Last City-Hired Administrator of Haverhill’s Hale Hospital, Nathaniel Bond, Dies at 89

Nathaniel Bond.

Nathaniel Bond, who oversaw the 1984 move of the city-owned Hale Hospital from Buttonwoods Avenue to a new Lincoln Avenue campus, died Sunday at age 89.

Bond was the last of city-hired administrators when he took over in 1982. His lost his job four years later when an insurance company forced the city to hire a national management company later blamed for the hospital’s failure. City officials claimed in 1985 that American Municipal Bond Assurance Corporation insisted on “veto” power over management hiring as a condition of its insurance on a $37 million refinancing of the hospital.

Bond, of North Andover, came to the Hale from Beverly Hospital and accepted the job as administrator of Nantucket Cottage Hospital in June. 1986.

According to his obituary, Bond was born in Boston March 31, 1934, to Charles Lawrence Bond and Barbara (Dailey) Bond and grew up in Topsfield. He graduated in 1952 from Wilbraham Academy, in 1956 from Harvard College with an AB in history, and in 1972 from Boston University School of Management with an MBA in hospital administration.

After college, while working as business manager at his aunt’s theater, the Peterborough Playhouse in Peterborough, N.H., he met and fell in love with a beautiful young actress from York, Penn., named Beth Ann Bentz. They married just six months later, so that she could accompany him to Germany where he was stationed as a medical corpsman in the 3rd Armored Division of the U.S. Army.

Upon their return to the states, the couple lived in Salem while Nat worked at Sylvania Lighting Products as a technician and a production supervisor in the manufacture of electroluminescent lamps. He was later promoted to personnel assistant, a role that started a life-long career in human resources.  In 1959 the couple moved to Georgetown, where they raised their three children. While living in Georgetown, Bond worked as an employment manager for B.F. Goodrich Footwear Company in Watertown and as a personnel supervisor for Sylvania Electronic Systems in Waltham before becoming the first personnel director at Beverly Hospital in 1967.

In 1988, the couple moved to Glenburn, Maine, when he took a job as director of human resources at Eastern Maine Medical Center. He retired in 2001.

Bond was a member of the Haverhill, Nantucket and Bangor Breakfast Rotary Clubs, served on the boards of directors of the North Shore VNA, Haverhill VNA, Merrimack Valley Health Planning Council (chair), Merrimack Valley Hospital Council, Southern Massachusetts Hospital Council, Maine Chapter of the American Heart Association (chair), and was president of the Human Resources Association of Eastern Maine. In 2004, he became a recorder of oral histories for the Bangor Museum and Center for History, and in later years volunteered at Bangor’s American Folk Festival.

In 2020, the Bonds moved to Nichols Village in Groveland. When Beth had a stroke in 2021 and required long-term care, Nat traveled from Groveland to North Andover to visit her several times a week. Then in 2023, when he needed more care, Nat moved next door to Beth, living his last few months at Ashland Farm in North Andover.

Bond was an avid reader of obituaries and always felt that an obituary should tell how a person died. Over the past 25 years, he was proud to have survived pancreatic cancer and diabetes, a brain aneurysm, prostate cancer, a heart valve replacement and congestive heart failure, kidney disease, vascular dementia and several falls. Then on June 11, 2023, Nat fell and broke his hip and pelvis. He passed away a week later, on Father’s Day, from complications due to the fall.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Beth Ann Bentz Bond of North Andover; children Jennifer Hickman and her husband Paul of Andover, Eben Bond and his wife Laurie of Fremont, N.H., Kendra Niehaus and her husband Bill of South Riding, Virg.; grandchildren Jacob Bond of Hookset, N.H., Jason Bond of Fremont, N.H., Campbell Niehaus of Pittsburgh, Penn., and Molly Niehaus of South Riding, Virg.; siblings’ spouses and many nieces and nephews. he was predeceased by his parents; brothers Charles Bond, Alan Bond and Jonathan Bond; and his sister Priscilla Bond Goff.

Burial will be private at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Peterborough, N.H. Donations in Nat’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023, or on their respective websites. Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill.

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