Ronald A. Philbrick Sr.

Ronald A. Philbrick, Sr., 83, lifelong resident of Milford, NH, died suddenly on August 18, 2015 at his home.

He was born in Milford on August 5, 1932, a son of Walter and Lovica (Wright) Philbrick. Ron was raised and educated in Milford and graduated from Milford High School, Class of 1950. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and was stationed at Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan during the Korean War. He was a crewmember on a B29 aircraft and successfully completed 19 missions. After discharge, he attended and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from New England College in Henniker, NH, Class of 1958.

Ron worked in his family’s Milford restaurant, and then was hired by the welfare department as a caseworker. Ron was approached to join a new initiative called the Poverty Program that was part of the federal government’s War on Poverty. Ron wrote a proposal to fund the program through a federal grant and was named Executive Director in 1965.

With just one other person’s help, he started what is now Southern New Hampshire Services, which currently employs approximately 450 people. Ron continued to serve in an advisory capacity and after 45 years, was still working two days a week.

He enjoyed traveling and wintering in Venice, Florida. Ron was an accomplished musician, having played the piano and had his own band for several years.

He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Milford, Harley Sanford Post #4368 VFW, Ricciardi Hartshorn Post #23 American Legion, Milford and the Nashua Elks. In addition, Ron had been a member of the Milford Volunteer Fire Department and belonged to Ladder 1 Company. Currently, he was serving on the Board of Directors of the Pillsbury Home.

He was predeceased by a sister, Joyce Philbrick and a brother, Walter James Philbrick.

Family members include his wife of 50 years, Jean (VonIderstine) Philbrick of Milford; a daughter and son-in-law, Laurie and Dana Caruso of Greenland, NH; a son and daughter-in-law, Ronald A. Philbrick, Jr. and Jennifer Philbrick of Weare, NH; two granddaughters, Sydney and Ciana Caruso; and two grandsons, Ronald A. Philbrick III and Anthony R (Richie) Philbrick; two sisters, Leona Vallier of Winter Haven, FL and Sandra Howard of Milford, NH; many nieces and nephews.

There are no visiting hours. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Friday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. in Riverside Cemetery, 454 Nashua Street, Milford, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Share Outreach, Inc., 1 Columbus Avenue, Milford, NH 03055 or Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire, 545 NH-101, Bedford, NH 03110. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to