John “Ed” Veasey, one of the founders of Cedardale Health & Fitness, Haverhill, Massachusetts, died on June 27 at his home, according to an email that the Veasey family sent to Cedardale Health & Fitness members. He was 89 years old.
Veasey is survived by his wife, Zoe Veasey, who co-founded Cedardale in 1971 with Veasey and two business partners, Dale and Olive Mae Dibble. He also is survived by five children and 13 grandchildren, according to his obituary.
Veasey was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer about one year ago, according to the family’s email, which stated: “He approached his diagnosis like he did everything in life, with a positive attitude and a plan. Ed began a treatment plan at Mass General's Cancer Center and amazed his doctors. The doctors would ask, ‘What's your level of activity, Mr. Veasey?’ and their jaws would drop as he described his personal training sessions consisting of cardio and strength training and his 3-mile daily walks. The next question was ‘What keeps you going, Mr. Veasey?’ and that was quickly followed with Ed's response, ‘I've got a plan to execute, a club to reopen and I want to see it finished.’ And so he did.”
In March 2017, an accidental locker room fire destroyed 50,000 square feet of the 180,000-square-foot club. The Veaseys decided to raze the building and rebuild, moving temporarily to an empty Boston Sports Club in Andover, Massachusetts. The Veasey family then spent the next two years rebuilding the facility, re-opening it on June 1.
Veasey joined the Marine Corp after graduating from Syracuse University in 1953. He was a Freemason, served on the Board of Trustees for Haverhill Public Library, was involved with the Haverhill Rotary Club and was president of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.
The family’s email concluded with: “We are forever grateful for his perseverance, determination and his commitment towards improving the health and wellness of his community.”
The family plans a private funeral. Condolences can be sent to www.dcsfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, and the Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830.
Cedardale often appeared on Club Industry's Top 100 clubs list, one of the few single club brands to do so. Veasey declined to be included on the 2018 list because of the fire's effects on the club in 2017, but the year before, the club ranked No. 75 on the list with $8.66 million in estimated 2016 revenue.