In Memoriam

Pat Kerekes, 75


Patricia Merrill Kerekes (born Daley) of Manchester, NH, 75, died March 20, 2024, under hospice care in Merrimack, NH.  She was born on October 05, 1948, in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Robert and Helen Daley. Pat graduated from the Rosary College of Chicago, IL with a Bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in teaching.  She was a homemaker, mother of four, and wife to her first husband, James Merrill.  In 1988 she began working at Jones Day Esq. as an intellectual property paralegal and retired in 2005.  After her divorce in 2005, she relocated to St. Johnsbury, VT.   She met her second husband Todd Kerekes in 2007 and they married in 2010.  His work brought them to Manchester, NH, where they remained until her death.

Pat was an avid gardener and loved to travel.  She was a contract bridge player since 1998 and a Bridge Life Master.

Nancy Lewis, 83


Nancy Lewis of Barrington, NH, passed away on February 4 after a brief illness. Nancy grew up in Buffalo, NY and went to college at Lake Erie College in Painsville, OH. She moved to Massachusetts where she taught math in Sudbury. When she was 26, Nancy bought a camp on Ayers Lake in Barrington, NH. Every night during the summer, she would cruise around the lake in her party boat, picking up people who would wave from their dock. The boat and camp on the lake were her pride and joy. Nancy never married but she enjoyed entertaining people all summer long. She sang in her church choir and also enjoyed playing golf and duplicate bridge. Nancy was a longtime member of the Great Bay Bridge Club in Portsmouth. She was a generous person and a great soul. She will be missed.

Ellen Tabell, 93


Ellen Tabell, 93, of Exeter, NH and formerly of Princeton, NJ, died peacefully with her daughters at her side on Sunday, January 14. Ellen grew up and attended schools in New York City until her family moved to Connecticut in 1944. She graduated in 1948 at the top of her class at Greenwich Academy, and went on to study history at Wellesley College, from which she graduated in 1952. She married her high school sweetheart, Tony Tabell, in 1953. They were married for 67 years before his death in 2020.

She embraced the roles and responsibilities of a woman of her generation with grace, determination, and patience. She chose to not have a job outside the home after having children, opting for the life of primary caregiver for her three daughters. She was an indefatigable household manager and parent, and an active community volunteer. She spent countless hours of service as an adult literacy teacher for the Princeton Public Library, and at the soup kitchen in Trenton.

Ellen and Tony traveled the world with family vacations to Africa, to numerous tropical destinations, and ski trips to Canada, Sun Valley, Switzerland, and France. She enjoyed downhill skiing well into her 60s. She was an avid reader, games player and a fiercely competitive backgammon and bridge player. She was a longtime member of the NHBA, having belonged to Great Bay Bridge Club for many years and most recently to Riverwoods at Exeter.

Walter Lang, 98


Walter O. Lang, age 98, passed away on Friday, December 8 at his home in Greenland, NH. Born in Pittsburg, PA, his parents came to Massachusetts during the Depression. He was a scholar, athlete and a winner of The Oscar Horton Trophy from Weymouth High School in Weymouth Mass. Walter was Captain of the football team, and he also played baseball and was on the swim team in high school and college. He was a first chair violinist (Flight of the Bumblebee) before he went into the Navy.

Walter signed up for the Navy in June of 1943 and was then sent to Yale University after high school graduation . He was a year behind George Bush Sr. and Ted Williams at Yale. He continued his Naval obligation with all the flight schools and earned his wings. He served on the carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt as a carrier pilot, flying the F4U Corsair. After receiving an honorable discharge in December of 1948, Walter finished his education at Wesleyan University with two degrees in History and Landscape Architecture.

Walter moved his family back to Massachusetts after the war. Walter and wife Martha started a family landscape business in 1949; the family was getting ready to celebrate 75 years in business next year. Many community projects done by Lang Nursery are still seen today at schools, churches, and memorials to fallen soldiers including the Memorial Circle in Kittery, Maine for the Navy Submarine Thresher.

