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Augustus “Gus” Thorndike III passed away suddenly on May 10, 2023 at his home in Westwood MA with his beloved wife of 48 years, Melissa Seavy Thorndike by his side.
Besides Melissa he leaves his sister Frances Prescott Thorndike and his brother Robert Amory Thorndike, Robert’s wife Gail and their three children; Elizabeth, Amory, and Margaret as well as Margaret’s daughter Poppy Gail.
Far too many to list are his large extended family of MacAusland and Thorndike cousins. Their Mothers were identical twins who raised their families almost as one so the cousins were all very special to Gus.
Gus is predeceased by his parents Augusta Peabody Baker and Augustus Thorndike Jr., his brother Theodore “Ted” Baker Thorndike, his maternal grandparents Theodore and Edith Prescott Baker and his paternal grandparents Augustus and Olivia Lowell Thorndike.
Gus was born on March 8, 1944 in Boston, MA. He spent the happiest days of his life as a young boy in Medfield, Ma where every free moment was spent roaming the fields, streams and woods around his home. Always a “Nature Boy” he revelled in the natural world and loved exploring the world beneath the ocean at his summer home in Scituate, Ma.
During his summers at the shore he also became an accomplished sailor and motor boat aficionado.
He had a memorable experience at 17; joining the crew of the Black Pearl, an exact replica of a 18th century 4 masted “Tall Ship” schooner. He sailed all the way up the East coast from Scituate, Ma to Bar Harbor, Me.
Gus attended a potpourri of wonderful schools; Dedham Country Day, Nobles and Greenough, Hebron Academy and Newton South High which he graduated from in 1962.
During high school he worked as a “soda jerk” at his neighborhood Brigham’s Ice Cream Shoppe to earn money to buy his first motorcycle. He developed a passion and skill for working with all engines which he put to great use for the rest of his life. He also began racing his motorcycles; culminating in his qualification and participation in a semi-pro race at the famous Indianapolis Speedway. Not bad for a self-taught mechanic from Brigham’s Ice Cream.
After several years of college Gus decided to go in a different direction. He first learned the pool construction trade working for a construction company that specialized in poured concrete swimming schools.
By the age of 22 he had branched out into his own pool business, the first of 3 successful pool and gunite construction businesses he founded, managed and worked for. He became so well-known and respected in the “trade” that he was often referred to as “Gunite Gus”.
He changed course in the mid-nineties to go to work as a member of Local 88, the Tunnel Workers Union. The job of being a Sand Hog was tailor made for Gus as it never occurred to him that guniting a hole in the ground a mile down might not be a safe occupation. He loved the challenges of the job of building the monumental project of the “Big Dig”, but what he loved more were the friends and camaraderie he found working with an extraordinary group of men and women. His years as a Sand Hog were the most special of his life.
Retiring at 72 did not slow him down.
He spent most of his time with his beloved menagerie of dogs, cats and a crazy little parrot - Rico Ramone.
Gus explored much of the world as a scuba diver; from the Sea of Cortez to the Bay of Portofino in Italy. Whatever new idea Melissa came up with for a new adventure , such as riding half broken horses through the mountains of Wyoming to a cooking school on the top of a mountain in Tuscany he was always game to give it a try.
There was never a dull moment when Gus was around.
Gus was a special, one of kind, unique individual.
His humor, kindness, courtesy to all, boundless courage and his lack of compromise in anything he believed in will be very hard to reinvent.
Everyone who knew him loved him and will miss his special smile.
There will be a “Gathering of Friends” to celebrate Gus’ life on June 10, 2023 at 4 PM at his home at 65 Mill Street in Westwood MA.
All are welcome!
If you would like to make a donation in his name please contact:
The Boston Animal Rescue League www.arlboston.org
World Wildlife Fund www.worldwildlife.org
Saturday, June 10, 2023
Starts at 4:00pm (Eastern time)
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