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Donald Edward Hewat

SALISBURY — Donald Edward Hewat, teacher, died peacefully at home in Salisbury on May 8, 2019. He was 94.

Born in North Adams, Mass., he attended South Kent School, served in the Navy as a submarine radio technician, and later attended Williams College, where, on a blind date, he met and fell in love with Diane Lloyd-Smith. They were married for 70 years.

In 1953, living in New York City but longing for the country, he moved with his young family to a farm and orchards on Selleck Hill in Salisbury. 

After teaching grammar at The Indian Mountain School, he taught for 13 years at Salisbury School, correcting freshman English papers on “The Red Badge of Courage,” “A Separate Peace,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “Lord of the Flies,” among others. He was a natural, revered teacher, at once exacting and indulgent. He often appeared in class directly from milking cows, in his barn boots.

An avid gardener and an excellent cook, he was perhaps happiest when surrounded by vegetables. His minestrone, brimming with herbs and seasonings, nourished an uncounted number of family and guests. 

He was an insistent, tireless planter of trees. His interest in the soil extended to land use and policy. He served for many years as an alternate on the Salisbury zoning board, and from early on pursued a vision of circling the town with protective farming and conservation easements.

He was both thrifty and generous, a consistent champion of the vulnerable. He seldom missed a nightly news hour or a crossword puzzle. A private man with modest, if definite tastes, he presented a bearded, often disheveled appearance, kind eyes, and a puckish smile.

He is survived by his wife Diane; five children; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

He will be honored in a private family ceremony.