John H. Fletcher

June 24, 1941January 1, 2021

In the early evening of January 1, 2021, as a new year replaced a truly challenging one, John Fletcher embarked on his next great adventure after a short illness at the age of 79.

John was born on June 24, 1941 in Olean, New York to Harlan and Rose (Govi) Fletcher. He lived in Beverly, MA and then Hingham, MA where he graduated from high school in 1959. John received a degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963 and began work on submarines for Electric Boat, eventually settling in Boston. During this time he met his future wife, Deborah Bassin, whom he married on September 9, 1967. After John earned his MBA from Northeastern and began his twenty year engineering and management career at Stone & Webster, he and Debby moved to Marblehead, MA to start a family and establish a home base for their future travels together.

John helped raise two kids, Jen and Matt, with whom he shared his love of skiing, sailing, squash, art, photography, music, great food and wine, sports and sports cars (which were ultimately replaced by Volvos), and most of all, travel. He wove many of these interests into family trips to destinations near and far, opening the world to his kids. He and Debby also invited the world into their home by hosting students from around the globe. John simply loved to share. He was generous with his advice, time, support, expertise, wine, and his hugs.

Despite his daily commute and business travel when the kids were young John always appeared at performances or on sidelines to cheer his kids, and later, grandkids on. He was a proud dad and Papa whose kids and grandkids were equally proud of him when he found success through his photography, a lifelong passion. He applied his engineering sensibilities to everything from loading a dishwasher to achieving perfect cross-hatch grill marks on a piece of swordfish. A bowl of ice cream was never finished until he had delicately scraped it countless times until clean.

In recent years he found great joy playing squash with the “Fogeys” at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, sharing regular Friday lunches with a steady group of friends, and attending camera club meetings to talk shop. Most of all, John absolutely loved to travel to remote and exotic destinations with Debby. He combined his passion for travel and photography, returning with beautiful stills from India, Pakistan, Iran, and countries across Africa and throughout Asia, allowing friends and family to share his adventures.

John is survived by his wife and co-conspirator, Debby Fletcher, son Matt, daughter in-law, Danielle, and grandkids Addison, Paige, and Quinn Fletcher, all of Marblehead, as well as his daughter, Jennifer Cipriano, son in-law Anthony, and grandkids Olivia and Emilia, all of Falls Church, VA.

Wherever he is, John is having a chat, sharing his sincere warmth and generosity with an old friend or a new acquaintance, over a glass of wine. Cheers and safe travels to a truly great husband, dad, and friend.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John H. Fletcher

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Maggie Smist

January 16, 2021

I had the pleasure of getting to know John a bit through the Arts Festival where he entered his photography each summer. He was such an interesting person with such great travel observations. John will be missed.

Julie Vinette

January 13, 2021

John was many things to me and our family: commiserator, neighbor, friend and so wonderful. He will be so missed by all of us in different ways.

Doug Burgess

January 11, 2021

John's engaging personality and warmth were immediately apparent to everyone he met. Those of us who worked with him at Stone & Webster Engineering did not need to know John long to recognize his technical competence, clear thinking, coolness in a crisis and respect for his coworkers. Those qualities earned him the affection of all of us who were fortunate enough to know him.

Gail Vaughan

January 10, 2021

John was a real gentlemen and a sweet friend. One of my favorite squash partners. He and I also had a shared passion for photography. John graciously shared his beautiful photos from around the world with me, and shared tricks for improving my own efforts. RIP dear friend.

Rhonda Wallace

January 6, 2021

Dear Deb,

I am so sorry for your loss. John was an amazing man, I enjoyed being in his company at Y events and learning about your travels together. I particularly enjoyed seeing all the pictures from all your amazing adventures and always looked forward to your Christmas Cards every year.
All my love