Angus J. MacPherson, age 98 years and 4 months who was known as Dad to us, Joe to his family and Mac to everyone else, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, after living a long, fulfilled and interesting life. He was a South Lawrence resident for 68 years.
After Marge, Dad’s beloved wife of more than 73 and a half years died on October 7, 2019, he missed her terribly and would talk about her often. It would be nearly two and a half years before Mom, the only woman that he ever loved, would help him make his journey to Heaven to be with her for eternity.
Dad was born at home on O Street in South Boston on November 17, 1923 to Mary (MacEachern) and Angus MacPherson and was the fifth of their eight children. He came from humble beginnings and worked hard all of his life to provide for his family. He worked two physically demanding jobs daily when necessary. He was employed by Mead Packaging as an ink mixer for many years and later, Harold Parker State Forest. His duties there included fighting forest and brush fires and doing lookout duty for fires from the fire tower. He also donned the Smokey the Bear suit as part of his job, participating in many parades and educational events. He retired from his firefighter’s job at Harold Parker in 1989.
Both Dad and Mom loved to travel when they were younger. They enjoyed going on cruises and vacationing throughout the United States and also Europe. Dad was very proud of his Scottish heritage and the highlight of their travels together was when they visited the Motherland, Scotland, and dined in the MacPherson castle while clad in their MacPherson kilts. Tributes to Scotland were scattered throughout their home and prominently displayed. They attended the Highland Games at Loon Mountain, NH for many years and loved to witness each clan, wearing kilts representing his/her clan, being piped down the mountain from multiple directions. They were always happy to be surrounded by their fellow Scotsmen.
Dad was always there to help out family members. He willingly gave shelter, interest free loans, paid for Scottish dance lessons for his granddaughters and took them to their Scottish dance competitions. No matter what the hour was, he would answer a call for assistance from a daughter and lend a helping hand, never complaining.
When Dad’s health declined, Ruth provided excellent care to him as his primary caregiver for months and after that, we three daughters worked together to take care of him as we had promised Mom that we would do.
An interesting fact about Dad’s life is that he survived polio as a teenager in South Boston and in a twist of fate decades later, his oldest daughter, Ruth, was part of a first in human trial of the Jonas Salk polio vaccine in New York City .
Dad loved his country and served his country during both WWII and the Korean Conflict. He never left home without his WWII/Korean War Veteran hat that paid tribute to his service. He also proudly flew the American flag at his home every day. One of the most memorable days of Dad’s life was spent with his daughter, Marilyn, as a guest of Honor Flight New England on September 20, 2014 to the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. While there, he was honored to shake hands with and thank the man who made the WWII Memorial a reality, Senator Bob Dole.
WWII, a huge factor in Dad’s life, took him away from home for three years. After only knowing Dad for two weeks, Mom waited for him for those three years while he served our nation as a Navy Signalman who supported amphibious landings in the South Pacific. His military service included supporting the US Army’s 32nd Infantry Division (the Red Arrows) in their assaults on New Guinea, Luzon, and the Southern Philippines. Several years after WWII had ended, Dad once again called to active duty with the Navy and served aboard the USS Sparrow during the Korean Conflict. The active duty part of his service to the country came to an end in June, 1954. He retired from the Navy as a Signalman, First Class in 1980 after spending eight years on active duty and thirty-two years in the Naval Reserves, a total of 40 years. There was a touching retirement ceremony for Dad aboard the USS Dash (MSO-428) with Mom, Ruth and Marilyn in attendance. Dad was presented with the flag flown on the ship as it sailed from Newport, RI on the day of his retirement ceremony and he cherished that flag.
Dad was also an active member of the Bethesda Lodge #30 Independent Order of Odd Fellows and VFW Post # 8349 in Methuen for many years.
Dad was the Patriarch of five generations. He is survived by his daughters, Ruth and her husband Joe Raimondo of Methuen, MA; Marilyn and her husband Gary Abate of Windham, NH; Elaine Hargreaves of Pelham, NH and a son, Joseph of No. Hollywood, CA. He leaves eight granddaughters; Camie, Dianne, Darci, Dori, Mandi, Robyn, Kendra and Shannon and one grandson, Tim. He also leaves six great-granddaughters, eleven great-grandsons and one great-great-granddaughter. Dad is also survived by two sisters-in-law and countless nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Angus and Mary and his brothers, Ambrose (Jim), Neil (Dan), Bill and John; also his sister Catherine (Chris), toddler sisters, Mary and Anastasia and his great-great granddaughter, Bedelia, who was born an Angel at 39 weeks.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Nevins Nursing and Rehab Centre for the excellent care they provided to both Dad and Mom when each was cared for as Rehab patients and Mom as a resident for a year and a half. The staff of Nevins was there when the family couldn’t be and we are very appreciative of that.
Signalman First Class Angus J. MacPherson, your watch has ended.
“Fair winds and following seas. Rest Easy, we have the watch.”
Rest In Peace with Mom at your side again, Dad.
Your loving daughters, Ruth, Marilyn and Elaine.
Relatives and friends are cordially invited to calling hours on Saturday, April 2, 2022, from 9:30 am to 11:00 am at the Dewhirst and Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844. A Funeral Service will follow calling hours at 11:00 am at the Funeral Home. Entombment with Naval Military Honors will follow at St. Mary/Immaculate Conception Mausoleum, 6 Woodland St., Methuen, MA, alongside his beloved Marge in the Our Lady of Good Counsel Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that most appreciated tributes to Dad's Memory would be donations to Nevins Nursing and Rehab Centre, 10 Ingalls Court, Methuen, MA 01844, www.nevinsfamily.org; Honor Flight New England, https://honorflightnewengland.org/donate; or the VNA of Merrimack Valley, www.homehealthfoundation.org/donate