Philip E. Simmons
SANDWICH - Philip E. Simmons, 45, author, professor, musician, outdoorsman, died July 27, 2002, at his home with family and friends by his side.
He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Mr. Simmons learned he had ALS, a degenerative neuromuscular condition, when he was just 35 years old and on the fast track to academic and literary success as an associate professor of English at Lake Forest College in Illinois.
He was told ALS kills its victims in two to five years. He beat those odds. Mr. Simmons lived nearly 10 more years, winning time to write a highly acclaimed book, "Learning to Fall, the Blessings of an Imperfect Life," to create a new community arts group, the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts; to write and speak all over the place; and to master the art of saying good-bye with grace and humor and a twinkle in his eye.
On May 26, his alma mater, Amherst College, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, commending him for "confronting the very palpable evidence of his own mortality." By that time, disease had weakened his ability to speak - but not to think and his own remarks were read by his wife, artist Kathryn Field, his brother, Paul, and an old friend, Peggy Johnson.
Mr. Simmons was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Winchester, Mass., spending summers among the hills and lakes of central New Hampshire. He earned degrees in English and physics from Amherst, a master of fine arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan.
He published short fiction and criticism, including "Deep Surfaces," a work praised by the distinguished critic, William Pritchard, as an example of someone who really cared about literature and wanted to share it with others.
"Learning to Fall" had its origins in a series of talks Simmons gave at the North Shore Unitarian Church of Deerfield, Ill., following the ALS diagnosis. Initially unable to find a publisher, he chose to offer the book on the Internet. It was such a success that it caught the eye of international publisher, Bantam Books, which brought out a new hardcover version of the book earlier this year.
He was energized by that success and continued writing. There are more essays and even a complete novel, "Rattlesnake Ridge" in his computer. As yet unpublished, the novel already has won praise from Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former editor of the New York Times Book Review, as "an exciting debut novel by a rare man with a natural narrative gift, and a story to tell.
Mr. Simmons’ sly vision small town New England life can be at turns hilarious and terrifying."
Even as the disease sapped his strength, Mr. Simmons found the energy to dream up the Yeoman Fund, the mission of which is to promote events that strengthen the bonds of community and reach a broad range of folks of all ages. He assured it would last long after his death by setting up a permanent endowment within the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
Music had always been an in important part of Mr. Simmons’ life. He was a gifted singer, guitar player, occasional public performer, and enthusiastic listener. One of his favorites was the Rutter "Requiem," which was selected as the first production of the new Yeoman’s Chorus in 2001.
Mr. Simmons and his family moved to New Hampshire when his disease was in its early stages. They had built a vacation home next door to his parents, Alan and Mary Simmons, and remodeled it to meet his needs.
In illness, Mr. Simmons learned to ask for, and accept help. Out of that real need came an organization of more than 30 local men and women, known as FOPAK, Friends of Phil and Kathryn. For nearly three years they helped ease the family’s burdens by cooking, cleaning, ferrying kids around, and helping Mr. Simmons up in the morning and to bed at night.
At Amherst, the honorary degree citation summed it up this way: "He now does his writing and living with the considerable help of his wife, Kathryn Field, his children, Aaron and Amelia, and a caring community of people in his small town of Center Sandwich. As he has said, ‘It takes a village to care for me’."
Interviewed for a TV documentary, Mr. Simmons said years of adversity taught him how to achieve his aims: "I boss people around."
He was, in fact, known fondly as something of a control freak. Friends and acquaintances regularly received e-mails requesting - even assigning them - tasks. In a final example of his will to prevail, he wrote his own eulogy and even designated the person with the right comic touch to deliver the piece as he intended it.
In addition to his parents, wife and children, the family includes four brothers, G. David Simmons of Los Angeles, Peter A. Simmons of Yorba Linda, Calif., Michael A. Simmons of Winchester, Mass., and Paul I. Simmons of Denver.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 3 p.m. in the Plymouth Congregational Church in Plymouth. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts, PO Box 75, Center Sandwich, NH 03227.
