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NEWMARKET - Rachel Atherton, 78, of Newmarket, died May 21, 2013, with her family by her side.
Rachel was born to the late Robert and Rose Ledoux, Apr. 5, 1935, in Putnam, Conn. Rachel married the late Richard Atherton in 1956, and they lived together on the Bay in Newmarket, for forty years. Rachel was a great wife to Rich and she played the role of Confidant, Chauffeur, (Rich never learned how to drive) and Head Chef/ Ice Tea Maker and Head Housekeeper in addition to working a full-time job and raising three children. Rachel and Rich loved to go for walks together along the bay and in the snow. Rachel and Rich spent their lives on or near the water and it is ironic, as Rachel never learned to swim. With Rich by her side, she was never afraid, for she knew he would always take care of her. And he did.
Rachel was an amazing cook. Each weekend her table was filled with local hunters and fishermen waiting for a hot doughnut or her fried clams or fried fish. It you ate once at her table, you never forgot it. Rachel had a secret crush on Paul Newman. Rachel got a chance to meet him once at a Newmarket Town Hall meeting where Mr. Newman was campaigning for George McGovern. Mom said he "had the bluest eyes she had ever seen".
Rachel was an avid collector of Milk Glass and she enjoyed crocheting. Rachel knew that time waits for no one, so she spent six years of her life, crocheting a tablecloth, made of the most intricate lace and details, for each one of her grandchildren to have on their wedding day, in case she would not be around to see it. These tablecloths were found after her death, wrapped carefully inside tissue with a handwritten note to each grandchild. Her hands were never idle - she loved gardening and had a wonderful green thumb. Rachel spoke French and fulfilled a life long dream of spending two weeks in Paris, France. Rachel enjoyed her ice cream and considered herself an Aficionado. Rachel's ultimate favorite "wicked good" ice cream flavor was Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip obtained at the Lone Oak in Rye.
Rachel was a loving mother to three children. Rachel is survived by daughter, Robin (Atherton) and Brian Manley of Greensboro N.C., son, Richard Lee and Karen Atherton of Lebanon Maine, and daughter, Laurie (Atherton) and John Maranda of Farmington. Rachel had six wonderful grandchildren, Tara, Tristan, Jimmy, Phillip, John and Ben. Rachel also leaves behind her brother, Roger Ledoux of Willimantic, Conn. and her faithful companion, a Jack Russell mix named Jamenke'.
A private celebration of Rachel's life will be held at the Kindred Spirits Mailbox, located at Sunset Beach, N.C. Dress is casual, Rum is welcome. In lieu of flowers and honoring the memory of Rachel's grandson, James Atherton, donations may be made to a fund that would directly benefit the research and goal of curing sarcoma. Checks should be made to: "MGH Sarcoma Fund" and sent to: MGH Development Office, c/o Bob O'Brien, 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, Mass. 02114.
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Published in Fosters from May 25 to May 28, 2013