Neil F. Wetherbee, Sr.
Neil F. Wetherbee Sr. devoted husband, father and grandfather, of Amherst NH, died peacefully Saturday, March 1st , 2020 at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, surrounded by his family. He was born July 21st, 1939 in Quincy, Massachusetts, the son of Annie H. Jones of Pelham, NH and Frederick B. Wetherbee of Braintree MA.
Raised in Quincy, MA with his father absent early in his life, he relied solely on his mother who died of cancer in his sixteenth year. He went to live with relatives in California during this time and did whatever work came his way from driving trucks to odd jobs.
He later returned home to Quincy where he met the love of his life, Mary (McGrath) Wethebee. They married on July 13th 1964. They had their only son, Neil, the following year. Neil Sr., without a high school diploma did whatever it took to provide for his young family. He worked 3rd shift for the Honeywell Corporation. While a great job for many, he soon discovered his true passion in the viewfinder of a camera.
He soon left Honeywell to pursue that passion. He won numerous national and international awards over the course of his career including the Boston Globe Photo Contest in 1973. That award got him an appearance on WCVB’s Good Morning show. In subsequent years, he was ranked as high as 5th Best Photographer in the world by PSA, the Photographic Society of America and awarded the distinction, EFIAP (Excellence Federation Internationale de L’ Art Photographique). He had a unique and well trained eye for composition and his favorite medium was New England landscapes and oceanscapes.
He was a longtime member of the South Shore Camera Club and Greater Lynn Camera Club both of which brought him many lifelong friends. He also lectured and mentored at the clubs and dreamed of one day starting a foundation for the advancement of photographic arts. He was an avid big band jazz fan and was fortunate enough to meet and get to know one of his idols of the day, Stan Kenton.
Living in Arlington, MA for nearly 30 years, Neil was active in his community as a member of the Arlington Arts Council, the Arlington Youth Visit Exchange Program, hosting several Japanese students over the years (as well as travelling to Japan himself) and also as a Town Meeting Member.
He was predeceased by Mary his wife of 50 years. He will be forever missed by his only son Neil, and his wife Wendy of Derry, NH, grandsons Dylan of Derry and Keith of Nashua, NH as well has his extended family, daughter-out-law Cheryl (Wetherbee) Cawley and her wife Prudy Cawley of Manchester and cousins from the Lowell area as well as Maine.
While there will be no services, Neil will be cremated and his family will celebrate his life by journeying to scatter his ashes at some of the places he most loved to photograph, the Jenne Farm in Vermont and Nubble Light in Maine to name just a couple. An Eternal Tribute can be viewed at www.tributes.com/Neil-F-Wetherbee-Sr . Some of his better work, awards and biographical info can be seen at www.NeilWetherbeeSr.com . In lieu of flowers, take a moment from your busy life to take in the natural beauty that Neil so loved to photograph!