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Jane (Steady) Hood

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Jane (Steady) Hood died on December 19, 2003 at Exeter Hospital after a brief illness. Since June, 2003, she had been a resident with her husband, Dr. Henry Hood, of RiverWoods at Exeter, in Exeter, NH.

Jane was born in Berlin, NH, and moved to Laconia, NH as a child with her parents,

Dr. and Mrs. Karl and Joyce (Jo) Steady and her older brother Karl Jr. (Bud). Her younger brother, Gordon was born there.

Jane earned her private pilot’s license in 1945 at the age of 16 and loved to fly over the Lakes Region and White Mountains. Later, she described the excitement and feeling of accomplishment it brought to her youth. She received the Science Award when she graduated from Laconia High School in 1947, then attended Colby College in Waterville, ME where she majored in mathematics.

Jane was married to Dr. Henry Hood in 1949 when he was a student at Cornell University Medical College in New York City. Before starting her family, she was employed in the Department of Medical Statistics at the Memorial Hospital Sloan-Kettering Institute. Her assignments included major studies of cancer of the breast and testicular cancer. She had a great love for the vibrant atmosphere of New York City in the 1950’s and after her first two children were born she enjoyed walking with them along the East River and to the parks and museums of the upper east side and midtown Manhattan. Later, she developed the same fondness for Washington, D.C. where she and her husband spent long weekends, wandering through the national museums and monuments.

Jane moved to Danville, PA, with her family in 1957 when Dr. Hood joined the staff of the Geisinger Medical Center that later evolved into a regional system of health care, the Geisinger Health system. She had her other two children soon after arriving in Danville. Jane and Henry spent 37 years in Danville, raising their children and enjoying the home they built at Heather Hills which became the focus of their family life for a quarter of a century. They loved Pennsylvania and their home there which they did not expect to leave.

But when their children were young they vacationed with her family and his in New Hampshire. While very young the children said that when they grew up they would live in New Hampshire and they kept their promise. In 1994, to be nearer their children and other family they retired to Grantham, NH. They took a cottage in Eastman where they spent seven wonderful years which they shared with new friends as well as family. Subsequently they spent a year in Hanover, NH, and another in Keene, NH, before entering into the warm embrace of RiverWoods at Exeter, the retirement community in Exeter, NH.

Jane had diverse hobbies and interests. She was a voracious reader, especially of mysteries and historical novels, histories of world culture, and books and magazine articles devoted to the natural sciences, astronomy and space exploration. She played the piano as a young woman and loved the recordings of the great violinist, Jascha Heifetz. Many of her most enduring friendships were formed playing bridge, for which she had a passionate fondness. She enjoyed refinishing furniture and all of her children’s homes exhibit the results of her labors. She had a telescope adequate to see Jupiter’s moons and itinerant comets and take pictures of eclipses and bursts of solar activity that she shared with family and friends.

Jane followed national and international affairs closely and formed strong opinions about issues and the personalities who related to them. She was a member of organizations committed to civility and tolerance, good government and women’s rights. They included the Southern Poverty Law Center, Common Cause, the National Organization for Women, and Planned Parenthood.

Jane is survived by her husband, Dr. Henry Hood, who remains at RiverWoods at Exeter, a son, Craig Hood of Portsmouth, NH, and three daughters, Nancy Hood of Putney, VT, Susan Hood of Sullivan, NH and Michele Hood, also of Sullivan. She leaves three granddaughters. She is also survived by a brother, G. Gordon Steady of Laconia, NH. She was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Karl A. Steady, Sr., her mother, Joyce Steady, and a brother, Karl A. Steady, Jr.

Arrangements have been private and at the convenience of her family.

Memorial gifts may be made to Danville Area Community Foundation PO Box 12 Danville, PA 17821, Monadnock Family Services 64 Main St. Keene, NH 03431 and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) 108 High St. Exeter, NH 03833.

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is in charge of the arrangements. 

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