Stamps were a big part of the life of Bob Dion.
He sold them at the small North Salem post office that he ran for 24 years before retiring in 2003. He collected them, apparently dedicating a room in his split-level home to his collection. And the 70-year-old took part-time jobs and weekend trips, traveling the region to meet and swap stories and stamps with other stamp collectors.
"He was very well thought of," said Stephen Schofield of Centennial Auctions, who hired Dion to work at his auctions. "He was always, always upbeat, always happy, always willing to share."
Friends of Dion and his wife, Connie, spoke fondly of the couple on Tuesday, as they wait word of an investigation into an explosion and fire in the couple's Mooresville Road home. Authorities said bodies of an adult man and woman were found in the building Monday.
Manchester lawyer Jim Normand, who was retained Tuesday by the Dions' nephew, said the family is fairly confident the bodies are those of Bob and Connie.
Connie had her own interests. She quilted, and she proudly displayed her work on Facebook. A family friend noted she would bring quilt pieces to another one of the family's interests — Manchester Monarchs games — and quilt during the game.
They also opened their home to family members — a nephew going through a divorce, Connie's sister when her husband died, and especially Matthew Dion, their adopted son who police have said is a person of interest in the suspicious deaths and who cannot be located.
Normand said Bob Dion also collected antique postcards, but he and Schofield were unsure of the extent of his collections. It was apparently significant. Schofield said Dion used a small SUV to carry the collection around. Dion ran the monthly stamp show at the Nashua Holiday Inn, which was held on the third Sunday of each month, Schofield said.
"If there was a stamp collector's conference in New England, Bob and Connie were there," Normand said.
At New England-area auctions, stamps usually fetch between $25 and $500, but some have exceeded $10,000, Schofield said. Dion kept his stamps in the ground floor of the Mooresville Road home, Schofield said.
Normand said Dion had served as president of the New Hampshire chapter of retired postmasters. He attended events at the Centre Franco-American in Manchester. And at times he was president of the New Hampshire and Manchester stamp collectors associations.
He also was close with the customers at the North Salem post office.
"Everybody who went to the North Salem post office knew Bob," Normand said. "He was a very friendly, happy-go-lucky guy."