William Souther Brewster

  • Birth 17 Apr 1917
  • Death 16 Feb 2013
  • Burial Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Plot Brewster
  • Memorial ID 105684534

BOCA GRANDE, Fla. — William Souther Brewster, a prominent Boston businessman and a direct descendent of the Pilgrims' Elder William Brewster, died on February 16 at the age of 95, after suffering a stroke.

Mr. Brewster had served as chairman of the New England Aquarium, Trustee of the Plimoth Plantation and a Reagan appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. During his 45 year tenure as a Plimoth Plantation trustee, he helped oversee its evolution and participated in the acquisition of the Mayflower II, now a floating museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was a member of the crew that sailed the Mayflower II into New York harbor in 1957.

Throughout his life, Mr. Brewster was an active volunteer and leader in a variety of nonprofits. In addition to the New England Aquarium, he chaired the Massachusetts Bay United Fund, the Commercial Club of Boston, the Jordan Hospital of Plymouth and served on the national board of the Nature Conservancy and was president of the Massachusetts chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He served for 25 years as chairman of the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts, participating in many hands-on activities, such as banding the shorebirds known as red knots in Argentina, and worked with David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard, to help design the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Mr. Brewster was chief executive officer of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation of Boston, the largest maker of shoe manufacturing equipment worldwide during his tenure.

As a young man, he was an avid hunter and fisherman. This continued throughout his life. His hunting companions often included Bill Hewlett and David Packard, whose California ranch he frequented. He served on the board of the International Atlantic Salmon Foundation (of which he became vice-chairman emeritus).

Born on April 17, 1917, Mr. Brewster was a tenth-generation descendant and namesake of Elder William Brewster, the religious leader of the Pilgrims. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his father's and grandfather's alma mater, in 1939, and in 1959 graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard. His first wife, Lucile Christmas, was the daughter of Major General John K. Christmas. They married in 1945 and she died in 1992. In 1993, he married Malabar Hornblower, the widow of Plimoth Plantation founder Harry Hornblower. He and his wife resided in Orleans, Massachusetts, ever since.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Bartlett Christmas Brewster, his daughter Ellen Sibley Brewster, his brother Benjamin Barnes Brewster, his sisters Lois Roberts and Lydia Toll, his stepson Stephen Baird Brodeur, and his stepdaughter, Adrienne Willetts Brodeur.

A Memorial Service will be held on April 13, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First Parish Church, 19 Town Square, Plymouth, MA 02360. A Celebration of his life will immediately follow at the Plimouth Plantation, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA 02360.

Family Members






  • Created by: Mayflower Pilgrim 332
  • Added: 22 Feb 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 105684534
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Souther Brewster (17 Apr 1917–16 Feb 2013), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105684534, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Mayflower Pilgrim 332 (contributor 47081711) .