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Founder of Derry, Londonderry and Windham, to be Honored with Blue Plaque

July 28, 2014 Rev. James McGregor (1677-1729) of Derry, NH will be honored with a “Blue Plaque” memorial in Aghadowey, Northern Ireland. Rev. McGregor was the leader of the pioneers that in 1719 settled the Nutfield grant in Southern New Hampshire — now the towns of Derry, Londonderry, Windham as well as portions of Manchester, Hudson, Salem, and Pelham. The Encyclopedia of Irish History in America has called McGregor “the Moses of the Scotch Irish in America.” The plaque will be put up by the Ulster History Circle, with funding from the Ulster-Scots Agency.

The ceremony on July 28th are still being developed. Derry’s Town Historian Rick Holmes has been invited to take part in the unveiling of the plaque. Others from the area can join him at this honor being offered to the founder of Derry, Londonderry and Windham by the people of Northern Ireland. We are possibly the only town in America to have its founder so officially honored “across the pond.”

Example of Blue Plaque

Background on Rev. James McGregor:
James McGregor was born in Northern Ireland (Ulster,) circa 1677 of Scottish ancestry; some believe he was the cousin of the famous Rob Roy McGregor. As a 12 year old boy he was trapped in the city of Londonderry during the 105 day long siege of the city by the forces of King James II in 1689. It is said that McGregor was standing on the tower of the city’s cathedral and was the first to signal the starving people of the city that a rescue boat had broke through the Jacobite blockade. In 1701 he became the pastor of a small Presbyterian church in Aghadowey and soon became known as the village’s peacemaker. In 1710 the synod gave him the privilege to preach in the Gaelic language.

During the 2nd decade of the 18th century times began to grow tough for the Scots in Ireland. The British government issued a number of edicts favoring the Anglican Church which was the established (official) church. No longer were Presbyterians allowed to hold office, teach or to conduct most civil ceremonies such as marriages and funerals. Economic laws hurt the Ulster Scots in making a living by selling linen, their chief source of income. Rents on English owned lands were also on the rise. Soon there was a fever for emigration throughout Ulster. While for decades Presbyterian Scots and Ulster Scots had been immigrating to the British colonies in America, the first to do in a big way was Rev. McGregor

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Rita M. Bartel, 89

Rita M. Bartel, 89, of Andover, MA, died Saturday April 12, 2014 in the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill, MA. She was born in Cambridge, MA on February 24, 1925, a daughter of the late Charles and Rose (McDonald) McCafferty. Having been raised in Cambridge, she was a graduate of Cambridge High & Latin School. Later, she resided in Tewksbury, MA for many years where she raised her family. She had worked for Macy’s in Lowell, MA for many years, through three store names starting with Bon Marche’ Dept. Store. Rita enjoyed her time spent at Atria Marland Place in Andover, MA since July of 2013 where she resided in the Life Guidance Section. She was an avid reader. Rita will be remembered for being a very giving and generous person, asking nothing in return.

She is survived by her son, John V. Bartel Jr. of Derry, NH and his partner Ginnie Behan; her daughter, Patricia L. Bartel of Mashpee, MA; seven grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; and her sister, Pauline Caterina and her husband Paul of Manchester, NH. She was predeceased by her husband John V. Bartel in 1989, her daughter, Julie A. Bartel, and her siblings, Francis McDonald and Winifred Reilly.

There are no calling hours. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 15th at 11:00am in First Parish Church, 47 East Derry Rd., Derry. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, April 16th in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Connery Ave., Bourne, MA. Memorial contributions may be made to the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, C/O Home Health Foundation, Attn: External Relations, 360 Merrimack Street, Building 9, Lawrence, MA 01843. The Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry is assisting the family with arrangement.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.


Anthony Salvatore Carnovale, 67 of Derry

Anthony Salvatore Carnovale, 67 of Derry, NH died April 5, 2014. Tony was born in Priverno, Italy, June 12, 1946 to Eulalia and Salvatore Carnovale. He was the oldest of eight children. In 1955 his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Boston, MA. In Boston, Tony worked hard to learn English and graduate public school. In 1966, after graduating high school, Tony became a US citizen and was drafted by the United States Army. He was a Vietnam vet and was proud to be an American. He took becoming a citizen very seriously and was grateful for all that he had in this country.

After the war, Tony went on to college. He attended Lyndon State College and Cape Cod Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Science and a Masters Degree in Education. During this time he met the love of his life, Gail Bassett. They married, settled on Cape Cod and had two daughters, Tracy and Jennifer.

Tony dedicated his life to teaching and coaching. His passion was mentoring the youth in the communities in which he lived. He used his life experiences to help others grow in positive ways. Tony was extremely generous and loyal; he gave more than he had.

Tony began his teaching career at the Cape Cod Technical High School where he taught social studies and coached basketball. He was the teacher/coach that people were drawn to. He became a mentor, friend and advocate for struggling kids and helped them became strong independent adults. Many former Cape Cod students and athletes visited Tony until his final days.

After teaching on the Cape, Tony moved his family to Derry, NH where he began a 31 year tenure at Pinkerton Academy. There he led the boys varsity basketball team to four state championships and won two state titles. He continued his legacy as being the teacher that understood kids and could connect with some of the hardest to reach students. He was loved and admired by the youth within the Derry community. He started basketball camps, directed the town recreation program and built a basketball empire in Derry.

