Marilyn Marie (Snape) Fletcher
Greenfield, NH — Marilyn Marie (Snape) Fletcher, 59, of Greenfield, beloved wife of James Fletcher, and devoted mother to her four children, passed away on August 13, 2021, due to cancer.
Marilyn was a person of varied interests, and boundless imagination. She attended elementary school in Hockessin, Delaware, where in the fourth grade she was selected for a gifted class at the Delaware Art Center. She became active in Girl Scouts, an interest that would carry over into adulthood. Her love of horses resulted in riding lessons, in what would become a lifelong passion. After her family moved to Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1973, Marilyn became the proud owner of her first horse, Toby. She also worked as apprentice archaeologist for three summers on a colonial site. She became interested in learning the new computer technology, but was steered off that vocational track as "only for boys."
After graduating from Dighton-Rehoboth High School in 1979, she picked a college where she could bring her horse along, but the school was having financial troubles, resulting in a last-minute switch to the University of Connecticut. It wasn't a good fit, and after a period of time, she cut loose to enter the workforce. In 1982, she moved to New Hampshire and took a job with Yankee Publishing, where she advanced from data entry to ad production and then camera supervisor, gaining a hands-on education in technological changes sweeping the publishing industry. She also worked evenings and weekends as a waitress, so she could buy her own house, and a horse, Skeeter, a retired Standardbred trotter fresh off the racetrack that, through tireless effort, she retrained for pleasure riding.
Marilyn always seemed to be working at least two jobs. In time she took a job at Wayne Green Enterprises in Hancock, filling a vacancy left by her eventual co-worker and husband, Jim Fletcher. The two would later meet in an art store, where she worked, and the relationship blossomed from there. Marilyn was first introduced to an Apple computer at Wayne Green. Quickly she understood how she could benefit from having one. She bought an Apple of her own, along with a printer and stat camera, and established a quick-turnaround, freelance design business out of her home, using the nursery as a darkroom. Jim recalls holding their first baby while Marilyn pasted up copy. A few years later, Marilyn and Jim were able to work together at Connell Communications in Peterborough where Marilyn was promoted to run the in-house marketing agency, CCI Design. When reorganization eliminated the design agency, Marilyn partnered with a colleague to launch a direct mail marketing business, Fletcher & Wilder Communications. The business grew quickly, and Jim signed on as designer. Marilyn ran that successful business for years, providing direct mail marketing services for many of the world's largest publishers.
In 1995, Marilyn, Jim and two children moved to Greenfield, taking up residence on a farm going back seven generations in Jim's family, on Fletcher Farm Road. When their first two children were in their teens, two more children came on board. The adventure was non-stop. The farm provided ample pasture for a number of horses over the years, starting with Skeeter, and other retired horses, later with Marilyn's New Forest ponies – one to start, becoming a trio – plus a small Shetland pony mix and a thoroughbred. Marilyn loved animals, and the farm would have a variety of four-legged creatures over time, but her horses remained special to her, and she continued riding for as long as she was able.
Marilyn touched many lives. A prodigious worker, she served in a variety of capacities in her own company, before leaving the business to spend more time with the children, and pursue her interest in the ever-enlarging field of computer technology and web design. She worked for Appropriate Solutions in Peterborough, Bosch Technologies in Merrimack, and eventually found her "perfect job" as a web developer for MIT Lincoln Labs in Lexington, MA, where she worked through June of this year. Marilyn served several years on the Greenfield Planning Board, including a stint as chair. She led her younger daughter's Girl Scout troop, pitched in as regional coordinator for camporee, volunteer coordinator, and other Girl Scout activities, and generously contributed her time to school and community functions.
In 2018, following the diagnosis of stage four lung cancer, Marilyn commenced therapy treatments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. With expert medical care, she was able to continue working and be there for her family during those precious years to follow. That first summer she took her children camping in the Great Basin in Nevada. In 2019 they traveled West by train and camped out in New Mexico with visits to Colorado and Arizona. During the 2020 pandemic, they went kayaking in Maine. She exuded that unstoppable dynamic, right to the end. As she put it, "I don't want to spend my life dying." Marilyn was born on December 18, 1961, the daughter of Robert and Sue Ellen Snape, now residents of Greenfield. In addition, she is survived by her husband, Jim; and four children; Griffen Fletcher, of Jaffrey; Terra Fletcher, of Gorham, Maine; Violet and Kade, at home. Also, her brother, Thomas Snape of W. Enfield, Maine; and sister, Stacy Snape of Fort Collins, Colorado; her Aunt Sylvia Smith of East Dorset, Vermont, and a number of other relatives including cousins, nephews and nieces, along with many friends and work associates. In accordance with Marilyn's wishes, funeral arrangements will be private. Memorial Donations may be made in Marilyn's name to Standardbred Retirement Foundation at www.adoptahorse.org/memorial-and-commemorative
(for phone number or pdf donation form.) Mailing Address: Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd., Cream Ridge, NJ 08514.
Published by Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on Aug. 19, 2021.