The Town of Wellesley on Tuesday, June 1 honored Willard P. Hunnewell, a World War II veteran and great-grandson of town benefactor Horatio Hollis Hunnewell, in celebration of his 100th birthday.
When you’ve turned 100, the party comes to you. A small, early-afternoon parade of balloon-festooned vehicles cruised from the Wellesley College Club parking lot to 855 Washington St., pulling up in front of the Hunnewell family home dubbed “Wellesley.” As in the same “Wellesley” that inspired the town’s name.
We were among those who had the privilege of taking part in the parade, which was greeted by a crowd of Hunnewell family members and friends.
A resolution (embedded below) was read by Select Board member Beth Sullivan Woods, and gifts were presented from the American Legion as well as the town’s police department, fire department, and Celebrations Committee. Mr. Hunnewell was also made an Honorary Wellesley Fire Chief and an Honorary Chief of Police. And there was chocolate cake, from Roche Bros., keeping it all about Wellesley. “It’s like Christmas,” marveled a guest.
The resolution begins: “On June 1, 2021, Town of Wellesley resident Willard P. Hunnewell will celebrate his 100th birthday, having lived a century with integrity, care, and a deep sense of family and of the community founded by his ancestors…”
Mr. Hunnewell served in World War II as a U.S. Navy navigator in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The Liberty Jazz Band played a rousing version of “Anchors Aweigh” in his honor.
— swellesley (@swellesley) June 1, 2021
On the home front, the Harvard graduate owned a business that created tools used in the jewelry industry. Known for his attention to environmental matters, he served as a president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and was caretaker for The Pinetum, a renowned collection of pine and conifer trees from around the world located on the Hunnewell estate. Mr. Hunnewell and his family have also made their mark outside of Wellesley, including in Stowe Vt., where they have helped to preserve open space.
Here’s the whole ceremony, courtesy of Wellesley Media: