Douglas Greetham

Douglas Edward Greetham, a professional engineer who pursued his interests in photography and painting during his retirement in Falmouth for the last two decades, died May 16. He was 87.

He was the husband of Noreen Mary Catherine (McDonald) Greetham.

Mr. Greetham and his wife shared a lifelong interest in the visual arts, he as a photographer and painter and she as an accomplished watercolorist. They became members of the Falmouth Artists Guild shortly after moving to town and Mr. Greetham was chosen Artist of the Month by the guild for January 2003.

During an interview on that occasion, he said, “It all started when my wife encouraged me to try painting as an alternate means of artistic expression. After a decade of fine art photography, my back was beginning to give out from lugging around a 4 x 5 field camera.” So he decided to give it a try by borrowing supplies from his wife, and he found the process to be so challenging and rewarding that he continued.

His journey led him to study with well-known watercolor artists and explore alkyds to seek out the differences between transparent and opaque media, as well as take drawing lessons.

Mr. Greetham’s paintings were accepted into juried shows at the Cape Cod Art Association, the Falmouth Artists Guild, and the Concord Art Association. His photography was displayed in shows in Falmouth and Concord, winning a couple of first place and honorable awards.

In addition to his memberships with those organizations, he was previously active with the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society.

He was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Margaret (Rattee) and Harold Greetham. He attended McGill University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1956, followed by three years of post-graduate studies in the emerging field of semiconductors.

Mr. Greetham was initially employed by Northern Electric in Montreal, in 1956, as the manufacturing engineer in the company’s microwave transmission department. From there, he moved to the semiconductor group as its manufacturing engineering manager.

He married Noreen McDonald in 1956 and they began their family while living in Montreal. In 1964 the couple and their three children immigrated to the United States and lived in Norwalk, Connecticut, where Mr. Greetham worked for The Sperry Semiconductor Corp. His responsibilities included their PNP silicon transistor product line, followed by the fledgling integrated circuit products as product manager.

The next move was to Massachusetts in 1967 when he accepted a position with the Raytheon Corporation, and soon the family grew with the birth of their fourth child in 1969. They raised their family in Concord.

Mr. Greetham was hired by Raytheon to build, staff and manage a semiconductor laboratory in Bedford that would develop a series of advanced integrated circuits required by the future anti-aircraft missile system, known today as Patriot. Under his direction, the facility successfully progressed a number of technologies, in support of this program and a number of others. The success of these developments led Raytheon, under Mr. Greetham’s direction, to design and construct a modern semiconductor facility in Andover in 1984, capable of developing and producing large-scale computer chips. Upon its completion, he became its general manager.

He moved to Raytheon’s Corporate Offices in 1988, reporting to the corporation’s senior vice president of engineering. His first task was to build a second semiconductor facility to support the company’s needs for gallium arsenide devices. Upon the successful completion of this project, he assumed the title of director of technology for the corporation. He retired in 1994, after completing assignments for the corporation’s CEO in Taiwan, Switzerland and California.

With retirement came a decision to be made between the Maine coast and Cape Cod. Having vacationed here several years previously, the Greethams knew that Falmouth offered the opportunity to live by the sea with a warmer climate and many beautiful beaches. They decided to move here from Lincoln in 1999.

“It was the perfect choice,” Mr. Greetham said during the aforementioned interview, “a bit off the beaten tourist track and still a going concern during the winter months.”

In addition to his wife, he leaves their children, Diane Gordon and her husband, Kevin Gordon, Robert Greetham and his wife, Mary Greetham, Carole Greetham, and Stephen Greetham and his wife, Amanda Greetham; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at a later date.

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