Obituary: Carl N. Wathne

Carl obit photo.jpg
Posted at 1:10 PM, Apr 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-12 17:53:51-04

Carl N. Wathne of Bozeman, MT (formerly of Weston and Salem, MA) departed to the House of the Lord on April 9, 2023. He was born in Johnstown, PA, to Odd and Alice Wathne from Norway, brother to sisters Betty and Edith.

Carl grew up in several cities around the country. After High School, he received his Bachelor’s from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served as Representative of the U.S. Public Health Hospital on Staten Island, NY. He then entered the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Core. Carl went on to receive a Master’s in Hospital Administration from Columbia University.

In 1958 Carl began his hospital career, working as the Chief Operating Officer at various hospitals throughout New York. In 1963 Carl was hired to facilitate the building and operation of a new hospital in Carmel, NY. He then became Vice President of a hospital consulting firm serving hospitals from California to Paris, France. In 1972 he began his career at Lahey Clinic in Boston where he developed a new medical center and served as Executive Director. During that time, he also accepted an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Boston University where he taught for 17 years. Carl was also a lecturer at Harvard's Health Policy and Management Program.

Following Lahey he became CEO of Leonard Morse then Leominster Hospital until his retirement in 1992. During his career he became Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and founding Director of the Massachusetts Community Hospital Association. Carl was especially skilled at turning hospitals around that were experiencing financial and operational difficulties.

Carl showed great empathy to those in need, especially through his travel with Alice to Nicaragua where he performed a health assessment resulting in fundraising for a well for clean water and establishing a sewing school for women.

Carl enjoyed sailing and kayaking, oil painting, and was juried by the Marblehead Arts Association in photography. He also wrote two books, built exact model replicas of sailing ships, and put together a cookbook of 95 original recipes.

Carl and Alice also enjoyed travelling and over the years visited nearly all the European countries including Turkey, Israel, and Morocco.

Above all, Carl loved his family. He leaves behind his loving wife, Alice, of 65 years, whom he met in 1944. Their first date was to see the movie Casablanca which was always their favorite.

He leaves behind two cherished sons, John (Deborah) of Salem, MA, and Carl Kristian “Kris” (Kelley) of Bozeman; grandchildren, Camille Wathne of Baltimore, MD, and Gabriel (Gabe) Wathne of Salem, MA; and several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, and lifelong friends. Carl and Alice also shared the love of six Shelties throughout their years together.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

The family requests any donations be made to the Help Center ( or Family Promise (

Arrangements are in care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []