• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

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Notable NH Deaths: Watercolorist David Tibbetts; Philanthropist and Car Dealer Paul Holloway

InDepthNH.org 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. InDepthNH.org is now offering obituaries through the Legacy.com 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 [email protected].

David B. Tibbetts, 85, of New London, a renowned watercolor artist, passionate fly-fisherman, poet, and children’s book author, died March 12, 2023. A 2017 feature article in the Valley News noted that he published four books: “Tight Lines,” a 128-page collection of his watercolors; “A Journey on the End of a Fly Rod,” “What Use is a Moose?” and “A Bear With No Hair,” the latter two for children. Most of his work is still available on Amazon. His paintings have appeared in Fly Fishing magazine, Maine Fish and Wildlife and “The Hatch Guide for New England Streams” by Thomas Ames, Jr. His paintings hang in the American Museum of Fly Fishing, Rangeley Region Heritage Trust and the Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum. Easily recognizable by his full gray beard and Greek fisherman’s cap, he started his own graphic art studio and built it into a profitable business over time. He also designed board games, hand-cutting intricate wooden puzzles and handmade children’s toys. He and his son joined to form Tibbetts & Tibbetts, specializing in catalog design. (Chadwick Funeral and Cremation Service) 

Paul J. Holloway Jr., 84, of Rye, president of the Holloway Automotive Group, with four car dealerships located in Portsmouth, Greenland, Exeter, and Manchester, died March 14, 2023. He served for 20 years  on the board of trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire, several years as chairman. He retired from the board earlier this year. He also served on the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees for 16 years, chairing the board during his final four years.  He received an honorary doctorate from the University of New Hampshire, and Holloway Commons at UNH was named in recognition of his significant contributions, along with Holloway Hall at Keene State College, Holloway Auditorium at Plymouth State University, and the Paul J. Holloway Student Success Center at Great Bay Community College. He was a recipient of the Plymouth State College Robert Frost award for outstanding citizenship, and UNH’s Lawrence Whittemore Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his contributions to the school’s programs. He and his wife Anna Grace donated $1 million to the Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges to establish an endowed scholarship for students enrolled at any of the state’s seven community colleges.

Priscilla Ernestine Chabot, 79, of Nashua, died March 9, 2023. She and her husband, Al, owned and operated Gate City Glass as well as Upper Level Classic Ceramic, which she co-owned with her daughter Kim. She was also employed as a bank teller for Sovereign Bank. She was a cub scout and girl scout leader, volunteered for the Special Olympics and taught ceramics with Easter Seals. She was also the former vice president of Nashua REACT, which worked with the Red Cross.  (Rochette Funeral Home and Cremation Services)

Walter S. Rozmus, 78, of Bedford, died March 12, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he was the co-founder of Manchester Vikings football and brought Manchester its first Pop Warner national championship. He was Manchester Memorial High School’s first quarterback and scored the first 2-point basket for the basketball team. He coached football for Manchester Memorial for four years and volunteered in all youth sports in Manchester, mainly Pony League baseball. He also volunteered for Greyhound Placement Services of New Hampshire. (J. N. Boufford & Sons Funeral Home)

John Clayton Miles, 88, of Bedford, died March 9, 2023. A U.S. Army veteran, he was hired as a consultant in 1986 to New Hampshire College in Manchester, now Southern New Hampshire University.  He served as vice president for finance and administration for 20 years and was elected a member of the board of trustees, retiring in 2007.  He was a Trustee Emeritus at the time of his death and had received an honorary doctorate in business from SNHU. He served as president of the Raytown Jaycees and president of the Optimists while living in Kansas City, Mo. He was also a member of the board of Research Hospital.  (Connor-Healy Funeral Home and Cremation Center)

Rachel Avery Connell, 54, of Portsmouth, died March 14, 2023. Dedicated to the advancement of women’s and girl’s education and opportunities throughout her lifetime, she was Rector of Chatham Hall girls’ preparatory school in Virginia, and also served as director of advancement at Emma Willard School in New York, senior consultant and principal at Marts & Lundy, and in development positions at Phillips Exeter Academy, Landmark College and World Learning in Vermont. She was on the board of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and a member of the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools. She had also been on the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Service Federal Credit Union, and was a member of the Ranger Chapter New Hampshire D.A.R. (Direct Cremation of the Seacoast)

Joseph B. Coleman, 94, of Ashland, a former Roman Catholic priest, died March 6, 2023. Ordained June 4, 1955, he served in churches in Rhode Island including as chaplain at Rhode Island School of Design from 1962 to 1969. He left the priesthood in 1984 to marry his wife, but before he did, he was credited with saving more than a dozen lives of people attempting suicide on the Newport Bridge. He was recognized by the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1978 for climbing the bridge cable 400 feet above Narragansett Bay to lead a woman to safety.  He received the Andrew Carnegie Medal for heroism in 1966 for rescuing two young parishioners from a disturbed gunman. He volunteered as chaplain to various police and fire departments in the communities in which he served. He was one of the founders and first vice president of the International Conference of Police Chaplains in 1974. Later in life, he worked for DCYF in New Hampshire as a child protective investigator and Grafton County Senior Citizens Council. (Dupuis Funeral Home)

Betsy D. Lindfors, 84, of Peterborough, died March 13, 2023. In 1960 she joined the faculty at the Northfield School for Girls as a teacher of religion. The family moved to Connecticut and she volunteered with the National Organization of Women, League of Women Voters, Project Concern, Suffield Historical District, and Suffield Welcome Wagon. She moved to Peterborough in 1987, where she and her husband were leaders of the ASSIST scholarship program linking outstanding international students with leading independent schools. She was a trustee of The Dublin School for nine years. (Jellison Funeral Home)

Ruth Ann “Roo” Wheeler, 80, of Plainfield, died March 10, 2023. She joined the municipality of Plainfield in 1974 and served as town clerk and tax collector for 39 years. She volunteered with the 4H club and Girl Scouts and was a library trustee and part of the conservation efforts in Plainfield. (Ricker Funeral Homes & Crematory)

Harold M. Graham, 84, of Sanbornton, died March 13, 2023. He served six years in the Seabees and was a lay speaker and choir member at Franklin Methodist church. He was a Boy Scout leader and a trip leader of the Appalachian Mountain Club.  He was a member of the North Country Board, taught at mountain leadership school, and was a hut daddy at Greenleaf Hut. He formed the N.H. Chapter Trail crew, then helped found Trailwrights, a trail maintenance organization, and Belknap Range Trail Tenders (BRATTS). He also served on the Sanbornton Conservation Commission and created a trail system on town land. He opened his own woodshop business at home and made wooden basket molds for Shaker basket makers. In 2000, he took over as fire tower watchman on Mt. Belknap. (Smart Memorial Home)

Anthony William Roux, 69, of Laconia, died March 10, 2023. He owned and operated the Christmas Island Steakhouse and spent numerous charitable hours working for the Lakes Region Sled Dog Derby, where he was known as the voice of the sled dog derby. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services) 

And several musicians passed on this week. They included:

Robert W. Patten, 84, of Bristol, died March 12, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he owned Patten’s Upholstery and served for 60 years on the Bristol Fire Department.  He was recognized by the department when the newest engine was dedicated to him.  He was an EMT for Emmons Ambulance Service and was an active member of the Bristol United Church of Christ where he served on many boards. He kept the church’s tower clock wound weekly. Earlier in his life, he was a member of the Bob and the Blue Tones Band, playing saxophone and piano. (Emmons Funeral Home)

Robert A. Cunningham, 72, of Laconia, died March 9, 2023. A U.S. Army National Guard veteran, he was Laconia Public Works Department sewer and drains foreman/superintendent and S.E.A. union president of Chapter 69 for over 20 years. He was also a  member of the Winnipesaukee River Basin Project and a Laconia Planning Board member. When he retired, Mayor Michael Seymour proclaimed June 1 “Robert Cunningham Day.” He was a drummer with Bobby and The Tensions, playing for school dances and local functions. He had played with The Tidal Waves of Sanford, Maine, which opened for the likes of Fats Domino, Sha Na Na, and in turn, James Taylor opened for them. He was a trustee of Elks Lodge No. 876 and served as president of Laconia Little League baseball. (Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services)

Robert Richard Genest, 70, a lifelong Nashua resident, died March 11, 2023. He was employed by the City of Nashua as a foreman of the Parks & Recreation Department for 38 years. He later worked as a maintenance man at Davidson Landing in Nashua. Earlier in his life, he had his own band “The Runaways” and recently played at his high school reunion.  (Farwell Funeral Home)

Thomas D. Noonan, 76, of Manchester, died March 14, 2023. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he was Teamsters business agent for Local 633 while working at Anheuser Busch, retiring in 2014. He was also a Manchester police commissioner for 21 years. He completed 17 marathons, including the Boston Marathon, running in 10 of them. (Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory)

WORDS OF WISDOM: May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. (Ancient Celtic prayer)


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