Arthur “Art” Westgate, a renowned jack-of-all-trades, passed away on July 21, 2021. A handyman, event planner, former cranberry grower, mechanic, carpenter, CDL truck driver, welder, former Superintendent for Plymouth County Mosquito Control and pit crew member, Art could fix any motor or build just about anything. He was an active resident of the Wareham (1944-1995), Rochester (1995-2005) and Oak Point, Middleborough (2005-2021) communities.
Art was born to Almon Westgate Jr. and Dorothy “Dot” (Flood) Westgate of South Wareham on November 8, 1944. The devoted husband of Dorine L. (Boucher) Westgate, they just celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary. Art is survived by four daughters, Denise Pavao and her husband Jeffrey Pavao (Freetown, MA), Laurie Hesketh and her husband Scott Wybranski (West Chester, PA), Lynelle Smith and her husband Michael Smith (Rochester, MA) and Heather Brown and her husband Edwin Brown (Wareham, MA). Arthur is the brother of the late Almon Westgate, III (Wareham, MA), the late Douglas Westgate (Wareham, MA), Viella Anderson and her husband Michael (Holiday, FL), Brenda Messina and her husband Frank (Orrington, ME) and Wendy Westgate (Wareham, MA). Art was a proud, patient, and loving grandfather to Patrick Hesketh (Bloomfield, NJ), Justin, Evan, and Kyle Smith (Rochester, MA), Edwin “Eddie” Brown (West Wareham, MA) and Cogan, Ian, and Alayna Wybranski (West Chester, PA).
Art was proud of his South Wareham roots and loved to regale anyone who would lend an ear with captivating stories of his mischievous adventures and colorful childhood.
Art demonstrated his own brand of spirituality through a life of non-stop service to others. He fed people, helped the sick, disabled –anyone in need - and demonstrated his love for family, friends and acquaintances with selfless acts of service. He lived his values. A life-long volunteer in many local service organizations, his absence will be felt by many. Service to others is Art’s greatest achievement.
Art was a member of the Lions Club since 1994, first in Rochester then Middleborough. He is well-known for his contributions to this organization and its mission. The Lions honored him with their highest awards - The Melvin Jones Fellow Award for Humanitarian Service, The Sight Award from Massachusetts Lions Eye Research, Best President in the Region, and Lion of the Year - the wall of his home office is decorated with his many service awards. Art was a leader, mentor and someone who would “do”. He lived the Lions motto “We Serve” and was known to wear his Lions pin daily and carry a membership application for Lions in his wallet everywhere he went. He was also an active volunteer for both the Council on Aging (COA) in Middleborough and the COA in Rochester. He was one of the founders and co-chairs of the now annual Rochester Country Fair and former member of the Improved Order of the Redmen in Wareham. Art was voted by the Standard Times and Rochester Town Officers as “Rochester Man of Year” in 2000 for his contributions to seniors, the disabled and families in need.
Always up for a good prank, Art was famous for putting skunks and sardines where they didn’t belong. An avid environmentalist, he was a recycling pioneer who was not afraid to back up on the highway to retrieve wayward cans or bottles. When not in action, Arthur loved to watch car racing, football, baseball, hockey, golf (often simultaneously). Basketball, bowling and any other sports program were also acceptable entertainment. His favorite meal for Saturday evenings was kidney beans and hot dogs. This was inevitably followed by his favorite game – pull-my-finger. He has willed his “Book of Swears” to his grandchildren who claim to have learned new words on RV camping trips with Art, Dorine and other members of the Whaling City Sams.
The father of four daughters, Art was not intimidated by strong women and didn’t mind being the only rooster in the hen house. He counted many women on his list of close friends. Often, he was the only gentleman at his Oak Point bingo table and was the go-to helper for many residents at Oak Point.
Art’s fondness for gambling was real. It was tough for Art to pass a convenience store without stopping for a scratch ticket. Dorine enticed him to travel by plotting casinos along the route. He possessed a unique ability to sense when a slot machine would pay off in the next 8 hours and was willing to wait. Art was unwilling to leave a casino before all his winnings were reinvested – this sometimes meant unpredictably long days (much to the chagrin of his companions who were often less confident and ready to leave well before he was).
Well-known for his car rides, a simple breakfast outing might also include an unexpected tour or two along the coast, stops at yard sales or journeys through flea markets. Most car trips included ice-cream. All included stories. Seat belts were optional despite the car’s audible insistence on them. (Art couldn’t hear those). Some chose to forgo his easy company in favor of self-determination - once you were captive in his car, your time was no longer your own.
Art’s ability to fix any machine has led to some interesting transportation choices. From trucks rescued from the junkyard to go-carts, his El Camino, motorcycles, RVs, golf carts and, most recently, his two-seat mobility scooter, Art was often recognized by the colorful vehicle he drove.
He always took pride in his entertainment systems, was always up for a party and loved to dress the part. Parades were a favorite as they combined many of his favorite things – community, silly attire, interesting transportation choices and good cheer. Art will be fondly remembered by his family, his many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and his many, many accumulated friends.
Dorine would like to invite you to a Celebration of Life in his honor. Your own stories and memories of Art will be welcome.
Thursday, July 29, 2021, from 3:00 – 6:00pm
Oak Point Ballroom
200 Oak Point Drive
Middleborough, MA 02346
Please see the links at the bottom of this obituary.
(There will be a receiving line from 3:00 to 4:15 for those who wish to pay respects followed by a presentation by the Lions Club and several folks who would like to pay tribute with their own memories of Art.)
In lieu of flowers, please donate any used prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids to your local Lions Club chapter or bring them to the Celebration of Life on Thursday. Additionally, donations can be made to the Middleborough Lions club at Middleborough Lions Club, PO Box 323, Middleborough MA 02346.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur L. "Art" Westgate, please visit our floral store.
Middleborough Lions club
PO BOX 323, Middleborough MA 02346