Arthur Edwin Winters

Arthur Edwin Winters holds a bonito at the derby weigh station.

Arthur Edwin Winters of Edgartown died Wednesday, July 4, in Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, at the age of 94.

Arthur was born in Fitchburg, on January 22, 1918. He was the son of the late John and Tyyra (Kotila) Talviainen. He married Virginia Irene Broome in 1947.

He was a graduate of Fitchburg High School in 1935.

Arthur enlisted in the United States Army on December 8, 1942. He was a member of the 753rd tank battalion, serving during WWII. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for heroism on November 21, 1944, in France. He was honorably discharged in 1945.

Arthur was appointed to the Fitchburg Fire Department in September 1950. He retired in January 1975.

Arthur spent over 25 years vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard until his retirement in 1975 when he and Virginia moved to Edgartown.

Arthur was an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying golf, cross-country skiing, fishing, scallopping, quahogging, and his extensive garden — especially tomatoes and raspberries.

Arthur was a member of Edgartown Golf Course (“Night Crawlers”), Edgartown Rod and Gun Club, and he served on the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Blue Fish Derby Committee from 1981 to 1992. Arthur also volunteered at the MV Boys and Girls Club Secondhand Store for many years

In 1987, he lived up to his reputation as the Vineyard’s “Bonito King.” He landed a bonito weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces, from his 12-foot aluminum outboard boat. Had the bonito been one ounce heavier, his fish would have earned him a world record standing in the 10-pound line test category.

Arthur was honored in the Derby Hall of Fame in 2004. He was part of the new sub-group of Derby Committee members who traveled about New England with the goal of creating a new and more positive image for the Derby. Arthur sold Jeep raffle tickets at the shows and at all Island activities. It was Arthur and Cooper Gilkes who gathered bait at 3 am before each Kids tournament

Arthur received the 2002 Senior Citizen of the Year in Edgartown upon being nominated by the Edgartown Council on Aging. The criteria for receiving the award included enthusiasm for involvement within the community; a willingness to help others; acting as a role model to peers; and, being an overall representative of outstanding senior citizens in the town.

Throughout Arthur’s life he exemplified giving and caring. He exemplified “The Spirit of Positive Aging” through his involvement within the community and was respected and loved by all who knew him.

Arthur is survived by his son, James A. Winters of Bristol, Vermont; daughters Barbara A. Winters of Edgartown; Margaret J. Winters and her husband, Stephen M. Reini, of Edgartown and Westminster; grandson Zachary J. Winters of Bristol, Vermont; granddaughter Georgia M. Winters of Bristol, Vermont; and daughter-in-law Cindy Fuller Winters of Bristol, Vermont; nephews John West of Mashpee and James Martin of Beaverton, Oregon. Arthur was predeceased by his wife, Virginia, who passed away in 1985, his brother, Arvo (Breezy) Talvianen; sister Ingrid West Martin; nephew Arthur West; and his beloved pet, “Kitty Cat.”

Arthur’s family thanks all his wonderful friends who visited him during his hospital stay, his caregivers at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, especially Stuart Kendall, M.D., and Gail Croft. Arthur was one of Dr. Kendall’s first patients on the Island.

A graveside service was held at 11 am, Saturday, July 7 in the New Westside Cemetery, Robinson Road, Edgartown with the Rev. Dr. Gerald Fritz officiating.

Donations in Arthur’s memory may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, Inc., 44 Robinson Road, PO Box 654, Edgartown, MA 02539.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.