John Kent Hathaway, 78, a former Leominster, Massachusetts resident, passed away unexpectedly on April 25th, 2023 at his home.
John (or Jack as most knew him) was born on September 18, 1944 in Leominster, Massachusetts. Jack graduated from Leominster High School in 1962, and he went on to earn his BA in History & Education at Fitchburg State College in 1996. He returned there to complete his Master’s Degree of Education in 1993.
After graduating college, Jack taught briefly at Leominster High School in 1966, and then spent the winter as a Head Waiter & Wine Steward at Trapp Family Lodge in 1967.
In 1967, Jack joined the United States Air Force, where he became a Captain. He served as a Wing Instructor for nuclear code component handling when he was stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota. There he met the love of his life, Bonita Malsam, and the two were married on June 18, 1971. They would go on to have two children, Kent and Sara.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1971, Jack returned briefly to teaching, and then went on to start a career in Radio. He was a Radio Broadcaster from 1971 to 1975 at WRYT, WSRO, WORC, WLMS, and WTAG stations. He then was a Talk Show Host and Sales Manager at WFGL and WXLO from 1980 to 1986. During this time, Jack also served as the Executive Vice -President of Leominster’s Chamber of Commerce in 1975.
In 1986, Jack would return to his love of teaching in the Leominster school district for the next 19 years. He was a history teacher at Leominster High School, May A. Gallagher, and Northwest School from 1986 to 1995. He then became a school administrator at Samoset, Johnny Appleseed, and Northwest School from 1995 to 2005.
In 2005, Jack retired and spent his time enjoying his family and friends, whom he loved deeply. Throughout his life, he also found time for his love of theater, golf, and travel. He was fortunate to have traveled in all 50 states and to England, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico, Cozumel, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
Jack lived his life with a civic mindset. He was proud to have served as President for the Leominster Rotary Club from 1983 to 1984. He also acted as a Deacon, Trustee and Moderator for Pilgrim Congregational Church, sat on the Board of Directors for the United Way, and was a member of the Leominster Lodge of Elks. He enjoyed being a member of the Bass Point Club from 1975 to 2015. After retiring, he was an active member of the R.O.M.E.O. Club, a group of Retired School Administrators who generously raise scholarship funds for LHS graduating students entering the field of education. He was extremely proud to become a Freemason (achieving 32nd Degree) with the Valley of Boston and Wilder Lodge of Leominster.
Jack is also remembered for his unending jokes and puns, ability to talk to anyone, and impeccable knowledge of random facts. His larger-than-life personality will be sorely missed.
John was predeceased by his parents John C. and Charlotte Hathaway. He is survived by his wife Bonita Hathaway, son Kent Hathaway and his wife Debbie Hathaway, daughter Sara Doraski and her husband Donald Doraski, sister Gayle Hathaway Goss Briggs and her husband Jack Briggs, brother Gregg Hathaway and his wife Annette Hathaway, brothers-in-law Byron Malsam and Brant Malsam, grandchildren Donald, Evan, William, and Megan, and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be at Richardson Funeral Home in Leominster, Massachusetts on Monday, May 1st from 4-7 pm. Funeral services will be held at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Leominster, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 2nd at 10:30 am, and services will be streamed at https://www.youtube.com/@PCCLeominster/streams. An internment with military honors will be scheduled at a later date at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Center in Winchendon, Massachusetts.
Please omit flowers. Instead, the family requests donations be made to Pilgrim Congregational Church https://www.pcc1743.com/donate or The American Heart Association www.heart.org/donate
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