Notable NH Deaths: Bradley T. Haas, a Hero Protecting a Hospital, To Be Honored Monday

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A bronze plaque commemorating the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact is located at Odiorne Point in Rye. The plaque was placed by the New Hampshire Society of Mayflower Descendants in 2020 and honors the basis for the self-governance of the new Plymouth Colony. The ship Mayflower brought Pilgrim settlers to Plymouth, Mass., on Dec. 18, 1620. Four hundred years ago, in 1623, Capt. Myles Standish from Plymouth visited Odiorne’s Pannaway Plantation in search of food, and plantation leader David Thompson provided salted cod fish. 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

Bradley T. Haas, 63, of Franklin, who died Nov. 17, 2023, while providing security at New Hampshire Hospital in Concord, will be celebrated as a hero Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at 5 p.m. at Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton. Haas, the retired Franklin police chief, was unarmed and manning the front entrance in the hospital’s lobby when a shooter killed him, and the shooter was then killed by a state trooper on duty.  Haas was employed by the N.H. Department of Safety as a security officer. Monday’s ceremony is open to the public. A police escort through the city of Franklin will start at 4:30 p.m. Monday and proceed past the Franklin Police Department on Central Street and continue to the Winnisquam High School for the 5 p.m. service. A private burial will follow for family only. Gov. Chris Sununu has directed that all flags on public buildings and grounds across the state be lowered to half-staff Monday in Haas’s honor. (Thibault-Neun and Paquette-Neun Funeral Homes)

Kenneth Paul Hughes Sr., 90, of Silver Lake, died Nov. 15, 2023. He was more than just an eyewitness to history in this country, especially the civil rights movement and the JFK assassination. A U.S. Air Force veteran during the Korean War, he served in the FBI from 1962-1987 as a special agent, with expertise in firearms and fingerprints. Special assignments took him to Dallas in 1963 for the Kennedy assassination and to Selma, Ala., for civil rights investigations in 1965. He also investigated the James Meridth march and shooting in 1966 in Hernando, Miss.; the Beth Israel Temple bombing in Jackson, Miss., in 1967; the Jackson State students’ riots and killings in 1970; and the Grenada, Miss., school integrations. In 1986, he received the Community Government Service Award for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year from the city of Oxford, The University of Mississippi and Lafayette County. In retirement, he was a criminal investigator in the Office of the N.H. Attorney General from 1987 to 1997. He was secretary, treasurer, vice chair and chair of the Northern New England Chapter of the retired FBI agent’s association. He was a volunteer driver in the Madison Neighbor helping Neighbor program and served on the Madison Zoning Board for over 20 years. (Lord Funeral Home)

Katherine K. Miller, 85, of Bridgewater and New York City, died Nov. 17, 2023. She was also present at some of the most monumental historical events in the U.S., including Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, the Woodstock music festival in New York, and in November of 1989 in Berlin, Germany, at the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was vice president of the New Hampshire Family Planning Council, and with the assistance of former N.H. Gov. Judd Gregg established “Ending Hunger Week” which assists 100,000 people annually.  She was a founding member and fundraiser for The Circle Program.  (Emmons Funeral Home)

Michael J. O’Connell, M.D., 70, of Barrington, died Nov. 13, 2023. He developed an extensive medical/surgical practice (Paincare/Granite State Pain) that still spans central and southern New Hampshire. He also founded an opioid addiction practice (ROAD to a Better Life) in 2002, the first of its kind in the seacoast area. He then acquired Salmon Falls Family Healthcare on Works Way from Dr. Ed Charle in Somersworth in 2003. He was CEO and medical director of all three specialties as well as Granite State Surgicenter and Little Steps Daycare. (Tasker Funeral Service)

