Wenham — Harold W. Boothroyd, 91, of Wenham, passed away on February 20, at Beverly Hospital. He was born in Beverly on July 10, 1922, and was the son of Frank E. and Lillian M. (Anthony) Boothroyd. He was educated in the Beverly schools, graduating from Beverly High with the Class of 1941. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a Machinist Mate 3rd Class (MM3) on the destroyer U.S.S. Dennis J. Buckley in the American and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters. After the war, Harold attended Northeastern University, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, and began working at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation/Emhart in Beverly, where he spent his entire professional career until his retirement in 1985. He married Shirley N. Murch of Beverly in 1948, and they have resided in Wenham since 1951 in the house they built.
Harold was an active member of the community and a strong believer in historical preservation. He was a member of the Wenham Historic District Commission for 24 years, the curator of photographic collections at the Wenham Museum, and an active member of the Beverly Historical Society's Walker Transportation Collection. He was also a member of the Hamilton Historical Society and the B&M Railroad Historical Society. For several years, he was appointed the Town of Wenham Surveyor of Lumber and Measurer of Wood and Bark. In 2011, he published "Getting Around; A Short History of Transportation in the Wenham, Hamilton, and Essex Area." Harold was also a member of the First Church in Wenham. His love of local history, photography, railroading, and collecting could only be matched by his passion for gardening. The produce from Harold's vegetable garden was enjoyed by family, friends, neighbors, and church fairs for many years.
Besides his wife, Shirley, Harold leaves two children, Wendy Fortin and her husband, Glenn, of Plantsville, Conn., and Eric Boothroyd and his wife, Carole, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; plus four grandchildren, Jennifer, Aaron and Sam Boothroyd of Maine, and Douglas Fortin of Connecticut; as well as two step-grandchildren, Ana and Erica Kaufmann; two great-grandchildren, Estelle and James Smith; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; his twin brother, Howard W. Boothroyd; and his granddaughter Julie Fortin. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the nursing and activities staff in the Hannah Unit at Essex Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Beverly for their care and comfort during the last six months of Harold's life.