Tony spent nearly ten years as the television anchor of New Hampshire High School Sports Review on WNDS. He then went on to Goffstown and New England College where he continued with his legacy of influencing basketball programs.

In 2010 Tony was inducted into the New Hampshire Coaches Hall of Fame and was formally recognized for his intrinsic talent as a coach that many aspire to be. He continues to be highly respected and admired for his superb coaching abilities.

Tony was fascinated with other cultures. Russia was particularly close to his heart. He spent many years traveling and visiting friends there. He provided the opportunity for Pinkerton students to travel to Russia for both a basketball and cultural experience. In addition to Russia, Tony traveled to over 35 countries.

Tony was an exceptional father and grandfather. He enjoyed boasting about the accomplishments of his daughters and grandsons. True to his generous spirit, he showered them with love and attention. And true to his loyal nature, spending time with them was most important to him. During his brief years in retirement, Tony became an avid writer and wrote 8 books. Tony always enjoyed writing and he finally had time to use his creativity and talent as a writer to create an eclectic collection. During retirement, Tony also enjoyed working in the Manchester school system as he took on several long term substitute positions.

Tony is pre-deceased by his wife Gail, who died in 1994. Tony is survived by his two daughters: Tracy Martel of Fairlee,Vermont and Jennifer Carnovale of Manchester, NH. He is also survived by his grandsons Noah and Isaac Martel and son-in laws Mark Martel, and David Wheeler. Tony is survived by his sisters Rina Lugar, Elena Brown, Susan Reardon and his brothers Vincent Carnovale, Mark Carnovale, Frank Carnovale and Steven Carnovale.

Calling hours will be Wednesday April 9, 2014 from 4 – 8 pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:00am in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry. Graveside committal prayers will be offered at 2:15pm Thursday at the Chandler Gray Cemetery, W. Yarmouth, MA. Memorial Contributions can be made to: Tony and Gail Carnovale Scholarship Fund, 726 Chestnut St., Manchester, NH 03104.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.


John F. Curtin Jr, 88, of Derry, NH

John F. Curtin Jr, 88, of Derry, NH passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, NH. John was born on September 17, 1925. Raised in Somerville, MA, he became a Professional Spot Welder specializing in Heliarc Welding. “Jake” was the consummate Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. His love for the Red Sox was well known. “Zeke” loved spending time with family, which he was so proud of. He enjoyed Bowling, Country Western Music and Bird watching. Everyone who came into contact with Jake felt his love and sincerity. He was someone you could always talk to because he was such a great listener.

John was predeceased by his beloved wife Emma (Rossi) Curtin in 2005. He is survived by his sons John F. Curtin III and his wife Nathalie of Menifee, CA, Dennis J. Curtin and his wife Stacey of Rockport, MA, and his daughter Karen (Curtin) Cremone and her husband David of Derry, NH. Grandfather to David J. Cremone and his wife Michelle of Manchester, NH, Ryan Curtin of Londonderry, NH, Dale A. Cremone and his wife Jen of Derry, NH, Kai & Kyle Curtin of Rockport, MA. and Matthew Curtin of Menifee, CA. Great- Grandfather to Liam Dylan Cremone and Erica Marie Cremone.

He has two surviving brothers Leon Curtin and his wife Jean and Edward Curtin of Somerville, MA and one sister Joan Devous of Colorado, along with many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 4-8 pm at Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 10 AM at St. Jude Parish, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery Mausoleum, Malden, MA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to The American Heart Association, PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005 and/or The Community Hospice House, 210 Naticook Road, Merrimack, NH 03054.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.


Marion Gundersen of Derry

Marion Gundersen, 50, of Derry, NH, formerly of Staten Island, NY, died Saturday March 29, 2014 after a period of declining health. Marion was born March 11, 1964 in Brooklyn, NY and was the daughter of the late Vincent P. and Sylvia (Salmanson) Scodary. She was raised and educated in Staten Island graduating from Tottenville High School in 1982. She resided in Staten Island her entire life, prior to relocating to Derry 12 years ago.

Marion was employed for many years as an office manager with the YMCA of Staten Island. She loved music and singing, especially 70’s tunes. She was a former member of the Nansen Chorus of Staten Island and was a certified Rachel Ray fan. She was a member of Christ Lutheran Church on Staten Island.

Members of the family include her husband of 26 ½ years, Richard C. Gundersen of Derry, her brother, Philip Scodary of Chestertown, NY, as well as 10 nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her sister-in-law, Adrienne Scodary.

After cremation, visiting hours will be held Thursday April 3, 2014 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm at the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch Street, Derry, NH. A Celebration of her life will be held Friday at 11 am at the Grace Lutheran Church, 130 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.


Emily Irene Cyr, 13, of Londonderry

Emily Irene Cyr, 13, of Londonderry, NH passed away peacefully on Monday, March 31, 2014 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born on August 25, 2000 in Manchester, NH a daughter of Richard R. Cyr and Corenne (Innie) Holguin. Emily fought a courageous battle against a lifelong illness.

Emily is survived by her mother, Corenne, her father, Richard, two brothers, David and Alexander, one sister, Nina, paternal grandparents, Regina Dwyer and William Cyr, maternal grandfather, James Innie Jr, several aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her maternal grandmother, Irene P. Innie.

A Liturgy of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 10:00am in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 26 Crystal Avenue, Derry. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Emily’s memory to the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, 224 North Second Street, Suite 2, DeKalb, IL 60115 . The Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium of Derry and Londonderry is assisting the family with arrangements.

Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.