Home)

William Henry McGrath, 79, of Hudson, died Aug. 26, 2023.  He worked for the Derry Fire Department from 1965-1982, retiring as fire commissioner. (Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium)

Norma Jean Dombroski, 104, of Sutton, died Aug. 29, 2023.  She held the Unity Post Cane as the town’s  oldest resident since 2016.  She started oil painting at age 70 and was an excellent seamstress. (Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home)

Arthur Bruce Glaski, 73, of Moultonborough, died Aug. 27, 2023. A master plumber, carpenter, and jack of all trades, he was a volunteer firefighter and served as captain on the Moultonborough Fire Department for many years. He was a Boy Scout leader and hunter safety instructor. (Mayhew Funeral Home)

Charles G. Teas, 93, of Manchester, died Aug. 27, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was a captain with the Air Force Reserve at both Hanscom and Bolling Air Force Base and once inspected the Air Force’s most secretive aircraft, the U-2 spy plane. He was a real estate broker specializing in income properties, including restaurants, convenience stores, an oil company, and other projects. He was a founder and director of the Property Owners and Tenants Association in Manchester.  (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

Roderick D. Bowles, 76, of Surfside Beach, S.C., and formerly of Newmarket for 30 years, died Aug. 24, 2023. A disabled U.S. Air Force veteran, he was a finance and accounting manager for a company that made ground-penetrating radar. He was active in the Newmarket Community Church, the Newfields Community Church, the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Triangle Club, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Newmarket Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, Newmarket town government, prison ministry, N.H. campus ministries, youth basketball, and youth soccer. He was awarded a Spirit of New Hampshire Award for his volunteer work with Waysmeet. (Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home & Crematory)

Marlyn M. Neary, 76, of Columbia, died Aug. 25, 2023. She worked at First Colebrook Bank for several years and became an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church in 1998, serving at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. (Jenkins & Newman Funeral Home)

Patricia Beatty, 94, of Rye and a longtime resident of Greenland, died Aug. 27, 2023. She worked as a legal secretary for nine years for Attorney George Varney in Portsmouth, then served as Clerk of Court at Kittery, Maine, District Court for 25 years when Varney was appointed judge. She and her husband Charley ran Peavey’s Hardware Store in downtown Portsmouth for 20 years. (J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel)

Dennis A. Canelas, 91, of Rochester, died Aug. 24, 2023. He was co-owner of Vic Canelas Trucking Co Inc. and volunteered at his church, for Meals on Wheels, and Cornerstone VNA and Hospice. He was recognized for his volunteer work at Cornerstone.  (R.M. Edgerly and Son, Inc.)

Freeman Gordon Plummer, 87, of New Hampton, died Aug. 27, 2023. A U.S. Army National Guard member for 23 years, he was a truck driver for Watkins Construction and Audley Construction and retired from Freudenburg NOK. He worked at Rands Hardware and served on the Plymouth Zoning Board. He was past president of the Plymouth Historical Society. (Dupuis Funeral Home)

Michael J. Gallagher, 61, of Jaffrey, died Aug. 26, 2023. He was culinary director at Scott-Farrar in Peterborough and served as detachment commander of the sons of the American Legion for New Hampshire. He volunteered his cooking skills at many functions. (Cournoyer Funeral Home)

Jeanne Kathryn Parsons, 98, of Stoddard and Keene, died Aug. 27, 2023.  She was a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Team since 1994, traveling the country to help in the recovery after mudslides in California, flooding in North Carolina, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, 9/11 in New York, the 2008 ice storm in Peterborough, Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey (when she was 87) and countless other disasters.  In 2016 she was presented with the Joseph Vaughan Award for her outstanding achievements as a volunteer. (Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories)

Thomas Francis Guterl, 80, of Newbury, died Aug. 28, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he worked for U.S. Aviation Insurance Underwriters (USAU) in New York City for more than 30 years, retiring as executive vice president. He and his wife Bonnie retired in their 50s and moved to New Hampshire. He volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in New Hampshire, The Fells in Newbury, and Our Lady of Fatima Church in New London. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service)

David R. Hoelzel Jr., 60, of Raymond, died Aug. 29, 2023. He earned his Eagle Scout award at 16 for a project renovating the Raymond Historical Society’s old Boston and Maine line house, now the Steve Goldthwaite historic tool barn. At age 18 he was junior assistant scoutmaster for Troop 100 in Raymond. He worked for Prescott Farms in Raymond  until 1985 and in 1983 opened “Dave’s Iron House Gym” in Raymond. He served on the Raymond Budget Committee for two terms, the Capital Improvements Program Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2014 in the town of Raymond. (Brewitt Funeral Home) 

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ? Shannon Alder, inspirational author

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