Educator, musician had many interests
MELROSE — Frank C. Waterhouse, 103, a longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 2.
He was born in Old Town, Maine, one of three children of the late William and Clara (Cooper) Waterhouse. Raised in Old Town, Frank graduated from the University of Maine-Orono, where he was his class president, and also the first student band director.
After graduation, he returned to Old Town as a junior high school teacher. He taught Social Studies for 10 years at Old Town before settling in Melrose to raise his family.
Frank was the purchasing manager for many years at Cambion, an electronics firm in Cambridge. Well-respected for his friendly nature and business acumen, Frank also served as an officer of the company before his retirement in 1983.
Frank lived his life actively, with a wide array of passions and a deep knowledge culled from many years of experience. A musician and music lover, he played in big bands in the Bar Harbor, Maine area in the1930s. He was an avid reader with many interests, ranging from economics to eastern philosophy. Frank was a lifelong secular humanist who gave generously to charities and organizations that promote education, equality and peace.
An active member of the Melrose Democratic Committee for many years, Frank was a staunch Democrat but was always willing to hear other perspectives. He had a lifelong desire to learn new things, especially when concerning science or politics. Frank kept current by reading the morning paper and exchanging correspondence with family and friends. He was a familiar presence at the Melrose Public Library, as well as libraries in surrounding communities.
Another passion of Frank’s was a love for automobiles. Born in the era of the first mass produced automobiles, Frank’s fascination with cars began at an early age. His first vehicle was a 1929 Model A Ford. He enjoyed driving his 2000 Honda until 2013. While at home, he stayed busy in his gardens growing various vegetables, plants and flowers.
Frank was a great friend to many, including some students from his teaching days in Old Town. With his dry sense of humor and low key approach, Frank was cherished by his friends and family. He was a devoted husband, father, son and adored by his eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
Frank was the beloved husband of the late Ruth P. (Wescott) Waterhouse with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of John C. Waterhouse and his wife Laureen of Carthage, N.Y., Beth W. Hillson and her husband Bruce of Glastonbury, Conn. and Mark A. Waterhouse and his wife Joyce of Derry, N.H. He was the dear brother of the late Ruth and Edwin Waterhouse. He was the cherished grandfather of Mary Benson and her husband Mike, Mark Waterhouse and his wife Jennifer, Kathleen Purington and her husband Sam, Tim Waterhouse, Greg Hillson and his wife Jessica, Kate Martung and her husband Doug, Brian Waterhouse and Samuel Waterhouse. He was the loving great-grandfather of Andrew Benson, Lillian Benson, Clara Benson, Eric Waterhouse, Luke Waterhouse, Jack Purington, Julia Purington, Charles Purington and Elizabeth Hillson. He is also survived by two nephews.
A private celebration of his life will be held at a future time.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Frank’s honor may be made to the Melrose Public Library, 69 West Emerson St., Melrose MA 02176.