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Merle's Story

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Manchester, NH — Merle M. (Deragon) Cunningham Woodward passed away June 8, 2014, her 80th birthday, surrounded by her loving family.

Merle was born in Milford, Mass., June 8, 1934, the only child of Aram Joseph and Helena (Menard) Deragon. She moved to Derry in 1944 and lived at Beaver Lake for 50 years.

Merle was very active in the Derry Decca Club in the 1970s. She worked at the East Derry Store and East Derry Memorial Extended Day Care. She was loved by many children and parents.

Merle was a talented musician and played more than seven instruments- accordion, piano, banjo, mandolin and three types of guitars. Not being able to read music, she could pick up an instrument and play a song after hearing it once.

There was always room at “Ma’s” table. Her motto was “Just add a little more water to the soup." She always had a fresh pot of coffee brewing. Merle was a member of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Salem, Mass.

Merle is survived by her husband of 44 years, Frank Burton Woodward, Jr. of Manchester; children, Darlene and Steven Flanders of Laconia, Leigh and Kim Woodward of Weare, Laurel and David Alger of Milford, Glen Woodward of Manchester, Andrea and Scott Bourassa-KiriaKoutsas of Hooksett, Lori and Gill Ortiz of Malden, Mass. and John Cunningham of Nashua; grandchildren, Danielle and Kevin Gagne, Nicolle and Edward Robitaille, Tiffany and Scott Norris, Brittany and Lester Emery, Molly and Eric Alger, Miranda Sanders, Derek Sanders, Rhiannon and Charles Poliquin, Christian Bourassa, Nicholas and Tara Cunningham, Amanda and Patrick Cunningham-Deegan, Robby and Lisa MacDonald, Shawn MacDonald, Brooke MacDonald, Sarah Woodward and Keith Woodward; great-grandchildren, Richard, Gwendolyn, Alexandra, Gabriel, Shawn, Everett, Aiden, Kayla, Cayden, Boston, Madison, London, Kingston, Keegan and Sebree; sister-in-law, Irene Cunningham; many nieces and nephews of the Cunningham family; cousin, Mim Woodward; extended family, Robin O’Malley, Carol Anne Bigos, Carol Rodrigues, Melinda Smith, Becky Stoddard, Robert Nelson, Lina Sitton; her Frances Warde family and many others who called her “Ma” or “Grams."

A very special thank you to Amedisys Hospice Care, Mike, Mary Ellen, Carolyn and Ashley. Their guidance through Merle’s final journey enabled us to care for her at home, surrounded by love.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to Amedisys Hospice Care of Londonderry, 1 E. Commons Drive, Unit 33, Londonderry, NH 03053.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, N.H., is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.
Published on  June 12, 2014
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