Attorney Frank Heffron, 87, of Exeter, a former N.H. state representative, died Nov. 15, 2023. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army and worked as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, working on the desegregation of motels in the South during the 1960s. He resided in Westwood, Mass., and Binghamton, N.Y., before moving to Exeter. A long-time Democratic political activist, he was N.H. state representative from 2012-2016 and a member of the board of trustees of the First Universalist Society of Exeter. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Philip Preston, 84, of Ashland, died Nov. 16, 2023. He was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps of the U.S. Army, where he learned to speak Polish and translated intercepted messages from Eastern Bloc countries. He was a descendant of navigator Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), a mathematician who is often credited as the founder of modern maritime navigation. Preston published the Appalachian Mountain Club’s River Guide, Volumes 1 and 2, to help kayakers and canoeists navigate New England’s streams and rivers. He also authored White Mountains West in 1979, a trail guide for the White Mountains west of Crawford Notch. He was executive director of the Squam Lakes Association and a trustee on the board of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Through the trust, he conserved his 765-acre hilltop Homestead Farm, now permanently protected public land. He was moderator for the Ashland School Board, then moderator for the town of Ashland. He served two terms from 2006-2010 as a state representative for Grafton County District 8. He also volunteered at Pemi-Baker Hospice and Home Health. (Knight Funeral Homes & Crematory, White River Junction, Vt.)

David DeWitt Newkirk, 90 of Merrimack and a former longtime resident of Hollis, died Nov. 9, 2023. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he was a commercial airline pilot for Northeast Airlines. In 1972, Northeast Airlines merged with Delta Airlines, and he and his family relocated to Hollis. He retired from Delta in 1993. He was a member of the QB Pilots Group and flew his own Cessna. (Rivet Funeral Home)

Bruce Evan Buchholz, 63, of Bedford, died Nov. 17, 2023. He worked for many years in auto sales at Merrimack Street Garage in Manchester. He developed his own businesses that included a car wash and independent auto sales. He was the owner of a large company specializing in window and door replacement as well as a business doing bulkhead installations and repairs. For several years, he served on the Southern N.H. University President’s Cup Golf Tournament Committee, raising funds, volunteering on tournament day, and providing a car as the hole-in-one prize. (

Gary Orin Paquette, 90, of Whitefield, died Nov. 16, 2023. He was a Stratford selectman for many years and a member and groomer for the Stratford Nighthawks Snowmobile Club. He worked for 45 years as a paper maker for the mills in Groveton, retiring in 1995. (Armstrong-Charron Funeral Home)

John N. Welch, 91, of Exeter, died Nov. 17, 2023. He worked in Baltimore in real estate and banking, then in Nantucket in accounting, real estate and museum management. He owned a restaurant and cable television company. In 1989, he and his wife relocated to Portsmouth and volunteered for several organizations including the Portsmouth Athenaeum, the Warner House, and Strawberry Banke. (Brewitt Funeral Home)

Elaine L. Pisani, 89, of Berlin, died Nov. 18, 2023. She co-owned Pisani’s Restaurant for 21 years and was a member of the Moose Club, Juliette Snowshoe Club, Le Chalet, American Legion and VFW Auxiliary. (Bryant & Fleury-Patry Funeral Home)

Elizabeth “Betty” R. (White) Hinckley, 84, of Keene and formerly of Belmont, Mass., died Nov. 17, 2023. She was the owner of Betty’s Yarn Shop in Keene for three years until retiring. She was secretary for many years for the RISE program, which provides therapeutic support to infants, toddlers and their families. (Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel)

Marie Gilbert, 82, of Henniker, died Nov. 16, 2023. She served on the Henniker Zoning Board of Adjustment and was on the board of directors of the Henniker Historical Society and Museum for many years. Since the 1980s, she had been the clown helping to stop traffic for the school Halloween parades, for which the kids named her the “Clown Lady.” She worked at New England College from 1972 to 1998 and in 1981 received an honorary alumni award. (Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home & Cremation Service)

