Carol E. Thornblad
Carol Evelyn Thornblad, 88, died May 23, 2020 at Cheshire Memorial Hospital, Keene, N.H.
She was born on August 6, 1931 to the late Gust and Evelyn (Ahlgren) Stokes in Jamestown, N.Y.
Carol grew up on what would today be called a “hobby farm” early every morning, her father would summon her to milk the cows with him. She formed a strong bond with him and a lifelong love of animals. To family and friends, she became known as the “Milkmaid of Pleasant View Farm”.
Being around farm animals fostered a love of all animals, but especially cows, horses, and dogs. She acquired a large collection of cow statues throughout her life.
She also loved dolls and amassed a collection of them as a child and then as an adult. As a child, she would create her own paperdolls, cutting out pictures from the old catalogs that used to come in the mail.
When she was 16, Her parents bought her a horse. As a rider, she participated in local parades. She also loved to ride her bike and she played accordion, skied and danced in her youth. These are all things she took up again later in life. She cross country skied, and could ride her bike into her 80s and line-danced until just a few years before her death.
She met her future husband, Carl Thornblad Jr., at a square dance when she was 17. Together with another couple they briefly formed a country western band, she playing the accordion and Carl singing and playing the harmonica.
They were married on June 16, 1951 not long after she graduated from Jamestown (NY) High School in 1950, and then moved to Boston where she spent time alone while he finished his tour of duty in the Navy. Returning to Jamestown, they built a home on land given to them by her parents. Their first child, Debra was born in 1953, a second, Evelyn, in 1956, and finally Vernon in 1961.
In 1964 they moved to Rochester New York where, along with her role as mother, she worked part time jobs at a candy store and a pet store.
In 1968 the family moved to Milford, N.H. where she and Carl remained in the same home for 30 years. During this time she worked primarily in the high-tech industry as an assembly line worker and finally a foreman. She always said she enjoyed this work. She was a very social person and valued the friends she made everywhere she lived and worked.
She was a member of the Grange and in the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion, the Red Hats and the Deborahs.
Later in life, she and Carl lived in Belmont, Hillsboro and lastly Woodsville, N.H. During their senior years, she and Carl were able to do some traveling out West, to Florida and elsewhere. But in 1984, she took the trip of her lifetime with her father to his Swedish homeland and for three weeks traveled around seeing the sights and meeting relatives. As someone who dedicated herself to giving to others, this may have been the only time in her adult life when she did something for herself for an extended period of time. Had she had the opportunity, she would have no doubt traveled more. Ever curious and with a positive outlook on life, she was a seeker who was not afraid to try new things.
But her greatest enjoyment came from being a wife, mother and grandmother. She often said that was what she had always wanted most to be. She enjoyed the family get togethers. Every Labor Day weekend she would hold a cookout and everyone would be there. When it came to the holidays, she was very much a traditionalist. Christmas would find the house decorated – everywhere. Interior doors would be covered with taped up Christmas cards, a testament to the life-time friends she had made.
Above all, whether it was caring for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, various pets, later in life her ailing husband, or the garden she loved to tend, she was a nurturer and a giver. The example she gave to all of us is a gift that endures long after her passing.
Carol was predeceased by her husband of 65 years, who died in 2017.
She is survived by her three children: Debra of Berlin, Lynne and her husband Scott Luca of Deering and Vernon of Keene; four grandchildren, Michael and his wife Shalai, and John Luca, all of Deering, and Sofia and Caleb Thornblad of Keene; two great grandchildren, Megan and Anthony Luca of Deering and her beloved dog Dina.
The family will have a memorial cookout Labor Day weekend if possible. The urn holding both her and her husband’s (a veteran) ashes will eventually be buried in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen, N.H.
The Cremation Society of New Hampshire is in charge of arrangements. Visit http://carol-thornblad.virtual-memorials.com to see more about her life and leave a remembrance.