DOVER - Eleanor "Lonnie" Gould Bryant, 94, passed away peacefully at Watson Fields in Dover, on March 14, 2014.
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Lonnie was born in Newport to Robert E. Gould and Aileen Lynch Gould on April 26, 1919. She had a charmed childhood growing up in her Dad's hotel, the Newport House. She learned early to be social and outgoing, waiting on tables at the hotel, keeping up with her three brothers, and making lots of friends. Lonnie loved sports from ice skating on the town common to swimming at Lake Sunapee. She played on the Towle High School women's field hockey team and was captain in 1936 when they won the state championship. Lonnie spoke at the team's induction into the Newport Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013 saying it was "a thrill and an honor, and, about time!" Lonnie graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1941 and did post-graduate work at Harvard University. She was a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., and then taught high school English and history in Newport and Claremont.
In 1944 Lonnie married Attorney Donald Robert Bryant of Gorham (their 70th wedding anniversary was March 24). In 1947 they settled in Dover, building their home at 7 Arch St. and raising four children, Judy, Dave, Nancy and Bob. As a "stay-at-home" mom, Lonnie's love and support were integral to the many successes of her husband and children.
Lonnie was extremely active in community affairs and volunteer organizations. She served in leadership capacities on the N.H. Lawyers' Wives (president), Margery Sullivan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (regent), Republican State Committee (vice chairman), Dover Lioness Group (secretary), Dover Woman's Club and its scholarship committee (chairman), Dover Republican Women's Club (secretary), Cancer Crusade (captain), Dover Literature Department, Northam Colonists, as well as many other organizations.
Lonnie received the University of New Hampshire Meritorious Service Award in 1980 in recognition of her "unselfish loyalty and devotion" to UNH. Her service included 1941 class secretary (1966 to 2014!); member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and its executive committee; campaigner for the New England Center and Alumni Center fund drives, Women's Athletic Committee and the Wildcat Winner's Circle; chairman of the Elliott Alumni Center House Committee; member of the UNH Memorial Union Board of Governors, 1983 Presidential Search Committee, and Alumni Association Travel Committee; treasurer for her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta; supporter of UNH athletics, and many other posts.
Lonnie enjoyed reading, writing, cooking, bowling, bridge, music, travel and entertaining. She had a zest for life with her "live it up" motto and was a dear friend to many. Her favorite spot of all was Merrymeeting Lake in New Durham.
Lonnie was predeceased by her parents Robert (1968) and Aileen (1983), her brothers Robert Jr. (1942), Roger (1994), and Richard (1997), and her husband Donald Robert Bryant (2009). She is survived by her four children Judy Bryant Lorelli of Greenwich, Conn., Dave Bryant of Atlanta, Ga., Nancy Bryant of Lexington, Mass., Donald (Bob) Bryant Jr. of Boston, Mass., her two granddaughters Karen and Elizabeth, and many nieces and nephews.
Lonnie's family wishes to express their deepest thanks to the assisted living staff who helped care for Lonnie, not just with their hands, but with their hearts. We also wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Restituto Malonso who expertly oversaw Lonnie's health to always ensure her greatest quality of life.
SERVICES: Visiting hours will be Friday, April 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wiggin-Purdy-McCooey-Dion Funeral Home, 655 Central Avenue, Dover. A celebration of Lonnie's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, at First Parish Church, 218 Central Avenue, Dover, followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall. The family encourages attendees to wear something purple (Lonnie's favorite color) in her honor.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA, 02472.
Please visit www.purdyfuneralservice.com for more information and to sign the online guest book.
Wiggin-Purdy-McCooey-Dion Funeral Home
655 Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820
Published in Union Leader on Apr. 1, 2014