Ocean Beach 11

Mary Lindsley (Van Dine) Whitehead




Mary Lindsley Van Dine Whitehead

Mary Lindsley Van Dine Whitehead, 84 passed away peacefully on November 16, 2019, at Taylor Community Nursing Home in Laconia, NH.  She was born on January 25, 1935, in New Haven, CT, to Charles and Edith (Thorpe) Van Dine in the middle of a blizzard.  She found joy in learning and graduated from Northfield School for girls, followed by Mt Holyoke College with a BA in English, and later received a  M.A.L.S. from Weslyan University.

She coordinated youth activities at the YWCA after college and then became a High School English teacher in Hamden, CT before marrying her husband Robert Ellison Whitehead in 1966 in New Haven, CT until his premature death in 1982.  They resided and taught at Storm King School in Cornwall, NY and moved to Tilton School in Tilton, NH in 1968.  After staying at home with twin children for a few years she became a newspaper reporter for the Trumpeter, Laconia Citizen and eventually the Concord Monitor.  She returned to teaching at Provincetown (MA) and Merrimack (NH) High Schools, before “retiring” and teaching at White Pines College (Chester, NH).

She is survived by her twin children Sarah Lindsley Whitehead (Andover, NH) and Derek Van Dine Whitehead (Milford, NH), his wife Kimberly Vars Whitehead and their three beloved grandchildren Kyra Lindsley, Isabelle Victoria, and Marly Evelyn and her brother C. Peter Van Dine (Bolton, CT) and his family.

Her love for the New Hampshire mountains ran deep from hours of outdoor play during childhood family vacations in North Woodstock, NH.   Their home on Cape Cod that she and shared with “Broadway” Bob provided family time while finding faith and hope walking the beaches throughout the year.  In later years, she cherished memories from family vacations on Maine lakes with her children and grandchildren where she became known as “Queen Loon”.  A cat(s) companion by her side and a life full of literature meant she never really lived alone! In her final years in the nursing home she was known for her witty banter and ability to find a laugh in all aspects of life!

At a later date there will be a Celebration of Life at Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester, NH. Her family will privately scatter her ashes this summer.  Memorial Contributions can be made in her name to Believe in Books NH, at www.believeinbooks.org or to The Loon Preservation Center, Loon Preservation Committee, PO Box 604, Moultonborough, NH 03254 or online at www.loon.org/donation-form.phpir.

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