Richard Wheatland II, 85, died peacefully June 26, 2009, at his home in Boston. Born in Boston, he was the son of Stephen and Dorothy Parker Wheatland of Sorrento.
He is the father of Sarah W. Fisher; father-in-law of David Fisher; brother of Sarah W. Richards, Mary W. Schley, Alice N. Wellman; brother-in-law of Bradford S. Wellman and Miss Marguerite de H. McAdoo; grandfather of Thea and Otto Fisher. He was married in 1954 to Cynthia McAdoo, who predeceased him in December 2008. He served in the Navy on the USS Harry S. Bauer in the Pacific during World War II. He graduated from Harvard in 1945, and received his juris doctorate from Columbia University in 1949. He served in Paris under the Marshall Plan 1950-53. He was then vice president of New York Airways, a pioneering helicopter company in New York from 1953-68. He was president then chairman of Acadia Management Co., Boston. He had many philanthropic interests, none of which he valued more than the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., of which his ancestor Richard Wheatland was a founding member in 1799. He worked tirelessly for the museum for many years, serving as chairman of the board for nine years and raising millions of dollars. Under his leadership, the Peabody Museum and the Essex Institute were merged in 1992. He was also an active board member of the Museum Trustee Association; Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport; Friends of the Public Garden, Boston; Boston Natural Areas Network, Boston; and Beacon Hill Civic Association, Boston. He was a member of the Tavern Club and the Club of Odd Volumes, amongst others. He was a devoted jogger, running races into his seventh decade, and he adored skiing, sailing, and traveling.
A memorial service will be held 5 p.m. Aug. 8, 2009, at the Church of the Redeemer, Sorrento. A reception will follow. A celebration of Richard’s life will be held in Boston, at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.