MEREDITH — Mary B. Whitcher, 76, of Ellenton, Fla., and Meredith, N.H., passed suddenly on January 21, 2015 at Tampa General Hospital.
Daughter of the late Charles A. Burke and Julie (Routhier) Burke, Mary Ann Burke was born on June 19, 1938 in Franklin, N.H. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Gordon Wendell Whitcher; her six children, Cynthia (Cindy) Whitcher of Concord, N.H., Janice Lord of Lenoir City, Tenn., Gordon (G.W.) Whitcher, Jr., of Meredith, N.H., Christopher (Chris) Whitcher of Meredith, N.H., Susan Zidron of Hollywood, Fla., Rebecca (Becky) Whitcher of Meredith, N.H. ; sister, Margaret E. Knight of Franklin, N.H., brother, John W. Burke of Manchester, N.H.; sister-in-law Roberta Burke of Franklin, N.H.; grandchildren Amanda and Andrew Lord, Carly, Cody and Everett Whitcher, six great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brother, Charles E. Burke of Franklin, N.H.
Mary Burke attended St. Mary's School and graduated from Franklin High School in 1956. She studied elementary education at Plymouth State College where she met her husband, Gordon Whitcher. They married June 28, 1958.
Mary worked at New England Telephone and Telegraph and Annalee Dolls, and began what would be a long career in banking after the birth of her sixth child. She started at First Bank in Meredith in 1973 and moved on to work at Meredith Village Savings Bank where her work ethic and attention to detail elevated her to numerous positions throughout her tenure including loan officer, branch manager of multiple offices and assistant vice president. She continued her quest of banking perfection by becoming the compliance officer at MVSB and founded the Lakes Region Compliance Association where she was recognized for outstanding leadership. She completed her banking career in compliance at Laconia Savings Bank and retired in 2001.
Mary generously served her community. She was one of the first four women to be inducted into the Meredith Rotary Club in 1987 where she was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow and was active in the treasury for the Great Meredith Rotary Fishing Derby. She was a board member of the Meredith Visiting Nurses Association and was a devoted member of the Inter-Lakes Booster Club for many years, supporting many of the school's programs long after her children graduated. She also hosted band exchange students and Rotary International Youth Exchange Students. She made her home welcome to all, and it was always bustling with activity.
She thrived to organize chaos, and she had a remarkable ability to balance her active home life with a rising career. She was an outstanding home maker and her interests included many crafts including sewing, knitting and cross stitching. She proudly displayed her works of art and was recognized for her accomplishments on numerous occasions. She began the "Mitten Tree Program" at Meredith Village Savings Bank, a tradition of collecting handmade or purchased mittens and hats for those in need that continues today. In her retirement, she loved knitting hats for premature babies at the local hospitals.
She loved the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots and was notorious for saving things because "You never know when we might need that". She was clever, crafty and always prepared. Her retirement years were spent in Ellenton, Florida and Meredith, N.H and she enjoyed her time doting on her family. She glowed when her grandchildren came to visit and took special pride in her great grandchildren. Throughout her life, her most favorite pastime was holding babies.
She is forever remembered for her gentle nature, her impeccable attention to detail and her selfless and proud love of her family.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the team of professionals in the thoracic cardiac ICU at Tampa General Hospital for their exceptional care and compassion in her final hours.
A memorial service will be held this summer in Meredith, N.H. on a date to be determined by the family.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) 186 Waukewan Street, Meredith, N.H., 03253 or a charity of the donor's choosing.
Mayhew Funeral Homes & Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth are assisting the family. For Mary's Book of Memories: www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 07:49
BRIDGEWATER — Mary E. Hardy, 72, died Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth. She was born in Somerville, Mass., the daughter of John and Bernice (Burdick) Herra. She grew up in Somerville, moved to Malden in 1979, and then Melrose until 1986, when she moved to Franklin, N.H. and most recently Bridgewater, N.H.
Prior to her retirement, she was a supervisor at Freudenberg, NOK.
