Notable New Hampshire Deaths: Joyce Rowe, Stratham’s Town Clerk for 31 Years

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Some of the gravestones in Goffstown’s Hillside Cemetery date back to 1768.  This cemetery is located across from the Grasmere Town Hall on Goffstown Back Road. 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 weeks 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

Joyce Ann (Barker) Rowe, 88, of Stratham, died Oct. 15, 2023. She was the Stratham town clerk and tax collector from 1967 until her retirement in 1998. She was the Seacoast Regional co-chairperson of the New Hampshire City and Town Clerks’ Association from 1972-1975 and again from 1980-1994. She was the Town Clerks’ Association second vice president from 1975-1976, first vice president from 1976-1977, and president from 1977-1978. She served on the Clerks’ Manual Committee, updating the clerks on the legislative changes that affect various duties and the state committees concerned with the automation of vital records. She and her husband worked at the first lobster bake for the fire department at Stratham Hill Park, which gave birth to the Stratham Fair, where she volunteered for more than 50 years. She was a member of the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and volunteered at The Clothes Attic at the Stratham Community Church and Seacoast Family Promise. (Stockbridge Funeral Home)

Gail Tamases Fisher, 77, of Manchester, the owner of All Dogs Inn and Gym in Manchester, died Oct. 17, 2023. She was the author of three dog training books and a popular column called “Gail Fisher’s Dog Tracks” in the New Hampshire Sunday News. She travelled throughout the United States, Canada and Europe giving seminars about humane dog training and to give a greater understanding of dog behavior. She was a member of the Queen City Rotary Club, where she and her husband, the late Skip Ashooh, were remembered for their exuberant efforts over several years to produce the club’s annual “Road Rally.” She volunteered as a guardian ad litem for N.H. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and was a past board member of the Manchester Community Resource Center. (Lambert Funeral Home)

Thomas A. Joyce, 60, of Seabrook and formerly of Amesbury, Mass., died Oct. 12, 2023. He worked with his family at Joyce Dance Studios in Amesbury throughout his life, teaching dance and managing the business. For more than 45 years, he influenced the lives of many families of dancers. (Rogers Funeral Home, Amesbury, Mass.)

Steven F. Houle, 78, of Westmoreland, died Oct. 13, 2023. He was a technology education teacher and department chairperson for 32 years at Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey. He was also a  hunter safety instructor for 20 years and  federal firearms dealer for 34 years. He was a life member of the NRA, Ruger Collectors Association, Ducks Unlimited, and a former member of the Westmoreland Planning Board.  (DiLuzio Foley And Fletcher Funeral Homes)

Ronald E. Bouchard, 88 of Bedford and formerly of Manchester, died Oct. 15, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he also served 11 years in the New Hampshire Air National Guard. He began working at Derryfield Press at the age of 18 and stayed in the industry 70 years. He owned and operated Print Inc., then was operations manager at Keystone Press before retiring at 67, when he opened RB Associates Printing Consultants. He was active in youth baseball and football in Manchester. He was founder and 25-year coach of the Manchester East Blue Devils, winning a state championship in 1975 and an undefeated state championship season in 1981. He was co-founder of the Manchester East Little League,  where he coached for 11 years and served as president. He was a co-founder of the Manchester Pony League and coached for two years and served as president. He was president and coach at Manchester Central Little League where he established the Sam-Harris Tournament and Coached Jutras Post American Legion Baseball for two years. He also coached St. Anne’s CYO Baseball for three years. (

Roland G. Prud’homme, 84, of Bedford, died Oct. 13, 2023. He served for six years in the Air National Guard 157th Air Transport and was a Catholic War Veterans Post 1624 member. He was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish where he served on the finance committee, as an usher, Eucharistic Minister, and CCD teacher. He was vice president of A.W. Therrien Co. Inc., where he worked as office manager and accountant for 60 years.  He was a CYO counselor at St. Edmond Parish for many years and received the For God and For Youth award. He was recognized by the Lion’s Club for his work with youth of the community. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America for nearly 50 years and received the Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Medal. He was in Catholic Scouting for 25 years and chairman for more than 10 years, receiving the St. George Award. (J.N. Boufford & Sons Funeral Home)

