George René Mathey
George René Mathey, 91, died peacefully July 9,
2020 at his home at Riverwoods Exeter, New Hampshire. Born in Lausanne,
Switzerland, his childhood was spent largely in France. With the political
situation becoming increasingly dangerous, his mother, the late Frances
Glessner Mathey, and his sister Simone relocated to the States, settling
in New York City, while his father, the French architect René Louis
Charles Mathey, remained in Paris to continue his practice. Later, René
would work with the Resistance, ultimately sacrificing his life in that
George attended school in New York while the family
split their time between the City and The Rocks, the Glessner family
estate in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Here he spent many happy weeks and
summer months with his cousins, Ann and Alice Edge, and Ian, Ellen, and
ViVi Glessner forming deep, lifelong bonds in the process.
He attended Phillips Exeter Academy graduating with
the class of ’47. He was active with his class for many years working with
old friends to support their school. He received his BA from Harvard
College class of ’51, and his MArch from the Harvard Graduate School of
Design in 1954.
While in college, he met the late Sheila Webb of
West Palm Beach, Florida They married that summer, living in Boston while
George began his architectural career at Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and
He would remain at SBRA for all but two years of
his career when he joined his friend Cliff Stewart to form Mathey &
Stewart Associated Architects in the early 60s. Returning to SBRA, George
would eventually become president of the firm leading it for sixteen years
from 1978 to 1994. He was deeply committed to the firm’s success and the
success of its people as attested to by many of his former colleagues who
have admiringly described the positive impact he had on their careers.
His family life was equally
rich as he, Sheila and their young daughter, Lisa, moved first to West
Acton where two sons, Tim and George, were born, and then in 1960 to
Ipswich where the family enjoyed a wonderful, loving life. George became
very active in the Ipswich community, serving over many years
the Historic Commission, the Planning Board (co-authoring zoning by-law
updates among many other accomplishments), and in many capacities on The
Trustees local property committees.
Sheila died from cancer in 1988. Over time, George
moved forward, marrying Nancy Morris Durand. As their marriage began,
George designed and oversaw the construction of their house on Argilla
Road where he and Nan spent twenty happy years. In 2010, they moved to
George was predeceased by his first wife, Sheila
and his son Timothy and is survived by his second wife, Nan, daughter
Lisa, son George, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by the
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.
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