John H. Giffin Jr. ’49 died on December 13, 2015, in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(The following was published in the New Hampshire Union Leader from Dec. 16 to Dec. 20, 2015):
MANCHESTER/NELSON – John H. “Jack” Giffin Jr., 88, passed away on Dec. 13, 2015, at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, after a brief illness. Jack and his wife Prue were longtime residents of Manchester and his beloved Nelson. He was born in Keene on Aug. 1, 1927. He attended Keene High School and graduated Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass., in 1945. Following his graduation from Tabor he enlisted in the Navy and served for seven months until World War II ended. He then attended Bowdoin College, graduating in 1949. In 1950 Jack was drafted into the Army to serve during the Korean War. He went through OCS at Fort Riley in Kansas. He attained the rank of second lieutenant and served until 1953 at Fort Lee in Virginia.
In 1952 Jack wed the former Prudence French Smith, whom he met during their summers in Nelson. They wed in Yonkers, N.Y., and were married for over 63 years. In 1953 Jack began a 35-year career at the Amoskeag Savings Bank in Manchester. While at Amoskeag, Jack attended Brown University and earned his master’s in banking degree. He began his career as a teller and worked his way up to become president and chief executive officer, retiring as executive vice president in 1988.
Jack was very active in the community throughout his career. He served as treasurer of numerous organizations, including the American Red Cross, the Boys Club of Manchester, the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire and the Frederick Smyth Institute of Music College Scholarship Fund. He was a longtime member of the Manchester Exchange Club and a 60-year member of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire Free and Accepted Masons. He was also a member of the First Congregational Church in Manchester.
Upon retirement, Jack and Prue spent most of their time in Nelson, where they would take long walks on the dirt roads, pick blueberries, go sailing and swimming in Tolman Pond and enjoy their grandchildren as they matured into young adults. Jack also prided himself on his firm handshake and Yankee approach to life. He spent countless hours working on their steep driveway, cutting and splitting wood for the fireplace that he had cut on their property and mowing the lawns with an old fashioned push lawnmower. He and Prue also loved to walk along the New Hampshire coast in the off season and have lobster rolls for lunch at one of the local seafood restaurants.
They also traveled extensively, enjoying numerous national parks throughout the country and all the natural beauty they had to offer. Hiking was a favorite activity during these visits, as well as in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with his friends and fellow members of the “Manhattan Hiking Club.”
Jack leaves behind his wife, Prudence; son John H. Giffin III (Jay) and his wife, Sienna, of Nelson; daughter Jane S. Giffin of Pittsford, Vt.; grandchildren Abby F. Giffin of Marlborough and John H. Giffin IV (Henry) and his son Karson of Nelson; and sister Deborah G. Rogers of Keene. He also leaves numerous nieces, a nephew and several cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, John H. Giffin Sr. and Isabelle Keating Giffin, of Keene.