Celebrating Eric Pendleton, Remembering Jan Tatkhin

Gathering to Honor Eric Pendleton’s Life

With the permission of John and Alice Pepper and their family, we share an update about arrangements in response to the death of Eric Pendleton. They are inviting community members to attend a celebration of Eric’s life next Sunday, July 30, 4pm at the tent at Eagle Mountain House.

The family writes, “Eric Pendleton died from a fall in his home on July 17, 2017. He leaves his parents, John and Alice Pepper, a brother, Brian Pendleton, of Seattle, WA., a sister, Sarah Isberg, of Jackson and six nephews and nieces. Eric grew up in Jackson, attended Holderness School, Burke Mountain Academy, and Univ. of Vermont. He worked on ski races at Atitash, later coached junior racers at Wildcat. He enjoyed running , biking, hiking, and golf, and in winter both alpine and nordic skiing. There will be a celebration of his life on July 30 at 4PM in the tent at Eagle Mountain House.” A more extensive account of Eric’s life will be shared at the beginning of the week.

Please continue to hold their family in your prayers.

Remembering Jan Tatkhin

Additionally, friends and members are welcome to attend a memorial service hosted at Jackson Community Church for our friend Dr. Jan Tatkhin (Jean Marie Vianney Niyonzima) on Monday, July 31, 4pm. He died of diabetic complications in early April of this year. Revs. Gail Pomeroy Doktor and Norma Brettell will officiate.

Sally Swenson composed this remembrance. “Dr. Jan Tatkhin died unexpectedly from complications with diabetes April 10, 2017. He was born in Rwanda in 1963. There he received his MD and practiced medicine for several years prior to emigrating to USA in 1993 where he earned a Masters Degree in public health and a PhD in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. After graduation, he worked in Baltimore, MD.

When he later discovered the Mt. Washington Valley, he immediately fell in love with the area and soon made it his home. While in the valley, he participated in local running races and enjoyed the White Mountain Miler fun runs whenever he could. Learning to ski was a challenge (having never seen snow before he came) but as with so many other new activities – he tackled it with gusto and enjoyed the challenge. He was active in the arts, and a frequent attendee of concerts by the Mt. Top Community Orchestra and Mountain Aire Strings. He loved playing his guitar and singing folk songs with his friends. He enjoyed coaching, substitute teaching, and a variety of other jobs in which he gave back to the valley.

He frequently attended both the Jackson Community Church and the Bartlett Congregational Church, where he met many friends. At the time of his death he was living in an international boarding house in North Conway where he befriended foreign students, and helped them adjust to the new environment here.

He leaves behind several brothers and sisters, some of whom are still in Rwanda while others are in Canada, England, Belgium, and other countries.”

Two Lives to Remember


Our longtime Jan Tatkhin died in his home a few days ago. Some of his friends in the congregation were notified by Conway police on Monday; one of their officers is making contact with his family and community.

Jan was a steadfast presence among us, quietly lending his gentle and compassionate support to the life of the community. He had lived in many parts of the world, but settled for the last several years in the Mt Washington Valley, which reminded him of the mountainous landscape of his childhood home. He has many friends in Jackson and the larger community, and he will be missed.

As more information becomes available, we will share details about arrangements to honor Jan’s time among us.


Catherine Kyle simply shares, “My 94 year old dad passed away peacefully at home on April 10.” Ralph lived in Massachusetts. His daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Chuck, are committed members of our faith community.

For the families of these two men who have died, and others who also love them, we offer prayers and remembrance. Let us give thanks for their lives, and the impact they had on the world. Let us invite and share stories, and create opportunities to say Ralph’s name and Jan’s name out loud.

Barbershop Quartet Downtown Crossing @ Jackson Community Church

Downtown Crossing @ Jackson Community Church
Saturday, March 18, 7:30pm
Mountain Top Music brings award-winning Barbershop Quartet to Jackson

From the embers of The Vocal Revolution Chorus, a community of male singers from around the Boston areas, a youthful quartet dedicated to bringing fun and energy to barbershop music was born – called “Downtown Crossing”.  Mountain Top Music is pleased to bring this award-winning vocal quartet to the Mt Washington Valley on Saturday evening, March 18th, 7:30pm at the Jackson Community Church.

