On Thursday, May 3, 2018, Hershel West of Menemsha died peacefully in his sleep at age 94.
Hershel was born on March 1, 1924, to his parents Norman and Annie West at his grandmother’s house on Middle Road, close to the West Tisbury–Chilmark town line. As a boy, he delivered mail with his father to Naushon and Nomans islands. He spent most of his life commercial fishing. Besides scalloping, oystering, and lobstering on the Island, he crewed on draggers out of New Bedford. For many years, he crewed aboard the Menemsha swordfish boats owned by the Larsens.
Having lived aboard his boat in Menemsha for years, Hershel was a “Cricker” at heart, a part of the waterfront scene in Menemsha. He was well known for his role in the movie “Jaws” as Quint’s mate, along with his beloved dog Tipper. The movie role brought him membership in the Screen Actors Guild.
In his later life, he resided at Woodside Village in Oak Bluffs. Hershel would commute on the bus mornings to work at Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha until his death. For the ride back home, a lobster roll would satisfy him.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Chilmark Fire Association. Hershel was a member of the department for many years.
There will be a celebration of his life at Dutcher Dock in front of Larsen’s Fish Market Saturday, May 12, at 10 am.
Fair wind, my friend!