The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 23, 2008


Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey R. Stutz to speak on Memorial Day

Carlisle will hold its traditional Memorial Day Observances on Monday, May 26, beginning at

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey R. Stutz (Courtesy photo)

9:30 a.m. on the Common with the raising of the flag to half-staff by the Colonial Minutemen. There will be a convocation in Corey Auditorium at 10 a.m.

Selectman Tim Hult will act as master of ceremonies at the convocation, and the featured speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey R. Stutz of East Street. An active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force, Col. Stutz is Chief of the Electronic Warfare Systems Division, 950th Electronic Systems Group, at the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base. Col. Stutz is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and has served in a variety of acquisition, engineering, intelligence and staff assignments.

The convocation will be followed by a parade to the cemeteries and war memorials, led by Parade Marshal Scott Evans. Following the parade, the flag will be raised to full-staff, and the traditional ham and bean luncheon will be served in Union Hall.

Wilson Chapel in Green Cemetery will be open between 2 and 4 p.m. on Memorial Day, hosted by the Historical Society. The Chapel is available for use during funerals by arrangement with the DPW. (Photo by Betsy Fell)

A dedication ceremony for the memorials honoring the Wilson/Andreassen family will be included as part of the convocation, and the memorials (at the Police and Fire Stations, and the Town Hall) will be open for viewing between noon and 2 p.m. The messages inscribed on the memorials are reprinted below:

Waldo Wilson

“Waldo Wilson was the first fire chief for the Town of Carlisle, serving from 1927 until
Waldo Wilson. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

his retirement in 1978. Following a disastrous fire in the center of town in 1926, a municipal fire department was established by a vote of the 1927 Annual Town Meeting. Waldo, who as a young man had developed an interest in firefighting and the Carlisle Volunteer Fire Company, was appointed chief by the Board of Selectmen immediately thereafter. At 27 years of age he also had the distinction of being Carlisle’s youngest fire chief.

Chief Wilson also served as the forest fire warden and led the fire department through many years of growth and innovation. In his tenure he trained volunteers and expanded the department from five men to a 20-man team with six trucks, a boat and a supply of wheel- driven equipment. He brought to Carlisle the first two-way radio system and established the first municipal fire alarm system which included the fire horn that sits atop the fire station today. He also set up the emergency ring-down telephone system for alerting the call fire fighters. Over the years Chief Wilson developed a plan for strategically locating water holes around town in an effort to provide better fire protection for the community. In 1931 he oversaw the purchase of Carlisle’s first fire truck, Engine 1, which was built entirely by the local talent: members of the Carlisle Fire Department. This truck was restored in 2002 and is kept in service today for celebrations and ceremonial events. Chief Wilson helped acquire many other pieces of innovative fire-fighting equipment including: tanker trucks, portable pumps, a rescue boat, portable generators and the Emerson Resuscitator. He also purchased the town’s first four-wheel drive forest fire truck in 1961. In 1975 Waldo Wilson was named Carlisle’s most honored citizen. With 52 years of service Waldo retired in 1978, but not before overseeing the training of fire fighters as emergency medical technicians. He maintained the town’s emergency telephones and radios in the den of his home on Concord Street. During his tenure as Chief, Mrs. Wilson (Esther) answered the telephones and radios 24 hours a day, 365 days a year until her retirement in 1979. A central communications department for the police and fire departments was then established and now operates out of the Carlisle police station on Lowell street, the former fire station site.

Waldo Danforth Wilson was born and raised in Carlisle. His ancestors had settled in Carlisle in 1868. His grandfather, Captain Horace Wilson, was a very prominent businessman who operated the Wilson Stock Farm on South Street. The farm was Waldo’s boyhood home which he shared with his sister Ethlyn, his mother Sarah and his father Ernest. Waldo’s grandfather is kindly remembered for his magnificent gift to the Town: the Wilson Chapel in Green Cemetery. Waldo was on hand at the age of six to turn the first shovel of earth for its construction on September 26, 1906. Years later he met and married Esther Carcano who was a teacher in the Highland building at the Carlisle Schools. In 1935, he and Esther settled on Concord Street where they lived for over 50 years. Waldo also served as the town accountant for over 50 years. Waldo and Esther had two daughters, Sarah (Andreassen) and Mary (Gillespe). Chief Wilson was an extraordinary individual who possessed a true love and dedication for his community. Carlisle was his home and his life. For over five decades he worked tirelessly to provide for the safety and security of his fellow citizens.”


Esther Wilson

Esther Wilson (Courtesy photo)

“For over four decades Esther Wilson served her community of Carlisle as the sole dispatcher for public safety emergency services. The wife of Carlisle’s first fire chief, she provided this essential service seamlessly. She exemplified dedication to the community in the true sense by maintaining the town’s telephone and radio communications center out of the den in her home, twenty-four hours a day, continuously, for over forty years. Her life was an example of selflessness, always putting the needs of the community above her own.

Esther was an avid reader and was always up to date on current events, both in town and around the world. Known for her meticulous record-keeping and possessing an amazing memory, she also provided historical perspectives as none other could. She was an extraordinary resource, unparalleled in today’s world, for any town official, resident or visitor. Talking with her, one immediately saw the love and devotion she had for her town.

When she retired in 1979, the Town established an entire department to replace her at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. Today, a state of the art communications center dedicated in her memory occupies space at the Carlisle police station, the former fire station site.

Esther (Carcano) Wilson, born in Pueblo, Colorado, was the daughter of Peter and Mary B. (Wright) Carcano. Educated in the Boston Public Schools she later graduated from Boston Normal School and became a teacher in Boston and then later in Stow before moving to Carlisle to become a first- and second- grade teacher at the Highland School On June 14, 1935 she married Waldo D. Wilson. They settled on Concord Street just outside of Carlisle center. She and Waldo raised two daughters, Sarah (Andreassen) and Mary (Gillespe).

In 1971 Mrs. Wilson received Carlisle’s most honored citizen award and has the unique distinction of being the first Carlisle citizen to receive this award on Old Home Day.”


Sarah Andreassen

“For over 25 years as Town Accountant and over 15 years as Town Clerk, Sarah
Sara Andreassen (Courtesy photo)
Andreassen served her community with dedication beyond compare. She perpetuated a legacy of family service to the town of Carlisle unmatched in its history. With class and gracefulness, from her office at Town Hall, she had her finger on the pulse of her community and her heart in all that we did. Sarah’s meticulous record-keeping, her historical perspective and her loyalty to her beloved hometown will serve as fine examples for future generations. We are grateful for her contributions to the Town of Carlisle and hope that her steadfastness, her dignity and her courage will inspire us all.” ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito