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Leonard B. Hooker

MEREDITH — Leonard Bartlett Hooker passed from this world on April 16, 2015. Born in 1923 he was the first of 5 children born to Alonzo E. and Lucy G. Hooker of Holbrook, Mass., Leonard was non-stop from the time he learned to walk. From pulling nails out with his teeth to eating a pint of ice cream on his walk home from work at the family business, Hooker Bros. Ice Cream, Leonard's stories were as colorful as his biography.

After graduating Holbrook High School in 1941, Leonard went on to graduate from Wiggins Aircraft Mechanic School with a certification in aircraft and engine repair. He attended MIT night school prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He served under the Civilian Pilot Training Program and participated in the training the first students and mechanics enrolled in the program. His dreams of becoming a pilot were dashed following a crash while riding an Indian motorcycle in Arizona. Grounded, he spent the war years as a mechanic in the Pacific, specifically the Philippines and Japan, working on B-17, B-29, and P-51 aircraft.

Following WWII, Leonard moved to Laconia, N.H., where he was hired on as the mechanic at the Laconia Airport. Leonard went on to earn a pilot's license and was certified by the CAA, an FAA predecessor, to repair, inspect and license aircraft for flight. During this time, Leonard met Shirley A. Colburn at Mother Mack's Boardinghouse in Laconia. Leonard and Shirley were married on February 22, 1947 and together raised 5 children. Following the dissolution of this marriage, Leonard married Gwendolyn L. Dauphinette on May 13, 1978.
When work at the airport ended, Leonard moved on to Willey's Express as a large truck mechanic. Leonard was a member of the Teamsters' Union and was chief mechanic for the F. S. Willey Co. for 30 years.

Leonard was generous with his time and skills. For 25 years he was a member of the Boy Scout Committee for troop 64 and for 3 years volunteered at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation. He was a member and at one time president of the Belknap County Sportsman's Association of Guilford, which was where he perfected the art of the chicken barbecue. He was a member of the Trinity Methodist Church of Weirs Beach, where they appreciated and utilized his chicken barbecue skills. Leonard also served as post commander of American Legion Post #58. Leonard volunteered for 14 years at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum, Owl's Head, Maine where he rebuilt aircraft for display and flight. He delighted in his time spent in Owl's Head.

At the age of 50 and still young at heart, Leonard built and raced dirt track stock cars at the old Bryer Race Track, now the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon. At times, Leonard even competed against his son, Bruce, at the track. In later years, there was less competition with Bruce and more camaraderie as they collaborated on projects at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center, Laconia.

The faint odor of motor oil, the hitch in his step, his infectious smile and his willingness to help others will be dearly missed by those left behind including his long time companion, Sue Flanders of Meredith, N.H.; sister, Ruth Hooker of Holbrook, Mass.; son, Alan Hooker (Emily) of Bozeman, Mont.; daughters, Sissy Hooker; Susan Mansfield of Ely, Minn.; and Wendy Hooker (Tom Payer) of Fairbanks, Alaska; step-daughter, Jean Munsey of Gilmanton, N.H.; 19 grand-children, and 24 great-grandchildren.

Leonard is predeceased by his parents Alonzo and Lucy; three brothers, Richard, Dean and Elbridge; wife, Gwendolyn; and son, Bruce.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 2 to 4 p.m., at Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street Laconia, NH, using the Carriage House entrance.

A Funeral service will Immediately follow at 4 p.m. also at the funeral home.

Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Meredith, N.H. at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to the Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center 928 White Oaks Road, Laconia NH 03246.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view and online memorial, please visit www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 06:23

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Thomas H. Kilgellon


LACONIA — Thomas H. Kilgellon, 61, went home to be with the Lord with his loving wife by his side on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at Lakes Region General Hospital.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the Congregational Church, 18 Veterans Square, Laconia NH.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to New Hampshire Humane Society, PO Box 572, Laconia NH 03247.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia NH is assisting with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 06:18

Hits: 76

Robin L. Elliotte, 48


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Robin Lee Elliotte, age 48, of Laconia, N.H. and Arcadia, Fla., died Saturday, March 7, 2015 at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, after suffering a stroke.

