Long–time resident, helped build junior high school

Published in the March 31, 2016 edition

CENTER SANDWICH, N.H — John “Jack” Balcom Paddleford, age 91, of Center Sandwich, N.H.., died March 16, 2016 at the home of his daughter in Moultonboro, N.H.

Jack was born in Stoughton, Sept. 21, 1924 the youngest child of Frank and Verlie (Balcom) Paddleford.

The family moved to Chester, N.H. in 1931 where Jack attended Chester elementary school and Pinkerton Academy in Derry. In 1939, the family moved to a 180 acre farm in Newbury Vt. The farm was sold due to the advent of WWII and the family moved to Moultonboro, N.H. Jack entered the Army Air Corps in 1943 with hopes of becoming a pilot. After the government canceled the pilot training program, Jack was selected for aircraft maintenance. He became crew chief flight engineer and retrained pilots and flight engineers returning from the European theatre. He was on a flight enroute to the China, Burma, Indonesia theater when orders were changed to Hickam Field on Oahu, Hawaii. He received an honorable discharge in 1946.

In September 1946 he entered New England College in Henniker, N.H., the 48th student to enroll under the new GI Bill. In September 1949, he married Charlotte Batchelder of Moultonboro. Jack graduated cum laude in 1950, completing high school and a baccalaureate degree in 3 ½ years receiving a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering.

After graduation, they moved to the Boston area where Jack worked for several prominent engineering firms. He was hired by MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories in Lexington in 1955 as staff engineer responsible for design and construction of electronic research facilities in Hawaii, Alaska, the Marshall Islands as well as numerous sites within the continental U.S. He retired from MIT as division leader in 1985.

Jack and Charlotte moved to North Reading in 1951 where they raised three daughters; Karen, Janet and Cynthia. During those family years, Jack was a deacon of the North Reading Union Congregational Church, a member of the school building committee involved in the construction of the new Junior High School and was a founding member of the North Reading Masonic Lodge.

Jack built two family homes on the same site in North Reading, redesigning the second house for the growing family after the first home was tragically damaged by fire. He also built the family cottage on Cow Island, Lake Winnipesaukee on land purchased in 1958. The family spent many happy summers at the island camp; hiking, swimming, sailing and waterskiing. Winters were filled with snow skiing together as a family. In 1975 the family took a memorable, month long, trip tent-trailering across country.

In 1978, Jack and Charlotte purchased a retirement home in Sandwich, N.H. which he spent time remodeling prior to his retirement. They enjoyed traveling together, especially their trips to the Hawaii, Spain, England, Scotland and Ireland and the Rhine River. Jack continued to pursue his love of skiing and fishing. He took fly casting and tying classes, and then taught the same at the Science Center of New Hampshire, Sandwich Industries, several area summer camps and Sandwich Fair. He enjoyed fly fishing trips to Labrador, Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Jack and Charlotte also spent 10 winters in Arizona enjoying the southwest climate and environment and time with friends.

Jack was a tall, quiet family man, a lover of the outdoors, an avid fisherman and sailor. He could build or repair whatever was needed and was always engaged in a project; even to his final days at home where his engineering books and drawings in process lay around the living room. He leaves shoes too large ever to be filled. In his own words; “All in all it was a good life!”

He leaves his beloved wife of 66½ years Charlotte and two daughters, Janet Paddleford and Cynthia Taylor. His oldest daughter, Karen Houser died of cancer in 2014. He leaves seven grandchildren and 11 great–grandchildren as well as many wonderful friends and neighbors. He is predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Frank and Stuart and a sister, Ruth. He is survived by two sisters: Claire, age 98 of Pennsylvania and Virginia age 93 of New Mexico.

Family and friends are invited to a Memorial Service and time of sharing on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. at the Methodist Meeting House, Main Street, Center Sandwich. All are welcome to join the family for a reception at the church following the service.

Memorial Donations may be made in memory of Jack to the Community Church of Sandwich or the Red Hill Masons. A private burial will be held at a later date.

The Mayhew Funeral Homes and Crematorium, in Meredith and Plymouth, N.H. are assisting the family with their arrangements. To sign Jack’s Book of Memories, go to; www.mayhewfuneralhomes.com.