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JOHN CLARKE DEWEY III

DEWEY, John Clarke III 93, of Chestnut Hill, who grew up in Pittsfield and Brookline, MA returned home in November 1945 with a shrapnel wound from mortar fire during the Okinawa campaign that claimed his sight in one eye. After his recovery, he spent a few years at New England Merchants Bank before earning his Masters of Education under the GI bill from Boston University in 1954. This launched a 30-year educational career teaching thousands of students an innovative and dynamic reading and vocabulary program throughout the Boston area. John, also known as "Jack", was born in Boston on December 7, 1919 and was the son of the late John C. Dewey, Jr. and Marjorie Talbot. He attended many different schools in his lifetime including the Dexter School in Brookline MA, the Faye School and St. Mark's School in Southborough MA. His war injury was the second of five serious head injuries he sustained throughout his life. In his final football game in his senior year at St. Marks in November 1937 against Groton Academy, he was tackled by two Groton tacklers, including the future Massachusetts Governor Endicott "Chubb" Peabody. The crash of helmets left "Jack" with a serious concussion, leaving him with "double vision" for five months. St. Mark's granted him his diploma the following June upon the condition he take on a post-graduate year of instruction, which he did at Deerfield Academy. In the fall of 1939, he headed west to Williamstown to further his academic and gridiron pursuits until he enlisted in the US Army in March 1942. He graduated from Williams as a member of the class of 1943 earning his diploma in 1947. Williams subsequently acknowledged him in 1955 with a certificate for his choice of teaching as a profession. It noted he was following the footsteps of Ephraim Williams, the founder of a free school in Williamstown in 1755, who said: "I have given something for the benefit of those unborn." From 1954 to 1984, "Jack" taught reading skills and vocabulary development to over 10,000 students at Beaver Country Day School in Brookline MA, Rivers Country Day School in Newton MA and later Weston MA, Noble & Greenough School in Dedham MA, Belmont Hill School in Belmont MA, Brimmer May School in Chestnut Hill MA, Fessenden School in Newton MA, and the Winsor School in Boston MA. He is survived by his sons, John Russell Dewey of Irving, Texas and Benjamin Clarke Dewey of Jamaica Plain, MA, his niece Kippy Dewey of Jamaica Plain, MA, his nephew, Toby Dewey of Brookline, MA, his nephew, Peter Dewey of Hull, MA, his nephew, Harlen Monroe Chapman and his wife, Judy of Old Lyme, CT, his niece, Phyllis Chapman Fenander and her husband, Elliott of Lincoln, VT, his niece Eleanor VanDyke Taylor of West Hartford, his nephew Oliver Beckwith Taylor and his wife, Patricia of Princeton, NJ and several grandnieces and grandnephews, as well as many faithful friends. He was predeceased by his brother, Talbot Dewey and his wife, Sarah Beckwith Dewey. During his 30-year run, he was well-known throughout Greater Boston for helping students achieve academic eligibility for prestigious colleges throughout the US. As his two sons, John and Ben, noted: "He always was on the go dashing from one school to the next, carrying boxes of tests, vocabulary builders, and "Words Are Important" books for his students." He also worked with the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation in Boston in a continuing effort to explore innovative approaches to teaching to spark student interest and motivation. When not at school he was pursuing his greatest avocation in life - the game of golf. Sadly, he sustained his fifth severe head injury from a golf cart accident in October 1984. He eventually recovered from a coma and went on to live almost another 30 years. Like many of his generation, he seldom spoke about his war years, even though he had earned the Asian-Pacific Theatre ribbon with 3 Bronze service stars for the South Philippine Campaign, Mandated islands Campaign, and the Ryukyus Campaign as well as a purple heart. He lived quietly and retained an irrepressible sense of humor and curiosity that was contagious to all who knew him. In his later years, he maintained a consistent routine of practicing his golf game and retained close ties to The Country Club in Brookline, MA. His passing marks the end of an era as a member of the Greatest Generation and a gentleman scholar. A Funeral Service will be held at the Church of the Redeemer at 379 Hammond St. in Chestnut Hill on February 23rd at 1pm. In lieu of flowers those interested in making a memorial contribution in Jack's honor are invited to consider Williams College in Williamstown, MA and Partners In Health in Boston, MA. Boston Harborside Home J.S. Waterman & Sons-Waring-Langone www.bostonharborsidehome.com
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Funeral Home

Boston Harborside Home of JS Waterman & Son-Waring-Langone
580 Commercial Street Boston, MA 02109
(617) 536-4110
Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 17, 2013
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