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Wesley Fiske Brett

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Wesley Fiske Brett

Wesley Fiske Brett (99), of Madbury, passed away on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

Born in Keene, on April 19, 1914 to Ernest Carlton and Helen (Fiske) Brett, Wes Brett died in Dover. He is survived by five children, Nicholas Brett and wife Nancy of Fremont, Helen Kalagias of Rochester, Nathan Brett and wife Anne Gillies of Halifax, Canada, Carlton Brett and wife Betty Lou of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Laurie Diener and husband Carl of Hanover; ten grandchildren, Edward Marvin, Julie Marvin, Michael Kalagias, Timothy Brett, Caroline Brett, Karen Merk Brough, Nadia Merk, Kenton Brett, Leanne Brett Hess and Samuel Diener, and twelve great grandchildren. Wes lost his beloved wife of 70 years in 2007, and was also predeceased by his brother Carlton, two daughters, Leslie and Sylvia and grandson Carl Merk.

Wes graduated Keene State College in 1937 and earned a Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University. In 1937 Wes married Helen Mary Pratt also a graduate of Keene State College. In 1941 he started teaching classes in stagecraft, drawing, woodworking and occupational therapy at UNH. There he built a world-class workshop for his classes. Helen and Wes and their growing family lived on a farm in Madbury, where Wes regularly divided his days between farm chores and teaching. At UNH he also designed and built fine furniture and became a highly respected cabinetmaker. In 1960 he became Professor of Fine Arts at Buffalo State University where he continued to teach design classes and build furniture. His sculptured room divider is on permanent display there. After his retirement in 1980, Wes and Helen returned to the Madbury farm, where he built a beautiful woodworking studio and continued his cabinetmaking.

Wes was a loving husband and devoted father. He was a well-loved mentor and role model for his family and for generations of design students to whom he conveyed his creativity, generosity, and attention to the details that matter. He was always a gentleman, with a great wit and kindness. He will be sadly missed.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, or to a . There will be a memorial service at the Community Church of Durham (17 Main St.) on Saturday, December 21 at noon. A reception will follow. To sign the online guest book, go to

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Published in Fosters from Nov. 2 to Nov. 12, 2013
Funeral Home
Wiggin-Purdy-McCooey-Dion Funeral Home
655 Central Avenue Dover, NH 03820
(603) 742-1017
Funeral Home Details