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John Willoughby Lacy Veteran
September 23, 2006


John Willoughby Lacy a longtime Needham resident died on Saturday, September 23rd at the Stanley R. Tippett House in Needham. He was 86 years old. Born on June 10, 1920, the son of the late Mona (Matthews) and Clive Lacy, John grew up in Newton Center and attended Newton public schools. He attended Tabor Academy where some of his fondest memories included learning to sail the one-person “Beetle Cat” on the Bay and being part of the Tabor Boy crew on a sail in the Caribbean. After graduating from Tabor, John went on to study at MIT where he studied business. At MIT he enjoyed life at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house where he made some of his lifelong friends. After graduating early from MIT in 1942. Mr. Lacy enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As a Lieutenant j.g. John served on the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill in the South Pacific where his job was to manage a fighter plane maintenance and repair crew. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946. Back at home he met, wooed and married the love of his life, Barbara Muther. John started working at Dewey and Almy Chemical Company, but got the bug to run his own business. He focused much of his time and energy in the late 1950’s growing Atlas Electronics Corp, a precision machine shop. Atlas started in Newton Lower Falls and moved to its own building on Reservoir Street in Needham in 1962. Atlas produced high precision products throughout its existence. Mr. Lacy believed strongly in community involvement and volunteer work. He was a member of the Kiwanis in the 1960’s, served on the Needham Town Finance Committee for several years, was a longtime alumni association treasurer for the MIT Beta theta Pi fraternity, delivered Meals on Wheels and did volunteer driving for the Retired men’s Club. Mr. Lacy was a member of the Boston Atheneum. He appreciated the wonders of nature and was a member of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Appalachian Mountain Club and the Nature Conservancy. Mr. Lacy shepherded his three children to the Needham Congregational Church and later in life was a member of the First Church in Chestnut Hill, Unitarian. John was the devoted and loving husband for 47 years of the late Barbara (Muther) and the father of David Muther and his wife Barbara Griffin Lacy of Pittsford VT, Virginia Louise Lacy of Tiverton ,RI and Roger Woodbury and his wife Joyceann Montini Lacy of West Chester, PA. Brother of Ann Matthews Lacy of Wellesley and the late William Robinson Lacy. and Thomas Bowditch Lacy. Grandfather of Jameson Griffin Lacy, Michael Montini Lacy, Jonathan Muther Lacy, Mackenzie Griffin Lacy and Benjamin Rudolph Lacy. Brother in law of Shirley Gallagher Muther of Needham, Sally Martyn Lacy of Fitzwilliam, NH and Marian Coombs Lacy of Orlando, FL. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. A Funeral Service will be held at the First Church of Chestnut Hill, Unitarian, Suffolk Road Chestnut Hill on Thursday September 28 at 2:00 PM. Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home 1351 Highland Ave, Needham on Wednesday from 4-6 PM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Interment at Newton Cemetery is private. In lieu of flowers donations in John’s name may be made to The Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, 205 Portland St, Suite 400, Boston MA 02114.

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Eaton Funeral Home
1351 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492