John Heywood

John Heywood, 97, of Waquoit died at his home on August 15.

He was the husband of Gertrude S. (Stearns) Heywood. They had been married for 59 years when she died in 2006.

He was born in Boston, the son of George H. and Alice (Sawyer) Heywood. He was raised in Gardner and educated at Philips Academy in Andover, graduating with the Class of 1940, followed by Northeastern University, and then at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, as a member of the marine detachment of the World War II US Navy V-12 Recruitment Program.

Mr. Heywood enlisted in the US Marine Corps in July 1942 and was called to active duty a year later. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in August of 1944 and was a member of the 4th Marine Division when the Japanese surrendered and subsequently transferred to the 1st Marine Division in Tientsin, China. He was placed on inactive duty as a first lieutenant in the USMC Reserve in July of 1946.

He was recalled to active duty in February of 1951 and ordered to the 1st Marine Division in Korea, where he flew 200 missions as a tactical observer. He was promoted to the rank of captain in July and later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a letter of commendation. He was relieved from active duty in June of 1952.

Following his time in the military, Mr. Heywood had a career with the Heywood-Wakefield Company for 32 years, retiring as president in 1978, when the wood furniture division in Gardner closed. After living in Gardner for 59 years he moved to Cape Cod in 1981. Here, he operated Waquoit Woodwrights, a small wood shop in which he was active until his death.

He devoted 29 years of service to the Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital in Gardner, for which he was president of the board of trustees the last six years. He also served on the board of investment of Gardner Savings Bank and as an advisory director to the Gardner branch of Worcester County National Bank.

While a resident of Gardner he was an active member of The First Congregational Church, The Chair City Club, The Gardner Boat Club, and The Monomonoc Sporting Club in Rindge, New Hampshire.

Mr. Heywood’s interest in woodworking showed very early in his life, and never ceased whether it be as a hobby or occupation. He built his first home in Gardner and built furniture and other custom work in semi-retirement. The house he bought in 1981 in Waquoit was built on Carriage Shop Road around 1850.

Some of his other pastimes were restoring a 1917 Ford Runabout and a 1929 Crosby Catboat; building a small vineyard and 20 years of winemaking; and skiing.

He leaves a daughter, Susan Heywood of Falmouth; three sons, John Heywood Jr. of Buzzards Bay, Benjamin W. Heywood of Poultney, Vermont, and Timothy W. Heywood of Falmouth; six grandchildren, Erin Funder of Sandwich, Lindsay Heywood of Buzzards Bay, Alexis Parr of Plymouth, Phineas Heywood of San Luis Obispo, California, Briana Heywood of Paso Robles, California, and Seth Heywood of Falmouth; three great-granddaughters, Lily Funder, Arianna Heywood and Avery Parr; and two great grandsons, Anthony Heywood and Colton Parr.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, George H. Heywood Jr., in 2008, and a sister, Marjorie Heywood, in 2016.

A private burial will take place in Gardner.

(1) comment


John was a good man, true salt of the earth. I will miss him.

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