Mary enjoyed going to yard sales, sewing, crocheting, baking, cooking, and collecting dolls and spoons. To Mary, the most important part of life was family. She loved her children and grandchildren. She was a mother to every child who came into her home. She taught them to cook and sew as well as to love and care for others. She will always be remembered as "The Hottest Ticket".
Family members include four sons: Kevin and Dana Hardy of Bridgewater, Darrin (Jen) Hardy of Belmont, James Hardy of Scituate, Mass.; daughter Mary Swett of Middleboro, Mass.; grandchildren: Haidin, Nathan, Zachary, Ryan and Keith Hardy, Nicole White, Charles and William Swett; two sisters: Joanne Clark of Bennington, Vt. and Sherry Martelli of Portland, Tenn.; four brothers: John Herra of Plymouth, Mass.; Charles Herra of Bristol; Bill Herra of Webster, Mass.; Brian Herra of Bridgewater, numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and best friends Carlene Libby and Charlotte Sartell. She was predeceased by her husband, Walter R. Hardy; two sisters: Jacqueline Dunleavy and Karen Whalen and four brothers: Walter, Kevin, Danny, and Jimmy Herra.
Memorial calling hours will be Friday, February 6, 2015 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Emmons Funeral Home, 115 South Main St., Bristol. A private graveside service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Bridgewater Fire Brigade, 297 Mayhew Turnpike, Bridgewater, NH 03222.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:26
SAGAMORE BEACH, Mass. — Mary Ann Schaller, 72, passed away at her home in Sagamore Beach on January 26 with her family at her side. She leaves her soul mate Al "Bud" Sherman of Sagamore Beach, a brother Harry J. Schaller and his wife Kim of Wellesley, her son Scott MacFee of Sagamore Beach, a daughter Kim Tucker and "her" David of Meredith, N.H. She also leaves her former daughter in-law Candace Nichols and her husband Jim of St Petersburg, Fla., her grandchildren Nicholas MacFee, Jessica Nichols, Kelsey Titara, Tiffany Tucker, and Tyler Tucker, her great grandchildren Briella Ann Howarth, Dustin Tucker Hartnett, Jayme Lynn Tucker, Joshua Michael Tucker and many cousins and friends. She was predeceased by a brother Richard Schaller and a grandson Joshua John Roger Tucker.
Mary Ann was born in Natick, Mass., the daughter of the late Roger D. and Marion (Thompson) Schaller she graduated from Natick High School and the Wilfred Academy of Cosmetology in Boston. She worked for the Natick School Department for about a year and moved to St. Petersburg and worked for the Pinellas City School System from 1973 to 1975. In 1975 she worked in hardware and became the "Queen of Hardware" in Gulfport, Fla. In 1988 she returned to Natick to care for her parents and worked at P.B. Corkham Hardware in Wellesley. She retired to Sagamore Beach in 1999 and worked part-time at Stop & Shop in Sandwich, Mass.
She was a strong and amazingly loving, strong, and independent woman whose smile and laughter will live in our hearts forever. She loved the beach, cruising in "Hot Rods" and spending time with her family and friends. A celebration of her life will be held in the spring. All other services will be private In lieu of flowers donations in Mary Ann's memory may be made to Cranberry Hospice, 36 Cordage Park Cir. Plymouth, MA 02360
On line condolences can be made at richarddavisfuneralhome.com
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:24
MEREDITH — John Polonchek finished an epic journey on January 26, 2015 that began on January 1st, 1928. John, the eldest son of Gaspar and Mary Polomcak, was born in Granastov, Czechoslovakia and was preceded in death by his parents, elder sister, Julie Zaiko, and younger brother, Mike. He is survived by his younger sister, Helen Ignas, of Schererville, Indiana.
