John Heywood, 97, of Waquoit, MA and formerly a resident of Gardner, died on August 15, 2019 at home. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Gertrude S. (Stearns) Heywood in 2006, his brother George H. Heywood, Jr. in 2008, and his sister Marjorie Heywood in 2016.
John was born in Boston on August 12, 1922. He was the son of the late George H. and Alice (Sawyer) Heywood and lived in Gardner for 59 years before relocating to Cape Cod in 1981.
He was educated in the Gardner school system, Philips Academy, Andover class of 1940, Northeastern University, and Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, as a member of the Marine Detachment of the World War II U.S. Navy V-12 Recruitment Program.
John enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1942 and was called to active duty a year later. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. 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 1st Lt. in the USMC Reserve in July of 1946.
In February of 1951 John was recalled to active duty 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.
John was employed by Heywood-Wakefield Company for 32 years, retiring as President in 1978, when the wood furniture division in Gardner ceased operations. After moving to Cape Cod, he operated Waquoit Woodwrights, a small wood shop active until his death.
He devoted 29 years of service to the Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital in Gardner, culminating as President of the Board of Trustees the last 6 years. He also served on the Board of Investment of the Gardner Savings Bank and an advisory Director to the Gardner branch of the Worcester County National Bank.
While living in 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, N.H.
John’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.
Other interests involved skiing which was a full family sport for many years. Antique autos captured his interest and restoring a 1917 Ford Runabout was a learning experience for him and his children. Rescuing and restoring a 1929 Crosby Catboat was another interest which led to the world of sailing. In later years he built a small vineyard which led to 20 years of winemaking.
John is survived by a daughter, Susan Heywood of Falmouth, three sons, John (Jack) Heywood Jr. of Buzzards Bay, Benjamin W. Heywood of Poultney, Vt., and Timothy W. Heywood of Falmouth; 6 grandchildren, Erin Funder of Sandwich, Lindsay Heywood of Buzzards Bay, Alexis Parr of Plymouth, Phineas Heywood of San Luis Obispo, CA, Briana Heywood of Paso Robles, CA, and Seth Heywood of Falmouth; 3 great granddaughters, Lily Funder, Arianna Heywood and Avery Parr, and 2 great grandsons, Anthony Heywood and Colton Parr.
A private burial will take place in Gardner, MA.