It's not everyday that a Hunnewell turns 100!
On June 1, 2021 the Town of Wellesley honored resident Willard Hunnewell with a surprise celebration to mark his 100th birthday. Willard, a World War II veteran, is the great-grandson of Town benefactor Horatio Hollis (H.H.) Hunnewell.
The Wellesley Celebrations Committee organized the event which included decorated fire trucks, police cruisers, DPW trucks, and the Liberty Jazz band that paraded to Willard's home on Washington Street, called "Wellesley," which was the inspiration for the Town's name.
Select Board member Beth Sullivan Woods presented Willard with a signed resolution recognizing him "for having lived a century with integrity, care, and a deep sense of family and of the community founded by his ancestors." Many friends and family members attended the celebration, including Louisa Hunnewell, Willard's 97-year old cousin who is a great granddaughter of H.H. Hunnewell.
Police Chief Jack Pilecki and Fire Chief Rick DeLorie presented Willard with gifts from both departments, naming him an honorary chief. Celebrations Committee chair Royall Switzler and member Pete Jones presented framed photos of both Wellesley and Town Hall, gifts from the American Legion. Retired Navy Captain Robert Blake presented Willard with a Navy pin to recognize his service as a U.S. Naval navigator in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II.
Throughout his life, Willard has been an environmental advocate, serving as president of the Massachusetts Horticulture Society; as caretaker of The Pinetum, a famous collection of pine and conifer trees from around the world located on the Hunnewell estate; and as a bee keeper managing multiple bee hives on the family property.
See the full birthday celebration here.
Happy Birthday to Willard Hunnewell!