A Rite of Commendation for Arthur will be included in the service of worship at Emanuel Lutheran Church on Sunday, September 19th, from 10-11:00 AM. His family will receive visitors during the coffee hour in the church hall after the service. This service can be accessed online at https://emanuellutheranfitchburg.com/, where friends and family can also submit donations in-lieu of flowers.
Arthur will be buried at Wildwood Cemetery, in Gardner MA, in a private ceremony at a later date.
Arthur Bartlett Needham died in UMass Memorial Hospital, Worcester, on September 14th after an illness. He was born in Gardner, MA on January 31, 1938, to Anne Elizabeth Norcross (Nourse) and Roger Gray Needham. Arthur was preceded in death by his parents and youngest sister, Edith Louise (Needham) Godfrey, of Omaha, NE. He is survived by his wife Martha, with whom he shared sixty-one years of marriage; his sister, Elizabeth Gray (Needham) Philipps of Boston; his daughter Pamela Grey and daughter-in-law Cristol Grey of Winthrop; Pamela’s brother Peter Perry, of Fitchburg; nephews Benjamin, Bruce and Jared Godfrey, and Andrew and Fritz Philipps; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.
Arthur had such fond memories of being a Boy Scout at Camp Collier in Gardner that he volunteered his time as a scout master in the 1970s. He graduated from Gardner High School, and received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and an M.Ed. from the University Of Virginia. Among other occupations, he worked as an exploration geologist in Virginia, and as a Mathematics teacher in Virginia and Massachusetts. He retired from North Middlesex Regional High School after many years. In addition to impacting students in his classroom, Arthur tutored many at Mount Wachusett Community College.
Arthur enjoyed vegetable gardening, target shooting, walking country roads, and traveling the world with his wife. They enjoyed mineral collecting with the Westminster Mineral Club and he was a prolific writer, corresponding with many journalists, cartoonists, and novelists. He was active at Emanuel Lutheran Church of Fitchburg, participating in the church’s move from the Upper Common to John Fitch Highway, and in recent years, he particularly enjoyed the Men’s Breakfasts. He was a handyman and enjoyed working around the family home on Richardson Rd for the last 51 years.