Stephen William Barsanti

January 11, 1950 –  October 18, 2017 

Stephen William Barsanti V.M.D., 67, of Stratham and Alton, NH died on October 18, 2017, while hiking in the White Mountains with his wife, Karen Thurston-Barsanti.  

Stephen was born on January 11,1950 in Boston, MA to Umberto J. and Eleanor L. (Petto) Barsanti. He grew up in Lynnfield, MA. As a young man, he was fascinated with the world around him. He loved exploring the outdoors and trying to understand the habits and behaviors of wildlife. The Barsanti family purchased land on Lake Winnipesaukee in 1957, and Stephen spent his summers out on the lake enjoying the beauty of NH. The Barsanti family resided in Beverly, MA during Stephen’s high school days. As a teenager, Stephen enjoyed playing football at Beverly High School, which he graduated from in 1968.

After high school, he continued his education at Boston College and graduated in 1972. He worked at General Electric for a short period of time before he decided it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian. In 1980, Stephen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania as a Veterinary Medical Doctor. He practiced veterinary medicine in Massachusetts prior to purchasing Alton Veterinary Clinic in 1982. Stephen owned and operated the clinic until 2012 when he sold the practice in order to spend more time with his family.

In retirement he traveled with his wife, Bonnie Barsanti before her death from breast cancer in early 2016. Stephen joined the Appalachian Mountain Club and Seacoast Ski Club after Bonnie’s death. It was through these clubs that he met and fell in love with Karen Thurston, who would become his beloved wife in the summer of 2017. Stephen was able to admire the beauty of the world with Karen through many skiing and hiking trips. The time he was able to spend with her was a shining moment in a lifetime of memories, and Stephen died doing what he loved with the woman he loved.

In addition to hiking, skiing, and traveling, Stephen loved to build stone walls, work on his tractor, hunt, read, jot down inspiring quotes, and watch movies. He enjoyed the solitude of being alone with his thoughts, but he was also a collector of stories and jokes to share. He was a thoughtful man who offered honest opinions and advice. He was sincerely compassionate to all who knew him. As one would expect, Stephen loved and cared for many animals. He had many pets throughout his life, but his dogs, Lupo, Daisy, Sparky, and Topo Gigio held a special place in his heart.

Stephen is survived by his loving wife, Karen Thurston-Barsanti of Stratham, NH; his beloved children Stephen (Nino) Barsanti and fiancée Alexandra of Miami, FL, and Ashley Barsanti of Alton, NH; his stepchildren, Taryn Davey and her husband Brendan of Wolfeboro, NH, Andrew and Michael Thurston of Stratham, NH. He is also survived by his parents, Umberto and Eleanor Barsanti of Hampstead, NC; his siblings, Gregory Barsanti of Alton, NH; Alyse Lefleur of North Waterboro, ME; and Keith Barsanti of South Hampton, MA; five grandchildren, Bryn, Liam, Megan, Cullen, and Maura Davey; many nieces and nephews, and numerous loving friends and neighbors.

There will be a reception for friends and family on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 4-7 PM at Shibley's at the Pier in Alton Bay, NH. A memorial service will take place the following day, Friday, Oct. 27 at 3 PM at the St. John Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH. There will be no calling hours.

The family would like to thank the good samaritans, the Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team, the New Hampshire Fish and Game, and the Appalachian Mountain Club for their assistance with the rescue/recovery. Thank you to the communities for their concern and support during this tough time. It is clear that Stephen was cherished, respected, and loved by many; it is wonderful to see how many lives he touched. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the NH Humane Society via their website or to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire via their website

Arrangements are entrusted to Fournier-Hale Funeral Home, 144 Main Street, No. Woodstock, NH.

Online guestbook at



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