Walter was privileged to have retired in the winters to Pinehurst, North Carolina. He had many hobbies including golf, handball, and swimming until this past summer. He also had other interests including caning chairs, gold mining, gambling, reading, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, chess, cribbage, and many card games. His favorite card game was bridge. Just a year ago, Walter attained the ranking of Ruby Life Master and he was a longtime member of the Great Bay Bridge Club in Portsmouth.

Walter and Martha were all about God, the family and community. Walter was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, and a wonderful friend. He will be missed.

Maureen Mann, 79


Maureen Riordan Mann of Deerfield NH passed away peacefully on September 10, 2023, at age 79. Born in Middletown CT, Maureen was one of five children. She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Robert (Bob) Mann, and by her brothers Timothy P. Riordan and Joseph P. Riordan.

As a child, Maureen was described as “always having a book in her hand” so it was no surprise that when college time came around Maureen majored in education. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Middletown, Maureen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Simmons College in Boston, and then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College, also in Boston. Maureen then followed in her mother’s footsteps. She became a teacher and taught history and psychology at Medford High School in Medford MA, from which she retired after teaching there for decades. She was committed to helping her students understand that the study of history was not just interesting but was also an essential preparation for fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens in our American democracy.

Maureen was the epitome of fairness and equality and believed that it was a person’s “actions not words” that made a difference. In addition to being an active participant in the everyday affairs of the Deerfield community, she volunteered in support of the political campaigns of various Democratic political candidates and was herself elected as a Democrat State Representative for the State of New Hampshire. Maureen won a special election and two additional full terms to the NH General Court (2008 and 2012) representing Deerfield, Northwood, Nottingham, and Candia. In 2006 she was awarded Deerfield’s coveted Sherburne Award for outstanding citizenship.

Maureen and her husband Bob were both longtime members of the Derry Bridge Club. They shared a mutual love of playing tennis and bridge, raising Bouvier des Flanders dogs, and staying in touch with family members. Her welcoming, positive and fun-loving attitude, along with her dry sense of humor and ever accommodating demeanor, made her the adored grande dame of all in her extended family.

Ron Mak, 73


Ronald “Ron” Tai Woo Mak, 73, of Manchester, NH passed away on August 25, 2023, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He was born on January 2, 1950 in Hong Kong. He moved to Hawaii, completing high school there before moving to Canada, and later on, New Hampshire. Throughout his life, Ron embarked on various career paths, showcasing his versatile skills. He worked as a stockbroker, restaurant manager, tax advisor and retired from the Post Office in Nashua, NH after 20+ years of service, demonstrating his adaptability and dedication to his work.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Ron found great joy in his hobbies. He was an avid bridge player, traveling across the U.S. and Canada to participate in tournaments. He was a 10-time NH State Champion, including four in a row from 2010-2013 and he amassed over 7000 Masterpoints along the way. Ron’s passion for the game extended beyond his own enjoyment and successes. He spent countless hours teaching others and sharing his knowledge, fostering a love for bridge in those around him.

Ron will be remembered not only for his accomplishments but also for his kind and giving nature. He touched the lives of many through his generosity and willingness to help others. His warm smile and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Dave Donovan, 92


Dave Donovan passed away in New London Hospital on May 26, at the age of 92. Dave was born on January 13, 1931, in Providence, RI. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1953 with a degree in economics, he went to naval officer training school and became a navy pilot, flying missions in the South Pacific. While stationed in Coronado, California, he married his high school sweetheart, Cynthia Hillery.

After Dave left the navy, he and Cynthia settled in Manchester, CT, and had three girls. Dave began a career in finance with Travelers Insurance and earned an MBA from UConn. In 1966 the family moved to Morristown, NJ, where Dave worked for Schering Plough before joining a division of Thomson CSF, eventually becoming its CFO.

