George Carlton Wiswell Jr. (1926 - 2017)

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George Carlton Wiswell, Jr.
George Carlton Wiswell, Jr., age 91 of Southport, passed away peacefully Thursday, August 31, 2017 at Yale-New Haven Hospital surrounded by his family. Born in Winchester, Massachusetts, son of the late George Carlton Wiswell, Sr. and Florence Campbell Wiswell. He had been a Southport resident since 1959. Mr. Wiswell was a veteran who served in the United States Navy during World War II. Following his military service he went to Colby College in Waterville, Maine, married, and graduated with a BA. His first career was in advertising, working for his father's business in Boston, Chambers & Wiswell, and later in New York City. Due to his keen love of the ocean, sailing, rowing and marine engineering, he left advertising and formed his own marine engineering and construction businesses, starting with Marine Contracting, Inc., and later both Southport Marine, Inc. and Wiswell, Inc. All were based in Southport. Mr. Wiswell received his Civil Engineering degree from the Bridgeport Engineering Institute, and became a licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut, Vermont, New York and Florida. He was a true innovator filing and maintaining 13 patents, most notably those relating to saturation diving, heated diving suits and pile restoration processes. He authored a book: "Tales of an Innovator", and in 1961 was named Man of the Year by "Engineering News-Record" for his pioneering diving techniques and systems. He was a member of the Association of Diving Contractors, who during 2016 elected him to the Commercial Diving Hall of Fame for lifetime contributions to the industry. Mr. Wiswell was an avid and accomplished sailor, held a United States Coast Guard uninspected vessel towing license, and was a member of both the Pequot Yacht Club and the Cruising Club of America. He also loved flying and was a member of the Aircraft Owners Pilots Association. Few activities gave him more happiness than flying his beloved Beechcraft Bonanza and Piper Cub. He was an active member of Southport Congregational Church, where he was a Trustee and on the Building and Grounds Committee. He was President of the Southport Conservancy and of the Sasquanaug Association, and both George and his wife Harriet greatly enjoyed restoring antique homes together. This summer George and Harriet were bestowed the honor of being selected as Grand Marshalls of the Blessing of the Fleet Parade in Southport. Mr. Wiswell loved calling Southport, Fairfield Beach and his farm in Reading, Vermont all home. He and his family shared countless good times, projects and gatherings together at each. Survivors include his beloved wife of 69 years, Harriet Sargent Wiswell; three devoted sons, George Carlton Wiswell, III and Peter Sargent Wiswell both of Fairfield Beach, and Geoffrey Norris Wiswell of Hadlyme, Connecticut; three grandchildren, Timothy Bennett Wiswell, Abby Wiswell Wright, and David Sargent Wiswell; plus four great-grandchildren, Theodore Timothy Wiswell, Emile Timothy Wiswell, Campbell Tuttle Wiswell,and Charlie McGowan Wright. He was predeceased by his granddaughter, Anne Campbell Wiswell, and a brother, Byron Campbell Wiswell. A memorial service will be held September 16 at Southport Congregational Church at 2:00 p.m. at 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Southport Congregational Church at 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport, Connecticut 06890, or Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, Connecticut 06824. For information or to offer an online condolence please visit


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Spear-Miller Funeral Home
39 South Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 259-0824
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Published in Fairfield Citizen from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8, 2017
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