Deceased September 18, 2013
Put Breed died at his home on Sept. 18, 2013, after his fight with cancer. He is survived by his wife Laureen, four children as well as three brothers, three sisters, 10 grandchildren and several generations of nieces and nephews.
Put graduated from Lynn (Mass.) English High School and entered Amherst in 1956. I met Put across the hall in Stearns Dormitory and was his roommate at Alpha Theta Xi (The Zü) for three years. Many will remember Put for his courage in overcoming a near fatal burning over 80 percent of his body in 1954. His scars never deterred him from his always cheerful outlook.
At Amherst Put was a pre-med student and lacrosse player. He loved tinkering with an assortment of automobiles, and no one knew what car he would show up with next. As you will remember, freshmen could not have vehicles at Amherst, so many of us kept our cars in Northampton. Dave Shactman ’60 recalls the story of Put needing to have his car inspected. Put recruited Dave to go with him to get it done. After it passed, Put informed Dave that they needed to push the car out of the inspection station. Seems it had no reverse gear!
Put went on to the Boston University School of Medicine where he became a doctor in 1964. His timing was terrible as he was soon drafted into the U.S. Army. Put served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1966 to 1968. He received the Bronze Star, Combat Medics Badge and the Vietnam Service Award, first Cavalry Division, Vietnam 15th Medical Battalion. Translation, he served in what we remember as a MASH unit!
In 1971, he came to Newburyport, Mass., and practiced general surgery at Anna Jaques Hospital and Amesbury Hospital. He was a district medical examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as an aviation medical examiner. He was also a member of St. John’s Lodge, AF and AM, of Newburyport.
Put was interned in the family plot on a hillside where four generations of Dr. Breeds had been laid to rest. His service was conducted by the Freemasons with full military honors.
Put was an avid outdoor enthusiast. He loved to hunt, fish, kayak and canoe. He was also a private pilot, sailor, skier and gentleman former, who raised Morgan horses and golden retrievers. He enjoyed his home on Lake Attitash, which was a gathering place for all his extended family and friends, where he loved bird watching and taking all the kids water skiing and tubing.
One final “Putism” occurred at the burial ceremony. A friend recounted the story of when he was visiting Put at Lake Attitash he went windsurfing. Seems the wind died down, and he waved frantically for help in returning to the dock. A figure showed at the dock, and shortly the sea plane started up and came to his rescue. Asked why he did not use the ski boat … Put’s reply was he could not find the keys!
Put will always be in our memories, and his generous spirit will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.
John Bates ‘60