Final Passages

Virginia “Ginny” Gray, 85

January 5, 2018 at 12:00 am

Hingham, Mass. Ginny passed away on Jan. 5. She grew up between Boston and Cohasset before settling in Hingham, where she contributed mightily during her long life. In 1971, with her husband and fellow Hingham residents, she founded the Lincoln Sailing Center (now Hingham Maritime Center), where she served for 31 years as executive director, with the mission to make sailing lessons affordable and accessible to all. She was recognized by President Reagan with the People-to-People Sports Committee Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to international friendship, goodwill and understanding through sports. Ginny was the first woman treasurer, vice president and president of the Yacht Racing Union of Massachusetts Bay (now Mass Bay Sailing), which honored her with the Distinguished ServiceRead More

Everett A. Pearson, 84

December 24, 2017 at 12:00 am

Warren, R.I. and Estero, Fla. Everett passed away Dec. 24. He was the co-founder of Pearson Yachts, one of the first companies to build large production fiberglass boats, earning him the title “grandfather of fiberglass production.” In 1968, he continued his boatbuilding and fiberglass work with the start of Tillotson-Pearson, Inc. (TPI). TPI built wind blades, all-composite bus bodies, test-track vehicles for Disney Imagineering, the branches on the Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, and the well-known J/Boats. An avid sailor, he competed in local yacht club and ocean racing events, and was a member of the New York Yacht Club. He also enjoyed tennis and, in later years, playing golf at Wildcat Run Golf and Country Club in Estero, Fla.Read More

Jean Dithmar Myer, 71

December 19, 2017 at 12:00 am

Redding, Conn. Jean passed away Dec. 19 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. While growing up in Glenview, Ill., she actively developed a lifelong love for ballet and sports. After graduating from Middlebury College in 1968 with a math degree, she enjoyed a long, successful career at IBM, while pursuing her interests of sailing, travel and sports. In 1988, she joined a sailing crew in the Boston area who were to become part of her extended family for the rest of her life. After retiring in 2000, Jean raced and cruised long distances, crossing the Atlantic eight times and the Pacific twice, and cruised the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Nova Scotia, Hudson’s Bay, Thailand, the Pacific Northwest, and the GreatRead More

John Marcy Mecray, 80

November 1, 2017 at 12:00 am

Jamestown, R.I. The well-known American realist painter, best known for his marine art, passed away Nov. 1. John grew up in Cape May, N.J., where he developed a lifelong passion for sailing. He attended the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts, and had a successful career as an illustrator. He gave service to his country with a tour of duty in Europe. John moved his family to Newport the same year the Tall Ships first came to the island in 1976 and launched his second career as a marine artist. He combined his superb painting talent with an encyclopedic knowledge of seafaring history. Throughout the years, his paintings and rare drawings were hung in homes ofRead More

Shirley Webster Sheldon, 94

October 7, 2017 at 12:00 am

Saunderstown, R.I. Shirl died on Oct. 7. An enthusiastic tennis player, she also loved to sail. She and her husband cruised the eastern seaboard from the Bahamas to New Brunswick, where she painted and collected supplies for her creations. A prolific painter and sculptor, Shirl will be remembered for the vivid imagination and creativity she brought to all her endeavors. Her watercolors were often of familiar South County scenes. Many of her sculptures included driftwood or other things she found. For many years she taught art at Rocky Hill School, in East Greenwich, R.I. After suffering a debilitating stroke 17 years ago, her painting continued. Her eye for beauty in all things, and her great courage, were gifts that sheRead More

George H. Cuthbertson, 88

October 3, 2017 at 12:00 am

Toronto, Ont. George passed away on Oct. 3. at his home in. Cuthbertson was one of the original four founders of C&C Yachts, a Canadian yacht builder that arguably dominated North American sailing in the 1970s and early ’80s. His was the first “C” in C&C, with his design associate George Cassian, being the second. Cuthbertson would go on to be president of that company, establishing plants in Rhode Island and Kiel, Germany and boat production in England and Italy, in addition to their existing plant in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and custom shop in Oakville, Ont. Cuthbertson designs would also be built by Dirk Kneulman, of Ontario Yachts in Oakville, even after the creation of C&C Yachts, and, before that, byRead More

Lloyd E. Broomhead, 68

September 25, 2017 at 12:00 am

Riverside, R.I. and Naples, Fla. Lloyd passed away Sept. 25. Known for his larger-than-life personality, he was happiest cruising Narragansett Bay on his boat with family and friends, making everyone laugh, and watching his beloved New England Patriots. Lloyd was a logistics manager for Citizens Bank and was co-owner with his late father of the former Laura Carr’s Catering in Providence.

Sumner Bigelow MacDonald, 82

September 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

Bristol, R.I. Sumner died on Sept. 22. A brilliant designer, artist and draftsman, he was a winner of two De Beers Diamond Design Awards. But his loves were boating, cat rescue and animal rights, sketching, theater, long walks, spending time on his boat on Martha’s Vineyard, hosting parties, and always enjoyed a good Manhattan with a cherry. He was a member of the Providence Art Club, Bristol Yacht Club and Goat Island Yacht Club of Newport. He was owner/president and designer of MACX, Inc. of Bristol for 30 years, retiring in 2012.

Robert B. Conner, 83

September 8, 2017 at 12:00 am

Newport, R.I. Bob died on Sept. 8. His love of the sea led him to sailing. He was an active member of Ida Lewis Yacht Club, which he joined in 1967, serving as Commodore during the years 1977-1979. Among his many significant accomplishments, Bob was instrumental in ensuring that women received equal rights and stature as members of the club. He and his wife successfully raced their Ensign and Coaster for several years. Bob was a certified international sailing judge, and he was instrumental in organizing the national One-Ton, Half-Ton, and Quarter-Ton races at Ida Lewis. He was president of the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association, treasurer of US Sailing, chairman of the R.I. Olympic Sailing Trials, a director of theRead More

Barbara E. Plumb, 96

September 7, 2017 at 11:56 am

Warwick, R.I. Barbara died Sept. 7. She lived most of her life in Edgewood, R.I.; the last four years in Warwick. An avid sailor and honorary life member of the Edgewood Yacht Club, she was a Beetle Cat Wet Hens Champion for six consecutive years. She was a member and former treasurer of the Edgewood Yacht Club Ladies Auxiliary. She was an expert skier, and, for 35 years, a 5:30 a.m. daily Mermaid Swimmer at McDermott Pool in Warwick. She was life member and president of the Greater Providence Women’s Bowling Association and a life member of the Women’s International Bowling Congress. She is in the R.I. USBC Bowling Association Hall of Fame.