Ward Hill — Dexter E. Greer, 89, lifelong resident of Ward Hill, Haverhill, Mass., passed away on March 23, 2014.
At age 17, Dexter joined the Marines, Regimental Weapons Company, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Marine Division, shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked. It is unknown whether he had his mother’s permission to sign up, or if he did it on his own. He was a highly decorated veteran of some of WWII’s bloodiest battles; Tarawa (November 1943), Saipan (June-July 1944), Tinian (July-August 1944), and Okinawa (April-June 1945). Dexter was also a “Nuclear Veteran” having entered Nagasaki, Japan, after the bomb was dropped to help with the very early days of reconstruction. He was highly decorated with many medals, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with a “V” for Valor.
Post-war, he was employed as a mechanic for his entire work life and well known for his engine diagnostic capabilities, welding and hydraulics. He worked for Marble Motors of Haverhill, Mass., Appleyard’s in Methuen, Mass., Rockingham Race Track in Salem, N.H., and Massachusetts Electric in North Andover, Mass. After his retirement, Dexter enjoyed reconnecting with military buddies, working with his son, Tom, and puttering in his garage.
His dedication to veterans is well known and he was single handedly responsible for bringing back the Ward Hill WWII Veterans Memorial on Main Street. He personally organized and financed the memorial, as it was very important to him that his fellow Ward Hill WWII veterans not be forgotten. His name is also documented in the WWII Veteran Memorial in Washington, D.C.
As a member of “The Greatest Generation,” Dexter embodied the qualities and personality characteristics of dedication to his country, loyalty and kindness. His generosity is known around his community for anonymously providing financial and fuel oil assistance for those less fortunate. He also dedicated much of his time helping fellow veterans to receive the benefits they deserved.