NEW CASTLE - Charles Leddy "Chappy" Thayer, M.D., 86, died peacefully at his New Castle home, with his loving family and dogs by his side, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.
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Born at home July 22, 1926, Chappy was the son of Jerry L. Thayer and Alice Leddy Thayer of Epping, the youngest of seven siblings. He graduated from Epping High School in 1944. A World War II veteran, he served as a U.S. Army staff sergeant in the Philippines.
Chappy graduated pre-med from the University of New Hampshire in 1949 and was a 1953 graduate of Tufts Medical School in Boston. He did his surgical training in Toledo, Ohio, and residency at Massachusetts Memorial in Boston. He opened his practice in the Seacoast area in 1958; he was on the medical staff at Exeter, York and Portsmouth hospitals. He later served as chief of surgery at Portsmouth Hospital, where he remained until he retired after 41 years of tireless devotion to the Seacoast community.
He was a well-known surgeon in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. Chappy served as a member of the Portsmouth Hospital Board of Trustees and later achieved emeritus status. He served multiple medical professional societies, most notably the New England Surgical Society, where he received the prestigious Nathan Smith Service Award in 2001.
An avid tennis and golf player, Chappy was a founding member of the Seacoast Indoor Tennis Club in North Hampton; he was also a member of Portsmouth, Abenaqui and Wentworth by the Sea country clubs. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf with his family and friends his entire life. Chappy and his family spent many days on the slopes at Black Mountain in Jackson. He held a private pilot's license and enjoyed taking his family on flying excursions. He had a love of travel and fishing.
Chappy leaves behind his four loving children who were the light of his life, Charles Jr., Jerry, James and Katherine and her husband, Douglas Rhodes, M.D., along with grandchildren Alison and Mackenzie Rhodes; sister-in-law Marjorie Thayer; niece Candy Thayer; sister-in-law Patricia Slayton and her children, Jane, Tom and Ted and their families; cousin Toby Leddy and his family; cousin Nancy Brennan Paulding and her children, Linda, Jimmy, Tommy and Lisa and their families; nieces Liz Pike Brookman and Patty Pike and nephew Jay Pike and their families; nieces Polly Holihan McCall and Ginny Holihan and their families; also his former wife, Elizabeth Winn Thayer. Chap has many additional relatives that were all dear to him, as well as many close friends, co-workers and patients.
The family wishes to thank "Chappy's Angels" for their tireless devotion to him: Ann, Mike, Susan F., Patty, Jenna, Heidi, Moe, Dolly, Jeff, Lynn, Susan R., Cindy and Jolie, all of whom he adored.
Besides his parents, he is predeceased by his siblings: Phyllis Thayer Dow and her husband, Fred; Patricia Thayer Pike and her husband, Skip; Polly Thayer Holihan and her husband, Jim, and their son, Peter; Olive Thayer; Tom J. Thayer; Jerry L. Thayer Jr. and his wife, Sadie.
Chappy will always be remembered for his love of life, enthusiastic spirit and his passion for helping other people. He greeted each day with his quick wit, sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.
services: Calling hours will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, at Farrell Funeral Home, 684 State St., Portsmouth. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at Immaculate Conception Church, 98 Summer St., Portsmouth, with a reception to follow at the home of Dr. Douglas and Kate Thayer Rhodes, 149 Wild Rose Lane, New Castle.
Chappy will be buried at the Leddy Tomb in Epping with his family at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to the Parkinson Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
Stockbridge Funeral Home
141 Epping Road Exeter, NH 03833
Published in Union Leader on Nov. 16, 2012