MEREDITH — Robert A. Peelstrom Jr. died peacefully on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in the company of friends and family.
A self-described English teacher, computer programmer, banjo picker, Bob was raised in Clinton Conn., a small town on the Connecticut shore. Known as Uncle Bob, Mr. P., Peel, or plain old Bob, he was the only child of Robert Sr. and Grace Peelstrom.
He spent a lot of time in the water swimming, snorkeling, and spear fishing, but music became the focus of his life at an early age. The Kingston Trio got him hooked on folk music and he bought a $25 guitar before high school. It made his fingers bleed, so he traded it in for a banjo, and the rest is history.
Bob started teaching guitar as a senior in high school, and by that time had convinced the faculty to create a music theory program for himself and three other seniors. In 1963, he entered the University of Connecticut, and worked his way through college playing and teaching music. This is where his folk roots grew into a love of bluegrass music. His bands included the Snake Hill Boys and the Cedar Mountain Boys.
After college, Bob focused his energy on becoming the best English teacher he could be. Words can't describe his influence on hundreds of students, not only as a teacher, but as a mentor, bringing out the greatest qualities in each individual, and accepting nothing but their best efforts. He continued to be a great educator throughout his life, regardless of whether one wanted to be educated or not.
Early on in his teaching career in Connecticut, he discovered that a fellow English teacher, Dave Light, played electric guitar and The Flashbacks 1950's Rock and Roll Revival was born. They played all over New England for many years and played with the likes of The Coasters, Chubby Checker, and Bo Diddley. Anyone who has spent more than a couple of hours with Bob has heard the story of Bo Diddley quickly assessing Bob's talents onstage and letting him rip some leads on guitar with Bo smiling in the background.
Bob moved to Meredith in 1979 and began teaching English at Inter-Lakes High School, where he continued to be a mentor to students of all different academic levels and career interests. His influence can be felt all around town today.
Shortly after moving to Meredith, Bob met up with two musicians, Doug White and Peter Heimlich, and the three became life-long friends. They played under several band names, including Patchy Ground Fog, The Cold River String Band, The Apocalypse Notch String Band, and most recently Idol Hands.
Bob left teaching for a more lucrative gig – selling personal computers for Radio Shack. He was always proud of the fact that selling TRS-80s helped put his son through college. Bob continued his computer career, opening his own consulting company and during this time also became a skilled woodworker and opened a craft shop in his house in Meredith. Bob ended his professional career with Smartware Group, working as a documentation, testing, and support specialist, making his unique views on life and programming known to all throughout the company.
It seemed like anything Bob took a keen interest in, he excelled at: Photography, woodworking, candle-making, even bass fishing and blackjack. But most of all – banjo. Bob took great delight in his long-lasting relationships with students and fellow musicians. He was especially proud to be friends with Eddie Adcock and Don Wayne Reno, both of whom had a significant influence on Bob's banjo playing style, and share a general appreciation for rebelliousness.
Calling hours will be held at the home of Dave and Amy Peelstrom, 7 Park View Lane, Meredith, on Sunday, May 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lakes Region Visiting Nurses Association, 186 Waukewan St., Meredith NH 03253.
"If you keep pickin' that thing, it will never heal." RIP
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:42
NEW HAMPTON — Patricia Gnerre, 80, of New Hampton, passed away on Saturday night with her family by her side.
Patricia was born at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., and lived in Watertown, Mass., with her parents, Joseph and Frances (Burke) Coleman and sisters, Virginia and Frannie. She married Louis Gnerre Jr. of Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 20 and worked for the next few years as a hairdresser.
In 1957 the Gnerres moved to New Hampton when her husband joined the faculty of New Hampton School. Patricia assisted the Dean of Students at New Hampton School.
They had two sons born in New Hampton: Louis (Gino) Gnerre III in 1958 and Michael Gnerre in 1966. Michael passed away in 2004. Patricia also had a granddaughter, Brittani Gnerre, of New Hampton.
Patricia loved spending time with her family and friends. She loved getting her hair done, having a manicure, and going shopping with her husband. She really enjoyed the simple things in life: taking a ride on a beautiful day, visiting with friends on the phone, or eating a hot fudge sundae. But most of all, she loved to be with her family and friends. She was loved and respected by countless New Hampton School faculty and alumni and by countless Fryeburg Academy faculty and alumni during her husband's tenure at each of these educational institutions. Patricia's beautiful smile and positive outlook will be remembered by many.
A private service for family only will be held this week at the New Hampton Village Cemetery. Friends and family are all invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, June 6, at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Chapel, 2 West Shore Road, Bristol.
In lieu of flowers, the Gnerre family asks that contributions be made to New Hampton School (70 Main St., New Hampton, NH, 03256, c/o Advancement Office) in memory of Patricia Gnerre.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:35
BELMONT — Robert Edward Frame Sr., of Deanna Drive in Belmont, N.H. passed away Wednesday May 6, 2015 at the VA Hospital in Manchester. Robert was born in Franklin, N.H. on January 23, 1953, the son of George Elmer Frame and Clara Hale (Hamilton).
Robert most recently worked at Wal-Mart as a Cashier in Tilton. He also worked as a press operator for Freudenberg/NOK in Bristol and Laconia for 15 years. Robert served in the United States Navy. Robert was a volunteer firefighter for 18 years. He was an avid sports fan, especially of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.
Survivors include his daughter Brittany of Bristol, his son Robert of Laconia, step-daughter Heather of Campton; his two sisters Shirley of Plymouth and Lydia of Belmont; his two brothers Chester (Chet) of El Paso, Tex. and George of Bristol and 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
A celebration of life will be held May 23, 2015 11 a.m. at the New Hampton Community Church, 14 Church Lane in New Hampton. Interment will be private at a later date
For those who wish, the family suggests that donations be made to the New Hampton Community Church or the New Hampton Village Cemetery.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 08:09
Mary E. "Betty" Guay, 86
DOVER — Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Guay, 86, of 307 Plaza Drive, died Sunday, May 10, 2015, at the Dover Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Dover.
She was born on Aug. 15, 1928, in Laconia, the daughter of the late Joseph and Frances (Kozik) Suchocki.
In younger years, she worked as a secretary for Judge Tilton. She served as Deputy Register of Deeds for Strafford County for 10 years. She reopened Guay's Half Way Market on Union Avenue with her husband, Bob, in 1980. Later on she was a proofreader for a number of years for the Foster's Daily Democrat.
She was a lifelong communicant of St. Joseph's Church in Laconia and was also a long-time member of the Ladies Guild and the Catholic Daughters of America.
She loved trips to Foxwoods, bingo and crossword puzzles. Betty enjoyed trips to the beach and reading.
She is survived by her daughter, Catherine Waldron-Robinson and her husband, James, of South Berwick, Maine; five grandchildren, Jason Robinson and his wife Tesha Connors Robinson of Dover, Stephanie Robinson Taylor and her husband Jared of Anchorage, Alaska, Rick Waldron and his wife Rose Fortuna of Brooklyn, N.Y., Emily Robinson Catino and her husband Anthony of Milford and Jessica Robinson of Huston, Texas; and six great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Robert A. Guay in 1995; one brother, Chester Suchocki; and one sister, Mildred Suchocki in 2012.
There will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015, at St. Andre Bessette Parish – St. Joseph Church, 30 Church St., Laconia. Burial will follow in the family plot at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Garfield Street, Laconia.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the Dover Center for Health and Rehabilitation Activities Fund, 307 Plaza Drive, Dover, NH 03820
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 08:03