Horace Alfred Brooker died peacefully in his sleep at the Henrietta Brewer House in Vineyard Haven on October 13. He was 89.
Horace was born in 1921 in Croyden, England, to parents Ida and Alfred Brooker. In November of 1926 they boarded a steamer for America, and settled in New Britain, Conn. Horace was a Boy Scout, table tennis champ, and drummer in the high school marching band. In 1940, he graduated from New Britain High School, and then attended the Bentley School of Accounting and Northeastern University. In 1943, he joined the Army, and served for three years in France and Germany, under General Patton. Horace was very proud of his part in defeating the Nazis.
On August 24, 1946, he married his sweetheart, Mabel Carlson. They lived in Boston, where he worked for the Firemen’s Fund Insurance company. The young couple moved to the Vineyard, and in 1949 Horace began working as a teller at the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank. Eight years later he was promoted to vice president. Many people can remember Horace helping them get their first loans to start businesses or buy homes.
Horace was very involved in the community aspects of Island life. He was a Boy Scout troop leader, very active in Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, an accountant for Mink Meadows Golf Club, and volunteered at the Vineyard Haven library. In addition to being a dedicated family man and banker, Horace loved the outdoors. He was an avid fisherman, tennis player, and cyclist. In his later years, he would often be seen “walking the Chop.” Horace was an excellent dancer, and was very popular at weddings, dancing with every woman there when Mabel got tired. He took pride in keeping his yard looking great, and had a lifelong hatred for the neighborhood squirrels. They may have been his only enemies. He was a friendly face all were happy to see, a fair and honest hard-working man. After retiring from the bank, he and Mabel made several trips — to England, Bermuda, Florida, and Maine.
Horace was pre-deceased by his wife, Mabel, and daughters Nancy Blankenship and Betsy Boyd. He leaves behind with many fond memories grandchildren Meredith Gallo and Beth O’Connor of Martha’s Vineyard, and Scott Boyd and Heather Boyd of Truckee, Calif., his sister Jane Glidden of New London, Conn., and son-in-law Richard Blankenship of Martha’s Vineyard.
Donations may be made in Horace’s name to the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. A service will be held at a later date.