Paul Leon Putnam, 83, died at his residence in Charlestown, NH, on July 13, 2020. He was born on August 12, 1936 in the house in Charlestown where he grew up. He was the son of Ellsworth and Ethel A. (Pierce) Putnam. When he married, he moved up the same road and lived there for the rest of his life.
Paul attended schools in Charlestown through his freshman year and then transferred to Vilas High School in Alstead to study their agriculture course. While there, he attended the National Future Farmers of America convention in Kansas City, where the main address was given by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The group traveled cross-country by train. While growing up, Paul was active in 4-H, especially judging eggs, and won many ribbons doing so.
Upon graduation from high school and the death of his father, he and his two brothers, Ted and Morris, assisted their mother in operating the farm. Later, they would incorporate, expanding it into a large operation known as Putnam Farms, Inc., including dairy, maple sugaring, and cordwood.
On October 20, 1962, Paul married Patricia Ann Batchelder in Langdon and they were married 57 years, raising a family of four children, which, in turn, led to nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was especially pleased when a picture of him taken as a promotional for Garelick Farms, to whom they supplied milk at the time, was used on billboards in the area.
Along the way, he not only put in many hours at the farm, but also ran a small produce farm on the side–something his children still tell stories about their participation in. He raised berries, fruit, and garden fare. He also had a large greenhouse devoted to flowering plants. Outside, in semi-retirement, he continued the outside flower gardens.
Throughout his life, he was a woodworker making items varying from large furniture pieces in his home and his children’s homes to large toys for his children and grandchildren to Christmas decorations. In later years, he was enthusiastic about holiday decorations. Christmas was his specialty inside the house and out.
He enjoyed the changing seasons and all the nature it brought with it. He knew where the first spring flowers appeared; he knew where to find the winter decorative berries. He had in-depth knowledge of all the birds and animals that populated the area. This included the mountain lion that crossed the road in front of them a couple of years ago.
He enjoyed sliding down the hill out back with the grandchildren or alone on a quick slide before heading to work.
He was a member of the F&AM Lodge #12 in Charlestown, F&AM Lodge #30 in Langdon, Bektash Shriners in Concord, Scottish Rite Valleys of Keene and Nashua, Order of the Eastern Star, and the NH Farm Bureau. He was the recipient of the two General John Sullivan Awards and the Veterans Medal from the Masons.
He was the last of his generation and was predeceased by his half-siblings; Dorothy P. Richardson (Donald), Donald Putnam (Kathryn), Beatrice P. Blackington (John); siblings, Celia E. Putnam, Fred M. Putnam (Rosemary), John E. Putnam (died in infancy), Ted H. Putnam (Nancy survives), and Morris O. Putnam (Marjorie survives).
He is survived by his wife, Patricia and four children, Linda P. Zukas, Nancy P. Lavin (Martin), Bruce A. Putnam (Tammie), Dana E. Putnam (Laura); grandchildren, Brian G. Zukas (Ann), Heather E. Zukas, Angela N. Zukas, Timothy P. Lavin, Rachel A. Putnam, Matthew P. Lavin, Meghan E. Putnam, Sarah L. Putnam, Emily G. Putnam; great granddaughter, Zoey C. Zukas; many nieces, nephews, and their families.
Calling hours will be held at the Charlestown Memorial Chapel on 34 Main Street from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 18th. This will be a walk through format. A public Masonic service will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, July 19th under a tent or outside at the Senior Center on Old Springfield Road in Charlestown, NH. The center will be open. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. Light refreshments will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts in Paul’s name be given to the Development Office at Shriners Hospital for Children at 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104, or a humane society of one’s choice.
The Stringer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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