Downtown Crossing, also known as DTX, is comprised of the talents of Dan Costello, Ben Orenstein, Joey Constantine, and Seth Orenstein.  They join together in song singing traditional barbershop harmony but sometimes mesh it with the likes of spiritual numbers, stage musical favorites, and Motown chart toppers.  They have won or placed in the Northeastern District Quartet and Chorus Championships for many years and will again be competing in the International event in Las Vegas this summer.

Seth Orenstein was first introduced to barbershop music when he was ten years old by his “barbershopping” grandfather.  He has become a front-row member of the chorus, member of the music team and is the tenor, which means he sings the high notes.

Joey Constantine is the Lead singer.  After one year of playing the clarinet in middle school, Joey quickly realized that the only instrument he needed was his voice.  You’ll understand why when you hear this man sing!  Joey can be found in his spare time functioning as the Assistant Conductor of the Vocal Revolution.

Baritone Dan Costello has been singing barbershop for 16 years thanks to his Grandfather John.  Dan is a certified Director of the Barbershop Harmony Society and currently directs the Vocal Revolution Chorus (formerly “Sounds of Concord”).

And if you like the low notes, then Ben Orenstein is your man.  He stands next to Joey and fills out the bottom of DTX’s sound.  Like his brother Seth, he was introduced to the sound of barbershop by his grandfather and sings mostly roots and fifths!

Seats are first-come, first serve, at the Jackson Community Church, 127 Main St, Jackson, NH.  Cost is $17/person prepay at  or $20/person at the door; children and students are free.  Come join Mountain Top Music in welcoming these talented individuals as they bring the sounds of close harmonies and barbershop tunes back to our area.

Farewell to Fritz Koeppel & Jo-Ann Gray

Visitation: Tue, Mar 7 • 6-8pm @ Furber and White
Services: Wed, Mar 8 • 1pm @ Our Lady of the Mountains

From Ellie Koeppel: It is with great regret that I have to let you know that Fritz passed away peacefully in his home in Jackson on Friday evening, March 3rd. I was by his side, as were his son Alex and his  wife Teri; his son Erik and partner Lauren; and of course Annie his dog was laying by his feet. He went peacefully and gracefully as Fritz would have wanted. In the two years since his diagnosis with stage 4 Pancreatic cancer he played golf, skied with the style that only Fritz had, and none of us could ever accomplish. We traveled to Ireland and Switzerland to see both of our families twice and to our favorite place in Mexico four times, most recently to celebrate my birthday in January. Until the end, he was focused on the well being of his family, including the staff at The Wentworth, whom he also considered as his family, and on his future plans for The Wentworth Hotel. He loved the village of Jackson, the community spirit of Jackson and the many friends he had in the village and its surroundings.

Visiting hours will be on Tuesday, March 7th at the Furber and White Funeral Home in North Conway from 6:00 to 8:00. A mass will be said in his honor by Father Steven at Our Lady of the Mountains at 1:00PM on Wednesday. Following the service, all are invited to join us at The Shannon Door Pub in Jackson. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Sincerely, Ellie Koeppel


Jo-Ann Gray’s daughter Linda shared with us that her mother died on Saturday morning, March 4, at Merriman House.

Obituary: Jo-Ann Lindsey Gray of North Conway, NH formerly of Glastonbury, CT., died peacefully on March 4, 2017 at the Merriman House in North Conway, NH., after a long decline from Alzheimer’s Disease. Calling hours will be on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Holmes Funeral Home, 400 Main St. Manchester, CT from 10-11 am with a service at 11 am at the funeral home. Burial will follow in East Cemetery, Manchester. Donations in Jo-Ann’s memory can be made to the Girl Scouts of Connecticut – Campership Fund, 340 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106. To leave an online condolence please visit www.holmes-watkinsfuneralhomes.com

Simplifying Church Structure: March 4

Facilitator Rev. Doug Bixby will lead a workshop for our church. Everyone is welcome to attend.

With his permission, we’ll provide brief excerpts from his book in downloadable PDF form (and printed copies). We also have a limited number of the complete volume for use before and after the workshop (these are available for immediate pickup).

This will kick-start the elimination of redundant and unnecessary committees, revitalize the teams that have a specific reason for being in existence, and focus our work on the mission and action of the church, minimizing administrative overload and freeing up energy and resources for the “why” that really moves us and gives us joy.