LaPlante, Sullivan families say thanks

To the editor:

They say that the mark of a civilized society is in how it responds to tragedy. If that is so, then the people of Hancock and surrounding towns have indeed proved themselves worthy of a civilized society’s highest honor. Your outpouring of care and concern upon the untimely death of Laura Anne Sullivan LaPlante deeply moved those of us who don’t live in your fair community but came to pay respects to Laura and her family.

The many courtesies and kindnesses you extended not only to Laura’s parents and siblings, but also to us visitors, were awe-inspiring. From home-cooked meals and baked goods to assistance with chores on the LaPlante farmstead to funds donated anonymously to a local inn to help defray our lodging costs, no detail was overlooked or expense spared. The LaPlante and Sullivan families would like to thank the dozens of individuals, many of whom remain unknown to us, for their generous contributions of time and talent and capital to easing our sadness in the days around Laura’s funeral. Of those who can be singled out, we are most grateful to Sister Cecile Provost of St. Patrick School in Jaffrey (which Laura attended as a girl) for turning over the school’s gym for use as a memorial gathering place, as well as to school volunteers who transformed the space into an inviting reception hall. We also want thank Divine Mercy Parish Women’s Guild for providing a full complement and variety of home-cooked platters and dishes of salads, hot dishes, sandwiches, cookies and fruit to the many guests and Laura’s large extended family at the luncheon following the funeral mass. We would also like to express our thanks and tremendous gratitude to the priests who presided over the rosary service and said such a moving funeral Mass, including Fr. Wilfred Deschamps of St. Patrick Parish, Fr. Richard Kelly of St. Christopher Parish in Nashua (who delivered a beautiful eulogy), and Monsignor Gerald Belanger of Divine Mercy. And we are especially grateful to Bishop Peter A. Libasci for his quiet presence and the stirring remarks he made.

Finally, we would like to thank inkeepers Marcia and Jarvis Coffin of the Hancock Inn for all of their troubles in accommodating our large group not only in the hotel’s rooms, but also at breakfast, when they invited all family members, whether or not they were staying at the inn, to enjoy their delicious cooking. This is but a short list of the many people who contributed to the warm and comforting embrace we received during our sojourn in New Hampshire. To the many unnamed among you who deserve our gratitude, please know that we salute your devotion to the ideals of small town generosity and assistance in times of need. We will surely draw on the example you provided as we return home, inspired to mimic your example in our own communities.


John Sullivan on behalf of the Sullivan and LaPlante families of California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and Washington

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