Cover photo for Henry B. Dewey's Obituary
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1924 Henry 2023

Henry B. Dewey

April 15, 1924 — October 23, 2023




Henry B. Dewey, 99, retired lawyer and civic leader, died at his Worcester home October 23, 2023. Born in Worcester, the son of Francis H. and Dorothy (Bowen) Dewey, he leaves his wife of 70 years, Jane (Kenah) Dewey; three daughters, Janie Dewey, Ann Hofmann, and Sally Dewey and her husband, Douglas Jensen; two grandchildren, Christopher Hofmann and Francie Hofmann; three step-grandchildren, Brad, Kelsey, and Bailey Jensen; and two step great-grandchildren, Riley and Liam.  A brother, Francis H. (Chuck) Dewey and two sisters, Elizabeth Marangoni and Dorothy Gilman, predeceased him.

            Dewey, known as Harry, was educated at Deerfield Academy, Williams College, and Boston University School of Law.  At his retirement in 1994, he was a senior partner at Bowditch & Dewey, the law firm with which he was associated for forty-two years.

            Mr. Dewey was active in the community’s cultural scene.  He was a past president of the Worcester Art Museum, the Worcester County Musical Association (now Music Worcester), the Worcester Community Concerts, the Estate and Business Planning Council, Rural Cemetery, and chairman of the city’s Cultural Commission. He was an enthusiastic member of the American Antiquarian Society and served on its council for several terms. He had been a member of the Board of Overseers of both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and WGBH, a member of the St. Wulstan Society, and a long-time member of the Worcester Fire Society.  For several years he served as trustee and vice president of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.  In 1995 he received the Arts Worcester annual award for contributions to the cultural health of the city, in 1997 the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Worcester Art Museum, and in 2002 the Isaiah Thomas award “for distinguished community service.”

            He served on numerous boards, including Peoples Bancorp, Worcester Historical Museum, Higgins Armory Museum, Community Healthlink and Youth Guidance. For many years he was a trustee of the Hoche-Scofield Charitable Trust. He was the last surviving founder of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation of which he had been a director. His role in helping to establish this foundation was his most satisfying achievement as a lawyer.

A tennis enthusiast, he delighted in membership in the Worcester Tennis Club of which he was a past president.

            In World War II he served in the European Theatre with the 99th Infantry Division as a forward observer despite having been turned down by the Navy, Air Force, and Marines for poor eyesight.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and earned three campaign stars, including one for the Battle of the Bulge and another for the crossing of the Rhine over the Remagen Bridge. The Belgian government awarded him a fourragère for his service in Belgium.

             Funeral services will be private with burial in Rural Cemetery.  His gravestone, carved by Nick Benson, features a thistle motif in homage to a direct ancestor of Mr. Dewey’s, William Young, known as the “Thistle Carver of Tatnuck.”  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, One Mercantile Street, Suite 010, Worcester, MA 01608.


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