Edward Albert Ham, (97), of Peterborough, NH, passed away peacefully at his home at RiverMead on 6 Dec, 2020. He was born in Bridgeport, CT, on September 14, 1923, the son of Frank and Grace (Johnstone) Ham.
Ed considered himself a New Englander. He was a lifelong Red Sox fan. After his formative years in Connecticut, Ed attended Tufts University for undergraduate studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Doctorate degree in Biological Chemistry. He was a very successful multi-sport college athlete excelling in basketball, baseball, and squash. He earned MVP honors for The Tufts basketball team. Ed enjoyed beating the pants off anyone who would play him in squash well into his 80’s. Always with a smile…
We are all proud of his service in defense of our country as a Naval Officer leading submarine crews into battle in the depths of the South China Sea during the height of WWII combat action. Those were some of his fondest memories, but he rarely spoke of the combat, rather his stories focused on the people he served with.
Ed was an avid hiker, paddler, and naturalist. He loved the sea, the mountains, and the air. His adventures typically included his family whether navigating whitewater on the Allagash River, making camp in a frozen rainstorm in the White Mountains, or simply driving the VW bus all night so the family could wake up in a beautiful new location. He soloed his first airplane at the age of 72. Not a man of idle hands, Ed was an avid wood worker. Both carpenter and artist, he could build the sturdiest oak table or turn a beautiful showpiece bowl.
Ed is survived by the love of his life, Marion. Ed & Marion met while they both worked at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Rahway NJ as research scientists in the early 1950’s. We all enjoy the significant advances in medicine credited to his team. His work was widely published in numerous professional journals. Ed & Marion married in 1953, enjoying over 67 years of happy matrimony. They raised four children, Barbara, Jennifer, Gretchen, and Ken. Their lifelong pursuit of learning is reflected in their children. All have advanced degrees and work as artist/teacher, professor, veterinarian, and astronaut. They are further survived by five grandchildren, Kyle, Kaylyn, Garrett, Ryan, and Randy.
Ed will be remembered for his kind eyes, ready smile, and willingness to talk to anyone about their lives. Modesty and humility were hallmarks for this man who accomplished so much. A leader from the Greatest Generation. We miss you Dad.
Services will be announced at a later date.
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