John Dwyer

Obituary of John Jay Dwyer



John J. Dwyer died peacefully at his home in Duxbury, Massachusetts, at the age of 83. His wife and family were with him at the time of his death.  Mr. Dwyer was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1937, the eldest of nine children of the late Timothy J. and Helen (Kelly) Dwyer. 


He attended the Newport public schools, graduated from De La Salle Academy, Providence College ‘58, and attended Boston University Law School.  He joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps Reserves as an enlisted man and was later commissioned a First Lieutenant.  He was active in all of his churches and most recently, at Holy Family Parish in Duxbury.  He began his business career with the Aetna Casualty and Surety Company of Hartford, Connecticut serving in several field offices at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio, before returning to Aetna’s Home Office where he served in numerous management positions in a host of departments and divisions until his retirement from Aetna in 1994. Following his retirement from Aetna, he and his wife moved to Bermuda to join his former colleague as Vice Chairman of Terra Nova (Bermuda) Holdings Ltd.  Mr. Dwyer became Executive Chairman of Terra Nova in 1997 and retired from the company when it was sold to the Markel Corporation of Virginia in 2000. Following his retirement from Terra Nova, he served as a director of Trenwick America Reinsurance Corporation. He also served as a director of Alleluia House, in Avon, CT, a director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Connecticut Institute for the Blind at Oak Hill, as well as a Corporator of the Hartford Seminary and St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.  In November of 2012 he was honored to receive the Bishop Cheverus Medal for his service to the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston from Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap. 


Mr. Dwyer is survived by his wife of fifty-nine years, Susan (Hatfield) of Duxbury and two children; Timothy J Dwyer and his wife Ivana of Stowe, Vermont, and Susan Dwyer Fitzgibbon and her husband John M. Fitzgibbon of Weston, MA, and six grandchildren: Madison G. and Alexa M. Dwyer of Stove, VT, Carmel A., Timothy S., John V. and Matthew M. Fitzgibbon of Weston, MA.  He was predeceased by a brother Timothy of Newport but survived by three brothers; David of Lyndonville, VT, Peter of Placerville, CA, and Charles of Ko Samui, Thailand, and four sisters, Susan Wallace, Patricia Ewenson, Mary Ellen Kirwin all of Newport and Libby Zorbas of South Carolina and many nieces and nephews.


A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10am on Friday at Holy Family Church in Duxbury, MA, followed by interment at the Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury.  In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate contributions to the Dwyer Scholarship Fund at Salve Regina University, Newport, R.I.  or Cranberry Hospice Care of Plymouth, MA

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