Harry Duane passed away on June 19, 2012 in Shelburne following a long illness.
Harry was born in Boston, Mass. in 1931. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1950. He was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and spent part of his tour in Germany. After his military service, he returned to school and graduated from MIT in 1957. While at MIT, he was the captain of the swimming team, Phi Beta Kappa, and won the Karl Taylor Compton Prize, the Institute’s highest award, in recognition of excellent achievements in citizenship and devotion to the welfare of MIT.
He spent his entire business career with Norton Company, a leading abrasives company in Worcester, Mass. With an extraordinary gift for financial, operational, and general management, he quickly assumed a leadership role through successive business development assignments, including a two-year stint to rebuild the company’s operations in Milan, Italy in 1964-1965. As Vice President for Worldwide Operations and, later as Executive Vice President he led strategic initiatives in Australia, India, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, and across North America and Europe.
Harry’s presence was renowned in the Martha’s Vineyard sailing community. At the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, he was on the Board of Governors for many years and service twice as the club’s Commodore. His management ability helped steer the club through several financial challenges. He gave priority to the club’s future and its Junior Sailing Program. In 2004 he was honored as the recipient of the Hugh W. Schwarz Lifetime Contribution Award.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Audrey Houghton Duane of Shelburne; his three children, Charles Duane and wife Patricia of Marion, Mass.; Marion Duane Hammond and husband Bob of Vineyard Haven, Paul Duane and wife Ellen of Burlington; their mother, Natalie Dickinson King of Vineyard Haven, eight grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
Those wishing to contribute to his memory may do so through MIT Office of Memorial Gifts, 600 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139.