Barbara E. Van Patten

Last modified: 7/8/2010 12:00:00 AM
Barbara Elaine Van Patten, 66, died Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at the Pleasant View Center in Concord, following a struggle with Alzheimer's that lasted many years.

Barbara was born Nov. 13, 1943, in Franklin, Pa., to LaVerne E. Lawson and Bernice L. Young, the first of five children. She graduated from Rocky Grove High School in 1961.

She began her working career as a secretary and was renowned for her accuracy and speed at both shorthand and typing; having an average typing speed in excess of 100 words per minute.

Barbara spent her whole life in service to others. She returned to school later in life and graduated with a bachelor's degree in human services from New Hampshire College-Manchester. For more than 20 years, she worked for the state of New Hampshire, retiring as a case worker from the Division for Children, Youth and Families around 2004.

She led the state's Operation Santa program for many years, was instrumental in founding the Helping Hands of Hillsboro program, assisted local charities with gathering clothing for needy children and was very active in a number of local churches including the Methodist, Nazarene and Salvation Army.

Barbara considered her most important duty to be the caretaker of her family. By her first husband, Frederick Frantz, also of Franklin, she had two children, Lorraine and Timothy. In 1976, she married Theodore 'Ted' Louis Van Patten Sr. Ted had six children from his first marriage who Barbara welcomed as her own. On July 6, Barbara passed from this world, peacefully and without pain, with her beloved Ted holding her hand.

Awaiting her in eternity are her parents, La Verne and Bernice; and her brother, Richard 'Dick' Lawson.

She is survived by her husband, Theodore; her children, Lorraine Bellows of Surry, Timothy Frantz of Pembroke, Joel Van Patten of Pembroke, Terry Van Patten of Florida, Tammy Hayes, Ted Van Patten Jr., Tim Van Patten and Tracey Van Patten; her sister, Jan Robertshaw of Utah; brother, Leroy 'Mike' Lawson, and sister, Sharon Braughle, both of Franklin, Pa.; 17 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be held today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Petit Funeral Home, Main Street, Pembroke.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Suncook United Methodist Church, Pembroke.

Interment will follow at noon at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen.

A virtual guest book is available at

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