Dr. Henry Harvey: Obituary and Life Story

(sources: Family Members, Friends, Littleton Independent, and Badger Funeral Home)

Dr. Henry Stimson Harvey, family physician, founding trustee of the Littleton Conservation Trust, and long term Littleton resident, died at his home in Littleton on June 15, at age 98.

Dr. Harvey lived in Littleton since 1951, first on Warren St., then on Wilderness Rd., and with his wife Marjorie Harvey raised four children. Marjorie passed away in 2013. His children Sheridan, Richard, Robin, and Tim survive him, as well as eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Dr. Harvey was a founding member of Acton Medical Associates in the 1950s and continued working there for some 30 years.. As a general practitioner he delivered babies, assisted at surgery, and visited his patients in the hospital, as well as holding general office hours (even in the evening). The founders of AMA were Quakers, or like Dr. Harvey, had a Quaker background, and aimed to deliver good health care for a reasonable price.

In later years Dr. Harvey took pleasure in recounting stories of making house calls in his Volkswagen bug during snow storms.

Dr. Harvey was on the board of the Littleton Conservation Trust for 45 years and served as treasurer for almost two decades. The Trust acquires and preserves many parcels of land in Littleton as open space. He also served as trustee for the First Church Unitarian and as treasurer of the Friends of the Littleton Council on Aging. He helped at Neighborhood Supper for some 20 years, and delivered Meals on Wheels until he was 96.

His pacifism guided many of his activities. He volunteered on various projects including rebuilding a bombed-out church in Mississippi in 1964, building a dam for Quakers in Tennessee, working on Habitat for Humanity projects in Mexico and Kentucky, and helping on projects in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He was a skilled carpenter.

Dr. Harvey was born in Brookline, MA, the son of Elbert and Lucile Harvey. His father sent him to Saturday carpentry classes, and he developed a life-long love of working with wood. At age 13 he built a sturdy garden house in the yard of the family home in Brookline. The garden house is still there. In retirement he set up a Shop Smith in the low-ceilinged basement of his house, and turned out a profusion of book shelves, desks, beds, benches, bird-houses, salad forks, coffee tables, cider-presses, ice-boats, and other custom items, mostly for family members and friends.

He had many enduring passions. As a child, he learned to ski on a hill in back of his house, with bear-trap bindings and a single pole. He went on to ski into his eighties at areas all over northern New England, with trips to Colorado and Europe.

He was an avid birder, maintaining a life list of bird sightings, which was bolstered by various ornithological outings to Canada, Central America, and Africa. He enjoyed sailing, tennis, and ice-boating. He sailed his ice-boat on Long Lake, on those rare occasions when the ice and the wind were favorable. From boyhood camping in the Adirondacks, he developed a great enthusiasm for wilderness, including hiking in the mountains, and canoeing. He was an earnest book-reader, and in later years when he could not be active, he pored over many of his favorite books.

Dr. Harvey met his wife Marjorie in the Adirondacks. They were married for over 70 years. In the last year of his life he was asked if he had had a good life. He replied, “I had a good wife. Good wife, good life, same thing.”

A memorial service will be held at the First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster Street, Littleton, on July 24 at 3 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Reuben Hoar Library, 41 Shattuck Street, Littleton, MA, or to the Neighborhood Supper (send checks to the Congregational Church of Littleton, 330 King Street, Littleton, MA 01460 with “kitchen fund” on the memo line).

Funeral arrangements and more details at: http://www.badgerfuneral.com/sitemaker/sites/BADGER1/obit.cgi?user=1340481Harvey