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Roland W. Paige

January 16, 1911 – September 15, 1990

Hampton Union, September 18, 1990

HAMPTON — Roland W. Paige, 70, of Lafayette Road, Hampton, died Saturday, Sept. 15, at his home after a lengthy illness.

He was born on Jan. 16, 1911, in Newburyport, Mass., the son of William H. and Florence (Staples) Paige, and had lived in Hampton since his early childhood. He was educated in Hampton schools.

Mr. Paige served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. After the war, he was a career employee at the Portsmouth Navel Shipyard.

Long active in community affairs, he was superintendent of the Hampton Cemetery Association and a town trustee of the Cemetery Association for many years. He had also served as curator for the Hampton Historical Society.

Included among his other activities was his involvement with the Hampton Post 35 of the American Legion, where he served as a finance and service officer for more than 40 years.

Mr. Paige organized Memorial Day activities in Hampton and surrounding towns, including annual parades and other memorial services.

He served as chairman of Troop 177, Hampton Boy Scouts, and as chairman of the Hampton Shade Tree Commission.

Mr. Paige was recently honored by his many friends for his community service by the establishment of a permanent endowment venture known as “The Ronald W. Paige Hampton Historical Society Fund.” The fund was established with the Greater Portsmouth Community Fund, a regional division of the New Hampshire Charitable Fund.

There are no known survivors.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Hampton Congregational Church. Burial will be in High Street Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to The Roland W. Paige Hampton Historical Fund. C/o Hampton Historical Society.

Arrangements are by Brewitt Funeral Home, 14 Pine St., Exeter.

Paige: ‘A heart of Gold’

Friends remember longtime Hampton benefactor

By Daphne Sterling
Hampton Union, September 18, 1990

Hampton – He often carried candy in his suit pockets when he walked downtown. That was for the children whom he passed on the street.

Longtime Hampton resident and curator at the Meeting House Green Memorial and Historical Association, Ronald W. Paige died Saturday in his home after a long illness.

Historic Society trustee Ansell Palmer remembered Paige to be a man with “a heart of gold” who loved children. “He always used to walk around town, very neatly dressed with a suit and tie and hat. Whenever he walked out he was dressed like that,” said Palmer. “He used to carry candy … to hand out to children when school let out.”

From those pockets, said Palmer, also came continual generous donations for the community. He always had done a lot for the Historical Society. If anything was needed, Rollie would dig into his own pockets. If anybody needed something, they’d go to Rollie”

Palmer said Paige was also a history buff and kept a collection of books on the Civil War and the two world wars. “People from other towns, if they needed information, they’d call Rollie about it.”

Paige was born Jan. 16, 1911, in Newburyport, Mass., the son of William H. and Florence Paige. He was raised in Hampton.

Paige was deeply involved in community affairs for many years. He was superintendent of the Hampton Cemetery Association. He was the only one who knew where all the cemeteries are in town, but he purposely did not make it public because of vandalism, Palmer said.

Paige served as finance and service officer for the Hampton post of the American Legion for more than 40 years, organizing parades and other services in town.

He served as chairman of Troop 177, Hampton Boy Scouts, and as chairman of the Hampton Shade Tree Commission.

A fund was recently started in Paige’s name to be used for the perpetuation of the Historical Society. The reception to honor Paige, which was to be held last night at the Galley Hatch restaurant, was cancelled.

Kay Tinios, owner of the Galley Hatch, said she will miss Paige. “He has so many friends,” she said.

For 20 years he would come in and eat lunch and dinner at the restaurant, Tinios said. He never forgot the birthdays of the staff members including hers.

“They treated him like family because that’s the way he treated us. We established a great relationship. Mr. Paige was always invited – we always included him in whatever we did,” Tinios said.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Hampton Congregational Church. Burial will be in High Street Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to The Ronald W. Paige Hampton Historical Fund, c/o Hampton Historical Society.

Remember Hampton’s Extraordinary Citizen

By Sonya Parry, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, November 7, 1995

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News.]

THE FELT HAT — This is Rollie Paige as many people around town knew him: always well-dressed in a coat and tie and, of course, that famous felt hat that he wore.
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photo]

HAMPTON — The American Legion Post #35 in Hampton recently honored Roland W. Paige with a memorial dedication of its new hall in his name. Having heard about some of Rollie Paige’s many accomplishments, I set out to learn more about Hampton’s Extraordinary Citizen.

Anselll Palmer, a longtime resident of Hampton, became associated with Paige through the Historical Society.

“Hampton history was one of Paige’s main interests, so he was very active in the society,” Palmer said.

As a boy, Palmer knew Paige because he lived on Winnacunnet Road and Paige lived on Elmwood Farm, now an inn adjacent to Landing Road, with his aunt. He walked by Palmer’s house often and was always a fine appearing man. He never made appearances without being very well dressed – coat, tie and his famous felt hat.

“He was a very meticulous dresser, he always looked perfect,” Irene Palmer added.

Paige always carried candy in his pocket, Ansell Palmer said, which he handed out to Hampton children, with whom he was very active.

Paige was active with Scout Troop #177, one of the original area troops.

“He did a lot for the Boy Scouts,” Palmer said. The scouts would have paper drives before recycling became a town affair. Paige would help the scouts put paper into a trailer in the town parking lot.

“He’d have his sleeves rolled up and be in back of the truck right alongside the scouts,” Palmer said. Paige would even pick up papers if someone wasn’t able to get out.

“He never married, never drove a car,” Palmer said of Paige. Paige either took the bus to the Navy Yard where he worked, or managed some other way to get there.

Paige came to Hampton in 1919 when he was about 8 years old. He was born in Newburyport in 1911. It is said that he came to Hampton a motherless small boy to live with his aunt on Elmwood Corner, according to Palmer.

Paige attended Hampton Schools, and in 1925, Palmer noted, when he was at Center School, he was much impressed with the fact that Tuck Field and Historical area was dedicated. His class went down through the field to Tuck Museum to take part in the dedication.

” That’s probably where his interest began in Hampton history,” Palmer said.

After attending Hampton Academy, Paige worked around town as a painter. World War II began to gear up and Paige went to work in the Navy Yard in Portsmouth in 1940 before war was declared.

In the late ’30s, people knew we were headed towards something, and equipment in the yard was gearing up,” Palmer said. “Rollie didn’t go off to war with the rest of us since he was older.” Paige continued to work at the Navy Yard, but finally enlisted himself, was inducted at Ft. Devens and in the course of six months, he went from being a civilian into combat in Europe.

“It was really quite a change,” Palmer said. Paige’s outfit, the 623rd Army Corps of Engineers, was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. The outfit took some losses, but received a citation for their participation.

“He used to go to all the reunions,” Palmer said. “He is as much missed at them as by us here in Hampton for his involvement in activities.”

Paige got out of the service in 1945 and went back to work at the Navy Yard. He received a certificate for 30 years work, including his military service, and retired from the Navy Yard in 1970.

Paige was also active in the American Legion Post #35 in Hampton. “He was the guy behind the scenes that was doing all the work.” Paige took care of the details, Palmer said, noting that “he was always the one after me to pay my dues.”

Paige was always visible in town at events like Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades. As the organizer of such occasions, Paige would get everyone, including the bands and the Legion, lined up.

“He would march, of course,” Palmer added. Paige was also involved in these activities in North Hampton, and Hampton Falls.

After moving into Hampton Village Apartments following the sale of his aunt’s farm in the early ’80s, Paige used to go across the street to the Galley Hatch to tab many of his meals, Palmer said. He considered the Tinioses, owners of the Galley Hatch, family. Sometimes they would even bring meals to his apartment if he couldn’t get out.

“One of the waitresses moved to Florida,” Palmer said, “and Rollie used to call her periodically.”

Roland W. Paige passed away in 1990, just days before he was to be present at the Galley Hatch Restaurant for a celebration in his honor. Events planned for the affair were later carried out at a memorial event.

Rollie Paige bequeathed everything he had to three organizations: the American Legion, the Cemetery Association and the Hampton Historical Society. Paige’s involvement in the Cemetery association consisted of the handling of all the cemeteries in Hampton.

Paige received a posthumous commendation as “Citizen Extraordinaire from New Hampshire Governor Judd Gregg on March 15, 1990. He was recommended for this commendation due to his contributions to his community, state and country. It was read at a memorial service in his honor.

A fund was set up in Paige’s name in 1990 by the Hampton Historical Society through contributions by citizens to benefit the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation. The fund’s purpose is to provide annual support for the “betterment of the Meetinghouse Green Memorial and Historical Association, Inc.,” now known as the Hampton Historical Society.

See also: Paige Chosen As “Man Of The Year” (from 1963)

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