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John B. Pierce, Jr.

John B. Pierce, Jr.
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John B. Pierce, Jr., 59, died suddenly on April 10, 2008 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He was senior vice president of Yankee Publishing and group publisher of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

John was born July 4, 1948, in Boston, the son of John B. Pierce, Sr., and the late Helen (Merrill) Pierce, and grew up on their dairy farm in Brentwood, New Hampshire.

An athlete and a scholar, John graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1967 and Dartmouth College in 1971, where he explored his lifelong passions for botany and literature.

He moved to Dublin, New Hampshire, and joined Yankee Magazine in 1973. In 1977, at age 29, he was promoted to managing editor, a position he held during the next 14 years, a time when the magazine received numerous national awards for excellence. In 1992 he brought his keen intellect to the role of publisher, and later group publisher, of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and shepherded that venerable publication until his unexpected death.

In the workplace John led with quiet dignity, wisdom, and a passion for excellence. He was known as the voice of reason, a gifted listener, and after a lengthy discussion, invariably everyone looked to John, awaiting his considered opinion. When word of John’s passing spread through Yankee’s wide community of writers and publishing contacts, the response was that everyone had lost a personal friend. “A good man who always spoke the truth,” one said.

As great as John’s contributions were in his professional life, his lasting legacy remains his family.

He met his wife of 14 years, Sherin Wight, at Yankee and together, with Sherin as publisher and John as group publisher, they built The Old Farmer’s Almanac into a unique and dynamic enterprise, as they made their home and garden a beautiful and restful retreat. His children, Dr. Kristen K. Pierce of Monkton, Vermont, Michael F. Pierce of Dana Point, California, and Alexander Wight Pierce and Jamie Pierce of Dublin, New Hampshire, and grandchildren, Liam and Miles Peterson and Isaac Pierce, remained the core of his life. His quiet strength and grace live on in them.

He is also survived by his father, John B. Pierce, Sr., of Gunnison, Colorado; three brothers, Peter, William, Matt; and a sister, Pamela.

Visiting hours were Wednesday, April 16, 2008, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jellison Funeral Home in Peterborough NH. A memorial service followed by a reception was held on Thursday, April 17, 2008, at 2 p.m. at All Saints Church in Peterborough, NH.

Gifts in his name may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, New Hampshire Office, One Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 105, Bedford, NH 03110.


Click below to read three of John’s articles from Yankee Homes.

Media Attachments

John Pierce articles

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Friday, April 11th, 2008

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17 Responses to John B. Pierce, Jr.

  1. Lori Pedrick April 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    I’ve had the great fortune of working with John for the past several months as a new member of the Yankee family. I was fortunate to experience, if only for a short while, his wisdom and amazing spirit. My heart goes out to his family and those here at Yankee who I know will dearly miss him.

  2. Nora Naple April 11, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    From Pacific Beach, Washington. My husband and I wish the family condolences, we are sorry for your loss, and to his extended “family” at Yankee. He will be truly missed.

  3. Don Starke April 12, 2008 at 3:40 am #

    From Tallahassee, Florida. As a long time reader of the Farmers Almanac, I give my condolenses to the family and to his extended “family” at Yankee.

  4. Ardith Blessinger April 12, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    My family and I are long time readers of the Farmers Almanac. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. s. borolov April 12, 2008 at 7:09 pm #

    I am so sorry for his family and friends loss. Peace be with him, and his family. I hope he’ll be a guardian angel to all of them. You and yours are in my prayers.

  6. george a benoit April 13, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    I am a longtime reader of the Farmers Almanac. My family I send our sympathy for your loss. May God bless your family. The Benoit Family, Canada.

  7. rachel kipka April 13, 2008 at 6:44 pm #

    I’ve worked with John for more than a decade. It has been an utter shock to hear about John’s passing. It brings me profound sadness and heartfelt sympathy. I will always remember what a happy and beautiful person John was. I know every employee at Yankee will miss him. My deepest sympathies go out to John’s family. Peace be with you.

  8. Janice Brand April 14, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    John was a complete joy to work with, as we did for many years, many years ago. His sense of humor got me through a lot of tough (but fun!) times. My sympathies to his family and to Sherin.

  9. Janet C. Wilson April 14, 2008 at 10:22 pm #

    A fine person–a great loss to us.

  10. Judith Marchessault April 15, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    I am very sorry to hear of John’s passing and send my sympathies to his family and friends at Yankee. Peace be with you John.

  11. michael marquart April 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    As a long time reader of the Almanac I’m so sorry to hear of John’s passing. My sympathy & prayers to his friends & family.

  12. jim james April 21, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    John, it was an honor to meet you. I wish I could have known you. Your family is a wonderful testament to the great man you must have been. Peace be with you.

  13. Christina Lawrence April 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    I wish comfort for family, extended “family” and friends in this time of grief.

  14. Joseph Marks May 1, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    May God bless you all in this difficult time.

  15. Barbie Cutler June 22, 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    We spent every August down the road from the Pierces at the Kefferstans’ Skimmilk Farm in Brentwood. Every summer I would wait for Jay to come down the road to visit. I followed him around like a puppy dog and he took me apple picking and for rides on the tractor. He was my first love. I will never forget how kind and tolerant he was of the little girl who wouldn’t let him out of her sight. Even when he went off to college, he wrote to the 8 year old who adored him. Only last Fall I emailed him after 40 years and we caught up with our lives. How sad to lose him so early. Love and sympathy to all of the Pierces and their families and friends. From what I knew of him so long ago, he touched you all in a significant way.

  16. Patrick McGonagle June 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    I hardly knew the man and I was a vendor to Yankee Magazine. While I did not keep the business , John and I shared the hobby and traded outside the business world as friends. Here is a man who almost to the day is the same age as my father who spoke to me as an equal. One of the kindest men I have ever met. I was constantly astonished with the respect A good man and from what I heard from Sherin, a great husband and father. I just learned of this today, I am better for having known such a good man and will pray, and encourage you to do the same, for Sherin and the family. I would be upset by this more but for the fact I KNOW he is with God. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

  17. peggy brooks August 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    I too,am a long time reader of the F.A.,also the YANKEE, an altro, I never had the pleasure of knowing,Mr. Pierce,from reading your article about him, he ‘s a man to be admired, an revered,for his love an dedication to his ‘ passion’ , his life’s work,the world an nature,around him,an more so his family. GOD BLESS ’em.

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