Chemist, former selectman, avid gardener, world traveler
Mac Henry. (Courtesy photo)
After a brief illness, Malcolm (Mac) Henry of Harpswell, Maine, and formerly of Harvard and Westborough, died Sept. 28, 2020.
Malcolm was born in Worcester on March 3, 1927. The son of Carl and Hazel (Boutilier) Henry, he grew up and attended schools in Westborough. He played all sports and received a basketball scholarship to Northeastern University. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Mac entered the University of Massachusetts. He married Connie Foster, also of Westborough, and they lived in Amherst while he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. They then moved to the Philadelphia area, where he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mac and Connie returned to Massachusetts to settle in Harvard for over 30 years. During that time, Mac worked at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Natick, first as a research chemist and later as physical science administrator. In 1957, he received a postdoctoral research grant to work at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, so he and Connie packed up their family for a year and a half of adventures in Europe. His continued work at the Natick Laboratory involved many projects, including the development of Kevlar helmets, Arctic gear, and chemical-protective clothing.
Mac was very active in the town of Harvard, where he sang in the church choir and served as town selectman for a notable 21 years. He and his family raised most of their own food, having a large garden, many fruit trees, and numerous animals. They loved square dancing with friends, and they pedaled hundreds of miles together on their tandem bicycle.
After retirement, Mac and Connie moved to Harpswell, Maine, on the ocean, where they lived happily for over 30 years. They had many adventures and mishaps in their lobster boat as they explored nearby islands and byways. Mac was active in the Elijah Kellogg Church, singing in the choir and serving on the building committee and as the church moderator.
Mac played all types of piano and accordion music every day. He was a skilled woodworker, making bowls, furniture, and carvings, and he hand-cut hundreds of treasured wooden jigsaw puzzles and passed his talent to the next two generations of his family. He and Connie loved to travel, having adventures across the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Mac will be deeply missed by Connie, his wife of 72 years; his oldest son Stephen and his wife Lynn of Westborough; his son Mark of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and his daughter Susan and her husband Robert of Berlin; as well as five wonderful grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A family graveside service will be held in Westborough at a later date.