Loretta Corey passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 13 in the comfort of her Littleton, N.H., home with her family nearby following a brief illness. At 101 years old she was proud to be still living independently.
Loretta Anna Struemph was born Nov. 15, 1917 in Vienna, Mo., the 9th of 12 children, to parents George and Lizette (Falter). She grew up on a 300-acre farm where there were many chores but even more ‘good clean fun.’ As a young woman she followed several of her siblings to New York City where she found work in an airplane production factory and as a nanny. In the city she enjoyed walking everywhere like a true New Yorker going to movies, Yankees games and live music, including big bands and opera.
One summer the family she worked for vacationed in Littleton, N.H. That is how she met her future husband, Alexander Corey. The young lawyer from a large Lebanese family and the farm girl from Missouri married August 21, 1944. Loretta became a busy homemaker, raising a family, flower and vegetable gardening, canning, sewing clothing, shoveling snow and occasionally working in the family businesses, Corey’s Sweet Shop and her daughter Dorothy’s Sundial Nursery. She was active in the Catholic Daughters of America.
Never learning how to drive, she walked everywhere from the grocery store to the hospital when it was on Cottage Street. She helped care for grandchildren and neighbor children after school, always welcoming them with homemade treats. The house was always full on holidays and during family reunions when the extended Struemph clan came from all over the country. And Loretta and the family took long road trips back to Missouri every three years to visit.
Loretta was an avid reader – consuming everything from the ”New Yorker” to the Vienna, Mo. weekly newspaper – cheered the Red Sox and Patriots since she was now in New England, and followed politics, world and local events. She held a wealth of knowledge from her century of life and enjoyed conversations on any topic, her mind still extremely sharp. She enjoyed fresh cut flowers from family gardens and watching visiting birds outside her window.
Loretta was preceded in death by her husband Alexander (Bob) and son William and her eleven siblings. She is survived by daughters Catherine Bedor (Joel) and Dorothy Corey, of Littleton; Barbara Brewster, of Middletown, Md., and son Michael Corey, of Chester, N.H., seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. She is also lovingly remembered by over 40 nieces and nephews whose frequent long phone conversations were welcomed as occasions to reminisce and talk about any topic under the sun. Loretta and the family are grateful for the tender care she received from Anne McDonald and North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to N.H. Catholic Charities, Littleton Area Senior Center or Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Vienna, Mo.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, June 19, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Pillsbury Phaneuf Funeral Home located at 101 Union Street in Littleton. A Catholic Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Littleton on Thursday, June 20, at 10 a.m. with The Very Reverend Mark E. Dollard as Celebrant, followed by graveside services at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Cemetery. Following the services, family and friends are welcome to gather at Adair Country Inn in Bethlehem to celebrate Loretta’s life.
Pillsbury Phaneuf Funeral Home and Crematorium, Littleton is in charge of arrangements. To view an Online Tribute, send condolences to the family, or for more information, please go to www.pillsburyphaneuf.com.