John H. Atwood was born in Dorchester, MA, on April 26, 1923 to August S. and Elizabeth B. Atwood. He grew up in Wellesley Hills, MA and graduated from Kimball Union Academy in 1941. He entered University of New Hampshire leaving his sophomore year to join the 10th Mountain Division. John trained at Camp Hale and was then sent to officer candidate school, graduating as a second lieutenant. His first assignment was to escort 350 mules and 250 cases of beer to Italy where he joined the occupation forces. When the war ended he was selected to join the US Army ski team which competed through Europe. John returned to UNH to study hotel administration and compete on the Ski and Track teams. He was a member of Theta Chi fraternity and the Outing Club, serving as President for two years. His most important accomplishment was his engagement to Esther Cole. They graduated together and were married on October 23, 1948. He worked at Mount Sunapee Ski Area, the Exeter Inn, and then as the manager of Severance Lodge on Lake Kezar in 1954. After 15 years at Severance, John changed careers and taught accounting at Fryeburg Academy for 14 years. He was the athletic director for eight years and coached Girls Skiing and Boys and Girls golf. John was the teachers association president and a class advisor. During his 55 years in Fryeburg, John was a member of Kiwanis, and a member of the First Congregational Church where he served in many capacities. He and his wife, Esther, were co-founders of the Fryeburg Junior Ski Program. John served as president of the Lake Kezar Country Club for eight years and a trustee for 30 years. John was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2010 and into the Fryeburg Academy Hall of Excellence in 2012. Immediate family includes his wife, Esther; daughter, Nancy Mockler; sons, John and Peter; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.