Patricia LaPlante, a beloved teacher and musician who was active for many years in both her church and community, died Dec. 28, 2019, after a long illness. She was 81.
Pat’s was a well-known voice in the Pemi Choral Society as well as in the choir at St. Paul’s Church, where the diminutive musician would also occasionally substitute at the organ.
“She was so tiny she couldn’t reach the (organ’s) foot pedals,” remembered Janet Jurta, the long-time choir director.
“That’s probably why she had that beautiful little VW Bug that she drove,” said Claire Connifey, parish secretary. “It was just her size and she could reach the pedals. She drove that car right up until she died. Very determined little lady. She always dressed so nicely too. I don’t think I ever saw her wear a pair of pants until she got sick. She always wore dresses and skirts.”
Pat was the youngest and last surviving of six siblings and was very close to her oldest brother, Eugene R.A LaPlante, who moved his family to California many years ago. She and Loretta moved there for a time and lived across the street from their brother’s family in Rialto for several years before returning to Franklin.
Pat taught in California and then returned to teaching again in New Hampshire, where she taught at several schools including Armand R. Dupont School in Allenstown.
“She was definitely dedicated to the work and to the special needs students she worked one-on-one with,” said Marilyn Brison, who has been the school nurse at A.R.D. for the past 28 years and remembered Pat well. “She was a special lady.”
Her friends also thought of her as patient and kind.
Many neighbors around Franklin will remember Pat and her sister Marie “Loretta” Rich who happily shared a home on Victory Drive with their little dogs, particularly their spaniel “Monkey.”
Pat’s nephew and his wife, Bob and Carol Beach, remember her as an avid reader, for whom a visit to the Franklin Public Library was a weekly occurrence.
“She also had a massive collection of doll houses and furnishings,” Carol said. “She loved animals, collected stuffed dogs and of course, loved to play the piano and organ.
“She volunteered, along with her sister Loretta, many hours to Merrimack County Nursing Home, Peabody Nursing Home, Golden Crest Assisted Living and Mountain Ridge Center.”
Pat is survived by 11 nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 17, at St. Paul’s Church, 110 School St., Franklin. There are no visiting hours.
Donations in memory of Pat may be made to St. Paul’s Church, PO box 490, Franklin, NH 03235.
Thibault-Neun Funeral Home in Franklin is assisting Pat’s family. For an online guestbook, please visit www.neunfuneralhomes.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia LaPlante, please visit our floral store.
St. Gabriel Parish
PO Box 490, Franklin NH 03235