Newburyport, MA — Dr. Morton Wheeler passed away September 26, 2013, in Damariscotta, Maine. Born in 1915 in Plymouth, N.H., to Dr. John and Celia (Morton) Wheeler, he attended local schools, graduated from Tabor Academy in Massachusetts, and then the University of Vermont. He completed his professional training at Harvard Dental School before enlisting in the US Navy where he served with distinction during WWII aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bogue in the Atlantic Theater and at Norfolk, Va.
After discharge from the service, Morton joined a practice in Portsmouth, N.H. In 1946, Morton moved to Salisbury, Mass., and opened his dental practice in Newburyport, Mass., where he worked for more than 40 years until his retirement in 1988. He enjoyed his work tremendously, especially all the wonderful people he met.
Committed to public service, Morton was a member of the Newburyport Rotary Club, was elected Salisbury Town Moderator for many years, served on the School Committee, was a proud founding member of the Salisbury Conservation Commission, and acted as Salisbury’s Health officer.
“Doc” was a man of many talents and interests. As a young man in Plymouth, N.H., he worked summers at the Clarkland Farm for George Clark. This farming background led to the many lovely flower and vegetable gardens at his Salisbury home. At home on (and in!) the water, he had several small sailboats and canoes which he used on the Merrimac River. For years, he relished the planning and completion of canoe/fishing trips on the Allagash River with a group of friends.
Other interests included studying the Civil War and tinkering with his impressive collection of antique clocks. Doc was truly happiest being outside and physically active. He down-hill skied until his mid-80s, before switching to cross-country. He could be seen on his bicycle pedaling to work or going for an ice-cream well into his 90s.
Morton was predeceased by his wife, Lydia Rogers Wheeler; and his brothers, John and Phineas.
He is survived by his daughters, Judy Holliday and husband John of Waldoboro, Maine, Ann Bishop and husband John of Jefferson, Maine, and Molly Loik and husband James of Kingston, N.H.; grandchildren, Scott Holliday of Somerville, Mass., Jenny Holliday and husband Barry Lampke of Hinesburg, Vt., Molly Bishop of Jefferson, Maine, Alice Bishop of Jefferson, Maine, Jason Loik of Providence, RI, David Loik and wife Gloria of Sandown, N.H., and Thomas Loik of Kingston, N.H.; as well as seven great-grandchildren.
ARRANGEMENTS: A reception will be held in Morton’s honor at the Belleville Congregational Church in Newburyport, Mass., from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 2. Burial will be in the Trinity Cemetery in Holderness, N.H. Should friends desire, donations may be made to the Salisbury Public Library, or the Stratham, New Hampshire SPCA.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME. Condolences and messages for the family may be expressed by visiting www.StrongHancock.com.