Ian MacPherson Of Bridgehampton Dies June 19


Ian Keith MacPherson died at his Bridgehampton home on June 19. He was 91.

Mr. MacPherson’s life spanned the globe. He was born in London on May 9, 1923, to Esther May Barnes and Donald MacPherson and raised in South London. He lost his father at age 12 and soon thereafter his older brother, Alan, left home for dental studies. He spent summers in Sandown on the Isle of Wight interspersed with trips to Ayrshire in Scotland to visit family.

As a child he had a passion for model trains. He attended the Alleyn’s school in Dulwich beginning in 1932. He stayed with his mother during the early years of the war, while his brother was abroad serving in North Africa.

He began his working career at age 17 in 1940 at a chartered accountancy firm. In early 1941 he learned that the Navy was looking for radio operators. After a six-month training course, he joined the British Merchant Navy as a marine operator and went to sea for five years, from October 1941 to 1946. Of his many ports of call, in one Russian port he acquired a motorcycle, which was to be his main mode of transportation for the decade ahead. Following his service with the Merchant Navy, Mr. MacPherson pursued engineering studies at the City University of London. While there, he started the university’s sailing club.

Upon graduation, Mr. MacPherson secured a job with Marconi and found he was traveling the world once again. His first assignment was in Egypt, where he lived in Cairo and Alexandria. In the late 1950s, following his first marriage to Aline Goldie, he was posted to Ecuador for two years. Their eldest daughter, Cayre, was born there. In 1961, in pursuit of work in the United States, he left Marconi for California, where he worked for GTEI. His second daughter, Michele, was born in 1963 in San Mateo. His career brought him and his family to New York in the mid-1960s.

He was divorced in 1969, and was introduced to Phyllis Pieper shortly thereafter. They were married on April 18, 1970. In 1971, after he secured a job with ITT Europe, Mr. MacPherson and his wife moved to Brussels. In 1976 they returned to the United States and a new job at Satellite Transmissions Systems in Smithtown. Following Mr. MacPherson’s retirement, they settled full time in Bridgehampton.

Having traveled so much of the world in his younger years, Mr. MacPherson was eager to revisit many of his favorite places with his wife. He loved England, particularly London, the Isle of Wight, and Devon, and France and Italy. But most of all he loved returning to the home they built in Bridgehampton.

He was an avid reader of non-fiction and biographies. He loved chess and he had a great taste for music, particularly appreciating Brazilian jazz and classical guitar. He took up painting later in life when he first retired, dabbled in golf, became a formidable croquet partner and decided that learning Italian at 89 would help keep his brain sharp. The BBC news and the crossword puzzle were a must in his daily routine.

In autumn 2012, after working and living in the United States for some 50 years and being married to an American for 42 years, Mr. MacPherson decided to apply for U.S. citizenship. Despite missing his first swearing-in appointment, he became an American in November 2012. That same year revealed another milestone in his life when he was awarded the Arctic Star, by Prime Minister David Cameron, for his service during World War II in the waters north of the Arctic Circle.

Survivors said Mr. MacPherson was a man of incredible integrity, with a strong sense of commitment. His work, both professionally and following retirement, demonstrated the diligence that he would dedicate to any project he undertook. Until recently he was an active participant in the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, addressing transportation issues. Survivors said he had many friends in the Bridgehampton community who will remember his genuine kindness and his sense of fairness together with his dry sense of humor.

Mr. MacPherson is survived by his wife, Phyllis Pieper MacPherson; two daughters, Cayre MacPherson Michas and Michele MacPherson; and three grandchildren, Jason, Zoe and Gordon Michas.

A funeral service was held at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton on June 23; burial followed at Edgewood Cemetery in Bridgehampton. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton.

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