William Lynch “Porky” Curwen, 86, died on Feb 12, 2012 at home in Westwood, MA with his wife of 52 years, Ruth, and his two cats by his side. He was born in 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio, 3rd son of Henry Darcy Curwen and Carrie Lynch Curwen. He was raised in Exeter, New Hampshire, where his father was an instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Early schooling was through Exeter schools and Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1944.
Entering the Navy in June 1944, he was trained as an aircraft radar technician and saw service in the Pacific on Guam in l945 and Saipan in 1946. He was discharged from the Navy in June of 1946 with the rate of AETM2/c.
He entered Harvard in the fall of 1946, graduating with an A.B. in 1950. His activities during his undergraduate years: member of Spee Club and the Hasty Pudding-Institute of 1770, member of Harvard Student Council, Chairman of Winthrop House Committee, stroke oar, heavyweight crew, ’48 and ’49. Member, Permanent Class Committee of class of 1950.
He entered Boston University Medical School September 1950, graduating with an M.D. in 1954. He interned at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, Hanover, New Hampshire, followed by a residency in internal medicine at the Hitchcock Clinic and the VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont in from 1955-1956.
He had a residency in dermatology, Hitchcock Clinic, for the next three years under the tutelege of Walter C. Lobitz, Jr., M.D., then Secretary of the American Board of Dermatology, a well known investigator and teacher. During this time, he developed an interest in light hypersensitivity skin diseases which he continued to study when he moved to Boston in 1959 where he was the first full-time physician appointed by the Chief of Dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He continued research and teaching at the MGH for the following six years, published in such scientific journals as Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine and the AMA Archives of Dermatology. The research life was not to be, however, and he joined a multispecialty group in Dedham in the early 60s, where he practiced general dermatology for the next 35 years.
Outside of his professional life, he was equally active. A lifelong skier, his love of the mountains goes back to the summers spent as a hutman at Zealand in 1943 and various assignments given to him by Joe Dodge throughout his schooling. It was during this time that Joe called him “Porky”, a nickname all Old Hutmen knew him by as he attended many spring and winter runions through his lifetime connection with the OHA. In addition he was one of the early members of the Mount Washington Ski Patrol. Away from the mountains, he enjoyed clay target shooting and golf at the Dedham Country and Polo Club and shooting at the Minuteman Sportsmen’s Club. Summers were spent playing golf, fishing and endless puttering at an old family cottage in Southport Maine.
He retired from practice in 1996 and continued to live in Westwood, where he continued his myriad hobbies from ham radio to cooking candies to coaxing old reed organs back to life, and endeavored to live the good life.
He leaves his wife Ruth of Westwood, MA, his older son John of Tampa FL, who spent a summer working for the AMC Trail Crew in the early 80’s, a daughter Susan of Sedro Woolley, WA, and a younger son Austin of Kingham, Oxfordshire, UK and 6 grandchildren.
A memorial sevice will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Deerfield Avenue, Westwood, MA, Saturday, February 25 at 11:00 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108.