Robin was born May 14th, 1966 in Laconia, N.H. Much of her earlier life was spent in the Laconia area before becoming a cross country truck driver. She loved being on the road, traveling around and seeing the country.

Robin is survived by her long time partner, George Bean, her son, Marvin Elliotte, her mothers, Norrine Derusha and Penny O'Day, her sisters, Laura Antonis-Morrissette, Laronda Clark-Patten and Brittany Pools, and brothers Mark Wright, Kevin Machon and Todd Gray. She is also survived by uncles and aunts, Mr. and Mrs. Lamont Clark and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Elliotte, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at United Baptist Church, 35 Park St., Lakeport, N.H. at 11 a.m. Grave side service to follow at Maple Grove Cemetery, Baptist Rd., Canterbury, N.H., at 1 p.m.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 06:16

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Raymond F. Gessner, 79


ALTON — Raymond F. Gessner, 79, a longtime resident of Alton, New Hampshire, died of health complications Friday April 17, 2015 at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. His loving wife, Judy Gessner was by his side. Born in Boston, he lived in Massachusetts till he moved to New Hampshire 30 years ago.
Mr. Gessner was born on July 12, 1935, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Gessner, and was one of 7 children. As a child, Ray was diagnosed with Polio twice; once at the age of 1 and then again at 10 years old. During his second diagnosis, he spent a year in an iron lung in Lakeville, Massachusetts.
He graduated from Falmouth High School in 1954. He then worked as a Forest Fire Fighter for the State of Massachusetts on Cape Cod. He was also a fireman for Harwich, Massachusetts. Mr. Gessner met his wife, Judith (maiden name: Gustafson) Gessner while living and working on Cape Cod. Ray and Judy were married on May 1, 1976. Mr. Gessner became Gabriel Biderman's stepfather and had two daughters with Judy: Ruth Gessner and Jennifer Natola.
Ray and Judy moved to Alton, New Hampshire shortly after their second daughter was born so they could live a more peaceful life. Mr. Gessner was a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross. Ray was the Disaster Chairman for the Greater White Mountain Red Cross for many years. He was called all over the state to assist with disasters, fires and lost hikers. He also traveled to Florida and Texas to help with Hurricane disaster relief.
Ray spent 7 summers volunteering and enjoying Camp Calumet Lutheran in Ossipee, New Hampshire. He was a role model to the children and staff alike.
Ray had a passion for helping those less fortunate them him. Ray could often be heard telling many jokes or stories. He was always eager to make others laugh. He said, if he could make someone smile, then he knew he had made a difference, and that made him happy. He also had a great love for the Red Sox, marching bands, and donuts. The Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series was a very memorable time for him and his family. He was a very loving and caring husband, a proud father and a devoted grandfather. He could always be found on the sidelines of his family's many sporting events either as a coach or spectator. Ray and Judy would enjoy taking trips together; either to the mountains or the ocean, if there was a donut shop to be found, he knew where it was.
He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 39 years, Judith (Gustafson) Gessner; three children, Gabriel Biderman of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ruth Gessner of Dover, N.H., and Jennifer Natola of Nottingham, N.H.; three grandchildren, Gustave and Duncan Levey and Connor Gessner all of Dover, N.H.; one brother, Russell Gessner of Yarmouth, Mass. along many nieces and nephews all over the country.
Calling hours will be on Thursday April 23, 2015 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, New Hampshire.
The funeral will be will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday April 24, 2015 at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 22 Fox Run Road Newington, New Hampshire. Refreshments will be provided following the service at the church.
His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local Fire Department or the American Red Cross.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 April 2015 06:04

Hits: 61

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