John Leonard Weidner, 84, died peacefully in his sleep at Good Shepherd Nursing Home on June 8 after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born April 12th, 1929 in Avon, New York, son of George Weidner and Frances Moore Weidner. He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. He also served in the Naval Reserve as a Boatswains Mate 3c, and as an Able Bodied seaman on board merchant ships on the Great Lakes. He finished college at the University of Rochester, where he met his wife, Miriam (“who was on a horse that was going the wrong way”).
In 1957 they settled in Rindge, NH on Pearly Lake, at the summer cottage of Miriam’s parents, where together they turned the small cottage into a year-round home large enough to raise a family, doing all the construction work themselves.
John and Mimi had three children and were always involved and supportive in all their interest including Pony club, 4H, Ski racing, Boy Scouts, and setting up a home machine shop with his son Will. He was a District Commissioner for the Monadnock Pony Club in the 1970’s. He helped resurrected Rindge Boy Scout Troop 308, and enjoyed leading his scouts on many camping and hiking trips. He was a member of the Rindge School Board, and was instrumental in the formation of the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School Board, serving as chairman. He was on the building committee when the present Conant High School was approved of by the voters and built. He worked for National Grange Mutual in the 1960’s in Keene, leaving to form the Monadnock Insurance Agency in Jaffrey. He and Miriam also opened Venture Travel Agency in Jaffrey, which later became part of Greater Falls Travel. He retired in 2003 from the travel business.
John always had a great passion for skiing, in his younger years serving on Ski Patrol at Hogback Mountain in VT with Mimi, then later skiing with his family every weekend at Mount Ascutney. He and Mimi enjoyed traveling and arranged and lead many ski trips to Colorado, Utah, and Europe with friends and family; later in life he was a ski instructor with the New England Handicapped Ski Association at Mount Sunapee, helping many handicapped skiers to enjoy the sport. He skied into his eighties and often amazed his skiing partners with his stamina.
A dedicated husband, he lovingly cared for his wife since 1992 when she suffered a debilitating stroke. John was a longtime member of the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce, and greatly enjoyed working on their activities particularly the annual Festival of Fireworks. He was an original member of the Jaffrey Juvenile Diversion Committee. A lifelong history buff, he enjoyed Living History Cruises on the WWII merchant ship John W. Brown, attending several on the East Coast with his sons.John was predeceased by his daughter Lisa (Weidner) Aylward on April 28,2010.
He is survived by his wife Miriam “Mimi” Weidner of Jaffrey; two sons William and his wife Rosemary (Moran) Weidner of Dublin, James and his wife Rebecca (Rivard) Weidner of Rindge; his four grandchildren Genevieve, Jacob, Erin and Katharine Weidner; his sister Jean (Weidner) Hillegas of Allentown, PA; and son in law Dennis Aylward of Deland, Florida.