John was an outstanding scholar and athlete, earning All-State honors as a halfback at Roosevelt High School in East Chicago, Indiana. He was inducted into the East Chicago Hall of Fame in 1979. John attended Michigan State University on an athletic scholarship. In 1949, he was the first recipient of the Potsy Ross Award, an honor given to the football player making the most contributions to the team on the field and in the classroom. He is still among the career leaders in interceptions at MSU. After graduation, John joined the U.S. Air Force and began his coaching career as a player-coach at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. It was there he met his wife of 59 years, Joan, whom he married in 1955. After discharge from the Air Force, John and Joan moved to East Lansing, Michigan, where he coached for Michigan State University from 1956 – 1958. After three years, John joined the staff at the University of Colorado in Boulder as an assistant coach. In 1961, the Colorado Buffaloes were the Big 8 Champions and represented the conference at the Orange Bowl. In 1963, John was hired as a scout for the New York Jets. John joined the Oakland Raiders under Al Davis in 1967, beginning a 25-year NFL-coaching career. John had previously worked for Al Davis scouting National Football League players targeted for recruitment prior to the formation of the new American Football League (AFL).
While with the Raiders, John coached running backs. His first pro-football season in 1967 was a season of electrifying last-minute comebacks led by the "mad bomber" Daryle Lamonica and punctuated by a series of last-second field goals from the toe of George Blanda. That first season ended on a high note, as the Raiders competed in Super Bowl II against Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers. In 1968, he coached the Raiders in the infamous "Heidi Bowl" that forever changed the broadcast sporting world. Never again would a live football game be pre-empted by a scheduled network show, as the Raiders scored two touchdowns to defeat "Broadway Joe Namath" in the final minute: – a comeback that no one on the East Coast saw.
After five years at Oakland, John was hired by the Green Bay Packers, where he coached receivers under Dan Devine from 1972-1975. In 1975, John was hired by the New England Patriots as the Quarterback Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach for Chuck Fairbanks (1975-1979) and Ron Erhardt (1979-1983). In 1983, he joined a startup football league, the United States Football League (USFL) as the quarterback coach for the New Jersey Generals. When the league folded in 1985, John rejoined the New England Patriots as the Quarterback Coach/Special Assistant to the Head Coach under Raymond Berry. That same year, the Patriots competed in Super Bowl XX against the Chicago Bears. John continued his coaching career with the Patriots until his retirement at the end of the 1991 football season. Throughout his career, John had the honor of coaching with outstanding coaches and players in both the professional and collegiate ranks. John worked for Hall of Fame owner Al Davis, coached with Hall of Fame coaches John Madden and Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame players Raymond Berry, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Willie Brown, John Hannah, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Ron Mix, Jim Otto, Dave Robinson, Art Shell, Bart Starr, Andre Tippett, and Gene Upshaw. His teams competed in sixteen NFL playoff games, with seven wins, earning visits to Super Bowl II and Super Bowl XX.
John is survived by Joan and their three children: son, John Polonchek, of Stillwater, Okla. and his wife, Amy Weaver Polonchek; daughter, Jennifer Ferreira, of Ridgefield, Conn. and her husband, John Ferreira; and daughter, Jeanna Polonchek, of Taunton, Mass. and her partner Robin Gaudreau; grandchildren, Allison Ferreira, MD, Alexander Ferreira, Christopher Polonchek and his wife Maria, Audrey Polonchek, and Kathleen Polonchek, MD; great grandchildren Luke Polonchek, Taj Polonchek and Sola Polonchek.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions in John Polonchek's memory to the Trustees of Boston University with a note "In memory of John Polonchek" to support Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Research through the CTE Neuropathology Fund. The address is:
Boston University School of Medicine, Attention Lauren Murphy, 72 East Concord Street Suite B7800, Boston, MA 02118
The CTE Center was established to support high-impact, innovative research and to understand long-term consequences of repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel.
A calling hour will be held in the Narthex of St. Charles-Borromeo Catholic Church, 300 NH Rt. 25, Meredith, on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at 11a.m. Rev. Dennis J. Audet, pastor will be the celebrant. Interment will be private.
Mayhew Funeral Homes & Crematorium of Meredith and Plymouth are assisting the family. For John's Book of Memories: www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 10:22