Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home Obituaries

John B. Atwood 01/10/2020

John B. Atwood, age 88, passed away peacefully on Friday January 10, 2020. He

was a longtime resident of North Attleborough and Hingham, spending his last

three years at The Residence at Watertown Square.


Born in Boston on December 2, 1931, he was the eldest child of the late John B.

and Margaret (Furlong) Atwood of Charlestown. His youth was spent growing up

in his beloved Hingham with his younger sister, the late Ruth (Atwood) Gouveia

of Hull. He was a 1950 graduate of Hingham High School and competitive varsity

baseball, football, and basketball player. Upon graduation he received an athletic

scholarship to Curry College.


Fulfilling his service to his country after college, he served in the U.S. Army in

Germany for two years. He returned home to begin a career as a high school

teacher and coach that spanned over 50 years in the Hull, Randolph, Hopedale

and Norton School Districts. His early years in education were spent as a history

teacher, guidance counselor, and football coach. In the early 1960s, he earned his

master’s degree in Education Administration from Bridgewater State College.

Moving into the role of Director of Guidance at Hopedale High School, he met his

devoted and loving wife of 35 years, the late Frances (Bradley) Atwood, who was

an English teacher and guidance counselor there.


John served as Director of Special Education in Norton from 1974 until 2006,

continually advocating for the advancement and education of students with

special needs. Prior to his appointment, he served on the School Committee for

many years. In June 2019, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Baeta, along with the

Norton School Committee dedicated the John B. Atwood Student Support Center

at the Norton High School in recognition of his 42 years of work with students in

the district.


He was passionate about High School sports. Most Saturdays, you would find

John at a high school football or basketball game. His love of high school sports

dates to his time as a schoolboy in Hingham where he was known as “Jocko” for

his adoration of athletics and the statistics that go with it. He often recalled

incredible facts and figures about players and games spanning over decades. He

was a loyal supporter of both the Norton and Hingham High School athletics and

was a mainstay at baseball, football, and basketball games. John was also a

major supporter of Bishop Feehan High School and Boston College Cross-

Country and Track and Field programs, where his children competed. His words

of encouragement, signature pipe, and Tam-‘o-Shanter Irish cap is etched in the

memory of many athletes at these meets to this day.


John was a life-long fan and 30-year season ticket holder of the Boston Red Sox,

attending his first game at Fenway with his father in 1936. Over the years, he

enjoyed watching many Red Sox games with his wife or children. He was also a

huge New England Patriots fan. One of his favorite memories was sharing the

very first Super Bowl victory in 2002 with his entire family.


He always savored a good meal, a cold Budweiser, and conversation with family,

the foundation of his life. John was the quintessential conversationalist, always

full of wisdom. He could talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything …. always

done with a big smile on his face. However, his “Gift of Gab” was much more

than small talk; he loved to share his many proverbs and quotes to anyone who

would listen, and he was quick to develop many new friends. To those closest to

him, he was inspiring mentor and coach.


John was passionate about Hingham. Having grown up there, he had such fond

memories and moved himself back in town in 2006. He loved the beautiful

community and the wonderful people, and he cherished having his family there

for the 4th of July parade. He spent many days walking the beach at the nearby

Nantasket beach in Hull, meeting new people and making new friends every day.

He was on the selection committee for the Hingham Sports Hall of Fame, the

historian, who had knowledge of athletes dating back to the 1930s as he had

attended their games in his youth. John was deeply involved with the Hingham

Senior Center and the local American Legion in his later years as well.


His Catholic faith was a constant in his life. Converting to Catholicism later in life,

he was a parishioner at St. Mark’s Church in Attleboro Falls. His faith helped him

survive loss and tragedy, losing his father when he was 11 years old then later

beloved wife, Frances. He passed his love of God onto his children and

grandchildren as well.


John is survived by two children: his son Michael (wife Melanie) Atwood of North

Attleborough, and his daughter Christine (husband David) Pomer of Belmont. He

is also survived by his six grandchildren: William, Megan, & Kelsey Atwood,

and Cameron, Michael, & Matthew Pomer.


His funeral, to which Relatives and Friends are most kindly invited to attend, will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, from the Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home, 15 Grove Street, North Attleborough at 9 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Mark’s Church, 105 Stanley Street, Attleboro Falls at 10 AM.

Interment with full military honors will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Attleboro Falls.

Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in the funeral home, from 4-7 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the form of a check may be made out to

the Norton Public Schools. It can be sent to 64 West Main Street, Norton, MA

02766 with a letter / notation that it will directed to The John B. Atwood

Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be presented to a SPED Student who will

attend college.