John Cameron

John Wilson Cameron died peacefully at home on October 11, 2018, with his wife of sixty years, Judith (Dunbar) Cameron, near his side.  Born on January 8, 1936 in Winslow, Maine to Philip and Alicia (Sweeney) Cameron, John graduated from Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Maine in 1953. In 1957, he graduated from Colby College with a degree in history. After college, John met Judith while they worked summer jobs at the Newagen Seaside Inn in Southport, Maine, and they married on June 7, 1958. He attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University for one year before deciding education was his calling.  John began his teaching career at Marshfield High School in Massachusetts; from 1964-1976, John taught English and served as department chair at the Holderness School in New Hampshire, apart from a year spent as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Eltham College, Mottingham, England.  He earned a Master’s degree in English from Wesleyan University in 1968, and for twelve summers early in his career, John taught at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. John then moved to the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Mass., where he led the English department from 1976 until his retirement in 2004 to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, apart from a year spent at Columbia University as a Klingenstein Fellow. John is survived by his wife, Judith; his son, Christopher, and partner Kirste Johnson of Seattle; his daughter, Heather Cameron Ploen, and husband Sean Ploen of Saint Paul; his grandsons, Peter and Miles Cameron; and his granddaughter, Poppy Ploen; he also leaves a brother, Philip Cameron, of Damariscotta, Maine.

John was a revered and beloved teacher of English literature for 46 years.  He loved the written, sung and spoken word; one would pass by his classroom and hear not only poetry and prose, but music ranging from the Beatles to Bach to Bobby Short.  His teaching received wide recognition, with honors bestowed from the White House to Buckingham Palace.  His deepest professional pride, however, arose from seeing his students grow and excel as communicators, no matter their choice of career or personal path.  He was devoted to his wife and family, and he was a steadfast friend to his peers and the very young, delivering small treats or encouraging notes wherever he went. Service to follow in spring in Wellesley.  Vale, John Cameron!