Norman L. Soney
Norman Livingston Soney, 84, formerly of Jaffrey and Burlington, Mass., died peacefully on Jan. 2, 2019, at the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, after a sudden illness.
He was born in Stoneham, Mass., Sept. 8, 1934, son of the late Arnold and Helen (Wood) Soney. Norman graduated from Stoneham High School in 1952 before serving honorably with the U.S. Army. Upon his return from the service, Norman earned degrees in architectural and civil engineering from the Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.
On Dec. 26, 1959, he married his wife of 58 years, Sara Jane “Sally” Crabtree. They lived in Melrose, Mass., for a short time, but raised their family of three children in Burlington, Mass., over the next 23 years. Norman worked as a highway designer for Middlesex County and as a civil engineer for the city of Cambridge, Mass., before beginning the Vorce Soney & Associates Surveying partnership with Al Vorce. In 1984, Norman and his family moved to Jaffrey to be closer to his surveying business. He was an active member of the N.H. Land Surveyors Association and retired in 2001. Norman and Sally eventually moved to Langdon Place in Dover in October of 2016 to be closer to their daughters.
Norman was a devoted and loyal member of the United Church of Jaffrey. He served as a board member and a deacon as well as serving on the leadership, pastor search, and membership committees, but he was most proud of his work with the education committee and youth programs. He and Sally had also been very active in the youth ministries of the United Church of Christ in Burlington, Mass., where they were two of the founding members of “the coffee house” — which provided a safe and entertaining place for the community’s youth to go on the weekends.
Family genealogy was his passion and in retirement Norman embarked on several trips to research the Crabtree and Soney family histories. He was an avid supporter of trying to build a community center in Jaffrey, and he also served on the committee that started the MLK National Day of Service celebration and activities in Jaffrey.
Along with his wife, Sally, Norman took part in an exchange program called “Bridges For Peace,” hosting a man from Estonia, and then participating in an overseas home-stay themselves. Through the years, they also hosted a young man from Ireland and two teachers from China. Norman also enjoyed accompanying his wife on Monadnock Chorus trips to Scandinavia and Greece.
Norman enjoyed going to auctions and collecting art and antiques. He followed the New England professional sports teams and was a loyal Conant Orioles (both boys and girls) basketball fan. He also enjoyed going to his grandchildren’s concerts, art shows, theater productions, tennis matches and 4H programs.
In addition to his parents, Norman was predeceased by his wife, Sally, on June 5, 2018.
He is survived by his son, Alan Soney and his wife, Rachel, formerly of Jaffrey, currently of St. Louis, Mo.; his two daughters, Carol and her husband, James Pittman, of Northwood and Donna and her husband, David Langley, of Durham; his grandchildren, Helen and Henry Soney, Kelsie and Olivia Pittman, Kyra Langley; and his step-granddaughter, Jennifer Pittman Paris; his nieces, Melanie Rand (Crabtree) of Brunswick, Maine and Amber Hatch (Crabtree) of Buxton, Maine.
At Norman’s request, there are no calling hours.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. in the United Church of Jaffrey, 54 Main St., Jaffrey. Rev. Mark Koyama, pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow next to his wife at the Cutter Cemetery in Jaffrey Center.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the United Church of Jaffrey, 54 Main St., Jaffrey NH 03452.
To share memories and photographs, or to send a condolence to Norman’s family, please visit his online memorial at www.cournoyerfh.com.