J. Prewitt Wehle, Tiverton

wehle obit

wehle obitBusiness executive, concerned citizen

J. Prewitt Wehle of Tiverton passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 21, 2013, after a sudden illness.  Prewitt was born on August 23, 1926, in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest child of Fred and Lydia (Prewitt) Wehle.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Morrison Wehle; his children, Lawton Wehle Fitt of New York City, Sarah Wehle of Milton, Mass., and Amy Morrison Wehle of Amherst, Mass.; and his three grandsons, James Prewitt Hays-Wehle, Henry Hays-Wehle, and Elliott Hays-Wehle.  He was a brother of the late Fred Wehle Jr. and the late Mary Anderson Seay.

Prewitt grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Louisville Male High School.  After service in the U.S. Navy, he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1947, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1950.

He worked as an electrical engineer, project manager, program manager and finally vice-president, engineering, for several telecommunications companies including GTE-Sylvania and GTE-International in the Boston area and Reliance Comm/tech in Chicago.  In 1983-1984, he served as president of the U.S. Telecommunications Suppliers Association.  He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.

He and his wife bought a home in Tiverton in 1974 and, when Prewitt retired in 1991, he was delighted to settle there full-time.

Prewitt was active throughout his life in community activities.  In Tiverton, he served on the Harbor Commission, the Planning Board and the Comprehensive Town Plan Committee, and was an active participant in the Tiverton Land Trust fundraising committee.

An avid reader, particularly of history and biography, Prewitt enjoyed classical music, jazz and the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Known to his grandchildren as the “E.P.” (Exalted Patriarch), he will be remembered for his sense of humor, quick wit, encyclopedic memory and especially for deep love of his family.

Arrangements for a memorial service will be made at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Rhode Island Foundation, Tiverton Land Trust Fund,  One Union Station, Providence, RI 02903.

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