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December 15, 2023


“USJohn Stanley Ames III, aged 87, died December 15, 2023, in Boston, after a fall and consequent broken hip led to fatal complications from his already frail health. John and his wife, Sarah, lived on Beacon Hill, where John was a familiar figure walking in the Common, cane in one hand and beloved camera in the other. Although he had various careers in his life, photography was his constant joy. Over the decades, he took many photographs of people and places. In 2017, he had a show of images at the Tavern Club. John was born in Boston and raised in North Easton, where the Ames family has long lived. His father was John S. Ames, Jr.; his mother was Isabel Biddle Henry from Philadelphia. The eldest child, John was joined by siblings, Mary "Heidi" Ames of Chestnut Hill, Charlton Henry Ames of Rockport and Portland, Maine and Isabel Ames Schoenberg of St. Petersburg, Florida. John graduated in 1954 from Milton Academy and in 1958 from Harvard University. He joined the Navy as a lieutenant assigned to the Pacific fleet, where the LST he was on ferried Marines to Vietnam. After the Navy, with California bride, Mary Alford Ames on his arm, John moved back to Boston. He briefly attended law school, then built houses in Easton. He and Mary raised two sons in North Easton and Milton, John S. Ames, IV of Rhode Island and Gavin Henry Ames of Ojai, California. Asked to run for the Massachusetts state legislature, John was elected to four terms as a State Rep from Bristol. In his final term, he served as Minority Whip under Frank Hatch. Among his accomplishments was the enactment of conservation protection for what is now known as the Hockomok Swamp Wildlife Protection Area, a preserve that currently encompasses 16,950 acres in South Easton. John left the legislature to join the private sector, continuing his interest in conservation by heading a non-profit, then known as Boston Harbor Associates, a group working to clean up the deeply polluted Boston Harbor. From there, John went to work for Oil Recovery Systems, an outfit that developed technology to retrieve spilled oil from the ground. In the early 1980s, John and Mary moved to Rockport, Maine. John struggled with alcoholism and in December 1982, sought treatment at Hazelden Clinic in Center City, Minnesota. He considered the ensuing forty years of sobriety as the greatest accomplishment of his life. Massachusetts' loss was Maine's gain. John became involved in the state's burgeoning art scene. He, himself, was a sculptor and had a show at what was then known as Maine Coast Artists in Rockport, but found greater satisfaction and success as an art dealer. In 1984, he bought an old shoe store on the main street of Belfast and turned it into the much respected Gallery 68, where he sold prints, paintings and sculpture. In the mid-90s, John joined the board of Rockland's Farnsworth Art Museum, which had embarked on the development of the Wyeth Center. He helped the museum raise money for this, simultaneously, making the difficult personal decision to close his Belfast gallery. He and Mary declared residency in Boca Grande, Florida and spent winters there. That marriage did not survive this change. John divorced and remarried Sarah Lowry Ames. In 2002, John and Sarah bought an antique business in Camden, Maine and created Ten High Street Art and Antiques. This seasonal business thrived, in the winters the couple would drive West across the country to buy inventory. In 2014, they closed the gallery and, settling in Boston, traveled as health permitted. To the end, John carried his camera wherever he went.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's name to:

The Nature Conservancy
Attn: Treasury
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203 USA
Click Here to Donate Online

or to the charity of your choice.

Content is coming soon...
Carr Funeral Services
220 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129