David R. DexterOctober 8, 1939 ~ August 16, 2017 (age 77)
August 18, 2017
David R. Dexter
ATHOL- David R. Dexter, 77, of Daniel Shays Highway and formerly of Orange,went home to be with his Lord on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare Campus in Worcester, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Greenfield on October 8, 1939, he was a son of Russell A. and Margaret C. (Johnson) Dexter and graduated from the Phillips Academy in Andover in 1958, where he was a member of both the swim (specializing in the butterfly) and crew teams.
David then went to Case Institute of Technology where he met his future wife, Agatha R. (Gessic), whom he married on April 27, 1959 and they have been blessed with 58 years together.
In 1965, David and Agatha returned to Orange so David could join his father and brother at Chase Turbine which later became Chase Machinery. The family owned and operated the dam and water wheels on the Miller’s River, adding the original wheel on the south-side of the river. After closing the business, David worked for Orange Saws until retiring in 2009.
From early childhood, David was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Orange, where he served on church council, the trust committee, and taught Sunday school to teenagers with Doris Bittenbender. Later in life, David became a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Westminster, where he was a participant in The Living Nativity each Christmas season.
David’s religious beliefs were very strong and for 20 years he participated in a local men’s Bible study group.
David was a Cub Scout leader and as his sons grew, he became a Boy Scout leader. David was a driving force in establishing Orange Minor League baseball.
A devoted husband, father and grandfather, his love of family was immense. He had enjoyed hiking, Laurel Lake, blacksmith work and stained glass and was an organic gardener years before it was fashionable. David had also opened up the shop for various Mahar classes to construct floats for Homecoming.
David is survived by his loving wife, Agatha Dexter of Athol; his children, James Dexter (Betsy) of Hampton Falls, NH, Cheryl Dodge (Brian) of Orange, Maureen Desautels (Chris) of Erving, Katherine Thiem (William) of Athol and David Dexter (Anita) of Athol; grandchildren, Danielle Dexter, Matthew Dexter, Samantha Rudd (Brian), Christopher Dodge, Brandon Dodge (Kimberly), Emily Youngblood (Chris), Heather Laffond (Justin), Anthony Cole (Ria), Jonathan Thiem, Zachary Thiem, Alexis Dexter and David Dexter; great grandchildren, Rebekka, Madison, Preston, Patrick, Olivia, Jaqualine, Freyja, and Hunter; brothers, Bruce Dexter (Alison) of Lyndonville, VT and Paul Dexter (Jan) of Orange; brother in law, James Gessic (Sandy) of Mentor, OH; and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and cousins.
David was predeceased by his parents, Russell and Margaret Dexter, his in-laws, James and Agatha Gessic, a special brother in law, Kirk Gessic and a great granddaughter, Layla Laffond.
There are no calling hours.
A memorial service will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1 Hager Park Road, Westminster, September 9, 2017 at 1 p.m.
Interment in South Cemetery, Orange, will be private.
Donations in David’s memory are suggested to Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452 or to Life Path, Suite 201, 101 Munson Way, Greenfield, MA 01301.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.
You may offer your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com