ALTON – Winifred “Winnie” Ella Twombly Alden, 88, died at her home the morning of Thursday, July 12, 2012.
The youngest of five children born to William and Norabel (Bishop) Twombly of Lisbon, N.H., Winnie was only two when her own mother passed away. Winnie grew into a strong girl on her family’s farm, helping with the cows and keeping house for her father. She walked two miles through the woods to school but would run home because she was afraid of the dark. Throughout her life, she would insist on “getting home before dark.”
When Winnie was 12, her father died. Though many relatives invited Winnie to join their families, she chose to live with her half-brother, Frank, and was adopted by his wife, Evelyn. Winnie left the White Mountains for her new home with them in Tilton, N.H., and graduated from Tilton-Northfield High School.
Smart, organized and feisty, Winnie balanced the demands of marriage, motherhood and a full-time job outside the home in a time when few women did so. She was the manager of dining services at the New Hampshire Soldiers’ Home in Tilton and later at the Belknap County Home in Laconia, where she was responsible for meal planning, ordering and overseeing a sizeable staff.
An inquisitive and compassionate woman who could find out anyone’s life story in the time it took to check out of a grocery store, Winnie was a volunteer at Lakes Region General Hospital and was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the American Revolution, Alton Garden Club and Community Church of Alton, where she used to sing in the choir. She loved her family, blue birds, the giant maple tree in her front yard, high heels, mountains and animals. She despised garlic and seafood, and not much else.
Though she called Alton home for nearly 50 years, Winnie and her husband, former Belknap County Sheriff Donald C. Alden, enjoyed exploring in their motor home and in 1986 drove across the United States. They returned again and again to the Amish Country of Pennsylvania and wintered in Florida for many years. No matter where she was, Winnie maintained an extensive network of friends and was always the first to deliver meals to anyone in need or whip up a grapenut custard as a cure for whatever ailed.
Winnie was predeceased by her siblings, Raymond, Robert, Wyllian and Arthur; her daughter Cheryl and son Leonard; and her husband, Donald, who died in 2007.
She is survived by her daughter, Merlene Dunlop, of New London, N.H.; her sons, Thomas C. Alden of Alton, N.H. and Michael E. Alden of Ossipee, N.H.; granddaughters Kate Dunlop Seamans and Laura Dunlop Shepherd, both of North Sutton, N.H.; grandson David Alden of Effingham, N.H.; great-grandsons Thomas Shepherd and Dyllan Alden, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
There are no calling hours. A graveside service for family will be held at Alton’s New Riverside Cemetery at a later date, the Rev. Pat Arey, Winnie’s niece, officiating.
Peaslee Funeral Home, 24 Central Street, Farmington, N.H. 03835 is handling funeral arrangements. Memorial donations in Winnie’s memory may be made to N.H. Humane Society. To express condolences, please visit: www.peasleefuneralhome.com