Don Booth Memorial Service
Update: A second memorial service will be held at Havenwood at 1:30PM Tuesday March 8, 2011 in the Havenwood auditorium, 33 Christian Avenue, Concord, NH to remember Don and other Havenwood residents who died during the past month or so. All are invited.
A memorial service for Don Booth was held on Saturday February 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Concord NH. A vigil at the NH State House Plaza followed, where volunteers stood with Don’s many peace and justice banners. Videos from the service:
- Eulogy by Arnie Alpert, AFSC Also available: full text article
- Eulogy by Steve Booth (Don’s son)
- Eulogy by Travis Webster-Booth (Don’s grandson)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
New Hampshire Peace Action
4 Park Street, Concord, NH 03301.
Concord Friends Meetinghouse Fund
Attention: Brian Paterson, Treasurer.
PO Box 1272, Concord NH 03302-1272
Message from Don’s family
Don Booth passed away peacefully Friday morning January 21, with family at his side. He was 94. We were very fortunate, as Don had squeezed every last available second out of his life, right to the end. He took so much joy in the people around him, that even when he was confined by his heart condition to sleep nearly 24 hours a day, when he did wake up it was inevitably with a huge smile and arms outstretched to celebrate his time with us. If he had any regrets in life, we did not hear them. He was very much at peace with himself. Of course, there is still the unfinished business of this world of ours, and the troubles of its 7 billion people — no doubt he is still carrying those concerns with him now, in his own way.
We are also very fortunate that he lasted as long as he did. He got the maximum years, months, days and hours out of a cardio system that was steadily failing for quite a number of years now. How many times did we think we were going to lose him earlier? Quite a few. Even this last year, we thought: “If he gets a flu, or if he gets another infection, or just about any other trauma, that would be it for his weak system.” But he dodged all those threats and just coasted quietly to the very end.
And what a life. There are so many ways to look at it. Just think: his amazing relationship with Mom; his extended family; his Community Builders work, with the solar, too; his peace and justice work; his earlier AYH and CPS work. And always, his enthusiasm and insight. We have a lot to be thankful for.
One of the first things we think of, in terms of being thankful, is the wonderful caring staff at Havenwood. They have all been so sweet, so loving, so caring, so gentle, so attentive and so good humored. What incredible care he got, and Mom will continue to get! What a good decision Havenwood was for them seven years ago.
We are grateful for the many friends Don had, and we look forward to seeing you at Don’s memorial service if you can make it.
The Booth family
Donald W. Booth died Friday, January 21, 2011 at Havenwood-Heritage Heights in Concord, NH. Don was born December 19, 1916 in Thornbury, Ontario, Canada, the son of William and Bertha (Beatty) Booth. When Don was nine years old his family moved from Canada to Detroit, MI, and later to Dorchester, MA. Don graduated from Arlington High School in the class of 1934. He served as a conscientious objector in Civilian Public Service during WWII from 1942 until he was released in 1946. He moved to Canterbury, NH in 1951 and lived there until his retirement to Havenwood in 2003.
After high school Don worked as a clerk in the photography department of the Christian Science Monitor until he was drafted in 1942. After WWII he spent one year as the New England director of American Youth Hostels before he turned his attention to the building trades. He worked for local contractors Winston Titus and Charles Banford for several years, and in 1956 he supervised the building of the first central elementary school in Canterbury, a community project that was cited by President Eisenhower. Beginning in 1959 he ran his own general contracting business, Community Builders, and built numerous homes in central New Hampshire. In the late 70’s he pioneered energy conservation and solar home building, twice receiving the Governor’s award for energy innovation and contribution to the solar field. He published two books on passive solar design and construction. He served for many years on the Governor’s Commission on Disability.
For nearly 70 years Don was active in peace and justice causes, for which he and his wife Lois were jointly honored with the Martin Luther King Award in 2001. In recent years Don maintained a noonday vigil at the NH State House plaza. He was a long time member of Concord Friends (Quaker) Meeting.
Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lois (Pitkin) Booth; two daughters, Heather Booth di Giovanni and Barbara Berwick; four sons, Christopher, Steven, Jonathan and David Booth; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Leonard Booth.