Rachel Marie (Laroche) Downes
Rachel M. Downes, 86, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 after a period of failing health at the Merrimack County Nursing Home. Rachel was born in Franklin on July 5, 1935 the daughter of Leo and Leonille (Gobeil) Laroche. A lifetime resident of Franklin, in the late 1970's, she and her husband Leonard took ownership of and operated Laroche's Market, a family neighborhood meat and grocery store on upper Central Street in Franklin. After closing the store she went on to work at Seth Thomas in Boscawen, Oak Laminates and Webster Valve in Franklin. After retiring Rachel could be found relaxing in her gazebo with family and friends. Her happiest days were spending time with her family, playing cards, and attending her grandchildren's sporting events. She was their biggest fan. Rachel was married to her high school sweetheart, Leonard Downes for 64 years before his passing on February 8, 2020. She was a loving Mother to three and Memeré to five. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Leonard, brother Roger Laroche and sister Lucille Howard.
She is survived by her children, Ernest Downes and his wife Dina, Brenda Johnson and her husband Daniel and Linda Murphy and her husband Shawn. Her grandchildren, Nicholas and Matthew Johnson, Allison Quinn, Tyler Murphy and Jerikko Downes. Her brother Maurice Laroche and his wife Jeannine and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the staff at the Merrimack County Nursing Home and all the professionals who cared for her with comforting compassion during her time there. A graveside service will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 11:00 AM in Franklin Cemetery in Franklin. Those wishing to remember Rachel in a special way, may make a donation to the Merrimack County Nursing Home Residents Fund, 325 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH 03301.
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