Lois Pitkin Booth, a guiding light for many and a powerful force of compassion, love, and good in the world, died peacefully on September 13, 2019, with family by her side.

Lois was born in Epping, NH June 14, 1922 to Fred and Gertrude Pitkin. The family moved to North Andover, MA when she was a young child. She graduated from Antioch College in 1944.

Lois was working as a personal assistant to the directors of American Youth Hostels (AYH) when she first met her husband-to-be, Donald Booth, who was active in AYH. When they met, Don was on a short leave from alternative service during WWII, so their courtship was mostly via correspondence and occasional brief leaves. They were married March 9, 1946, just one month after Don was discharged. Like many other post-war newlyweds, they started a family forthwith. In 1951 they moved their young family to Canterbury on the invitation of a friend of Don’s who had also served in alternative service. They lived in Canterbury until they moved into the retirement community of Havenwood in Concord in 2003. Although neither one grew up as Quakers, both Lois and Don fully embraced the Quaker spiritual community, joining the local Friends Meeting when they moved to Canterbury, and they were very active members of the Concord Friends Meeting for the rest of their lives.

Lois was an early proponent of organic gardening and natural foods, nourishing her family from the beginning from her own garden. For decades she baked her own hearty bread from organic wheat that she ground herself. She developed her own precursor to today’s energy bars to ensure nutritious snacks for her family. Her kindness, caring and wisdom compelled her to take in and/or mentor countless people she encountered locally. She was a dedicated advocate for peace and justice for all people everywhere, tirelessly researching and promoting alternative perspectives to war, the draft and concerns of peace and justice around the world. Raising her family, organic gardening and peace work were the focus of her life’s work.

Lois also had a real estate broker’s license, which she initially obtained to help sell the houses that Don built, but later developed into a part time business (Canterbury Realty) selling homes and farms in the area. As she bought and sold land she donated several parcels of conservation land, including the Riverland Conservation area in Canterbury, which includes what has become a popular swimming beach on the Merrimack River.

In her dedication to peace work, Lois helped establish NH Peace Action, and also helped establish a NH office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC-NH). She and Don were jointly honored with the 2001 NH Martin Luther King Award and a Haymarket People’s Fund award. In 2014 Lois was honored with a Culture of Peace Award by NH Peace Action, “Humbly presented in gratitude for a lifetime of advocacy, work, and devotion to peaceful and sustainable solutions to the problems of humanity.”

Lois was predeceased by her husband Don in 2011. She is survived by six children, oldest daughter Heather di Giovanni, sons Christopher, Steven, Jonathan and David, and her youngest daughter Barbara Berwick, as well as a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 PM Saturday, November 9 at the Unitarian Church, 274 Pleasant St, Concord, NH. A reception will follow approximately 3-5 PM also at the UU Church. There will also be a small memorial service at the Havenwood retirement community in Concord, date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be graciously appreciated to either the American Friends Service Committee of NH or to NH Peace Action in her memory.

Friends and family are invited to post comments or remembrances .

16 thoughts on “Obituary

  1. Concord, NH, Sep 19, 2019: “Mrs. Booth was always such a kind gentle woman who’s smile always made you feel welcome. I spent many a day at the Booth home. Rest in peace Mrs. Booth.”


  2. Friend, Concord, NH, Sep 20, 2019: “I will always remember the love and respect my mother had for Lois. Their tireless efforts as peace activists created awareness and inspiration for so many. She will be greatly missed.”


  3. Family Friend, Henniker, NH, Sep 20, 2019: “With best wishes to the Booth family, so sorry to hear this news of your loss. Lois (and Don) were inspiring exemplars of radical hospitality and good will for so many of us in our youthful zeal navigating the volatility of the sixties and beyond. The door was always open. Their example and their kindness are never forgotten.”


  4. Franklin, NH, Sep 19, 2019: “Lois, I will miss you more than I can ever say! I loved you so much for your true love and compassion and your deep dedication to making this world a better place! The world has lost a bright light but wherever you go will be forever illuminated! I hope you find Don waiting for you with a big smile on his face! You will both be forever in my heart! Live and hear felt sympathy to all of the Booths and those who loved her!”


  5. Friend, Rutland, VT, Sep 21, 2019: “Love from Carol Tashie and Dennis Duhaime to the entire Booth family. Lois and Don were such inspirations in our lives in fact, we met because of Lois! We both loved the time we spent with Lois at NH Peace Action and a photo of Carol and Don in front the statehouse with one of Don’s infamous banners still hangs on our refrigerator! We feel so lucky to have known both Lois and Don and we send you our love and gratitude. Lois was such an amazing force for peace and love and the world is a better place because of her.”


  6. I’m sorry I’m so late hearing the news of Lois passing. And my heart goes out to the family. I will never forget her intrepid and clear sense of purpose in everything she did and said. The sheer energy and ceaselessness of her work at home and with family, coupled with her disciplined public work. The perpetually open home, welcoming and nourishing for whomever needed a place to find themselves. Her dedication to peace and social justice, her patience and dry humor. She regarded you with respect, but by her personal standards and stature, made you want to work to be a better version of yourself, to think more about what you were offering the world in service. Lois and Don were mentors to me in a completely different life than I’d lived before I met them. They altered my life and always be alive in my memory and beliefs – Abram Rosenthal


  7. Don and Lois were people of immense kindness and compassion. Not only did they work for peace in the world, but they opened their home to people needing temporary shelter and they mentored many individuals. I knew them as friends and neighbors and loved them very much. They leave wonderful children and grandchildren who have also enriched the world in many ways.
    Darryl Thompson


  8. Will always be grateful for the home the Booth family provided Community Builders back in the 60’s. I learned so many building skills from Don and received so much love from both Lois and Don. So many great memories of swimming in and skating on the Shaker ponds with Heather, Chris, Stevie, Davie, Penny and Greg Meeh. Of swinging Barbie in the tire swing. So many wonderful times eating around the large table in the downstairs……and many more……..


  9. I wish I’d remembered this story in time to share it at today’s wonderful, tearful, heartfull memorial service: Lois and I shared a hotel room at a Peace Action conference. I was awakened earlier than planned by thumping beside my bed. There was Lois in her jammies, down on the floor, doing push ups. “Time to get up, Patty,” she called up to me. And without skipping a beat she added, “Time to get up and do exercises. We have to stay strong, have to stay strong”
    ever fondly & respectfully, Patty Bass


  10. Earth Mother with caring heart, clear mind, broad shoulders, and open arms. That’s how I remember Lois, who along with Don, welcomed me into their home in the ’60s — to live with them, to learn from them, to love being with their family. Lois was a quiet mentor from whom I learned many daily life skills and, more importantly, through whom I learned to be bold and confident. I cherish my time with Lois and Don, their family, their neighbors, the Shaker sisters and Bud. My west coast, immigrant, only child, single parent home upbringing was forever enhanced by their generosity of spirit. Lois walked the world in truth. May she rest in peace.


  11. My condolences go out to the Booth Family as I just came across the notice about Lois Booth. I knew the Booth Family this goes back to the mid-’60s while attending Horizon’s Edge when Don was working on the new dorm up the road from the brick house that housed the school students. I have some great memories of those days. Mahalo,


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