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John T. Hemenway


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Strafford, Vt. — John Thayer Hemenway died at home at age 92 on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.

He is survived by his children, Phoebe H. Armstrong (and son-in-law Robert Armstrong) of Vero Beach, Fla., Nathaniel T. of Strafford, John F. of Boston, and Lucy L. of Strafford; and by his grandchildren, Matthew T. Healy of Newton, Mass. and Samuel W. Healy of Detroit.

Mr. Hemenway was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Phoebe McCreary Hemenway; his sister, Natalie H. Meyer; and his brother, Augustus.

Mr. Hemenway graduated from the Noble and Greenough School and, after enlisting in the Army for WWII, from Harvard College in the Class of 1946. He married Phoebe McCreary in 1948 who had graduated from Radcliffe College that same year. Mr. Hemenway then began work at the securities firm of Jackson and Curtis. While working in the financial district of Boston, he met Harris J. Reynolds, who was the Director of the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), a non-profit founded in 1944, which pioneered practical and economic forest management for private owners based upon sound conservation principles. Mr. Reynolds encouraged him to join the board of the Massachusetts Forest and Park Association in 1950.

In 1951 Mr. Hemenway became Treasurer of NEFF, and after Reynolds’ death in 1953, he became NEFF’s Director, a position he held for the next 35 years. His personal forestry experience began in 1950 when he bought a portion of what is now called Taylor Valley from Dr. Frederick Taylor, near what was then the summer home of his wife’s parents in Strafford. Another lifelong enthusiasm of his was for tennis. He joined the Badminton and Tennis Club in Boston in 1959 where he played during the winter months and where he served as President in the 1980’s. Mr. Hemenway also was a longtime member of the First Parish (Unitarian) in Milton, Mass. and served as Treasurer there for many years.

A memorial service is anticipated in the spring at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass.

Contributions in his name may be made to the New England Forestry Foundation, 32 Foster St., Littleton, MA 01460.