Barbara “Serry” Serafini, 81, passed away peacefully on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, after a long and heroic battle with cancer. In her final days she was lovingly and compassionately cared for by the doctors, nurses and staff at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care in Hanover, N.H.
Serry was born on April 27, 1937, in Littleton, N.H., to Enzo (Serry) Serafini and Esther (Tefft) Serafini. She was proud of her family heritage, living all of her 81 years in Sugar Hill, a 5th generation descendant of the first permanent settlers, Moses and Sarah Aldrich. She graduated from Dow Academy in 1954 and soon after married Robert S. Hayward and had three children; Paul, Rob and Holly.
It was always her dream to open her own gift store and in 1962 with only $365 she opened her now well known and iconic gift shop The Sugar Hill Sampler. She added an Early Settlers Museum a few years later to document her family’s history and the history of the surrounding area. She ran the Sampler for 56 years and in 2016 was featured on NH Chronicles as one of the historic sites in America.
One of the great loves of her life was music. Starting piano lessons at the age of six, she went on to study with Austrian born musicologist Fritz Kramer. She served as organist for many years at All Saints Episcopal Church in Littleton and at St Matthews Summer Chapel in Sugar Hill. She also loved to sing and was a member of the All saints Choir and a founding member of the Pine Hill Singers. For decades, Serry was a mainstay of the North Country Chamber Players,serving on the board and securing a sizable endowment for them.
Serry was a real go getter and knew how to get things done. She was forward thinking and never flinched when obstacles seemed insurmountable, always accomplishing what she set out to do. She loved her community and believed in family and friends and her church. Her faith in God and her strong spirituality sustained her and brought her comfort during her illness. She remained positive and bright and in typical Serry style decided to do something for someone else and started a fundraiser to buy a new grand piano for All Saints Church. That dream was realized before she died and she was able to hear it played for her from her hospice bed….her last great accomplishment.
Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren Serry and Jerusha Hayward and she delighted in visits from her two great granddaughters, Mia and Cora.
She is survived by her husband of 28 years, Joseph Lange of Sugar Hill, N.H.; her son Paul Hayward and his partner Gail Perkins of Littleton, N.H.; her son Robert Hayward Jr. and his wife Monique (Geisselman) Hayward; her daughter Holly H. Hayward and her partner Patrick Riendeau of Sugar Hill, N.H.; her granddaughter Jerusha (Hayward) Fish and her husband Ben Fish and; 2 great-granddaughters: Mia and Cora Fish of Alton, N.H.; her niece Julie Jasmin of Randolph Mass and nephew Clayton Jasmin of Phoenix, Ariz.
A funeral service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Littleton, N.H., on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Barbara Serafini to the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care. https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/jack-byrne-center.html