Evelyn Ann “Lynn” (Gonsalves) Larkin of Swampscott and formerly of Martha’s Vineyard died from a heart attack on Thursday, September 15, at her home surrounded by her family.
Lynn was born on March 29, 1962, in Oak Bluffs at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to the proud parents Joseph and Mildred (Rocker) Gonsalves. She attended the Tisbury Elementary School and graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in the class of 1981. She worked various catering and waitressing jobs on the Island.
Lynn meet her husband, Joe, in Lynn. They got married at her parents’ home on Summer Street in Vineyard Haven. The service was conducted by Justice of the Peace John Alley. They decided to move to Swampscott, where Joe had lots of family.
Joe and Lynn worked together for many years in the mental heath field. Lynn held various positions at Rosie’s Place, Pine Street Inn, and other homeless shelters. She also worked for Greater Lynn’s Mental Health. Joe and Lynn were recognized for being a husband/wife team by the volunteers of “My Brother’s Table” for all the work they did at various homeless shelters. Lynn was invited by UMASS Boston to be their lead speaker on Women in Mental Health.
Lynn and Joe and their family moved back to the Vineyard to help Lynn’s mother, who was recovering from a serious surgery. Lynn worked for the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah Housing and then in the Mental Health Department for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. It was getting too expensive for them to continue living on the Island, so they moved back to Swampscott. Lynn got a job at Macy’s Department Store, where she loved working with and helping customers.
Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2008. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery and was cancer free by the next year. She was involved in many walks for cancer research.
Lynn was a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Chappaquiddick and Ladies VFW Auxiliary, and she was a communicant of the St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven.
Lynn loved her family. She was an excellent cook and would always invite family and friends over for meals. She would often surprise her family with her hidden talent of painting and drawing. She was an avid Patriots fan and talked about each player as if he were her personal friend. She loved to have fun and dance and sing. She had a great smile and a contagious laugh. She was very personal and helped many people any way she could. She had lots of friends and will be missed dearly.
She is survived by her husband, Joe Larkin, and their children, Cory, Miguel, Lindsey, John, and Phillip, and one granddaughter, Mya Perez; her father, Joseph B. Gonsalves; her sister Margaret and her husband, David Oliveira, and their daughter, Alicia; her sister Yvette and her husband, Mark Turner, and their children, Sarah, Mark, and Christian; her brother Joseph Gonsalves, and his wife, Rosalind, and their children, Jordan, Hannah, and Matthew; her brother John Gonsalves and his children, Amanda and Ryan; also her niece, Carly, and nephew, Nicholas Gonsalves.Lynn was predeceased by her mother, Mildred (Rocker) Gonsalves, and her brother Anthony M. Gonsalves.
Her memorial mass will be celebrated on Friday, September 23, at 11 am at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Massasoit Ave., Oak Bluffs. The family will gather at the Portuguese-American Club, Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs, after the service; please bring a dish to share.
Donations in Lynn’s memory may be made to the Portuguese-American Benevolent Fund, P.O. 2203, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Mental Health, 111 Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.