Francis Owen Lathrop Jr.
Francis Owen Lathrop Jr., 96, died Monday, March 5, at Rivermead Lifecare Facility in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on July 25, 1921, the son of Francis and Alice Lathrop and brother of two sisters, Helen Brooks and Barbara Boynton.
Fran attended primary school in Fall River, MA., and secondary school at The Promfret School in Pomfret, CT. He attended Williams College until 1944 when he enlisted in the 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army. He fought in the 87th Regiment on Mt Belvedere and in the Apennine Mtns in northern Italy during World War II.
He married Cynthia Taft in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 22, 1944. After the war they settled in Windsor, Vermont where he helped start what became Ascutney Ski Area. A few years later they moved to Fall River, Massachusetts where he worked at the Fall River Bleachery.
In 1955 Fran and Cynthia moved to Amherst, NH. He worked at Nashua Corporation in the engineering group where he held several patents, until his retirement from Nashua in 1984. While in Amherst, he was a member of the Amherst Congregational Church and was a zealous singer in the choir. He was instrumental in building a rope tow on a local hill and starting the Amherst Ski Club where many children in town got their start. In 1984 Fran and Cynthia moved to the Lathrop Family farm in New Hampton, NH.
Fran was an athlete and sportsman who loved the outdoors, particularly the mountains. He was an avid, life long skier and competed for many years on the USSA Masters’ race circuit. He also loved tennis, canoeing, working in his wood-shop and out doors, hiking and visiting with his many friends. He was a member of the 4,000 foot Club of the White Mountains (having hiked all 48 NH mountains over 4,000 feet.). He and Cynthia taught their children and grandchildren the values of sport and passed on their love and appreciation of the outdoors.
Fran and Cynthia were married over 65 years until Cynthia’s death in December 2009. He married again (at age 89!) to Elizabeth (Betty) Billipp of Peterborough, NH. They enjoyed 7 active and very happy years together.
He is survived by his wife Betty B. Lathrop, his children, Jeffrey Lathrop of North Conway, NH, Pamela Bassett of Denver, CO, Daphne Jackson of Amherst, NH and Stephen Lathrop of Londonderry, VT., and 3 stepsons: J. Andrew Billipp of Houston, TX, Peter Billipp of Elliot , ME, and James Billipp of Lexington, MA.; 14 grand children, and 13 great grandchildren, 7 step grand children and 14 step great grand children!
Fran and Cynthia and later Betty, thoroughly enjoyed the many events and activities of his very large and active family! His humor and zest for life will be well remembered by all!
A Memorial Celebration will be held on May 5, 2018, 2 PM, at RiverMead in Peterborough NH.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation in Fran’s honor to the Mt Washington Observatory. (www.MountWashington.org.)