Mildred Eva "Milly" (Blaisdell) Sanborn Shaw (1930 - 2017)

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SANBORNTON – Mildred  "Milly" Eva (Blaisdell) Sanborn Shaw, 87,  passed away peacefully Friday, December 29, 2017, at Golden View Nursing Home in Meredith. Milly's family is grateful for the compassionate and expert care she received while a resident at Golden View. 

Milly was born on January 25, 1930, the daughter of Ellis and Eva (Merrill) Blaisdell of Belmont and Lochmere. She grew up in Belmont with six siblings and is survived by her sister, Alice Hurst of Tilton, and her brother, Robert Blaisdell of Somersworth. She was predeceased by her brothers, Edwin, Roger, David and Melvin Blaisdell. She was also predeceased by her first husband, Haven L. Sanborn, her second husband, Eldred S. Shaw, her daughter, Laurie E. Sanborn Van Valkenburgh, and her stepson Bruce Shaw. Milly's remaining children include son, Murray Sanborn and his wife, Lucy of Canton, Mich., son, Wayne Sanborn of Meredith, son, Jon Sanborn and his wife, Nancy of Sanbornton, son, Andrew Sanborn of Sanbornton, daughter, Evelyn Sanborn of North Carolina, and stepson, Glenn Shaw of Gilford. Milly had many cousins, 15 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

After marrying Haven Sanborn, Milly raised six children in a home in Sanbornton Square that became the town's Post Office, where she served as Postmaster from 1958-1988. During this time, Milly also wrote a weekly local news column for the Trumpeter and the Laconia Citizen and volunteered for the PTA of Sanbornton Central School for over 20 years, including a stint as President. Milly was named Postmaster of the year in 1980 and has the longest tenure of any Postmaster in Sanbornton.

Milly had many hobbies and interests. She was an avid gardener and could often be found working tirelessly in her gardens until dark. As she was transplanting and moving plants in her garden she would provide words of encouragement for them to grow. In addition to her own gardens, Milly helped fellow "Garden Goddesses" in their own gardens, volunteered in the herb gardens at Canterbury Shaker Village for 12 years and spent countless hours pulling weeds, roots and rocks to create plots and gardens at the Town Cemetery that she helped establish. Another passion of Milly's was conducting historical and genealogical research. She selflessly shared her intimate knowledge and interest of local history and assisted many searching for their genealogical roots. She served as Historian of the Sanbornton Public Library, the Sanbornton Congregational Church and the Mary Butler Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. A copy of "Runnel's History of Sanbornton" was never far from her side. Milly loved to craft. Over the years she made hundreds of wreaths to benefit the Historical Society. She enjoyed eating meals with family and friends. She ate dessert with delight – she closed her eyes, looked upward and murmured "ambrosia". At the end of a meal that she particularly enjoyed it would be declared "mighty fitt'n".

Milly loved being a part of the community of Sanbornton. She was an active member of the Sanbornton Congregational Church, the Sanbornton Historical Society, the Sanbornton Fire Department Auxiliary, Harmony Grange #99, a Trustee of the Sanbornton library and Sanbornton Cemetery, and a volunteer for the New Hampshire Circle of Home and Family Group. In 2007 she was given the municipal volunteer award and in 2012 the Mason's Community Builder award. When the Sanbornton annual report was dedicated to her in 2015 it stated, "over the years not much has happened (in Sanbornton) without her involvement or presence". Milly was a kind, sweet, determined woman who liked to laugh. "Laughing is healing" she would often say after enjoying a good laugh. Milly led a long, fulfilling life but never the less she will be missed by her family and friends. 

A service to celebrate her life will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, January 20, at the Sanbornton Congregation Church, 21 Meeting House Hill Road, Sanbornton. Refreshments will be provided after the ceremony in the Under-croft. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Sanbornton Congregational Church, PO Box 126, Sanbornton, NH 03269 or to the  Sanbornton Historical Society, PO Box 204, Sanbornton, NH 03269.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements.  For more information and to view an online memorial go to wilkinsonbeane.com.
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Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home
164 Pleasant Street
Laconia, NH 03246
(603) 524-4300
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Published in The Concord Monitor on Jan. 4, 2018