Jill Lawler

April 2, 1946 ~ February 1, 2022 (age 75)


Jill Lawler passed away on February 1st at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough surrounded by her loving family. It’s impossible to put into words the meaning of a life, especially a life like Jill’s that was spent reading, writing, and loving words. For forty years, Jill shared the words of her favorite authors with several generations of students at ConVal High School, as well as the final graduating class of Peterborough High School, and helped those same students find and shape their own words and stories. Jill’s love of literature started when she was a student and English major at Bates College, the same place where she met another great love in her life, her husband of 53 years, Jerry.  In 1968, Jill and Jerry moved to NH where they would start a family, having two daughters, Jess and Liz.  

 Jill, the eldest of four, was born on April 2,1946 to Elizabeth Anna Reinholdz and Harry Southcombe Howroyd in Hartford, CT. Jill and brothers Jay, Steven and Josh grew up in nearby Manchester, CT where much of their family still lives today. 

Jill’s reach stretched far into the community she lived in for over 50 years. She was involved in organizations that served that community like The Dublin Women’s Club Beach, NHDI and the Dublin Public Library. You could also find her on any number of sidelines, bleachers, pool decks and theater seats cheering on and supporting her daughters in all of their most loved activities. That devotion to her children and the joy she took in supporting those she loved grew with the addition of her grandchildren Nora, Gavin, Oliver and Wren. Jill was so many things to so many different people, but to all, whether a former student or not, Jill was a teacher. She loved literature, writing, her family and teaching.  Jill never stopped growing and learning and later in her life she discovered and fell in love with the poetry of Mary Oliver. In one of her favorite poems, Oliver reminds us that “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” For those left behind, this letting go will not be easy but we take comfort in knowing that we’ll continue to hold Jill close.

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