Hamilton, MA — Joseph Arthur Burridge, 87, died peacefully at his Hamilton residence, surrounded by loved ones, on Thursday, April 11, 2013. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary Anne Cunningham.
Born and raised in Ipswich, Arthur was the fourth child of the late Vincent William Burridge and Mary LeBlanc, both originally from Nova Scotia. He attended Ipswich public schools until his senior year, 1943, when he left just before graduation, to enlist in the Merchant Marine during WWII. He served honorably in this unit for four years, traveling to Europe, Turkey, Russia, India and Africa. One of his memorable missions was being on a supply ship supporting the Normandy invasion on D-Day.
As a young man returning from the War, he joined the Carpenter’s Union, following in the footsteps of his father and older brothers. Shortly thereafter, he met Mary Anne Cunningham while ice-skating at Weaver Pond in Patton Park; they married in 1948 and settled in Hamilton. As a skilled carpenter, he worked for more than 40 years on numerous residential and commercial properties throughout Essex County. He retired from active carpentry in 1988, but he never really put down his hammer, staying active building and fixing things on his property and always helping friends and neighbors with projects, up until just a few weeks ago. This past December, the Carpenter’s Local Union #26 recognized Arthur for his sixty years of membership.
Arthur and Mary Anne were both passionate about gardening, yard sales and bird watching; Arthur built scores of intricate birdhouses in his retirement. Frequent participants in Farmers Markets in Wenham and surrounding communities, they were often seen selling their abundant produce from the back of a pick-up truck. They also faithfully volunteered for more than 25 years at the Topsfield Fair, always tending to the Fruit and Vegetable Building. Arthur was a member of the American Legion, Ipswich Outboard Club and St. Paul’s Church in Hamilton.
Arthur is survived by his older brother, Jacob Joseph Burridge and his wife, Marsha, of Ipswich, as well as 17 nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his siblings, Rosalie Ames, of Florida, and J. Philip Burridge, of Ipswich. He leaves behind numerous friends and neighbors who will dearly miss his kind, generous nature and his Yankee way of living life to the fullest. His shared dog, Charlie Brown, and his cat, Annie, also mourn his passing. He was the consummate example of the saying, “enjoy the little things in life for ultimately those things matter most.”
ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at the Hamilton Cemetery on Tuesday, April 23 at 11 a.m.; a reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his name to The Topsfield Fair Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 134, Topsfield, MA, 01983. Arrangements made by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. To send a condolence, please visit www.whittier-porter.com.