Jean Patterson Newgent 1917-2020
May her Spirit live within us All
Jean Patterson Newgent passed away peacefully at 103-years old in her sleep on June 29, 2020. She was born on March 25, 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Professor Raymond G. Patterson and Dietician Flora A. Patterson. Within a year, her family, including her older sister Mary, relocated to what would become her childhood home in Westfield, Massachusetts. Jean attended Emerson College in Boston and graduated in 1940 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Literary Interpretation. She shared her passion for helping others by serving those with speech and language challenges and fulfilling duties on the Board of the Speech and Hearing Foundation of Massachusetts. During her years at Emerson, Jean worked at “Filenes” where she eventually met her husband, Harvey W. Newgent. Marrying after a brief courtship, their family grew over the years with the births of four daughters: Carol, Barbara, Janice, and Nancy. The couple raised their family in Lexington, Massachusetts and thoroughly enjoyed family summers in their “A” frame on Tuftonboro Neck. After retiring, the then empty nesters relocated to Vero Beach, Florida, returning as “snowbirds” to New England throughout the summer months. During their retirement years, Jean and Harvey had many wonderful adventures traveling in Europe, touring China, spending weeks in New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia, enjoying Hawaii, and sightseeing in Cuba. She often shared how Harvey’s sense of adventure kept her on her toes as she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities travel provided; learning from and about other people, places and cultures. Jean and Harvey were married for 52 years before his passing in 1992. After his passing, she returned to New England to spend time with each of her girls and their families; residing in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Gorham, Maine, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. After sustaining injuries from a fall on Easter 2019, Jean returned to Wolfeboro, living at 335 Sewall Road with John and Jan Brooks. As she has with so many others in her life, Jean developed a close relationship with her primary care giver, Bonnie Pennell, as well as others that worked with Bonnie during her recovery. She so appreciated the love, friendship, and care given to her by the home care providers and was appreciative of the bond that Jan, John and Bonnie developed during her care. Jean lived each day to her fullest sharing her warm smile and the twinkle in her eyes with others. Abiding by her goal of living the words from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, she was known as a person with the kindest heart and most generous spirit. She had a strong faith and was actively involved in many churches where she acquired an amazing network of friends. Jean’s wonderful spirit and positive attitude were inspirations to others. Living a Christian life, she had a kind word for everyone that she knew and, whether family or friend, she always put others before herself; being an active listener, confidant, and comforter. She enjoyed getting to know people and demonstrated a keen interest in who they were during their time together or apart. Keeping in touch through letter writing and birthday celebrations for the last 13 years, she strengthened these relationships and leaves her true and loving friends with many fond memories. Throughout her life, Jean was an avid reader and relished attending book groups, discussing a new read with others and hearing others’ perspectives. Enjoying realistic fiction, autobiographies, biographies, and historical novels, Jean was always interested to learn about others, their cultures, challenges, and victories. Jean’s family was the joy of her life and she felt so fortunate to have been able to be a part of their journey and growth. She is preceded in death by her husband, Harvey W. Newgent and son-in-law, William James Etter. Jean is survived by her daughters and families: Carol Celata of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; Barbara and Mason Ide of Gorham, Maine; Jan and John Brooks of Wolfeboro; and Nancy Etter of Matawan, New Jersey; 7 grandchildren and their partners; 10 great grandchildren; notable cousins; and wonderful friends from the communities of Londonderry and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire and Gorham, Maine. Upon Jean’s request, a small family gathering will be held at the gravesite next to her husband, Harvey, in Lexington, Massachusetts in August. In lieu of flowers, Jean would be pleased to know that donations were being made to the Joslin Diabetes Center Boston, MA or the Lakes Region Humane Society in Ossipee, NH.
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