Posted January 26, 2006

Richard L. Hull
Richard L. Hull
Richard Lawrence Hull of West Tisbury died on Jan. 23.

He was the husband of Barbara "Bobby" (Tyack) Hull for 63 years. They were married on New Year's Eve in 1942. Together they were the proprietors of Hull's Antiques in West Tisbury, an up-Island landmark with its ladder back chair hung on a tree.

Richard was well known for his cloud of white hair and his friendly expertise. He had a wealth of knowledge on marine antiquities, primitives, and Island decoys. He had a host of stories about the latter. His enthusiasm for life was evident in his conversations with all who came to the shop and to his friends with whom he fished and did business. He was a mentor to his grandchildren and the many family friends who sought his wise and non-judgmental advice.

Richard was born in Waterbury, Conn., on January 5, 1922, the son of Daniel R. Hull and Margaret Leach. His parents owned the famous Captain Joshua Slocum House in West Tisbury, which is still in the family, now belonging to his niece.

Richard was graduated from Dartmouth College with the Class of 1944 although he didn't graduate until September of 1946 due to his enlistment in the Army Air Corps. He completed single engine pilot training, instructor training, and B-29 engineer training and was honorably discharged a "well trained" officer and pilot in November of 1945.

He was a journalist for the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican from 1946 to1948 and for the Hartford Times from 1948 until 1955. Richard was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a news story on the Worcester tornado in 1953.

In 1955, he joined the public relations and advertising staff of United Aircraft in Hartford. He became advertising director, then director of corporate identification when United Aircraft became United Technologies. He retired for the first time in 1978.

After retirement he joined Combustion Engineering in Windsor, Conn. on the corporate communications staff, and then retired for the second time in 1984.

In 1984, he and Bobby moved to Martha's Vineyard as was their dream. Richard loved the environment and enjoyed watching the waterfowl and saltwater fishing at Lobsterville and Quansoo. He spent many happy hours near or on the water with his sons and good friend, Don Sexton. Richard was well loved for his quiet humor and his positive nature. He had many boyhood ties to the Island including Nelson Bryant of West Tisbury, whom he roomed with at Dartmouth College and who remained a good friend until the end.

Richard died at home with dignity and grace, surrounded by all his family. He was the heart and touchstone of his family and he served always as a loving husband to his most beloved wife, Bobby. He is also survived by his two sons, Richard Michael Hull and his wife, Hermine Smith Hull, and Daniel Jared Hull and his wife, B.Z. Riger Hull; his daughter, Cecily Bryant Thornley and her husband, James all of West Tisbury; two grandchildren, Joshua Bryant Hull and Charlotte Sanger Hull; a sister, Rose Frances Terril of San Jose, Calif.; and nieces Hannah Beecher of West Tisbury and Stephanie Haviland of Jacksonville, Fla., and nephew, Daniel Tyack Hull of Cambridge.

A private graveside service will be held at the family's discretion at a later date. Donations may be made in his memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

Magdelena Honig
A celebration of life of Magdelena "Lena" Honig of Edgartown, who died Dec. 7, 2005, will be held at the Anchors Senior Center, Edgartown, Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 pm.

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Boys and Girls Club of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 654 or to the Edgartown Senior Day Program, P.O. Box 1295, both in Edgartown, MA 02539. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs.

Edwin B. Athearn
Edwin B. Athearn, a resident of Centerville since 1970, died Jan. 18 at Cape Cod Hospital. He was 92. His parents, Frederick and Jean Athearn, and a brother, Frederick L. "Tad" Athearn, predeceased him.

He was born in West Tisbury. He was working as a crewmember aboard an offshore swordfishing boat on his 13th birthday. As an adult, Capt. Athearn owned and operated fishing and passenger boats in Martha's Vineyard and Falmouth.

In 1940 he became captain of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute research vessel, Anton Dohrn. During World War II the United States Bureau of Ships controlled both the ship and the institute. An extensive study of ocean water temperatures was conducted during this time, and Capt. Athearn was awarded a special commendation for his service from the Commander of the Eastern Sea Frontier.

In 1947 Capt. Athearn established Athearn Marine Agency, specializing in the brokerage of commercial vessels such as the 73-foot Monte Carlo, an Eastern-type dragger built to his specifications in 1951 in South Bristol, Maine. His expertise in wooden vessels was recognized along the eastern seaboard.

In later years, Capt. Athearn compiled stories from his life experiences and wrote "Chronicle of an Islander, Martha's Vineyard History and Adventure." He wrote numerous articles, which were published in Offshore Magazine and other periodicals. His Letters to the Editor were often published in Cape Cod and Island newspapers.

Edwin Athearn was a man of great wit and wisdom. He stated that he wished his death would be attributed simply to "old age." To the end of his life he impressed many with his gentle manner. He leaves no children, but there are a number of younger friends who think of him as a father.

He is survived by his nephew and nieces, Donald Athearn of Derry, N.H., Judy Athearn of Martha's Vineyard, and Jean (Athearn) Daigle of Pennsylvania. Also surviving him is his beloved companion of many years, Shirley T. Christophers of Centerville, and her children, Joanne C. Carpenter of Hingham, and Robert E. Christophers of Harwich.

A funeral home service was held on Jan. 23 in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Burial followed in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Edwin's memory may be made to the M.S.P.C.A. of Centerville, 1577 Falmouth Rd., Centerville, MA 02632.