Half Staff – David Jeffries

May 7, 2010
(Milton) David Jeffries, 85, died May 7, 2010 at Milton Healthcare from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Mr. Jeffries was born in Boston and moved with his family to Milton as an infant. He graduated from Milton Academy in 1942 and from Harvard College, class of 1946. His undergraduate studies were interrupted by three years of service in the Army. He earned a Master of Science degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951.Mr. Jeffries was an applied physicist, working at Photoswitch, Electronics Corporation of America, Baird Atomic, ADE, Cleon, and most recently Groton Technology. He was one of the US Government’s most sought after scientists, leading the design and development of infrared detectors and instruments for use in military applications. With Cleon he developed radioisotope imagers for diagnostic medicine. A founder of Groton Technology, Mr. Jeffries engineered optics for liquid chromatography and electrophoresis.

Mr. Jeffries served as the chair of the Milton Warrant Committee, the School Committee, and the School Energy Committee, and was a Town Meeting Member for more than forty years. He served as President of Milton Hospital and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Curry College, for which he was honored with a doctoral degree 1989.

Mr. Jeffries loved sailing and raced his Flying Scot for seventeen years out of Sandy Bay Yacht Club in Rockport, MA. In1989 he sailed across the Atlantic to Ireland in Puffin, his 34’ Sabre, which he then kept in Europe for three years, sailing around Ireland, the west coast of Scotland, returning via Spain and Portugal with the trade winds.

He is survived by Marjorie Shaw Jeffries, his wife of 58 years, his children, Benjamin Lyon Jeffries, Linda Shaw Jeffries and her husband Sergio Bassi, Peter van Wickle Jeffries and his wife Pamela Thompson, William Quincy Jeffries and his wife Jean, and Edward Faulkner Jeffries and his wife Jan. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Miriam and Peter Bassi, Nathaniel and Thomas Jeffries, and Ailsa Jeffries, and by his sister Miriam Whitney, and brothers John, Benjamin, and Peter.

Mr. Jeffries belonged to the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, the Union Boat Club, and The Cruising Club of America. He loved playing tennis and working in the woods on his tree farm in Milton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of the Blue Hills, P.O. Box 416, Milton, MA 02186, The Milton Foundation for Education, P.O. Box 223, Milton, MA 02186, or The American Chestnut Foundation, 160 Zillicoa Street, Suite D, Asheville, NC 28801. A memorial service will be held at Milton Academy, Apthorp Chapel, 170 Centre Street, Milton, MA on May 22, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Interment private.