Jack Wheatley Jr.Jack Wheatley

John Lewis Wheatley Jr., Arlington native and former owner of the town's oldest business, R.W Shattuck Hardware, died Monday, Jan. 8, at the age of 90; he would have turned 91 next month. Better known as "Jack," he followed his father into a career at the hardware store, which was first established in 1857. The business was sold to Jack's son in 2009 and now has four locations.

Jack was born in Arlington in 1933 to John L. Wheatley Sr. and Margaret Hewitt Wheatley. He attended Arlington High School, Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire and Middlebury College in Vermont.  Jack served in the U.S. Army and spent two years in Germany with his wife, Mona Meyers Wheatley, and their infant son, John III. The family later settled in Lexington.

Jack had a great passion for sports, according to his family. While in high school, he played baseball, and during his time in the service he was said to have organized a team. Jack also was a big Red Sox and Patriots fan who loved watching games each week with his kids.

Relatives and friends were invited to the memorial visitation at the DeVito Funeral Home in Arlington, 1145 Mass. Ave., on Monday, Jan. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Jack is remembered as an animal lover. As a child, he spent time on a farm in southern New Hampshire, where he developed his lifelong love for animals and nature. In recent years, every conversation between Jack and his daughters included questions and commentary about their pets’ latest antics. Throughout his life, he owned eight dogs -- and had at one point invested in Jersey cows at Billings Farm in Vermont.

He purchased an old farmhouse in Vermont in 1972, which he called Rochester, and embraced the role of "innkeeper" for his three children, seven grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many of their friends.

He is survived by his children, John Lewis Wheatley III, Linda Ann Wheatley and Allison Wheatley Bovard; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Jack loved spending time with his grandchildren; his obituary noted that he would often stay up late talking and laughing with them, or challenging them all to a game of cribbage or backgammon.

Jack relished being a valued part of the Arlington community and enjoyed maintaining decades-long relationships with his former customers and colleagues. 

Visit here >> to view an extended obituary and a link to an online guestbook.

Aug. 19, 2021: Shattuck to buy Wanamaker, merging years of hardware experience

This announcement was published Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, based on information from DeVito Funeral Home and the Wheatley family.