Cover photo for Merle Theodore Westlake's Obituary
Merle Theodore Westlake Profile Photo
1922 Merle 2008

Merle Theodore Westlake

April 19, 1922 — October 27, 2008

Merle T. Westlake, Jr., 86, died at his home in Lexington, MA on Monday, October 27, 2008.

Born on April 19, 1922 in Colerain, OH, he was a son of the late Merle T. and Virginia (Fox) Westlake. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife and noted artist Sarah (Lance) Westlake, brother, Paul E. Westlake, and four sisters, Alice Virginia Bonham, Margaret Schmitt, Ellen Holler and Ruth Westlake. He is survived by his sister Nancy Ault of Logan, OH, son Theodore L. Westlake of Kents Hill, ME, daughter Carol Westlake Quimby of Acton, MA, and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Mr. Westlake was a graduate of Martins Ferry High School, Martins Ferry, OH, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA, and The Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. He was a veteran of World War II, served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army 281st Engineer Combat Battalion and was wounded in Germany in 1945. After receiving a Master of Architecture and Urban Design Degree from Cranbrook, he worked for Eliel and Eero Saarinen. He also worked as an Associate in the architectural firm of Lawrie & Green, Harrisburg, PA, then joined Hugh Stubbins & Associates, Cambridge MA, in 1963, retiring as Senior Vice President and Director in 1991. He was principal architect for numerous major works, including College 5, Santa Cruz, CA, Shiraz Technical Institute, Iran, Pusey Library, Harvard University, Rowland Institute for Science, Cambridge, MA, Omnimax Theater, Boston Museum of Science, Erie Insurance Group Headquarters, Erie, PA, Crerar Science Library, University of Chicago, and the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA.

He was elected member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows and Academician of the National Academy of Design. He devoted many years to the study of his ancestor, Josiah Fox, naval architect and principal in the design of ships for the U.S. Navy during the first four administrations of the United States.

Mr. Westlake traveled extensively throughout the world and was an accomplished architect, artist, author and historian.

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