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Barbara Hurd Cowdrey

Obituary for Barbara Hurd Cowdrey

December 29, 1928 - July 15, 2017
Concord, New Hampshire | Age 88


Barbara Hurd Cowdrey, 88, of Concord, died July 15, at Havenwood in Concord, after a period of declining health.

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the daughter of Vera Grace (Crouch) and Albert Flagg Hurd, Barbara grew up in West Swanzey, graduated from Keene High School, and was valedictorian of the Class of 1950 at The Elliot Hospital School of Nursing in Manchester. Her classmates at The Elliot remained her lifelong friends. She worked as an R.N. for over thirty years in the seacoast area.

In 1951, Barbara married Leo Wilfred Cowdrey, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. They raised their children in North Hampton and later retired to Saddleback Mountain in Northwood, where they enjoyed peace and quiet and blueberry-picking for many years.

Barbara was a skilled seamstress from childhood. As a 4-H instructor, she taught dozens of girls in North Hampton how to sew. In mid-life she found true inspiration and the ideal outlet for her talents as a weaver. She was a volunteer demonstrator at Canterbury Shaker Village, and was active in the New Hampshire Weavers' Guild, serving as President from 1995 to 1999.

An avid reader, Barbara was a member of the Chesley Memorial Library Book Club for over twenty years.

Barbara was predeceased by her husband, Leo, and by her five siblings. She leaves her four children, Kathryn Cowdrey of Newmarket, Mark Cowdrey and his wife Lea LaFave of Andover, Robert Cowdrey of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Terry Cowdrey and her husband Matt Miller, of Northwood; her five grandchildren, Caroline Boucher, Helen Cowdrey, Emily Sheff, Diana Cowdrey, and Eliza Sheff; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family deeply appreciates the kind and thoughtful staff of Havenwood, who were always professional but never impersonal. Barbara's last years were immeasurably enriched by warm relationships with her caregivers.

Donations in Barbara's memory may be made to the HHH Employee Gift Fund, at Havenwood, or The Chesley Memorial Library Trustees, in Northwood.
A reception will be held on Saturday, July 22, at Havenwood, 33 Christian Avenue, Concord. Friends are welcome to stop by between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. There will be a brief ceremony on Sunday, July 23, at 1:00 p.m. at Oak Hill Cemetery in West Swanzey, followed by a gathering at the home of Glen and Patti Hurd, 197 Forest Avenue, West Swanzey. Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium is assisting the family with arrangements. To view an online memorial or leave a message of condolence please go to

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