Eunice C. Honey died at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Monday, June 24, 2013. She was 88.
Eunice was born August 15, 1924 in Utica, N.Y., the daughter of Norman and Eunice Coke-Jephcott. Norman Coke-Jephcott was born in Coventry, England, a man of extraordinary musical talent, who at 15 was assistant organist and choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry. At 17 he traveled alone to New York to be organist at Church of the Holy Cross in Kingston, N.Y., and when his first daughter Eunice was born he was organist and choirmaster at Grace Church, Utica, N.Y.
In 1932 Eunice moved to New York City when her father was appointed organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Eunice and her sister Ann grew up within the musical community of the Cathedral. Summers they took the overnight steamer from New York to Oak Bluffs where her mother would find a cottage and a piano. She was a “summer girl” who celebrated her birthday and rode her bike alongside the parks in Oak Bluffs.
Eunice attended St. Agatha School and then graduated from the Lenox School and Barnard College. She served in the WAVES (Naval Reserve) during World War II, 1946-48, in the Naval Air Experimental Station – Photographic Laboratory.
Eunice married William M. Honey in 1948 and moved to Martha’s Vineyard. They divorced in 1983.
Eunice joined the choir at the Christ Methodist Church. She helped to form the Women’s Chorus and was its first president. In the 1960s she helped revive the Boy Scouts and was a den mother. She worked diligently for the establishment of the Regional High School and to end the mass aerial DDT spraying in Tisbury.
In 1970, when her oldest daughter was in college, Eunice received her Masters in Education from Tufts University and went to work at the Edgartown School. She taught fifth grade there for 21 years until her retirement in 1991. Teaching was one of her greatest joys.
Family was her greatest joy. Eunice was lucky to be able to enjoy her children, five grandchildren, and one great grandson all living on the Island.
Eunice enjoyed writing, her garden, music, tennis, the Red Sox and Scrabble. The Red Sox game schedule was always posted on her refrigerator, and her TV was set to watch endless tennis matches. She enjoyed her home in Hidden Cove and was active in its association.
She had fun with words and a witty humor. She was a stickler for grammar and most of us remember being corrected, followed by the appropriate grammar rule. She’d even cite news reporters, which brought a laugh.
Even during some of the most challenging times she was a good sport. For those who knew her, she was a warm and caring person with the uncanny ability to know if something was on your mind. Eunice was interested and a great listener, offering words of wisdom.
Eunice Honey leaves daughters Sarah Honey Murphy and Fred Murphy, Elizabeth Honey MacPherson and daughter-in-law Laura W. Honey. She was predeceased by her son, David W. Honey, in 2005 and her son-in-law Robert E. MacPherson Jr. in 1994. She also leaves grandchildren Ross E. and Reid M. MacPherson, Megan L. Honey, Grace L. Murphy, Annie D. Sylvia and her husband, Jake Sylvia, and great grandson Benjamin K. Sylvia. Also surviving are longtime friends and caregivers Susan Tirabassi and Megan Spokus.
She also leaves her sister, Ann Pogue of Lancaster, Penn., her nephew, John Pogue, and his wife, Pamela, and their children, Julia, Andrew, and Katelyn, and her niece, Kari A. Pogue, of Washington, D.C.
A graveside service for Eunice C. Honey is scheduled for 10 am on Saturday, August 3, at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, followed by a gathering at the Owen Park Band Stand.
Donations in her name can be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Massachusetts Chapter 9 Erie Drive, Suite 101, Natick, MA 01760, ma.lls.llsevent.org/eunicehoney.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. Please visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.