Group of friends donate chair in honor of Dick Wheeler

Oct 7, 2019

The Spinney Branch Library in Onset is now home to a unique and useful memorial to Dick Wheeler: A Harvard chair in his honor. 

The chair was donated by Mary Nyman, John Nyman, Bob Brousseau, Sherbie Worthen, and Tom Worthen. They were inspired by Dick Wheeler’s devotion to the library, which he visited multiple times a week, and supported through various charitable gifts. 

Richard Wheeler, a champion of the environment whose famed kayak trip down coastal Canada and New England brought attention to the extinct great auk  – and whose dedication to Wareham only strengthened in his later years  – died on Jan. 31, 2019 at the age of 88. He was dedicated to preserving the natural world and education, and was a strong supporter of the Wareham libraries and the Boys and Girls Club.

In 2008, he kayaked 1,000 miles on trips along the Wareham coastline to raise money for the Wareham Free Libraries, raising about $60,000 in the process.

“All the support he gave to the library was amazing,” said Sherbie Worthen. 

Wheeler’s wife, Sandra, said that Dick especially valued the library because he was an educator.

“We decided to do this because it was something different,” said Mary Nyman, who said they decided on a Harvard chair because Wheeler had been a student there.