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Obituary Condolences

Morrill, Edward Leslie
81, of New Ispwich, NH, formerly of Acton, MA died suddenly June 27th. Edward; Adventurer, pioneer, entrepreneur, a man of many talents and wide-ranging interests was born in Newton, MA, first son of Lyman & Irene Morrill. Independent, proud and fearless, among his early exploits as an eight-year old was the purchase of two homing pigeons with pocket money from his paper route, becoming the first neighborhood communicator of his day. At ten he was making homemade skis with his Dad, becoming an expert skier taking on the most difficult trails in the White Mountains and years later serving on the Ski Patrol at the Nashoba Valley. As a teenager he walked into Newton's Teepee Tackle, fascinated by the archery shop. Taking an immediate liking to Ed's curiosity and manner, the owner taught him to make bows and arrows and Ed became his reliable apprentice and archery teacher. His interest in sailing began when his dad bought a little Wren. He raced in the Chowder Races at Eastern Point, Gloucester MA and won first prize. This led to getting his "Skipper's" Certificate and his first official summer job at sixteen, skippering sailing tours at Bickford's Landing out of Gloucester Harbor. College years' summers he worked in his father's Morrill Construction Co., and his passion for aviation began. He started with a handbook on flying and lessons at Hanscom Airfield in Bedford, MA earning his pilot's license so he could travel more easily among the construction sites. He later earned his Flight Instructor and Instrument Wings; two of his favorite students were his daughters. He joined the Army during the Korean War and was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA, where he met and married a lovely schoolteacher, Nellie Witt Tew. Upon completing his tour, he and his bride returned to New England where he re-joined Morrill Construction Co. They moved to Acton where he struck out on his own as a highly respected entrepreneur and real estate developer. He was a charter member of Acton Rotary, a staunch supporter of the Chamber of Commerce and served on the Board of Assabet Bank. Active members of the Acton Congregational Church, Nellie taught in Stow and the couple raised their 2 daughters, Corene and Kim, in Acton. Ed took up oil painting, worked with artists on the North Shore, and produced notable paintings that grace his home. Ed and Nellie shared the fun and challenge of breeding and training Labrador Retrievers, their major occupation upon retirement. They were prize-winning competitors in Field Trials that took them across the country, and served as judges in the National Field Trial Retriever Club. Five years ago to the day of Ed's passing, Nellie, his wife of fifty-three devoted and full years died. A little over a year later, Ed was re-united with an old family friend, Betty-Ann Palmbach, whose husband had died some years earlier. Ed and Betty-Ann were married on July 16, 2011. Ed was a man who saw opportunities for improvement and made them, offered help and guidance where needed, was ever eager to learn new things, to teach his tools of the trade, and constantly to push to the ultimate of his interests. He is remembered fondly to have done this with his children, grand-children, great grand-children and step-sons. And so Ed says farewell to his wife, Betty-Ann, his daughters & spouses, Corene and Maurice Vaillancourt of Los Gatos CA, KimAnn and Alan Thomas of Littleton MA.; 4 grandchildren, Landon & Sarah Vaillancourt, Melissa (Thomas) & Ryan Mason, Lara (Thomas) & William Morrill; 5 great grandchildren, Carter & Elle Mason , Ava & Austin Morrill, Dylan Vaillancourt; sister, Ann Morrill Riker of Cambridge; & brother, Lyman Perry Morrill of Gloucester; & step-sons Donald & Todd Palmbach. Friends were invited to join the family for visiting at the Acton Funeral Home, Acton on Friday, June 29th. A memorial service will be held sometime this fall. Memorial contributions may be made to: Ducks Unlimited Inc.

Published in The Boston Globe on June 28, 2012
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