PITTSFIELD - Hope (Cristofori) Finnegan, of Pittsfield, passed away Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, at the Concord Hospital. Her family was by her side. She was 90 years old.
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If you are reading this, it is because you were one of Hope's family members, friends, or even casual acquaintances. She held each one of you precious. When you spoke with her, it was your life that took center stage. Hope was known for her ease in frequent conversation with even total strangers and drew them in with her contagious smile. When talking with her, one quickly came to realize that they were the most important. She always saw the positive side of every situation. Throughout her life Hope maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many, who even now are being changed by her witness of constant nurturing love. Each of us holds her calm manner, positive outlook, sharp memory, and smile in our hearts.
Hope enjoyed cooking and baking from scratch, sewing school clothes for her children, and making costumes for the grandchildren. She was an avid reader. Stories of her many trips and cruises with her siblings and family were reflective of how much she enjoyed life. Most of all she loved spending time with her family.
Hope was born in Buzzards Bay, Mass. on April 27, 1923. She grew up in an Italian family of 11 children whose parents were Augusto and Pia (Morrici) Cristofori. Her one remaining sibling, Marie Oliva, still resides in their hometown.
After graduating from Bourne High School, Hope worked for the New England Telephone Company as a supervisor for five years. She would tell stories of lightning bolts running the length of the circuit board during storms.
One of many talents, Hope loved to dance. She met her future husband Clayton E. Finnegan, who was then serving in the Navy, at a USO dance for enlisted men. They began dating and were married on Nov. 6, 1948. After the wedding the couple moved to Pittsfield, the hometown of her in-laws, Edward and Eugenie (Annie Bergeron) Finnegan.
Hope helped her husband establish the C. E. Finnegan Jewelry Store in Pittsfield in 1948 and retired from there in 1987. She was employed as a stitcher for the Globe Manufacturing Company from 1966 to 1984.
Hope was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, a Girl Scout Leader, and a member of the Pittsfield Bowling League. She took an active role in the reunions of the USS Sterlet submarine. She was treasurer of the U.S. Submarine Squallus and Commander of the New Hampshire/Maine Squallus Memorial. She was her husband Clayton's passenger in motorcycle field meets and won many trophies of her own. More recently she enjoyed the "Mystery Rides" with the Pittsfield Community Center.
Hope's daughters recall her helping them make home-made tents, sitting through their impromptu plays, sliding, skating, and picking wild blueberries. The neighborhood children were drawn to her kitchen with the smells of homemade cookies and brownies.
Hope believed strongly in the importance and love of family. They include her daughters, Paula Dickinson and husband, David, of Gilford, Dotty Leavitt and husband, Jerry, of So. Berwick, Maine and Linda Freese and husband, Tim, of Gilmanton I.W. She leaves granddaughters, Erin Capron and husband, Eric, of So. Berwick, Maine, Katie Marshall and husband, Chris, of Dover and Lindsay Hirschmann and husband, Tom, of Winter Park, Fla. Her grandsons include, Elliott Freese of Steamboat Springs, Colo. and Justin Leavitt of So. Berwick, Maine. Makenna and Addyson Capron always called her G-G…short for Great Grammy.
Hope was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Clayton E. Finnegan.
Hope is now a star who has finally found her place next to her husband in a lovely constellation, where she will sparkle in the heavens forever. Her life will be carried on in the legacy of love which is now each of us - the lives she formed and touched by her love.
The family of Hope Finnegan wishes to invite friends to celebrate her life at a graveside burial Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Pittsfield.
Following the service, all are invited to a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Pittsfield Historical Society.
Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial Home of Epsom, is assisting with arrangements. Family and friends may sign an on-line guestbook by visiting stilloaks.com.
Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial Home
1217 Suncook Valley Hwy
Epsom, NH 03234
Published in The Concord Monitor on Oct. 9, 2013