David R. Madeiras died peacefully at home, in his sleep, on Jan. 5, 2018, just short of his 76th birthday.
David was born on Jan. 31, 1942, to Roland J. and Caroline Silva Madeiras. A lifelong resident of Oak Bluffs, he attended the local schools, and in 1960, he was a member of the first graduating class of the new Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps, which became his home and profession for the next seven years. During that time he visited Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and more than half of the United States.
David’s last duty station was Vietnam, where he did two tours as a recon specialist. While there he received a Navy Commendation Medal, an Army Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal with 1 bronze star, National Defense Service Medal, and several Vietnam Service medals.
David left the service in 1967. After attending the Barnstable Police Academy, he started work as a police officer for the town of Oak Bluffs, He also attended Cape Cod Community College, where he received his associate degree in 1970, and in 1972 he graduated from Bridgewater State College with a bachelor’s degree in history and a teaching certificate. He became a substitute teacher at various Island schools, and continued working for the Oak Bluffs Police until 1982. David also served as park commissioner for Oak Bluffs from 1972 to 1974.
In 1982 David started working for Phillips Hardware on Main Street in Oak Bluffs. Often referred to as the mayor of Oak Bluffs, David continued working there until his retirement in 2012.
After retirement he settled into his home, and became a bit of a recluse. Asked if he ever took a trip off-Island, he’d reply, “I’ve traveled and seen most of the world, why would I want to go off-Island?”
David is survived by his brothers, Donald Madeiras and his wife Bertie of Oak Bluffs, and Daniel Madeiras of Roanoke, Va. He is also survived by his five nieces, three nephews, seven grandnieces, and six grandnephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Roland and Caroline Madeiras.
David was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9261, the American Legion Post 257, and the Portuguese-American Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of these associations or a charity of your choice.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at the Oak Grove Cemetery on Pacific Avenue in Oak Bluffs at 11:30 am on April 21. A celebration of life will follow at the P.A. Club. Please bring a dish to share.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Holy Ghost Society, P.O. Box 2203, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; or to the VFW Post 9261, P.O. Box 1437, or to the American Legion Post 257, P.O. Box 257, both in Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.