Katherine (Tineke) Mertinooke, 75, of Raymond, died Oct. 11, 2023. She was a volunteer emergency medical technician serving Newton Junction for more than 20 years. She worked as a graphic designer, offset press compositor, substitute teacher, library resident artist and art teacher, and flute teacher. She was a choir member of Newton Junction Baptist Church for more than 40 years,  and was a choir member and accompanist at Congregational Church of Raymond for many years. She also sang in Granite State Choral Society of Rochester and Nashua Choral Society. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Wilfrid Clement Hebert, 83, of West Milan, died Oct. 12, 2023. He was a master electrician and retired in 2003. He was a talented musician and singer, playing in several bands in Canada, Berlin and Florida, including “Suspicious Minds” and “Harbor Lights.” He was a certified Fender technician for Catello’s Music Store for several years. (Bryant & Fleury-Patry Funeral Home)

Robert Paul Ragazzo, 71, of Newbury, died Oct. 15, 2023. He was a technical education teacher and coach at Kearsarge Regional School District, where he worked for more than 38 years. He was a coach for 38 years, coaching tennis, skiing, basketball, lacrosse, and predominantly soccer. He was a two-time coach of the year and was inducted into the New Hampshire Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Kearsarge Regional High School Hall of Fame, and New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame. (Chadwick Funeral Home)

Ardia A. (Kisling) Mathews, 91 of Salem, died Oct. 14, 2023. She was an active member and past president of the Merrimack Valley Chapter of Beta, Sigma, Phi. (Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home)

Albert N. Poliquin Jr., 83, a lifelong Nashua resident, died Oct. 12, 2023. He served in the National Guard. He and a partner operated the Concord Street Mobil Service Station. He was a police officer with the Nashua Police Department and later worked at Cole Printing Co. in Nashua, Presstek Inc., and Color Tech, both of Hudson. He was a member of Nashua Lodge 720, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. He was involved with the Boy Scouts and Bingo at both St. Francis Xavier and St. Louis de Gonzague Churches. (Farwell Funeral Service)

Norman O. Houle Sr., 97, of Barrington, died Oct. 15, 2023. A U.S. Navy veteran, he was a co-pilot for Northeast Airlines, which merged with Delta Airlines in 1972. He retired from Delta Airlines as a captain on the L-1011 airplane in 1985. He flew his Piper Warrior airplane at many seacoast airports including Skyhaven and the Hampton Airfield. As a Maine aviation historian, he presented the history of Maine aviation at events and contributed to both Maine and New Hampshire Aviation Museums. (Tasker Funeral Service)

John A. Hanson, 74, of Hancock, died Oct. 14, 2023. He owned Hanson Construction and did extensive work for the Town of Peterborough. Including the Noone’s Falls storm drain, town water and sewer extensions and the West Peterborough water tank project.  He donated much of his time for recreational projects. (Jellison Funeral Home)

Daniel N. Thistle, 63, of Pittsburg, died Oct. 12, 2023. He owned his own commercial cleaning business in Greenfield, then moved to the north country in 1986 and purchased the Connecticut Lakes Emporium. He co-founded the Buck Rub Pub & Lodge in 1989, where he worked until 2000. (Jenkins & Newman Funeral Home)

Violette R. Bournival, 90, of Manchester, died Oct. 14, 2023. She was a lifetime parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Church where she also volunteered for many years.  She was a member of the Ladies of St. Anne’s Society where she served as treasurer and spent countless hours on the annual holiday penny sale. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

Doris Lillian (Brown) Remick, 87, of Tamworth, died Oct. 14, 2023. She was a member of the Tamworth Scholarship Committee, the Tamworth History Center and a member of the Class of 1953 Reunion Committee. She sold Avon for more than 30 years. (Lord Funeral Home)

