Louise Whitney Yacovone, 73, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 17th, 2020, at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester, VT, after a four- year courageous struggle with Leukemia.
Louise was born in Battlecreek, MI, on February 22, 1946, the oldest of two children born to the late John and Eleanor (Whitney) Belkovicz. Louise was raised in Claremont, NH, and graduated from Stevens High School in the class of 1964. She graduated from North Hampton Commercial College and worked for many years at Pratt and Whitney in Hartford, CT. She married and relocated to Newton, NH, where she became interested in the teaching profession. In 1977 she graduated from Rivier College with a BA in Special Education.
Louise became a devoted special educator in NH for many years. She had a special gift working with children and several have reached out as adults thanking her for always believing in them.
She eventually returned to Claremont and enjoyed substituting in area schools. She held a permanent substitute position in special ed at Claremont Middle School before moving to Jericho, VT.
Louise was a bright light with a kind and compassionate spirit. Over the years she touched the lives of many. She volunteered for Special Olympics and became an adaptive ski instructor at Ascutney Mountain. Louise also worked at Crotchet Mountain as a residential counselor for youth living with developmental and physical disabilities. She became a strong advocate and mentor for those experiencing mental health challenges, leading recovery workshops in NH and VT.
Louise’s greatest joy was becoming a devoted mother to her only daughter and more recently she was able to cherish many special moments with her beloved granddaughter. In recent years she found peace in the natural world and enjoyed hiking, kayaking and gardening. She was an active member of Claremont Garden Club and enjoyed planting flowers around Claremont town center in the spring.
Louise was predeceased by her parents and beloved grandson, Mario Ragonese of Danville, NH; She is survived by her daughter, Lauren Ragonese and her husband, Eric and daughter, Scarlett of Danville, NH; sister, Connie Belkovicz and partner, Craig Newman of Jericho, VT; former husband, Robert Yacovone and his wife, Sharon, of Newton, NH; several cousins and extended family. She will also be missed by many dear friends and her beloved cat, Annie.
Her family wishes to thank the incredible staff and volunteers at the McClure-Miller Respite House in Colchester, VT, for the exceptional care and compassion Louise received in the past several months.
Contributions in Louise’s memory may be made to Outreach for Earth Stewardship, Shelburne, VT; McClure Miller Respite House, Colchester VT; or Springfield VT Humane Society.
A spring graveside memorial service is planned on May 16th at 2:00 at the Mill Cemetery, in Meriden, NH.
The Stringer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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