Notable NH Deaths: Ted Walski Credited With Bringing Wild Turkeys Back to NH

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A nice splash of color: Plaistow’s Holy Angels Cemetery taken on a late October day. 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

Ronald A. Boyce, 79, of Nashua, died Dec. 8, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was a real estate broker and a member of the American Legion, Club National and the Lafayette Club. (Zis-Sweeney & St. Laurent Funeral Home)

Frank Peter Cate, 85, of Hillsborough, died Dec. 5, 2023. He served in both the U.S. Army National Guard and the U.S. Air Force. He was a volunteer firefighter for Hillsborough and was active on the Hillsborough Police Department from 1970 to 1999, serving as a patrolman, sergeant, and eventually as chief. After retirement, he was a deputy sheriff. (Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home & Cremation Service)

Mark Irwin Chase, 75, of Littleton, died Dec. 8, 2023. He owned and operated The Public House Restaurant and Lounge in Littleton from 1978 to 1985. (Ross Funeral Home)

Kris Edwin Durmer, 73, of Nashua, died Dec. 9, 2023. A veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard, he was a special assistant to the late U.S. Sen. Thomas J. McIntyre (D-N.H.) and became an expert litigator in state and federal courts, co-founding the firm of Smith-Weiss, Shepard & Durmer, PC. He was appointed  by President Bill Clinton to the board of directors of Sallie Mae, serving as vice chair and acting chair. He served for 18 years as a commissioner of the Nashua Housing Authority and also served on the board of trustees of Sacred Heart University, the board of the Nashua Home Health and Hospice Care Agency, and the board of the UNH Alumni Association. In 2009, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as general counsel of the General Services Administration, serving through 2017. (Davis Funeral Home)

Faye Norene Rix Hunter, 86, of Dover, died Dec. 8, 2023. She owned a store in Eliot, Maine, called the Carousel Horse, which had a carousel horse displayed in the window.  She volunteered at the street fair in Wolfeboro to raise money for Huggins Hospital. (J.S. Pelkey & Son Funeral Home)

Jonathan Huntington, 95, of Loudon, died Dec. 8, 2023. He owned Pleasant View Gardens and with the help of his two sons, grew it into a multinational business recognized for its excellence in growing and its establishment as a founding partner in Proven Winners. He was a trustee of First Congregational Church in Concord and served two decades on the Loudon Planning Board and Zoning Board. He helped beautify the town by planting flowers around the municipal buildings and is responsible for the happy face garden at the main intersection in town on Route 106. (Bennett Funeral Home)

Sister Barbara McLean, (formerly Sister M. St. John) McLean, 84, of Windham, a Sister of Mercy for 64 years, died Dec. 8, 2023. She taught and served as an administrator in New Hampshire schools, 10 years as a teacher at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Somersworth, seven years as principal at St. Patrick Elementary School in Portsmouth, and 26 years as principal at St. Joseph Junior High School in Manchester. (Carrier Family Funeral Home)

William J. Mealey, 75, of Portsmouth and formerly of Plaistow, died Dec. 11, 2023. He was a history teacher, soccer coach, and driver’s education instructor at Timberlane Regional High School, eventually becoming Social Studies Department chair.  He was an assistant principal from 1988 to 1992 and then principal from 1992 until 1998. In 1998, he was named curriculum director for the Timberlane School District and served in that position until 2003, when he was hired as superintendent of the Sunapee and Newport School District, retiring in 2008. (Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home)

Edwinna Creswick Vanderzanden, 77, of Rochester, died Dec. 5, 2023. She helped establish the Strafford County Maternal and Infant Care Clinic, which eventually grew into the Avis Goodwin Health Center. She obtained her bachelor’s in nursing from the UNH School of Nursing in 1980, then her law degree from the University of Maine Law School in 1984. She practiced as a trial lawyer until this past September. She served on the UNH Alumni Board for eight years, including two years as president of the Alumni Association. She was appointed to the University System Board of Trustees in July 2005 and served for eight years. (

Theodore “Ted” W. Walski, 79, of Langdon, died Dec. 2, 2023.  A U.S. Army veteran, he was well-known for his efforts as a state wildlife biologist to reintroduce wild turkeys into the state, which was one of his greatest achievements and one of the greatest wildlife success stories in the history of the state.  His accomplishments were recognized by the department and the commission in 2016 when he was awarded the Ellis R. Hatch Jr. Commission Award of Excellence. He worked for the N.H. Fish & Game Department for more than 47 years, retiring at age 76. A memorial service is planned for Jan. 6 in Marlow. (Baker-Gagne Funeral Homes)

John Fremont Weeks Jr., 91, of Laconia, died Dec. 7, 2023. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. His father started Weeks Dairy, a milk processing, food distribution, and restaurant business in Laconia, and he succeeded his father as president of Weeks Dairy Foods in 1969. With his brother Bob, they grew the business into one of New Hampshire’s most recognized home-grown companies, moving to Concord. The company was acquired by Crowley Foods (now HP Hood) in 1988, and he retired from the business.

He was a UNH Alumni Association board director, founding member of the UNH Foundation, and alumni representative on the University System Board of Trustees. He served three consecutive terms in the N.H. House of Representatives starting in 1990. He was a board member of Laconia Savings Bank for 30 years, director of the N.H. Charitable Foundation, and trustee and past chair of N.H. Public Radio. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

WORDS OF WISDOM: “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” – Leo Tolstoy, Russian author, Sept. 9, 1828, to Nov. 20, 1910

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