Salem, NH — Constance Evelyn (Dawson) Bartlett, 95, died Sunday, April 7, 2013, at her home in Salem, N.H., with her daughter by her side after a lengthily illness. Family and faith came first and was of great importance to Connie. She enjoyed her life roles but especially those of wife, mother and grandmother always putting others first. Her greatest pleasure was spending time visiting with her children and grandchildren along with all her family and friends. She was in constant care and attendance by her six beloved cats that cared for her with their warmth and constant loving attention. Her gardens and bird feeding stations were in view from all windows and always a vase of fresh flowers close by. She stayed up to date on local and world events and favorite TV shows. Sports, history, politics, news and the Royal family were always of great interest to her. She was fond of the ocean and clouds and loved the color blue. She especially enjoyed her time on her mother/daughter trips taken every summer/fall along the coast of Maine. Constance or Connie as she was called by some, along with the other names of Mom, Ma-maa and Gummie by her grandchildren was born November 26,1917, in Beverly, Mass., daughter of the late Charles B. and Rachel (Cook) Dawson. She was a graduate of Maynard, Mass., High School. As a young girl she was active in the Rainbow Girls and Brownies. As a young mother she ran her own kindergarten from home, a trait that her eldest daughter carried on when she opened The Bedford Village Morning School. Her lifelong path and career brought her to nursing which she not only carried through with family members and friends but with employment at various hospitals in Massachusetts and at Memorial and Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, from which she retired after many years. Her youngest daughter followed her nursing career path with a longtime nursing career herself. She was an active member of The First Congregationalist Church of Nashua in past years. For most of her life she resided in Nashua, N.H., followed by retirement between Wentworth, N.H., and North Port, Fla., where she was active in The Garden Club and the city library. Upon returning north she resided with her daughter and son-in-law in Salem, N.H. Connie believed in the importance of diet and exercise to maintain good health and was a biker, swimmer and walker. She always had beautiful gardens, both vegetable and flower. She loved all animal life, especially her cats and a previous dog. It was important to her to spend time in the great outdoors and this was done with wonderful family camping vacations. She had great friendships, especially with the “club girls” whose themes changed with the times but whose laughter always remained the same. Connie was a great cook and loved music, dancing and good conversation. She was an avid reader and made many beautiful needlepoint projects. Three husbands have journeyed on ahead of her, Earl Wilkins, H. Vernon Ayer and Howard Bartlett all of Nashua, N.H., along with two brothers Bernard Dawson of Maynard, Mass., and Ronald Dawson of East Kingston, N.H., and a step son “Buddy” Ayer of Portland, Maine. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Earleene (Ayer) and Donald McKinnon of Kennebunk, Maine, with grandchildren and great grandchildren, Rick Finucan, Connor Finucan and Michael Finucan, Emma and Evie Finucan, and her daughter and son-in law Holly Jean (Ayer) and George McNamara, of Salem, N.H. and their six cats. Also surviving her are her step children and their children, son and daughter-in-law Arthur and Pammy Bartlett, of Hudson, N.H., grandchildren Randall and Kristen and their families, and daughter Janet and son-in-law Larry Gaudet, of Rotunda West, Fla., granddaughters Bethany, Nicole, Elissa and their families, granddaughter and her husband, Nancy and Marc Gagne of Falmouth, Maine, great granddaughter, Lindsay Gagne. Connie is also survived by her two sisters, Lois Baker, Thelma Greenaway both of Maynard, Mass. and several nieces and nephews. She leaves in her wake a void of emptiness but hearts that are full of the love she has given. Heartstrings. A personal message of thanks to those healthcare providers and their staff who aided in helping Connie’s journey to be a physically and spiritually healthy and healing one in all aspects for so many years, Dr. Richard Lafleur, Dr. James Powers, Maureen Christilles, MSN NP, Lesley G. Roth, DDS, Dr. JohnWeiter, Dr. Nils Thyresson, Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Physical Therapists and Home Care Nursing, Dr. Holly Ruocco, Lynn H. Mirisola, RN, HN-BC, Vicky Hopkins, Lyn Schwager, Sue D’Agnese, Kenneth Seth Walugembe, Liz Gauthier, Paul Oyori, Rev. Doug and Sis Caroline Chesson, and the Merrimack Valley Hospice Group. We as a family are forever grateful.
ARRANGEMENTS: There will be no calling hours or funeral services. A private service for immediate family and close personal friends will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Constance’s memory to The Salem Animal Rescue League 4 SARL Drive, Salem, NH, 03079 Phone: (603) 893-3210 or The American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718, Phone: 1-800-227-2345. Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home, 214 Main St, Salem, NH has care of the arrangements. To send a message of condolence to the family, please view the obituary at douglasandjohnson.com