JAFFREY - Miriam Williams Weidner, 80, died peacefully in her sleep with her sons by her side at Keene Center Genesis Healthcare on July 6. She was born Dec. 8, 1933 in Boston, Mass., Daughter of James Watson Williams and Doris Moore Williams. She was raised and lived in Belmont, Mass. until she attended the University of Rochester, where she met her husband, John. She also took an advanced course in field geology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. They settled in Rindge, on Pearly Lake, at the summer cottage of her parents, where together they turned the small cottage into a year-round home large enough to raise a family, doing all the construction work themselves.
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She was an early faculty member at Franklin Pierce College. She started working there in the mid 1960's, teaching geology for over 10 years. As a geologist Mimi had a special love for Mount Monadnock. She said many times that she got her inner strength whenever she looked at it. She climbed it countless times with her family and friends. Her FPU students were required to climb it as part of their course work, and often had trouble keeping up with her pace. There were many impromptu geology lessons on family outings, stopping the car at rock cuts and sand banks along the roadside, as she enthusiastically explained how interesting geological features came to be.
She and her husband started Venture Travel in Jaffrey in the late 1970's, managing it together for over 15 years. They enjoyed traveling and arranged and lead many ski trips to Colorado, Utah, and Europe with friends and family. They were avid skiers, serving on the Ski Patrol at Hogback Mountain in Vermont in their early years in New Hampshire, later skiing with her family every weekend at Mount Ascutney.
Mimi was a Mary Kay Consultant for many years and enjoyed the camaraderie of the organization. She also enjoyed participating in and supporting her children's various activities including her daughter Lisa's riding. She and John helped to start the local equestrian 4H club. Mimi was also a horse enthusiast and accomplished rider herself, in fact she and her husband met while riding.
She was an accomplished musician and played many different instruments including guitar, trumpet, piano and especially the organ, initially going to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. She could play any song by ear after hearing it played once. She loved to play singalongs during campfires with the ukulele or the organ at Christmas and could always get a crowd going with her fun songs. She played the organ at the Cathedral of the Pines in the 1980's for various events.
In 1992 she suffered a debilitating stroke, and was cared for by her husband until last year when he was unable to care for her. Miriam is predeceased by her husband John, and her daughter Lisa (Weidner) Aylward. She is survived by her son, William and his wife, Rosemary Moran Weidner; son, James Weidner and his wife, Rebecca Rivard Weidner; grandchildren, Genevieve, Jacob, Erin and Katharine Weidner; and son in law, Dennis Aylward.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Cathedral of the Pines on Saturday, July 12 at 1 p.m. In Lieu of Flowers, contributions may be made in her name to the Monadnock Adult Day Care Center.
Published in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on July 10, 2014