Willie Pelletier, that gregarious, generous, loving man, died on Dec. 10, 2005 at home on Seki, the boat he shared with his wife Judy in San Diego, Calif. Throughout his 54 years he lived his life in full color and full humor - cherishing both the vivid and the subtle with equal appreciation. He willingly shared his passion and perspectives with friends and strangers alike. His life was full, his talents were diverse, and his passions drove his choices.
Like so many other young people, Willie (then Billy) Pelletier came to the Island in the late 60s. Unlike many other young people who found their way to the Vineyard at that time, he (and his brothers Marc and Jean-Paul) stayed for a long while and created legends and legacies. Foremost among the legacies are some of the core recipes at the Black Dog Bakery. Willie and his brother Jean-Paul were the first official bakers for this now-household word. Every time you taste the Honey White or a Chewie, you experience his legacy.
Over the years he built a stellar reputation as a chef in many Vineyard restaurants, as well as in suburban Boston, St. John USVI, and San Diego. His sauces, as well as his table-side manner, are legendary to his customers.
Over the decades, his culinary creativity was recognized in several local and professional publications. His recipe for Chicken Picante won him acclaim in Bon Appetit magazine. As chef/owner of Tioli's Restaurant in San Diego, Calif., along with his wife Judy, they repeatedly won local awards for Best Dinner and Best Desserts. For anyone who ever worked with or for him in any of these locations, he left a distinct impression - generated by his quick wit, his undeniable affability, and his uncanny ability to tease people to their limits.
Willie's many other contributions to the Vineyard were a result of the landscaping business he shared with Robin Hyde and various carpentry jobs with Louis Stix. Each of Willie's jobs demonstrated his eye for blending the wild with the not-so-wild all over the Vineyard. His sense of symmetry in presentation was also legendary - and extended from landscaping to carpentry to cooking.
His legacy was not limited to the Vineyard. He was a road manager for many leading rock and blues bands in the '70s, including Maria Muldaur, Paul Butterfield, Jackson Browne, and the Grateful Dead.
And in between all of these layers of life, he sanded the boat, collected salt and pepper shakers, weeded gardens, mowed lawns, mentored employees, kibitzed with friends and strangers, managed to get in a round of golf, and preserve the romance in every aspect of his life.
He will be remembered by many - especially his wife Judy Issokson of San Diego, Calif.; his daughter Chelsea Pelletier of Burbank, Calif.; his mother, Loretta Pelletier of Rockville, Md.; his mother-in-law, Helen Issokson of Vineyard Haven; his brother Marc Pelletier of Charlestown; his brother Jean-Paul Pelletier of Orlando, Fla.; his sister Lisa Walsh of Silver Spring, Md.; his sister Liane Pelletier of Anchorage, Ak.; and his nephew Grayson Pelletier of Edgartown.
All are welcome to participate in celebrating Willie's Vineyard life on Sunday, March 5, at 2 pm at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, Center St., Vineyard Haven. His legendary triumphs and foibles will be shared during his final road show. Given the breadth of his talents, diverse experiences, and ability to engage the unsuspecting, the celebration of his life will link the various people and events of his life in unexpected ways. Donations in his memory would be appreciated to the Humane Society of your choice or the American Liver Foundation, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 603, New York, N.Y. 10038.
Joseph Maciel, 89, son of the Raul and Rose Maciel, died on Feb. 19, four days before his 90th birthday. Joe, as he was better known, had been a resident of Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the past six and a half years.
Joe worked as a carpenter's helper and a painter before going to work for the Town of Tisbury. Upon his retirement from the town, he worked part-time for Woodland Garden Center. Joe had a very big heart, was kind to everyone, and was helpful to anyone who needed a hand. He had a good sense of humor, and was really liked by those who knew him. He was very happy to live quietly in the family home with his youngest brother Tom until Tom's death in May 1999.
Things changed drastically for Joe at that time. He lived in Oak Bluffs with his sister for a short time, but the old homestead called him back. He took a very bad fall a few weeks after returning home, and after a stay in the hospital, became a resident of Windemere.
In addition to his parents, four brothers predeceased him: Joseph, George, Manuel M., Raul Jr., Tom, and one sister, Emma Amaral. He is survived by two brothers, Alfred of New Bedford, James of Zephyrhills, Fla.; three sisters, Anna Constantine of New Bedford, Mary Hofmann of Holyoke, and Evelyn Christopher of Oak Bluffs. Joseph is also survived by many nieces, and nephews, as well as great and great-great nieces and nephews, and many cousins.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 am at the family plot at the Oak Grove Cemetery, State Road, Vineyard Haven.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, PO Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, Ma 02557. Please specify the Christopher Memorial Fund. Monies from this fund will be available for Hospice patients to use for medical supplies, and prescriptions not currently covered by Medicare or insurances on the Vineyard.
Joseph's family would like to extend its deepest appreciation and thanks to the staff and doctors who took care of Joe while he was a resident at Windemere. May God bless you all. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.
Franklin S. Cole
Franklin Summers Cole, 64, died peacefully in his Oak Bluffs home with his family by his side on the morning of Feb. 19. He was born the only son of five children to his parents, Texas sharecroppers Franklin and Gretchen Cole in Garland, Texas on July 18, 1941. Growing up on the farm taught Frank the virtue of a strong work ethic and he developed a selfless nature that would accompany him throughout his entire life.
Frank studied art at the North Texas State University, Denton, before leaving art school to pursue his lifelong love of music. He was a founding member of the 60's soul/pop group The Expressions. Although his main instrument was his voice and the saxophone, Frank was also highly proficient at guitar, bass, drums, and piano. His 22-year recording and touring career with the Expressions took him across all of North America.
Frank moved to the Island in 1985 and continued to pursue his love of music. With his wife Anna, he continued to perform locally, write, and study music. As an Islander, Frank translated his artistic integrity from his musical background to his carpentry and painting profession. Always a stickler for perfection, Frank was known for his uncompromising standards of quality and his fine attention to detail. In his spare time, he took pleasure in spending quiet time at home, enjoying music and dabbling in woodworking projects.
With a heart as big as his size 14 shoes, Frank was one of the most selfless people to grace this planet. As the only brother to five sisters, he learned at an early age to put others before himself. Throughout his entire life, and even up until his final days, he always tried to make sure the rest of his family had what they needed before he thought of himself. All those who knew Frank were touched by his humble generosity, quiet kindness, and gentle spirit. He often seemed to be guided by the eternal words of Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." His healthy sense of humor remained with him until the end, allowing him to be comforting to his family even in the face of his greatest adversity. Friends and family will be gathering once again this summer on the anniversary of his birth to commemorate the legacy of Frank's life with a "Celebration of Life" party; just how Frank would have wanted it.
Frank's surviving family consists of his wife, Anna; his three sons Franklin Cayce Cole, Brady Farrell Cole and Ryan Wendell Cole all of Vancouver, Wash., and his longtime daughters by marriage Kimberly Ann Pagliuca of Norfolk and Serena Jean Pagliuca of Oak Bluffs as well as his six grandchildren, ranging in age from 2 months to 10 years old. Frank was a kind soul who will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and more information.