John F. Chaffee

John F. Chaffee, 80, a longtime resident of Swanzey and formerly of Walpole, died on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. He passed peacefully while sleeping at Westwood Nursing Home in Keene with his close friends at hand.

John was born the son of the late Jean L. (Warren) and Frank D. Chaffee on Aug. 2, 1939, in Hartford, Conn. He was educated locally and graduated from Northfield Mt. Hermon School in Northfield, Mass., class of 1957. He went on in his studies and graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelors of Arts in counselling. He also did graduate work in counselling at the University of Rhode Island.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 15, 1961, during the Vietnam War. He served with an Aviation Anti-Submarine Squadron until his discharge on May 23, 1970. John was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal and was honorably discharged at the rank of AX3 — Petty Officer 3rd Class E-4.

He was the owner of John Chaffee Carpentry for 18 years before retiring in 2014. Prior, he had worked as a Drug and Alcohol Substance Abuse Counselor at Phoenix House for many years as a Professional Therapist. He was also the former Executive Director of the Road Program in Woonsocket, R.I. A sedentary life was a problem for John. After retirement he took a part-time position with Twinkle Town Miniature Golf in Swanzey for a few years.

He attended services at St. James Episcopal Church in Keene. John enjoyed reading poetry, going for walks and hikes. He was a big New England sports fan, especially the Patriots. He also enjoyed working with his hands on various woodworking projects. John’s passion in life was mentoring. He loved guiding people through difficult times and seeing them succeed in life.

Mr. Chaffee is survived by his three children: Sean Chaffee of Landshut, Germany; Nicole Chaffee-Longo of Groveland, Mass.; and Patrick Chaffee of Albany, N.Y. He is also survived by a grandchild, Elly Chaffee; and his girlfriend of five years, Elizabeth M. Hallgring of Keene. In addition, he leaves cousins, extended family and friends.

In keeping with John’s wishes there are no calling hours or religious services. A gathering to celebrate the life of John M. Chaffee will be held on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the YANA Center, 36 Carpenter St., Keene. Burial will take place at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at 1 p.m. A special debt of gratitude is sent out the staff of Compassus Hospice Care and Westwood Nursing Home. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave., Keene (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).