Marguerite (Elizabeth) Bassett Cottle died on Monday, October 7, in the comfort of her own home and surrounded by those who loved her. She was 94.
The daughter of John Dunham Bassett and Sarah (Graham), Marguerite was born June 14, 1919 on her Bassett family farm on South Road. At the time of her death, she was the oldest Chilmark resident still residing in the town of her birth.
On February 25, 1940, she married Eric Wesley Cottle at the Chilmark Church. Eric, a lobsterman and swordfisherman, predeceased her in April 2010. They never cared to venture much farther than their home in Menemsha where they were quite content, although she had fond memories of a Florida vacation and a few shorter trips over the years.
Marguerite enjoyed her lifestyle on South Road, where she and her family were centrally located to walk where they needed to go, without having to rely on an automobile. She attended school in Chilmark and graduated from Tisbury High School in 1936. For a very brief time in her teens, she worked outside her home as a waitress at the Blue Barque teahouse.
As a homemaker, her standards were impeccable. She maintained her home and cooked for herself until 2013. Her old family recipes were hers to treasure and still very delicious, especially when she continued to bake on occasion. She was also proud of not having to depend on a microwave oven her entire life.
She was a member of the Chilmark Conservation Commission for many years. She was also a member of the Chilmark Church, where she taught Sunday school. Additionally, she provided the altar flowers every Sunday, usually from her own garden.
Her unofficial responsibilities included keeping the family history, the lore, and the photographs of not only her Bassett family line, but that of Eric’s Cottle family line. All were original settlers of the Vineyard.
She was the fortunate recipient of many boxes of Chilmark Chocolates over the years. She also enjoyed her York peppermint patties and Milky Ways. Family and friends would stop by with gifts of lobster for her, or baked stuffed shrimp, scallops, plants, beautiful fragrant flowers and many homemade delicacies that she enjoyed. There were those who stopped by to enjoy an afternoon Red Sox or New England Patriots game with her as well; her favorite teams.
She was a staunch Republican, and she also strongly supported social causes for children, animals and veterans. Bird feeders surrounded her home. The wild birds were well fed as were the turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and one little chipmunk. Her wit and wisdom followed her throughout her years, even in her final days.
She is survived by her children, Wesley Cottle and Martha Cottle, both of Chilmark. She was the grandmother of Jennifer Arms of New Jersey, and great grandmother of Kaitlyn and Jakob Arms. She is also survived by her niece, Sheila (Arno) Jason and her family, and by her nephew, Spencer Hilton and his family. She was predeceased by her beloved Eric in 2010, by their son Jon in 1961, and by her only sister, Bertha (Bassett) Arno, in 1973.
A special thank you to cousins Barbara, Frank, and Merrily Fenner for the food, music and comfort that they provided.
Another special thank you to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, especially nurses Judy Hickey and Meg Verret. And to her caregivers, June and Jyl Manning, Jemima James, Roxane Ackerman, Stephen Silvia, Marie Nielsen, and Brenda Leonard.
Donations in her memory may be sent to the Animal Shelter, Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.
A graveside service was conducted by Reverend Arlene Bodge at the Abel’s Hill Cemetery on Saturday October 12 under the guidance of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. It was followed by a gathering of family and friends at the home of Leonard and Sheila Jason. Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.