John Davis Cushing


John Davis Cushing, 72, husband of Sarah Ridge Cushing, died on February 10, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.  John was the son of the late George Marston Cushing Jr. and Mary Margaret (Loring) Cushing.  

He grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts, and graduated from Dedham Country Day School and Milton Academy.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Lawrence University.  After college, while looking to furnish his apartment, his parents let him have a portion of their antiques, provided he fix them.  His uncle Francis Welch mentored him in their repair, and that led to his career in furniture repair and restoration.  It was a way for him to use his artistic skills.  He opened his business, John D. Cushing Antique Restoration, under the Post Office in Essex in the early 1970s.  He later moved it to his residence on Martin Street, where he continued working until recently.

John was an active birder.  He organized the Christmas Bird Count in Essex and took part in the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Bird-a-Thon for several years.  In recent years, he enjoyed watching the screech owls in his own backyard.

Photography was also a hobby of his.  His favorite subject was his son and his friends and classmates on their various adventures with school, Boy Scouts, skiing, sailing and camping.  As a nature lover, he also took many photographs from Conomo Point.                                                                                                                     

He met his wife at the Essex Historical Society’s annual potluck supper.  With their interest in history, he and Sarah were involved in bringing the Evelina M. Goulart, a 1927 Essex-built fishing schooner, back to Essex, and he later became President of the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum.

John was a member of the First Congregational Church of Essex.  He and Sarah were among the founders of the Essex Bay Sailing Club, serving on its Board for many years.                                                                                                   

In addition to his wife, John leaves his son, Samuel Appleton Cushing, of Newport, RI; sister, Margaret Channing Cushing of New York, NY; brothers, George Littleton Cushing and his wife Elizabeth Hunt, of Portland, ME, and Edward Baldwin Cushing, of Essex, as well as nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

A virtual service will be held on Saturday, February 27 at 10:00 a.m. It will be live streamed on the Church’s Facebook page.  

Arrangements are under the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, 66 Main Street, Essex, MA  01929 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD  21741  

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