, Salem, MA

November 27, 2013

Henry MacLaren, 77

— Henry MacLaren passed away on November 25, 2013, in Marblehead, Mass., following a brief illness. He was 77 years old. Henry was born in Albany, N.Y., in 1936 to Mary T. and Henry MacLaren, Sr. and graduated from Albany High School in 1954. He then graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1959 with a BS in Metallurgical Engineering and acquired an MS in Materials Engineering also from RPI in 1979. Henry worked as a metallurgical engineer for General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., Pittsfield, Mass., and Lynn, Mass., for over 31 years. Following his retirement from GE in 1993, Henry held several consulting roles in metallurgy, welding auditing and materials engineering until 2004.

Henry loved spending time with his family, gardening, American history and investing. He was equally likely to share stock market tips as pointers for growing tomatoes and he did so with a mild-mannered kindness, intelligence and a dry wit. He was especially passionate about music and sang for over 20 years with the Paul Madore Chorale, The Old North Church Festival Chorus and the Lynn Community singers. He served as the liaison for the Greater Boston Choral Consortium for the Paul Madore Chorale and sang for the 50th anniversary celebration of D-Day in France.  

Henry was deeply devoted to his family. He was married for over 48 years to his beloved wife, Gail Thorns MacLaren and they had two children, Sue MacLaren of Cambridge, Mass., and Bruce MacLaren of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. He was the cherished grandfather of Reed Oka-MacLaren; father-in-law to Midori Oka; and uncle to Amanda Thorns of New Orleans, La. He and Gail traveled extensively including a trip to Scotland this summer where Henry played golf with friends in the Scottish highlands.  

Henry was an active member of the Boston Yacht Club for 26 years where he was a member of the Race Committee for over 20 years and was chairman of the Social Committee for two years. He was also a member of Old North Church for 35 years. He was a life member of both the American Welding Society and the American Society of Metals. 

ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be on Sunday, December 1, 2013,  from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St. (corner of North Street), Salem, MA 01970. His funeral service will be held on Monday, December 2, at 11 a.m. in the Old North Church, 35 Washington St., Marblehead, MA 01945. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Old North Church Music Fund, 35 Washington St., Marblehead, MA 01945 or to The Paul Madore Chorale, P.O. Box 992, Salem, MA 01970-6092. For online guest book or additional information, please call 781-631-8885 or visit