Martin K. Gerstmar


Martin K. (Ken) Gerstmar died at the age of 83 at The Henrietta Brewer House on October 15, 2012, with his wife and family by his side.

Born in Elrose, Saskatchewan, Canada, Ken came to this country when he was 19 to live with his sister in Winthrop. There he met the love of his life, Nancy Brewer. They were married in 1949 and enjoyed 63 years of life together, raising their three children.

Ken worked in the photography business for his brother-in-law for several years, then decided he would like to try carpentry.

Starting as an apprentice building the MBTA stations in the Boston area, he went on to take courses in blueprint reading at MIT, after which he assumed jobs as superintendent for several large companies including Marriott Corporation, The Prudential, and Continental Bakery.

Ken loved to travel, especially camping trips with the family across the U.S. and Canada twice and many visits with his numerous family members in California and Canada, where he was loved by all.

Nancy and the family enjoyed living in the three houses he built in Natick and Sherborn and two here on the Vineyard, where they lived for 37 years.

He enjoyed fishing, swimming, and hiking out in the woods, and loved crafting many pieces of furniture at his workbench. Country music was his favorite and western movies a close second, probably because he grew up with real cowboys and indians on the family’s wheat farm in Saskatchewan.

In failing health for several years, he moved to The Henrietta Brewer House in August, 2011, where he was cared for by a loving group of CNAs and nurses who enjoyed his sparkling blue eyes and always a smile.

He will be sadly missed by his wife, and three children, Susan and her partner, Rodney Petruska, of Rhode Island and her son, Sam; Scott Gerstmar and his wife, Ellen, of Vineyard Haven and their children, Tim and Morgan; Karen Alberice of West Tisbury and children, Elisabeth and her husband, James Cleary, Amy, and Michael. He was predeceased by his parents and three brothers and seven sisters.

A visitation for family and friends will be on December 9 from 1 to 4 pm at his home at 53 Nip ‘N Tuck Lane, West Tisbury. Come and bring with you any and all happy memories of Ken.

Donations in his memory may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, PO Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557