Robert Alan Bierweiler Sr., 88, of Wolfeboro, died Oct. 13, 2023. He managed Brewster Dairy in Wolfeboro, which late became Giles Dairy, then Weeks/Concord Dairy.  He was a volunteer firefighter with the Wolfeboro Fire Department for many years. He was a local weather observer for the National Weather Service.  (Lord Funeral Home)

Virginia M. (Lougee) Burnham, 95, of Campton and formerly of West Rumney, died Oct. 17, 2023. She was a foster mother to more than 40 children, many of whom still stay in touch and call her mom. She was head housekeeper at Holderness School and was a Plymouth Area Community Food Pantry volunteer, member of the Rumney Historical Society, volunteer for the Russell Elementary School summer lunch program, and served as a poll volunteer for the Town of Rumney. (Mayhew Funeral Home)

Alan Whitney, 79, of Plymouth, died Oct. 13, 2023. He was a college professor and received numerous research grants at universities including The University of Chicago. Later, he relocated to  New Hampshire and owned retail ski stores and worked in the real estate industry. (Mayhew Funeral Homes)

Gaylene Marie Sargent, 60, of Franklin, died Oct. 12, 2023. She was a talented floral designer, leaving her creative touch in numerous flower shops throughout the Lakes Region. She owned and operated her own shop, Central Square Florist, in Bristol. (Paquette-Neun Funeral Homes)

Dawn Foss Emerick, 76, of Hampton, died Oct. 15, 2023. She and her husband owned Taurus Direct Marketing for 24 years. She was director of client services and production.  She was a member of the First Congregational Church of Hampton, where she served as senior deacon and president of the Women’s Guild. She was board chairperson for Seacoast Youth Services for more than 15 years. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home)

Joyce Evans Barry, 93, a longtime resident of Keene and Saugus, Mass., died Oct. 13, 2023. She was a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and was active in the Saugus League of Women Voters, serving as president. She was president of the Women’s Society of Christian Service at the Cliftondale United Methodist Church in Saugus and later served as president of Women’s Fellowship at the United Church of Christ in Keene, where she moved in 1995. She was an active member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home)

Eleanor Boyd, 87, of Center Barnstead, died Oct. 17, 2023. She was a volunteer EMT for the Center Barnstead Fire Department for more than 25 years. Her husband, Rodney T. Boyd, was a chief on the department and died Sept. 26.  (Roan Family Funeral Home-Still Oaks)

Barbara Katherine (Saturley) Bassett, 97, of Weare, died Oct. 16, 2023. She taught in Claremont, Hopkinton, Epsom and finished her 29-year career at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Epsom. She was a long-time member of Epsom Bible Church and for the last 10 years was a member of Weare Christian Church. (Roan Family Funeral Home)

George Jackson “Jack” Shaw Jr., 90, of Newfields, died Oct. 14, 2023. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and in 1959 was hired as a pilot with Eastern Airlines for 24 years. He was a member of the N.H. Air National Guard and flew C-130 cargo planes during the Berlin Crisis. He served on school, water and sewer boards in Newfields and was an original member of the Newfields Planning Board, serving for many years. (Stockbridge Funeral Home)

John Calvin Burbank, 90,of Laconia, died Oct. 15, 2023. A U.S. Navy veteran, he started his career as a teacher, then became an employment counselor for the state of New Hampshire. After retirement, he  was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and volunteered for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, where he was known as the “social director.” He served on the board of directors of the Salvation Army, was a member of the Laconia Friendship Club, and a member of the American Legion. He was a lifetime member of the Congregational Church where he served multiple terms as chair of the Diaconate, sang in the choir, and was a member of many committees. He received the Church Service Award in 2008. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home)

Barbara Bonney Akerman, 83, of Sanbornton, died Oct. 14, 2023. She taught at Laconia High School and Memorial Middle School for six years. She was an abstractor for Haughey, Philpot and Laurent law firm for 25 years. She volunteered at Belmont Elementary School and was a trustee of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ, a board member of the Geneva Point Center, a trustee of the Sanbornton Public Library, and a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. She was a member of the Sanbornton Congregational Church for more than 50 years, serving as a Deacon and Christian education teacher. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.” — John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President, May 29, 1917, to Nov. 22, 1963

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