Barbara A. Lehtonen, 85, of New Ipswich, died Friday, May 29, 2015 at the Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough after a sudden illness.
She was born on January 29, 1930 in Peterborough, daughter of the late Andrew and Marion (Cook) Antilla. Barbara was raised in Jaffrey and graduated from Conant High School in 1948. She married Albert J. Lehtonen in 1949 and moved to New Ipswich where they built their home together and raised their family.
Barbara’s home was always open to everyone, and many of the area children considered it home and cherished Barbara’s care for them. Barbara and Albert raised 5 sons of their own and had also lost 2 children during childbirth.
Barbara’s biggest joy was tending her amazing flower and vegetable gardens and she had also raised chickens briefly. She would always take time to unwind and connect with nature during her frequent hikes in the woods around her home. Barbara had been a member of the New Ipswich Congregational Church since moving to town and was very active with the churches annual Children’s Fair and Rummage Sale for over 50 years.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her son Richard Lehtonen, and by her siblings, Ruth Johnson, Shirley Niskala and Andrew Antilla.
She is survived by her four sons, Glenn Lehtonen of Palm Bay, Florida, Carl Lehtonen of Rindge, NH, Paul Lehtonen and Kenneth Lehtonen both of New Ipswich, NH; 16 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren; her sister, Gwendolyn Niskala of Jaffrey, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Family and friends are warmly invited to a calling hour on Friday, June 5, 2015 from 10:00 to 11:00AM at the New Ipswich Congregational Church, 156 Main Street, New Ipswich, NH 03071.
A Funeral Service for Barbara will take place immediately after calling hours, at 11:00AM in the New Ipswich Congregational Church. Pastor Stuart Nutter will officiate. Burial will follow in Smithville Cemetery on Binney Hill Road.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made in Barbara’s name to the American Heart Association, 2 Wall Street, #104, Manchester, NH 03101.