Ethel Verna Jarvis, 88, also known as “The Commish” and advocate for all less fortunate, passed away peacefully on Sept. 28, 2020, at Woodlawn Care Center in Newport, NH.
She was born and raised in Unity, NH, and resided in East Unity for most of her life. Her final four years were spent at Woodlawn Care Center where she received excellent care. Ethel attended Unity Elementary School, Stevens High School, and graduated from Keene State College in 1970 with a BA in Education. While she cherished her years of teaching, her biggest passion was for politics. She proudly served as the Sullivan County Commissioner for many years and even had a license plate that read “Comish3.” She served faithfully as the vice-president of the Sullivan County Democrats and was the quintessential Democrat who loved her country wholeheartedly. As a member of the Zoning Board and Conservation Commission in Unity, she was able to play an active role in helping to protect the environment, a cause that was extremely important to her. Ethel established a 4-H Club in East Unity and exhibited her leadership by teaching life skills to the youth of her community. Her commitment to helping those in need led her to become an integral part of the Claremont Soup Kitchen where she served on the Board of Directors. Ethel’s love for books and reading resulted in her becoming a volunteer as a trustee of the Unity Library where she spearheaded numerous book sale events to help support the library. Highlights of her working career included serving as the administrative assistant for the Town of Unity, and tax mapping for the Town of Newport where she was able to showcase her exceptional budgeting skills. Ethel was also a staunch advocate for women’s rights and a constant voice for the less fortunate. She was small in stature, but more than made up for it with her huge personality.
Ethel was predeceased by the love of her life for 58 years, James “Larry” Jarvis. She was also predeceased by her infant son, Lawrence Jarvis; her parents, Roger and Marie Clough; three brothers, Clarence, Robert and Donald Clough; and her stepfather, Clifford Stone.
She is survived by her three daughters, Aprille Jarvis of Charlestown, NH, Susan Hastings and husband Milton of Newport, NH, Nancy Clairmont and husband Michael of Gilford, NH; four grandchildren, Jeffrey Hastings and fiancée Rebecca Roy of Manchester, NH, Shannon Hastings-Smith and husband Michael of Armonk, NY, Kyle Jarvis of Walpole, NH, and Hillary Clairmont-Fontaine and husband Michael of Jackson Hole, WY; five great-grandchildren, Skye and Cashlyn Smith, Jayden and Tristan Hastings and Grady Roy. She is also survived by two brothers, Ronald and Fred Clough of Newport, NH, and many nieces and nephews.
Ethel was many different things to many people. She made the most incredible jams and jellies and everyone always enjoyed her famous Christmas cake. She had an awesome sense of humor with an infectious laugh. She had strong convictions and her own style of spirituality. She loved nature, animals and birds. Ethel was happiest feeding her beautiful birds and being surrounded by their songs at her home in East Unity. Ethel had unconditional love for her family and will be missed always and forever.
The family will receive friends and family at a reception format at the Unity, NH, Town Hall from 11:30-1:30 on Saturday, Oct. 10. Refreshments will be served and memories will be shared. Masks and social distancing are encouraged due to COVID-19 concerns.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Claremont Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 957, Claremont, NH 03743. Cards and flowers may be sent to Susan J. Hastings, 575 Bradford Road, Newport, NH 03773.
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