Sen. Robert D. Wetmore

BARRE — Funeral services for former State Sen. Robert D. Wetmore, 85, of Barre, were held Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in the Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home in Orange.

Rev Mark Bariloni, pastor of the Athol-Orange Baptist Church, officiated. The vocalist was Ginny Bailey and the trumpet was played by Brian Gobi. Words of remembrance were shared by State Sen. Stephen Brewer. Military honors were conducted by an honor guard from the U.S. Army and local veterans of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War.

A reception was held at the Athol-Orange Lodge of Elks.

Burial at Riverside Cemetery in Barre will be at the convenience of the family.

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange, assisted with arrangements.

BARRE — A memorial service for Sen. Robert D. Wetmore, 85, will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at 2 p.m., in the Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange.

Friends and community members are invited to “File By” to pay their respects Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to the Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust and/or Ducks Unlimited.

To sign the online guestbook, visit www.mackfamilyfh.com.

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange, is assisting with arrangements.

BARRE — Former state senator Robert D. Wetmore, 85, of Barre, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, due to complications of Parkinson’s Syndrome. 

Bob Wetmore was born in Gardner, the son of Marion (Parmenter) and Elmer Wetmore, graduated from Gardner High School and attended Worcester Jr. College, Clark Evening College and Holy Cross Institute of Industrial Relations. A veteran of the Korean War, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1964 and ran for the Massachusetts Senate in 1976. Wetmore served as senator for the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin district through 1996.

While in the House, Bob co-chaired the “Wetmore/McKinnon Commission” charged with implementing the 1975 Massachusetts Growth Policy Development Act to identify the effects of growth patterns on the quality of life in the Commonwealth. This resulted in local, regional and state-wide land use planning initiatives, including the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program.

A tireless crusader for the environment, Wetmore was named “Conservator of the Region 2014” by the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust for his role as executor in conserving most of his aunt and uncle Roy and Marjorie Wetmore’s 1,000 acres following their death in the late 1990s, including 330 acres on and around Tully Mountain, as well as for his sponsorship of Article 97. Also known as the Environmental Bill of Rights, the initiative was approved by voters in November 1972 as the 97th Amendment to the State Constitution and became the foundation for a myriad of environmental laws that followed. Wetmore served on the Mount Grace board from 2001 to 2004. In addition, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) presented him with the Legislative Advocacy Award. He also served on the Special Commission on Bike Paths which resulted in a network of existing and proposed bike paths and trails throughout the Commonwealth.

While serving in the Senate, Wetmore sponsored the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) initiative — first ratified in 1984 — to Quabbin Reservoir, Ware River, Wachusett Reservoir, and Sudbury Reservoir Watershed communities. He co-chaired the Joint Committee on Commerce and Labor and also served as vice-chairman of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee.

A lifelong champion of sportsmen and women, Bob Wetmore received legislator of the year awards from the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council, Worcester County League of Sportsmen and the Mahar Fish ‘N Game Club. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) named Quabbin Reservoir Gate 31 the Robert D. Wetmore Fishing Area. He was also influential in the passage of the Wildlands Stamp, which pays for the cost of wildlife habitat, as well as legislation that established the Quabbin Watershed Advisory Committee (QWAC).

Wetmore chaired the committee to study the contribution of women in leadership in the government of the Commonwealth and the gender equity committee on comparable worth in employment and segregation at work based on gender. He sponsored the Displaced Homemakers and the Older Worker Opportunity Program and was responsible for the Massachusetts Whistleblower Protection law and the overhaul of the outdated Workman’s Compensation Law.

Along with sponsoring legislation to fund roads, bridges, schools, a courthouse and other infrastructure projects, Bob Wetmore championed the “Hear Us” mural at the State House, recognizing women in Massachusetts history, and the Massachusetts Korean War Veterans Memorial in Charlestown.

Wetmore established the Special Commission on Forest Management Practices and sponsored the creation of the Mount Wachusett Community College Forest and Wood Products Institute and served as its chair. The college honored him in 2004 by creating the Robert D. Wetmore Center for Innovation in Design, Technology and Resource Development.

Bob Wetmore was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Utilities Workers of New England and the Shriners, Springfield. He was awarded the Joseph Warren Medal for his many years of service to the William Sewall Gardner Masonic Lodge. Prior to his 32 years in elected office, he worked as a head lineman for the Massachusetts Electric Company, presiding over the local union.

Bob spent much of his retirement traveling the world and exploring the outdoors. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and also focused more on his lifelong hobbies of photography and creative writing. He is survived by his wife, Andrea; his brother Elmer; sons Robert and Asa; and daughter, Susan Fargnoli and her husband, Peter; as well as seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m., in the Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange.

Friends and community members are invited to “File By” to pay their respects Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his memory to the Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust and/or Ducks Unlimited.

To sign the online guestbook, visit www.mackfamilyfh.com.

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange, is assisting with arrangements.

Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535

 

Comment Here