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Calvert Magruder of Cambridge, formerly of Maumee OH, Sewickley, Pa., and South Tamworth, N.H., died on Saturday July 21 of congestive heart failure at his home in Cambridge while under hospice care. He was 91. He was born in Boston on May 17, 1927, to then Professor (later Federal Judge) Calvert Magruder and Anna Saltonstall (Ward) Magruder, known as Anita.
Mr. Magruder was educated at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and in 1951 participated in the teacher training course at that school. He attended the Avon Old Farms school in Connecticut. When Avon closed in 1944 during the war, Mr. Magruder completed his senior year at the Browne and Nichols School. In 2006, on what would have been the 60th reunion of his class at Avon, he was awarded an Honorary diploma and spoke at the commencement. One of the graduates later wrote him that his talk was the highlight of the proceedings, because of his deep knowledge of the history of the school.
In 1945, at the age of seventeen, Mr. Magruder enlisted in the Naval reserve and was activated a year later, serving in the Pacific and South China Seas on the destroyer USS Norris.Upon discharge, he entered the Harvard College class of 1950, the largest class in Harvard’s history with the return of veterans of many ages. He was very loyal to the University and to his class, and served on reunion committees for many years. As a teacher, he worked closely with local Harvard Clubs, interviewing prospective candidates for admission. In the early 1950’s Mr. Magruder was employed as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. He then received a Masters degree in History from Brown University. Mr. Magruder taught American and European history at the Fessenden School in Newton, Mass., at the Maumee Valley Country Day School near Toledo, Ohio, and at the Sewickley Academy In Pennsylvania. He also coached soccer and other sports. His soccer team at Maumee compiled an enviable record of 60-20-2.
In recent years, he expressed concern about the low priority many High Schools accorded the teaching of history, paraphrasing the aphorism of the Philosopher George Santayana that “those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it.” Eventually, he returned to Cambridge, which he loved, but remarked to family and friends that he felt very comfortable in the Midwest. Mr. Magruder was known never to turn down a party invitation. He loved to sing, and was a member of the Christ Church Cambridge choir for thirty years, participating into his eighties. He would recount old stories in rich detail and possessed an astonishing memory for the words of songs, poems, and historic speeches, which he could recite at will. He kept himself informed about current events and political affairs, and was a devotee of the New York Times. Mr Magruder was known as kind and thoughtful, and for his enduring loyalty to family and friends.
He leaves his brother Michael, of Cambridge and several cousins, as well as his wonderful caregivers Rebeccah and Sylvia. His brother Robert Stuart Magruder died in 2014. Mr. Magruder was a descendant of the Calverts, the proprietors of Maryland, and was a great-great-great grandson of the lexicographer Noah Webster. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Episcopal, Zero Garden Street, Cambridge, on Saturday, September 22 at 11.00 A.M. Donations in his memory may be made to Christ Church.
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