DOVER - Louise Sweatt, 93, of 56 Back River Road, widow of Raymond Sweatt, died Monday, July 29, 2002, at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
Arrangements will be announced by the Wiggin-Purdy-McCooey-Dion Funeral Home, 655 Central Ave., Dover.
ROCHESTER - Millie Etta Haines Warren, 93, of 65 Rochester Terrace, died Sunday, July 28, 2002, peacefully in her sleep at the Rochester Manor after a brief illness.
Born Sept. 26, 1908, in Sherman Mills, Maine, the daughter of Lyman and Etta (Humphrey) Hurlburt, she was raised in Maine and has resided in Rochester for over 40 years.
A homemaker, she had worked at Claristat in Dover for several years. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, reading, shopping and visiting with family.
She had attended the Nutes Ridge Bible Chapel in Milton. She had lived at home until her illness.
She is survived by her children, Lloyd and Clara Haines of Zephyrhills, Fla., Katherine and Gordon Talbot of New Gloucester, Maine, Gerald and Fran Haines of Machais, N.Y., Quentin and Barbara Haines of Somersworth, Ardith Jacobson of Rollinsford, Harold Haines of Rochester, Dale Haines of Dover, and Paul and Carol Haines of Somersworth; 30 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; one sister, Rena and Joe Fernald of Middleboro, Mass.; two brothers, John and Alice Hurlburt of Lake Wales, Fla., and George and Eria Hurlburt of Farmington, Maine.
She was predeceased by her first husband, George Haines; her second husband, Neal Warren; and a sister, Blanche Garland.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Peaslee Funeral Home, 32 Central St., Farmington. A funeral service will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. Dick Arnold, pastor, officiating. Interment will follow at the New Town Cemetery in Rollinsford.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Nutes Ridge Bible Chapel, 100 Nutes Road, Milton, NH 03851.
DOVER - Andrew J. Catino, 91, died Thursday, Oct. 10, 2002, at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover.
Mr. Catino was born March 19, 1911, in East Brookfield, Mass., a son of Antonio and Mary Pritzzio Catino. He was a graduate of MIT and Harvard and worked as an electrical engineer for General Electric in Somersworth. Mr. Catino was a resident of Rollinsford for more than 40 years and worked as a consultant until his retirement in 1977.
He is survived by his wife, Annette G. (Roy) Catino; two daughters, Janet and Phyllis; two sisters, Clara SanFratello and Laura Waly and several grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Dorothy Bonner; a daughter, Carol Lee Catino; and a son, Peter Catino.
A funeral Mass will be held today at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Peace in Berwick, Maine, with the Rev. Hilary Cameron officiating. Interment will be in New Town Cemetery in Rollinsford.
Arrangements are by Laing-Bibber Funeral Chapel.
Roland 'Zeke' Demers
BERWICK, Maine - Roland A. "Zeke" Demers, 63, of 7 Zekes Lane Berwick, died Sunday, Oct. 13, 2002, at Rochester Manor.
Born in South Berwick on Nov. 30, 1938, he was the son of Alfred "Dick" and Beatrice (Goulet) Demers. Zeke graduated from Berwick Academy with the Class of 1957. He moved to Berwick 19 years ago after spending most of his life in South Berwick.
He served six years with the U.S. Marine Corps. and on Aug. 8, 1977, he married Beverly A. Smith.
Most recently, Roland was employed by Maine School Administrative District 60 and had been for 16 years.
He was the president of the Salmon Falls Sportsman Club and had been for the past eight years. He was formerly Junior Great Sachem of the Redman’s Club of New Hampshire. He was a member of the South Berwick Volunteer Fire Department for many years and of the York County Sheriffs Department for several years.