Richard B. Pinney, 85, of Greenland, died Nov. 4, 2023. A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves, he was best known as the author of “Dick Pinney’s Guide Lines,” a column on outdoor sports that he wrote for many years for the New Hampshire Union Leader. He was a N.H. Fish and Game conservation officer for many years and served as a N.H. Fish and Game commissioner. He and his wife Jane owned and operated the Village Store in Greenland during the 70s. (J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel)

Martin Jude O’Keefe,  62, of Newmarket, died Nov. 17, 2023. He opened the Round Rock Restaurant on Seabrook Beach in 1985 and operated it for 17 years, when he sold it in 2002. He was a ranked chess player, once defeating a grand master. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory)

Joseph A. Coulp, 65, of Dover and formerly of North Hampton, died Nov. 16, 2023. He began his career by flying banner signs back and forth over Hampton Beach, building his first plane on his mother’s screened-in porch. He was a pilot with Precision Airlines then Brockway Airlines (originally Air North) in 1982. He was hired by American Airlines in 1985 as a flight engineer flying on the Boeing 727, then in 1986 was first officer on the 727. In 1989 he upgraded to first officer on the wide body Airbus A-300, flying international flights to South America and the Caribbean Islands. In 1995 he became a captain of the MD 80/80 before transitioning to captain on the Boeing 767 and Boeing 757 aircraft. After 9/11, he became a federal air marshal. (Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory)

William Reid Purslow, 72, of Laconia, died Nov. 18, 2023. He started as an inside sales correspondent for International Packings Co./Freudenberg NOK in Bristol, and worked his way up to become plant manager in Indiana, then transferring back to New Hampshire where he became chief operations officer for the company. He volunteered at Lakes Region General Hospital and SCORE. He served as a board member of the Health First Family Care Center. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Jacklyn Theresa (Bisson) Nadeau, 72, of Berlin, died Nov. 22, 2023.  She was a licensed practical nurse and longtime member of the AVH Auxiliary, serving twice as president and twice on the board of the New Hampshire Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. She was a member of the Berlin and Coos County Historical Society and researched hundreds of family trees, tracing Berlin families as far into the past as possible. (Bryant Funeral Home)

Sara Regina (Werner) Murphy, 76, of Hollis, died Nov. 18, 2023. She was a pioneer in the field of software programming and worked for Digital Equipment Corp. writing the first baggage handling code for a major airline. She was a senior technical manager and led organizations of more than 100 people through several major projects. Since 1986, she was a member of Congregation Betenu in Amherst,  joining the board of directors in the late-1980s and served in a leadership role until the time of her passing. She was also a long-time intern working with the Human Awareness Institute, working to foster multiple communities of love, peace and happiness. (Davis Funeral Home)

Kenneth John Swymer, 70, of Keene, died Nov. 21, 2023, while hiking Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey. He worked at Peerless Insurance Company (now Liberty Mutual) as the training manager for national programs until his retirement in 2013. He was an adjunct professor in management for Keene State College from 1993 until 2005. He also was a substitute teacher in SAU 29 before joining the staff of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in 2014, teaching multiple classes until 2019. He returned to St. Joseph’s Catholic School in 2023 to teach middle school religious education part time. In 2014, he was ordained as a deacon and served the Parish of the Holy Spirit and Mary Queen of Peace, also serving as chaplain for the Keene Fire Department and Cheshire County Corrections Department. He volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Junior Achievement, local nursing homes, and the Cheshire County Jail. (DiLuzio Foley And Fletcher Funeral Homes)

The Rev. Cecil John Donahue, 94, a beloved monk, priest, educator, administrator, and music composer at Saint Anselm Abbey in Manchester for more than 75 years, died Nov. 19, 2023. He taught in the college as assistant professor of German and theology until his appointment as director of physical plant operations in 1972. For many years, he was the abbey’s choirmaster and cantor, composing music for the monastery’s daily Masses and Divine Office. This past July, he and his monastic community marked the 75th anniversary of his profession of vows with selections from music he wrote over many decades. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, May 25, 1803, to April 27, 1882

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