In Memoriam: Weston "Dusty" Howland Jr.


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of Honorary Trustee and Honorary Member Weston “Dusty” Howland, Jr. on May 8, 2009.   Dusty served as a Member of the Corporation from 1982 to 1994, when he was elected an Honorary Member of the Corporation.   He served as a Trustee from 1987 to 1995, when he was elected an Honorary Trustee.  He served on many Board committees, including Executive (for ten years), Investment, Nominating, Ships (later Access to the Sea), and the Deep Ocean Exploration Institute Committee.  

Dusty was born May 13, 1924.  He grew up in Milton and attended Milton Academy.  Upon graduation, he joined the Army, and during World War II was stationed in China, India and Burma, earning the rank of lieutenant in the OSS.  In 1949, Dusty earned an A.B. degree from Harvard College and founded the investment advisory firm Howland Capital Management.  Dusty was president and treasurer of Devonshire Associates and of Warwick Mills Holding Company, one of the few textile mills still operating in New England.

Dusty, an active philanthropist, served on numerous boards.  One of his first volunteer involvements was as a member of the Boston City Hospital Board under then Mayor John Collins.  He was later asked by Mayor Collins to help bring an aquarium to the Boston area, and, working with other dedicated volunteers, he helped create what is now the New England Aquarium.  He served as a Trustee of Boys’ and Girls’ Camps, Civic Education Foundation, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Naushon Trust, New England Aquarium Corporation, Plimoth Plantation, and Tufts University (Trustee Emeritus).  His belief in the importance of education led to his funding educational fellowships at several of the institutions he was associated with.  

Dusty and his late wife, Melita U. (Seipp) Howland, lived in Weston and spent summers in Chilmark and on Naushon Island.  Dusty, an avid fisherman and sailor, was a member of the Edgartown Yacht Club.  

Dusty is survived by his daughter, Susan M. Davidson; his son, Weston “Tony” Howland, III, a Member of the Corporation of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and six grandchildren.  He is survived by one brother, Hester Whitcher, and one sister, Judith Cook.  Dusty was the father of the late Henry H. Howland and brother of the late John S. Howland and the late David M. Howland.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543.


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