Doris Irene Bowdoin, 100, of Leonardtown, MD died on January 2, 2004 at the St. Mary's Hospital, Leonardtown, MD.
Born on October 9, 1903 in Lawrence, MA, she was the daughter of the late Sanford and Edith Horseman Springer.
She moved to Hudson, NH in 1906 when her father took over management of a local department store. The family moved to Gilmanton, NH in 1913 because of Mr. Springer's declining health. Doris's father died prematurely in 1916, when she was 13. Edith became Postmistress of Gilmanton Post Office to support the family.
Doris attended high school in Lawrence, MA where she lived with her maternal grandparents, and she graduated in 1920. She graduated from New Hampshire Normal School in Keane, NH in 1922 and taught all eight grades in the one room schoolhouse in Gilmanton, NH. She married Clyde E. Nutter in 1923 and the couple had two children, Kenneth and Thelma. Mr. Nutter died in 1941. Following his death Doris remained in Gilmanton with her children and her mother. During WWII, she was a “Rosie the Riveter,” working as an inspector in the Scott and Williams Aircraft Parts Factory in Laconia, NH. She became Postmistress in Gilmanton, NH after WWII. She married Harry Lancaster Bowdoin in 1946. They lived for 50 years in a traditional New England home, which Harry built on the foundation of a much older home in Gilmanton's historic district. They were active gardeners with legendary raspberries and enjoyed bowling, cards, scrabble, dominos and cribbage with a large circle of friends. They were active campers, traveling in their travel trailer to many locations in northern New England and Canada. Doris also enjoyed ceramics, needlework, and baking and was a member of the Garden Club, Ladies Aid Society of Gilmanton as well as the Eastern Star. She and Harry were long time members of the Gilmanton Congregational Church.
After Doris and Harry's retirement in 1965, they traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. They visited every one of the continental states. Doris also traveled abroad to England, Scotland and Wales and while in England she visited a distant cousin. They became “snow birds,” spending their winters in Yuma AZ until 1996. They both loved the desert. Doris took up oil painting of landscapes of New England and AZ when she was in her 70's. They wintered in Naples, FL in 1997-1999 but because of declining health, sold their homes in NH and FL and moved to Cedar Lane Apartments in August, 1999. Mr. Bowdoin passed away on April 2, 2002.
She is survived by her children, Thelma Varhach, of Leonardtown, MD and Kenneth Nutter and wife Ethelyn, of Laconia, NH and Naples, FL, step-daughter, Jacqueline Metevier, of tenants Harbor, ME, seven grandchildren, six great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
A Graveside Service will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2004, at 10:00AM at the family lot in the Smith Meetinghouse Cemetery in Gilmanton, NH. Rev. Linda B. Bolton, Pastor of the Gilmanton Community Church, will officiate.
Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is in charge of the arrangements.