Cover photo for Gordon Lorne MacArthur's Obituary
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1928 Gordon 2021

Gordon Lorne MacArthur

June 8, 1928 — July 14, 2021

Waltham – Mr. G. Lorne MacArthur, longtime principal of Waltham's Kennedy Middle School, died Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at his home following a period of declining health. He was 93.

Born in Waltham on June 8, 1928, he was a son of the late Gordon G. and Helen J. (Milligan) MacArthur, and had been a lifelong resident.

He lived in the Cedarwood neighborhood all his life and would often recall a happy moment from his youth when, in October, 1936, he saw President Franklin Roosevelt as he passed the 'Cedarwood Gates' in a motorcade enroute from Boston to Worcester to give a speech during the 1936 presidential campaign where Roosevelt decisively defeated Kansas Governor Alfred Landon.

Lorne was a 1947 Waltham High graduate where he excelled in academics and on the football, hockey and baseball teams. A natural leader, he served as president of his sophomore, junior, and senior classes. He continued his studies at Northeastern University and at Boston University where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education.

During the Korean War he served in Germany as a member of the Counter Intelligence Corps along the border between East and West Germany. While in Germany he continued his passion for playing hockey as a member of the Bayreuth team and led the West German League in scoring during the 1952/53 season. He also taught in the American schools for military dependents.

It was also in Germany that he met his bride, Luise Prechtel, and following their marriage and return home to the States the pair made Waltham their home.

In 1954 Lorne began his teaching career at Waltham High School and three years later was named assistant principal at Waltham's Junior High School on School Street. In 1958 he was named to the same position at South Junior High School and in 1961 at Kennedy Junior High School.

In 1970 he took over the top position at Kennedy where he remained principal until his retirement twenty years later. It was at Kennedy where Lorne left his mark on a generation of students and teachers and made many lifelong friendships.

Known as a 'principal with principles', honesty, fair dealing and humor were his constant companions. If one were to make 'Mr. MacArthur' upset or angry it was a stove one touched but once. He demanded excellence from himself and from those around him.

A year after his retirement Lorne established the 'Bavarian Wurstwagen' . . . his well-known and sought after hot dog cart where he and Luise entertained customers with good food and good conversation. A hallmark of the experience was a heaping portion of Luise's authentic sauerkraut on the dogs.

By then Luise's years long struggle with multiple sclerosis had become a daily challenge but with dogged determination and constant smiles the couple ventured out . . . a chore sometimes, but one that was an ever-present reminder of the love and devotion they'd shared for decades.

Aside from his work in academia he was active in local politics and various civic organizations, including the Waltham City Council where he served as a councilor-at-large for several years in the 1990's.

A man of many interests, talents, and hobbies, he loved long distance swimming, belonging to the Joseph F. Hill American Legion Post No. 156 and its Legion Band, and authored his own book and illustrated many others on educational topics. Lorne was also a member of the Waltham Triad Lodge, A.F. & A.M. and the PFC John M. Sullivan USMC Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10334 in Waltham.

In addition to his beloved wife, Luise, Lorne was predeceased by his brother, Burton G. MacArthur.

He leaves his children, Heidi J. Sardina (Michael) of Wayland and Christine L. Kelleher (James) of Waltham; his grandchildren, Katie J. Pinto, Michael J., Michelle L., and Christopher L. Kelleher and his great-granddaughter, Isabella Pinto.

Funeral services will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 101A 1st Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451.
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