In addition to his wife of 25 years, Beverly A. Smith, he is survived by four daughters, Dr. Lisa A. Yetman, DVM of Berwick, Gayle, Cheryl Hamilton of Lebanon, and Pamela Pelogoin and her husband, Randy, of Ohio; a stepson, David A. Yetman Jr. of Berwick; a brother, Gerald Demers and his wife, Cindy, of Shapleigh; and a sister, Linda Demers, of Rochester, N.H.; and many grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to call Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the McIntire McCooey Funeral Home from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. H.J. Cameron, pastor of Our Lady of Peace, officiating. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions in Zeke’s name to the South Berwick Emergency Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 157, South Berwick, ME 03908 or to your local chapter of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
DOVER - Helen M. Elwell, 88, formerly of 47 Glenwood Ave., and more recently of Pine View Acres in Barrington, died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002, at the Rochester Manor.
Born in Nottingham on April 2, 1914, she was the daughter of Smith Harrison and Marguerite (Sadler) Davis and had resided in this area all of her lifetime.
During World War II, she worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and was known to her family as "Rosie the riveter." She was also a sales clerk at the former W.T. Grant Store in Dover and was the first female toll taker for the State of New Hampshire Turnpike Division.
Helen was a member of the James Farrington Chapter 7, Order of Eastern Star, was an avid bingo and card player and was a member of Sawyer Extension Group of 20 or more lifetime a good friend.
The widow of Lawrence "Red" Elwell, who died in 1980, she is survived by a daughter, Hazel Holt of Raymond; a son, Lawrence Elwell and his wife, Hope, of South Berwick, Maine; a sister, Shirley Dionne, of Florida; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a daughter, Nancy Needham; a sister, Frances Leary; and three brothers, Edgar Davis, Albert Davis and Henry Davis.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Tasker Funeral Home, 621 Central Ave., Dover on Thursday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family and private burial will be at the New Pine Grove Cemetery, Raymond.
Memorials in her name may be made to the Hugh Holt Memorial Fund, for needy Children of Raymond, C/O Ocean National Bank, Main Street, Raymond, NH 03077.
DOVER - Phyllis M. Labbe, 79, formerly of St. John’s Apartments died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002, at Dover Rehabilitation & Living Center.
Born in Portland, Maine, on Dec. 7, 1922, she was the daughter of Frank and Edna G. (Potter) Phillips. She resided here for nearly 65 years.
Prior to her retirement in 1985, she was a 27-year employee of the Davidson Rubber Co. in Dover.
She is survived by two daughters, Sandra Gray of Lebanon, Maine, and Linda Bartsch of Rochester; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Leland Phillips of Ohio and Roger Phillips of New Mexico; and nieces and nephews.
Two brothers, Herman Phillips and Fred Phillips, predeceased her.
There are no calling hours. Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in Forest Grove Cemetery, Lebanon, Maine.
DOVER - Arthur A. Boutin, 84, of Waldron Towers, died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002, at the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
He was born in Lyndonville, Vt., on Nov. 3, 1918, the son of Joseph and Olivine Boutin.
He was a former resident of Berlin and Manchester, prior to moving here some 45 years ago.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, having served with the 244th Field Artillery Battalion in Normandy, northern France and central Europe.
He was a former employee of the Manchester Public Works Department.
There are no known close relatives.
At his request, there are no services. Burial will be in Pine Hill Cemetery.
Arrangements are by the Tasker Funeral Home, 621 Central Ave.
MILTON - George D. Burrows, 81, of Hare Road, died early Friday morning, Dec. 6, 2002, at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Born March 26, 1921, in Milton, he was the son of Carl and Marian (Rand) Burrows.
A lifelong resident of Milton, he was a graduate of Nute High School.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving in Europe and in the Pacific. He was also a veteran of the Vietnam War. A motor maintenance sergeant, he retired from active service in 1981 from the N.H. National Guard.
He was very actively involved in local veterans’ organizations, being a proud member and former quartermaster of the V.F.W. for 32 years. He was a member of the American Legion and the D.A.V., all of Farmington, a member of the 40-8 organization and a past district commander of V.F.W. District 3.
He was a former member of the Budget Committee in Milton and a member of the Hayes Cemetery Association of Milton.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Edna M. (Scranton) Burrows of Milton; six daughters, Judith Morgan of Gilford, Evelyn Dore of Rochester, Susan Tompson of Milton, Rebecca Warburton of Rochester, Jennifer Abell of Barrington and Kathryn Burrows of Milton; four stepchildren, Sandra Davis of New Jersey, Eileen Chapdelaine and Stephen Hagen, both of Rochester, and Jeffrey Hagen of Lake Worth, Fla.; 18 grandchildren; one great-grandson; four sisters; Ruth Dexter and Juanita Boles, both of Milton, Carlene Dilboy and Anna Burrows, both of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by four brothers, Malcolm Nutter and Daniel, Edgar and Luman Burrows; and a sister, Frances Boucher.
Calling hours were held Sunday at C.E. Peaslee and Son Funeral Home, 32 Central St., Farmington. A funeral service was held today at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be in the spring at the Hayes Cemetery in Milton.
If desired, memorial donations may be made to the V.F.W.; the American Legion; or D.A.V. of Farmington, c/o Richard Bowden, 13 Route 153, Middleton, NH 03887-6106.
PORTSMOUTH - Lawrence Ciotti, 82, of Walker Bungalow Road, beloved husband of Mary (Succi) Ciotti, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002, at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
Born in Cohoes, N.Y., on Nov. 27, 1920, he was a son of Vincent James and Maria (Grestini) Ciotti.
He had been a resident of Portsmouth since 1939.
During World War II, he worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and served in the N.H. National Guard.
He was a gifted mechanic and ran the Citie Service Gas Station on Vaughn Street for many years.
A member of Iron Workers Local 474, Manchester, he was an iron and steel worker for 37 years until his retirement in 1982.
After retirement, he found great joy in tinkering in his garage in the summer and spending winters in sunny Florida.
He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church and a former member of the Portsmouth Elks, the Sons of Italy and the Portsmouth Country Club.
In addition to his wife of 60 years, he is survived by his two sons, Lawrence N. Ciotti and his wife, Barbara of Madison, Conn., and Robert M. Ciotti and his wife, Peggy of Dover; seven grandchildren, Susan Ciotti Wivell and her husband, William, Michael Lawrence Ciotti and his wife, Licia, Deanna Ciotti Kelly and her husband, Brian, Cathryn Ciotti, Jeremy Ciotti, Gregory Ciotti and Jessica Ciotti; nine great-grandchildren, Matthew Lawrence Wivell, Kevin Edward Wivell, Hollis Anelia Wivell, Julia Cathryn Ciotti, Brian Patrick Kelly Jr., Kathleen Rae Kelly, Kenneth Lawrence Ciotti, Joseph Michael Ciotti and Gina Marie Ciotti, all of whom he loved to brag; two sisters, Louise Canino of Portsmouth and Marian Belheumer of Dover; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by brothers, Arminio, Pasquale "Pat" and Salvatore "Sam" Ciotti; and a sister, Theresa Succi.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Visiting hours at the Farrell Funeral Home, 684 State St., Portsmouth, will be held today from 4 to 7 p.m. Family flowers only please.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, One Tremont St., Concord, NH 03301.
NEWMARKET - Elizabeth D. Depuy, 94, of Piscassic Street, died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002, at her home in Newmarket.
Arrangements will be announced by the Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home, 77 Exeter St., Newmarket.
WINTER PARK, Fla. - Ernest H. Fogg of 1048 Hampshire Court, and formerly of Portsmouth, N.H., died Friday, Dec. 6, 2002, in Winter Park.
A funeral service will be held at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home - Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad St., Portsmouth, N.H., on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Friends invited.
Visiting hours will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to NHSPCA, P.O. Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885-0196.