John H. Needham Jr. ’53

John H. Needham Jr. ’53 died on June 1, 2016, in Portland, Maine.

(The following appeared online at, June 2, 2016):

John Hayes Needham, Jr., 85, of Cape Elizabeth, passed away early June 1st at Seaside Rehabilitation and Health Care in Portland.

John (“Jack”) was born on September 4, 1930, in Old Town, Maine, the son of John Sr. and Hester (Leveille) Needham. He grew up in Orono, graduating from Orono High School in 1948, where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He then went to Kent’s Hill School before heading to Bowdoin College, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1953.

It was at Orono High School that Jack met Hortense (Noel) Needham and the two later married on December 27, 1952.

In October of 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Officers School in Newport, RI, graduating in May of 1953. For three and a half years, Jack served on the destroyer escort, U.S.S. Cassin Young as a ship navigator and operations officer. After several world cruises and patrolling Korean waters, he ended active duty in February 1956. He was in the U.S. Naval Reserves, retiring as Commander in 1999.

After living in Portland for a short time, Jack moved his family to Gorham, Maine in 1961, where he and Hortense raised their two children, a son Jim, and a daughter Anne.

Jack joined S.D. Warren Paper Company in Westbrook in 1956 as a process engineer in the technical and then later the paper machine department. He remained in that department and became paper machine superintendent. His responsibilities included the manufacturing of paper on twelve paper machines and supervising five hundred and fifty employees. He later was involved with projects for Scott Paper Company in Mobile, Alabama and Skowhegan, Maine. In 1992, Jack retired, but remained active as a consultant for many years. His co-workers from S.D. Warren have remained life-long friends, especially enjoying their twice-a-year lunches at DiMillo’s Restaurant.

Jack’s loving wife of 41 years, Hortense, passed away June 16, 1994.

Jack loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golfing with his buddies. He took pride in always having a garden wherever he lived. He grew the best vegetables and weeds did not stand a chance in his gardens. The most peaceful place for him was at camp, on Cold Stream Pond in Enfield, Maine.

Jack married his second wife, Mary (Cagenello) Needham on December 14, 1996. Together they enjoyed many years of traveling and spending summers at Ward’s Cove on Sebago Lake. Jack is survived by his wife Mary Needham of Scarborough, his brother Thomas E. Needham of Bangor, his sister-in-law Virginia N. Wight of Boulder, CO, his son James E. Needham and wife Diane of Scarborough, his daughter Anne N. Savage and husband Bruce of Portland, his stepdaughter Lisa Richardson and husband Craig of West Newfield, his stepdaughter Debbie Sexton and husband Dick of North Carolina, and many loving nieces and nephews. Above all, Jack was the proud grandfather to Patrick Needham, Edward Needham, Alison Savage, and Meryl Richardson.

The family wishes to thank his Seaside family of 5 years. The care and love you all gave to him will not be forgotten.