Waugh Dies

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. It’ll even happen to me. I knew he was pretty sick with that serious lung disease. Here’s what happened on Sunday, May 16, described in a message to our classmate email group from his wife Janet:

At 12:45 am I had to call 911 for John. He spent the nite in the emergency room. When I returned this morning they were in the process of moving him to a patient room. As we were going into the room, John tried to make it from the bed to the chair (with help) & he went down in a heap. The 2 nurses and I tried to get him up with little effect. Then about ten people came running into the room and got him into bed and stabilized. He was then taken to ICU where he will spend a day or 2. He currently has a port in his neck for IV’s and will undergo an upper GI explore to determine a source of his problem (low blood count). I will go back at 4 pm for visiting hrs. and hopefully have some news from his tests. Till then – Love to all, Janet

Here’s the message we got this morning:

John passed away last evening at 11 PM. He was overcome with a cascade of adverse problems due to bleeding, breathing and medications which he could not withstand. He fought hard to the end, and never lost his wit. He loved you all. Janet

I exchanged some good messages with his son, Scott, today. They’ll be holding a “Scottish wake” for him in Massachusetts. Janet will bring the old guy up in a jar.

Here’s the condolence message I sent to Janet just now:

Hi Janet,
I’m sorry my message to you this morning was so terse and brief. But it is hard to believe that he’s no longer around. It must have been very difficult and tiring for you these last few days. Probably you can get rest now. I exchanged a couple messages with Scott today, sending my condolences. He told me about wanting to have a “Scottish wake” for John which would be a very nice thing, I think.
Love to you, from Cynthia and me,

Here’s the obit:

John J Waugh of Southern Pines, NC died on May 19, 2010 at Moore Regional Hospital, Pinehurst, NC.

Mr Waugh was born in Springfield, MA on October 7, 1928, but spent his childhood in Westford, MA where he graduated from Westford Academy. During a three year enlistment in the US Air Force, he saw overseas service on the Island of Guam and in Tokyo, Japan. He was an alumnus of Amherst College, Class of 1954.

A 40-year business career in the public refrigerated warehouse industry included responsibilities as President of Tampa Cold Storage, President of New England’s Quincy Market Cold Storage and Chairman/CEO of Americold which at the time, was the largest cold storage company in the world. He was also a Director and ultimately Chairman of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses whose membership then included companies from 31 nations.

Mr. Waugh is survived by his wife Janet, a stepson, Jeffrey Williamson of Wilmington, MA and a son Scott Waugh of Pepperell, MA as well as four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by brothers Robert and James.

No public services are planned. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Home for Little Wanderers, 271 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines, NC

Scott Waugh, John’s son, sent me this photo of the box John chose for his remains. Not sure if this is the very box John is in at the moment — it may be — but this is at least a copy:

The box gives the Royal Salute (how many fingers?) and celebrates Scotch Whiskey, perhaps suggesting we should all have a drink on him, or rather TO him!


  1. Kate’s avatar

    I’m so sorry Dad. It is lucky you’ve had a friend for such a long long time.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks, Kate. It’s still hard to believe that he’s gone; he was so alive.


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