Doris Piper: Rest in Peace

LACONIA – Doris Lillian (Delaware) Piper, 97, a longtime Lakes Region resident and esteemed educator, passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at Havenwood Heritage Heights in Concord, New Hampshire.

Doris was born on July 23, 1918 in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Wallace E. and Marjorie (Wharton) Delaware. Growing up in Manchester, Doris was an accomplished and determined student. She entered Keene State College when she was just sixteen, graduating in the Class of 1938 with a degree in English. She would also go on to receive her Masters in Education from Plymouth State College. Many years later, Doris would be featured in the documentary Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve: The First Hundred Years of Keene State College (2010). This was apropos, for hers was a life spent in service-to her family and friends, her students, the PEO sisterhood, and to her Episcopal faith.

Doris was a teacher in the Laconia school system for over 20 years, primarily at Pleasant Street Elementary School. During this time, she authored two books. The first, Stories of Old New Hampshire (1963), was a response to her students’ need for a young readers’ history of the state, and was used in classrooms across New Hampshire for many years. The second, A Home for Jamie (1976), is a work of historical fiction set in Revolutionary New Hampshire. In addition to writing, Doris was an accomplished crafter, and was well known for her beautiful crocheted angels. Doris was a proud member of the New Hampshire Teachers’ Association, PEO NH Chapter B, and the Episcopal Church, most recently as a congregant at Grace Episcopal in Concord.

Doris was married to Donald Franklyn Piper, longtime principal of Laconia High School, for forty-two years, until his death in 1984. She is survived by her brother, Warren M. Delaware of Winchester, Mass.; two daughters, Deborah Piper Kane of Dover and Jacquelyn Piper Woodrow of Sinking Spring, Pa.; and predeceased by her son Donald F. Piper, Jr. of Huntington, Vt. Doris was a beloved “Mimi” to five grandchildren: Jake Woodrow of Centennial, Colo.; Joel Piper of Lansing, Mich.; Mike Woodrow of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Adam Piper of Burlington, Vt.; and Lauren Piper Kane of Gilford. She is also remembered by several nieces and nephews, her sons- and daughter-in-law, four great-grandchildren, numerous friends, and the countless others that were privileged to have known her kind heart and intelligent wit.

Doris’ ashes will be interred aside her late husband and son at Oakland Cemetery in Meredith Center, close to the shores of Lake Wicwas, where she and her family spent many a happy summer day. A private family ceremony is planned. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the PEO Educational Loan Fund. 

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