CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Online Extras: News to Note

September 17, 2013

Your Facebook password belongs in your will

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Risk No. 3: Losing Control of Your Personal Legacy

Steve found out about his mother's Facebook account several weeks after her death. He rarely uses social media, and he was surprised to learn his mother did. He waited several weeks before searching for her page, because he was fearful of what he might learn. For decades their relationship had been strained. When he was a child, she had left their family and moved several states away, leaving Steve to carry feelings of abandonment for most of his life. When she entered hospice care, he reluctantly agreed to move her into his home with his family and care for her in her final months. Small moments of reconciliation happened, but learning of the Facebook account made him realize there might be a lot he did not know.

Deep relief and quiet joy filled him as he read her public status updates expressing gratitude for her son's sacrifices for her. Because he was unaware of his mother's digital life while she was alive, Steve could not share in this powerful moment with her. On a positive note, Facebook enabled Steve to learn more about his mother's private experiences, which will, in turn, shape the story he tells of her life to his children. But what if he had discovered hurtful or confusing information? She would not have been there to confront, explain or repair the relationship. A painful gap would be left in her story — and in his life. Inspired by this experience, Steve and his wife have committed to inventorying their digital assets to spare their own children anxiety. They are also painfully conscious of how others might react to what they post about their own lives and they understand that, if something happens to them, the person managing their estates will need access to the good, the bad and the ugly in their online lives.

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New England News
Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

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  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

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  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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