Appreciation: Bill Pear, Former Longtime Curator at Nichols House Museum, Dies at 87

William “Bill” Hesseltine Pear II, a former longtime curator of the Nichols House Museum died Feb. 4 in Newburyport. He was 87.

Born in Teaneck, N.J. Mr. Pear was the son of the late W. Wesley and Catharine Cusack Pear.  He graduated from Middlesex School, Class of 1952, and Harvard University, Class of 1956.

Among his many affiliations, Mr. Pear was a member of the Nichols House Museum, and served on the Board of Governors as both Secretary and President. After completing his term as President, he accepted a position as the museum’s first Resident Curator, a position he was to hold until his retirement some 20 years later.

Mr. Pear was also a past Director and President of Boston Harbor Associates, and of the Boston Preservation Alliance, and was a member of the Boston Public Library Examining Committee. He also served as Director, Treasurer, and President of the Gibson House Museum, and as Director and President of the Victorian Society of America, which presented Bill with a “Lifetime Achievement Award in Preservation” in 2008.

Mr. Pear was a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, and he was proud of his Irish heritage. He served as Director and President of The Eire Society of Boston, and was the Executive Director and an Honorary Member of the Boston Chapter of The Irish Georgian Society.

Mr. Pear is survived by his sister, Ellin Royds, and by his brother, John and his wife Diana. He is also survived by his nieces, Catharine Pear and Lucy Pear, and by his nephews, Richard Royds and his wife, Arlene, Bradley Royds, and Carleton Royds and his partner, Christopher Steele. Bill’s brother James, sister Mary; and brother-in-law, Richard Royds, predeceased him.

Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the Irish Georgian Society, City Assembly House, 58 South William St., Dublin 2, Ireland, D02 X751. Services will be held at a later date.

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