Retirement brought Dave and Cynthia to Blaisdell Lake in Sutton, NH, and then to Highland Ridge in New London. An avid sportsman, Dave enjoyed tennis and sailing and golfed and skied into his 90s. He was also a tournament bridge player who achieved bronze life master status at age 91.

Dave liked a good Manhattan and was a connoisseur of fried clams, assigning ratings to clam shacks around New England. But his greatest passion was his family. At Blaisdell Lake, he and Cynthia created the ideal family gathering spot. He loved spending time with his grandsons, teaching them to ski at Sunapee and taking them water skiing, tubing, and golfing in the summer. His nightly cocktail cruise for adults was not to be missed.

Robert Pomeroy, 79


Robert Pomeroy, 79, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, May 21, 2023, at his Quechee, VT home surrounded by his family, after recently being diagnosed with ALS. Bob was born September 17, 1943, in Syracuse, NY. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in 1965 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1968. Upon graduation, he joined the Boston law firm of Goodwin Procter. As a partner, he practiced Trusts and Estate Planning until his retirement in 2013.

“Bones,” as he was affectionately nicknamed by his childhood friends, was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Bob was known for his brilliant mind, integrity, wit, and understated presence. In his retirement, Bones and Sandy found joy in travel and family vacations with their children and grandchildren. Bob loved sailing, computers, skiing, hiking, golf, bridge, and other card games, and puzzles of all kinds. Most importantly, he deeply enjoyed the camaraderie of his wife, family and friends.

Eldwin Wixson, 91


Eldwin “Ed” A. Wixson, Jr. died peacefully at home in Plymouth on April 6, attended by his beloved wife of 47 years, Marilyn (Barden) Wixson. He was 91 years young. Born in Waterville, ME on November 30, 1931, Ed was the son of Eldwin A. Wixson, Sr. and Hope (Craig) Wixson.

Ed earned his B.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of Maine at Orono in 1953. At that time, Ed also was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program. While Ed began his education in agricultural engineering, he shifted his focus to mathematics and mathematics education, receiving master’s degrees from Colby College and Temple University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Ed taught at Waterville and Winslow high schools and Keene State College before becoming a full professor of mathematics education at Plymouth State College.

On July 31, 1976, Ed married Marilyn, with whom he had two children, Jonathan and Jessica. Both Ed and Marilyn taught in the mathematics department at Plymouth State for many memorable years, both retiring in 2003. Over the years their travel adventures took them across the United States and to Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Ed loved to play card games and was a lifelong bridge player. Both he and Marilyn played bridge recreationally and competitively, with Ed playing three games a week right up until his death.

Ed was very active in the greater Plymouth community, serving as a member of the Plymouth school board, Plymouth planning board, board of the New Hampshire Electric Co-op, board of Speare Memorial Hospital and board of Rural Utilities Services CFC. He was a founding member of Plymouth Community Guaranty Savings Bank.

Dan Button, 89


Dan Button, 89, adored his wife, his family, and his bridge partners. He passed away March 15, 2023. Dan married Mary Anne Bailey and they had three children together. Dan started work at Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, CA before returning to Alfred University to pursue his PhD in ceramic engineering. His career then took him through Westinghouse and Norton Abrasives, which sent him across six continents to apply his invention to manufacturing.

In 1987, Dan married Mary Kay, his partner and best friend for life. They moved to New Hampshire and, together, they biked, hiked, canoed, snow-shoed, worked out at the gym, played doubles bridge, and widely traveled the world.

Dan enjoyed deer hunting with a bow and arrow, camping and tinkering with cars. Over the course of his life he owned scores. He favored European model cars especially Volvos. Dan’s life motto may have been “Don’t live to work, work to live.” He played bridge as a Master in four leagues, taught judo, was a proud member of Mensa.

