Kathleen Mary Custer, 76, of Amherst, NH died peacefully July 21, 2022, at the Bedford Falls Community, Bedford, NH surrounded by her caregivers.
Born near Burlington, VT on May 6, 1946, she was the firstborn daughter of the late Winston and Mary (Hyde) Ravlin. She was salutatorian of Coventry High School in CT, earned her Bachelor’s Degree with High Honors in the School of Education from UConn, and earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Memphis State University.
Kathleen was a true educator throughout her lifetime. She was passionate about literacy and academic pursuit. She was a reading and writing specialist at Souhegan High School, English Department Head at Merrimack High School, Assistant Principal at Reeds Ferry Elementary School, and Principal of James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, retiring in 2007. During this tenure, her many accomplishments included being the guiding force behind the institution of public kindergarten for New Hampshire’s children, crafting the Professional Development Master Plan for district educators, contributing to the establishment of Mastricola Elementary as a PBIS Demonstration Site school, spearheading the introduction of Write Place, a progressive written language curriculum, and provided countless leadership and mentoring opportunities for colleagues and students.
Kathi enjoyed reading, nature, and mastering word puzzles. She also enjoyed camping, time spent along the seashore, and traveling. She treasured and collected memories of the southern Connecticut coast, Martha’s Vineyard, and Barbados. What brought her the most happiness was spending time with her “girls”- granddaughters, daughters, and sister, and she enjoyed her many years as an art docent at the Currier Museum of Art in her retirement years.
She was very intelligent, witty, and kind. She was a true lady with elegance, class, and grace. Kathi was always thoughtful and supportive, but above all else, she is remembered as a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, mentor and friend. She led by example, encouraging colleagues and students to explore their own paths, while guiding and nurturing their growth. She always made the best of any hardship, gaining strength in the value of friends and challenges with unfaltering courage to find the lessons, and to trust the journey throughout her life, including her later years fighting unfortunate illnesses.
Surviving family includes her husband of 57 years, Edward Custer of Amherst, NH; daughters Laura Green and husband Robert of The Bahamas, and Ellen Letendre and fiancé, Chris Tirpak of Colorado; two granddaughters, Garnet Letendre and Violet Letendre of Colorado, and their father, Jon Letendre; sister, Colleen Hamblett and husband Steven of Florida; nieces and nephews, as well as beloved feline pets. She was predeceased by two siblings, Maureen Proulx and Kevin Ravlin, and her parents.
SERVICES: There are no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 28 at 12 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 190 Meetinghouse Rd., Bedford, NH. The family kindly asks that you wear a face mask during the service. Burial will follow at the NH State Veterans Cemetery, 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to her favorite charities: Alzheimer’s Disease Research www.brightfocus.org/cureAD, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute www.dana-farber.org. A celebration of life will be held after the interment at The Puritan Restaurant 245 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH.