American Veteran 02
Official Obituary of

Herb Gay Vinnicombe

October 12, 1924 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 99) 99 Years Old

Herb Vinnicombe Obituary

Herbert Gay Vinnicombe passed away peacefully on February 5th at the age of 99. He was born in Newton, MA, to Edward John and Blanche Gay Vinnicombe. His father, a British immigrant who had come to the United States in his late teens, developed a fine career in the hospitality industry. Herb spent his early years in Nashua, NH, at the Nashua Country Club, where his father was general manager, and then moved to Weston, MA, while his father managed the Women’s Republican Club of Boston. Herb attended Weston High School where he first met Anne Whitney. While there, his father became ill and could no longer work, so Herb worked each day before and after school to help his parents make ends meet. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Army Air Service, Signal Corps, serving from 1943 to 1946. On a chance encounter while on furlough in Weston, he met Anne again, and after three days asked her to marry him. They wed in the fall of 1947, and shared a journey of 64 years.

Herb worked as a salesman, then later a regional manager for Lever Brothers, selling their products to grocery stores in Western Massachusetts. In 1954 he and Anne visited Wolfeboro, where they had previously vacationed, and where Herb had spent a summer in his teens at Camp Belknap. They purchased Clearwater Lodges on Lake Winnipesaukee, a summer cottage colony and the mainstay of many vacationers to this day, and raised their three children, Herb Jr. (Chip), Anne, and Patty. They were active members of the First Congregational Church for many years. In addition to Clearwater Lodges, Herb worked in the ski industry, starting at Gunstock, then began a lengthy career with Carroll Reed Ski Shops, managing all their ski shops across New England, and as the head buyer of ski and camping equipment. In Wolfeboro he created the annual Ski and Skate sale that has benefited local charities for 50 years.

Following the untimely death of their daughter, Patty, Herb retired from the ski business, and he and Anne spent many winters sailing their ketch, the Clearwater II, down the inland waterway from Oxford, MD to Boca Grande, FL. As a devoted Rotarian, and a Paul Harris Fellow, Herb served as District Governor from 1989 to 1990. Following his term, he focused on the Rotary Youth Exchange program. He and Anne traveled the world, visiting Rotary chapters, promoting the program by sharing his knowledge and experience. Herb also volunteered as the Director of Operations at the Ledges and Christian Ridge in Wolfeboro for more than 20 years supporting the meal service for residents, promoting a culture of community, and helping in the expansion of housing in both locations. Their relationship with Wolfeboro became legendary, and the town honored Herb and Anne as Citizens of the Year. In 2001, Herb and Anne brought their granddaughter and husband, Aynne and André deBeer, to Wolfeboro to manage Clearwater Lodges, which continues to this day, establishing the third and fourth generations in the family business.

After his wife Anne passed away in 2011, Herb maintained a familiar presence in Wolfeboro, enjoying coffee at the Huggins Hospital cafeteria, lunches and dinners at favorite local restaurants, Thursday night dinners at the Episcopal Church, and visits to the library to read the local paper and chat with patrons and staff. He also could be seen at Abenaki Ski Area watching his great grandchildren on the slopes saying, “I have no regrets, it’s been a great run.”

Herb is predeceased by his wife Anne, his daughter Patty and his brother Edward. He is survived by his son Herb Jr. (Cathy), daughter and caregiver Anne, grandchildren Aynne deBeer (Andre), Alexis Bové (Mike), Bryce Winkler (Daniel), Alex Goldschmidt (Ross Girard), and ten great grandchildren, Tessa Mehigan (Michael), Daniel, Samuel, Joshua, Madeleine, Alexandra, Olivia, George, Abel, and Kiara. A memorial service is planned for a future date.

Please consider a donation to the Abenaki Outing Club, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization,

Lord Funeral Home will be assisting the family with arrangements,

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