Mattapoisett remembers Horace Field

Nov 2, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — Dozens of well-wishers gathered at Munro Park in Mattapoisett on Monday, Nov. 1 to memorialize the late Horace Field III, a former Mattapoisett Harbormaster and military veteran who died in July.

Field was born in Salem and lived most of his life in Northfield, but spent much of his time in Mattapoisett. Over his long career in aviation, he lived and worked on six continents, traveling the world with the U.S. military, Kaman Aerospace and Sikorsky Helicopters. But he always returned to Mattapoisett.

“The town meant everything to him,” said Field’s son, Horace Field IV. “Mattapoisett was his community. He went around the world but always came back. It’s where he wanted to be.”

When Field III retired, he went back to school to get his harbormaster training and became Mattapoisett’s Harbormaster soon after.

“He was a great harbormaster. He just had a real nice way about him,” said Michael Gagne, former Mattapoisett Town Administrator whose tenure overlapped with Field III’s.

“I think what was strongest was his love of the environment,” said Gagne, citing Field III’s extensive work advocating for aquaculture practices, shellfish resource enhancement and the clean up of Nasketucket Bay.

Despite a last minute postponement of the event from Friday morning to Monday afternoon in the wake of this week’s nor’easter, Field III’s memorial was very well attended. Members of the Mattapoisett Police Department, Harbormaster’s Office and Select Board were there to pay their condolences in addition to countless other friends, relations, and past town officials.

“The outpouring of support from this community has been amazing, and it puts a silver lining on this difficult time,” Field IV said at the end of his speech. “It is hard to truly express my gratitude, but I’ll just say it makes saying goodbye to my dad a little less hard.”

When the eulogies were finished, two military members presented Field III’s widow, Karen, with a folded American flag and played “Taps” on the trumpet.

A plaque honoring Field III was also presented to the family. It will later be affixed to a harbormaster vessel.