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Groups of walkers pass each other Sunday on the trails of Wason Pond Conservation Area during a Memorial Walk, donations from which will go to an interfaith educational fund. Among the first to emerge from the trails are, at left, Samantha Hamilton of Sandown, with her mother, Kathy Hamilton, and Paula Bonin, both members of the Sandown Rogue Runners and organizers of the event, close at her heels.

CHESTER | On his 62nd birthday, Bill Einhorn went running with a few friends in the woods near his home and noticed his time had slowed down.

But he had no idea that cancer had taken over his body, said his wife, Miriam Gitterman.

On Feb. 7, less than two months after his birthday and diagnosis, the Chester resident died.

Last week, runners, families and dogs gathered at the Wason Pond Conservation Area in Chester to walk the trails and pay tribute to their friend.

Sue Wentworth, who ran with Einhorn on his birthday, organized the event.

"It just seemed like I needed to do something for Bill's memory," Wentworth said.

Days before he died, Einhorn started a fund to promote interfaith education. He asked that upon his death, contributions be made to the fund in lieu of flowers.

"He really thought that if more people could learn about and teach others about their faith ... there would be a lot more peace person to person," Wentworth said.

Einhorn was a participant in the programs at Etz Hayim Synagogue and the Church of the Transfiguration in Derry, which share a building.

About five years ago, an issue involving Israel spurred some debate, Rabbi Louis Rieser said. The synagogue and the church held joint conversations on the issue and a series of interfaith discussions was born.

"Bill was somebody who talked to me and challenged me," Rieser said.

The synagogue is preparing to move to its own building, Rieser said, so the Einhorn fund will be instrumental in continuing the dialogue between the two groups.

"Bill was very much an advocate of building community," said Jessica Baker, a friend from Hooksett. "There are people here from so many facets of Bill's life. It shows what a versatile man he was."

Many of the people who participated in the walk are from the Sandown Rogue Runners, a club to which Einhorn belonged.

Wentworth said the event was the perfect way to honor Einhorn because he loved to run on trails. In fact, he was proud that in his last year, he had spent more time on the wooded trails near his home than ever before.

Although the weather Sunday was gloomy, with clouds and a light rain, a crowd of about 50 gathered after the walk for snacks, a raffle and conversation. A gas grill and two DVD players were donated by Wal-Mart for the raffle.

Kim Cremin, her sons Connor, 12, and Aidan, 8, and their dog Finn all participated in the walk. The Chester family heard about the event through Wentworth and decided to spend Sunday morning on the trails.

"I wanted to support the interfaith program," Cremin said.

Gitterman said she was pleased to see so many people, some of whom she did not know, turn out to raise money in her husband's memory.

"He was just a good guy," she said.

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