Stephen D. Purington, Former Faculty

Stephen Donald Purington, 72, of Laconia, New Hampshire, died in the care of hospice Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at Ledgeview in the Taylor Community in Laconia. Steve moved to the Taylor community with his wife of 39 years, Alice, in September 2018. Before coming to Taylor, Steve retired with Alice to The Farm in North Berwick, ME, after years on the faculty at the Pike School in Andover, MA.

Steve was born in Springfield, MA on September 7, 1951 to the late Donald and Iris Elaine (Whitten) Purington. He had three younger sisters: Karen, Lisa (who predeceased him) and Susan. The family returned to Portland, ME, which was home for both Don and Elaine and their families. Living first with Don’s parents on Virginia Street, they then moved into the house that Don built for the family on Jackson Street in Portland, which was next door to Elaine’s parents. They spent summers on Little Sebago Lake enjoying water-skiing, party-boats and so many lake friends. Steve graduated from Deering High School in 1969, and then went on to study at Monmouth College (Associates Degree), University of Southern Maine (Bachelors Degree) and later at Tufts University (Masters in Education) where he was teaching assistant for Alice’s mother, Dr. “Pal”, in the psychology department.

A consummate educator and student, in and out of formal classrooms, Steve was continually learning and teaching. He had a passion for math, statistics and technology, and often was the one with the latest gadgets and up-to-date devices. He was a reliable source of tech-support at work and at home for family and friends! Steve was someone that loved non-fiction books, a long Sunday morning with multiple newspapers to read, the crossword, cable news, college football on the TV, and all the golf tournaments. He was a member of the Wicked Good Band in high school and for many years to come. He played the washtub bass and a wicked jug! He also enjoyed noodling on the guitar on his own and with his nephews, nieces and friends.

As a math teacher and coach of water polo, swim, football and lacrosse, Steve set high- expectations, but was also known for his puns and dad-like jokes, NPR in the classroom on a Friday afternoon, and his steady encouragement when a student was struggling. All was made better when his dog was at his side in the classroom and on the field. He taught at the Darrow School (NY), Williston Northampton School (MA), Phillips Academy Andover (MA) and the Pike School (MA).

Among the many loves that Steve held, his devotion to his wife, Alice, was the greatest. They met on the faculty at Williston-Northampton, and married short months after, very much in love ever after. Together they shared many adventures and travels — favorites included Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda, Caneel Bay on St. John’s, St. Andrews in Scotland, Australia and New Zealand and numerous cruises, and many boat rides. They had precious years on Notched Pond in Raymond, ME. In all of their travels there was always fabulous food and drink, exquisite music, and stunning landscapes and birds to admire with awe.

In retirement years, Steve’s role as a caregiver was front and center. He not only cared for Alice, but also for their beloved property in North Berwick, and the chocolate labs that shared it with them (Canfield, Guinness and Moxie). Steve took meticulous care of those many acres, and the dozens of friends and family who came to visit and stay with them there. There were “house- parties” and Kentucky Derby Days, Maine Maple Sundays, and Wimbledon breakfast mornings, and also a number of family and friend life-events: baptisms, a dog-wedding, a burial, bridal and baby showers, retirement and anniversary celebrations.

He is survived by his wife, Alice of Laconia, NH and leaves behind his sisters Karen White (partner Ed Getty, children James and Joseph) of Gray, ME; Susan Marean (husband Steve, children Wesley and Chase) of Windham, ME; predeceased by sister Lisa Jordan and husband Wayne (children Andrea Laskey and Kimberly Bickford). Additionally, he has numerous cousins, nephews and nieces and “greats” on Alice’s side, and friends as close as family, including an honorary daughter, Gina Finocchiaro of Andover, MA.

A memorial service will be held remotely on Friday, December 29, at 1:00pm. Please reach out to for a link to that gathering. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the D.A. Hurd Library, 41 High Street, North Berwick, ME 03906.

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