Jerry Ruffner, 83


Gerald A. “Jerry” Ruffner, 83, passed away March 10, 2023 at home in Fremont, New Hampshire after a year-long confrontation with cancer. Jerry graduated from Penn State University in 1961 with a degree in Civil Engineering, and received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1966. Upon graduation from Penn State, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served our country around the world, including duty stations in Viet Nam and Thule, Greenland. He received many meritorious awards and medals and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel before leaving the Air Force in 1982. Jerry then took a position with the University System of New Hampshire, and became an overseer of new construction and renovation of existing buildings. Among his many projects was overseeing construction of the Whittemore Center, and major modifications to Dimond Library.

Jerry retired from UNH in 1999 and with Susan Tester, his beloved wife and companion of 20 years, traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe, and also spent long weekends enjoying music at Tanglewood. He enjoyed skiing, racket ball, tennis, golf, and kayaking, and followed Penn State football, UNH hockey, and the Celtics and Red Sox. Jerry excelled at duplicate bridge, and achieved the rank of Life Master. He was a long time member of the Great Bay Bridge Club in Portsmouth.

Donald Mitchell, 90


Donald James Mitchell died peacefully in his home in New London, NH on February 12, 2023 at the age of 90. Donald was born on June 27, 1932 in New London, NH to William F. “Bill” Mitchell and Delima C. “Dellie” (Blanchette) Mitchell. He enlisted in the Navy in 1951 and spent time serving as a radio operator on the USS Coral Sea before losing a leg to cancer and being medically discharged. Donald received a Bachelor’s Degree from New England College in Henniker, NH and a Master’s Degree from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. He was a Certified Public Accountant based in the New London area for decades, serving families and businesses throughout New Hampshire and northern New England.

Donald loved golf, boating and fishing, and playing duplicate bridge and cribbage. He was a longtime member of the Eastman Bridge Club in Grantham and Hanover. He particularly enjoyed the ocean, spending many weeks in Newagen, ME, Chappaquiddick Island, MA, and Hilton Head, SC. He also learned to ski in his 40s, joining the NEHSA group at Mt. Sunapee Ski Area. He will be remembered for his kind and levelheaded approach to all matters and his genuine respect and enjoyment of the people around him.

Lucy Crichton, 77


Lucy passed away on Thursday, July 7, with her daughter Sarah by her side. She was 77. Lucy’s life was dedicated to making this world a better place through her social work, political activism, and her civic and spiritual engagement. She came to New Hampshire in the early 1970s. Her career was diverse as a social worker and counselor. She demonstrated her leadership skills as director of the NH Feminist Health Center, lobbyist for the NH Women’s Lobby, director of the Warner Women’s Oral History Project, executive director of the NH Family Planning Council and the NH Bar Foundation.

Lucy was a founding member of Carolyn Parrott’s Songweavers, making music that was accessible, political and powerful. She co-authored The Healing Handbook with Barbara Filleul after their diagnoses with breast cancer and pursued a spiritual path integrating art, prayer and healing. As she continued her spiritual journey, she founded Freedom to Heal, wrote extensively on health issues, and earned a Doctor of Ministry in 2006 from Wisdom University/ University of Creation Spirituality. She was a devoted grandmother and loved spending time with her grandchildren. She loved golf, yoga, swimming and bridge. Lucy was a long time member of the Derry Bridge Club.

Margaret V. Moore, 85

4/11/36 – 2/9/22

Margaret was born Margaret Vera Darnell in the United Kingdom. She married Charles H. Moore, a U.S. serviceman and moved to the United States. She then had two sons before deciding to go to college. She graduated with a B.A. from Castleton College in Vermont. After getting her degree she taught English for 25 years from 1970-1995 at Goffstown High School. After retiring from teaching, Margaret took up climbing all the 4,000 foot peaks in New England, teaching English to refugees, reading to patients in hospice, and playing competitive bridge. Margaret was a frequent player at several of the New Hampshire bridge clubs. Her quick wit, cheeky sense of humor, and English accent will be missed by all who knew her.