Obituaries

Posted April 27, 2006

David W. Ganong
David W. Ganong of Vineyard Haven died on April 20. A memorial service for David will be held on Saturday, April 29, 1 pm at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs, with the Rev. Gail Hicks officiating. Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Times.

Charles L. Hamilton
Charles Lee Hamilton, 59, of Morristown, N.J., died on April 11. Mr. Hamilton was the son of Alexander Hamilton and Carol Collins Hamilton of Morristown, N.J.

During his early career, he was employed as a photographer and darkroom specialist. As a young man he spent summers with his family on the Island and later he worked as a lifeguard in the late 1960s. At this time he began a career in photography. His photographs of the Island were printed in the Vineyard Gazette and were shown at a gallery run by Queenie Bagnall.

In addition to his photography work, he also worked for a New Jersey occupational center and as a courier and taxicab driver in Morris County. Charles Hamilton served on the Morristown Environmental Committee during the mid-1970s and was a longtime member of the Morris County Democratic Party. He generously volunteered his time supporting local charities including Meals On Wheels, Morris County homeless shelter and Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Hamilton worked on over 30 houses with Habitat for Humanity in Morristown, California, Mississippi, and Georgia, as well as international projects in Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Charles is survived by a twin brother, James L. Hamilton of Cranford, N.J.; a niece Allison of Cranford, N.J.; sisters Martha C., of Cambridge and Sally M. Hamilton of West Tisbury. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 6 at the First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon, N.J., where he served as a deacon and elder. A fund in his name has been established at the First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 218, New Vernon, NJ 07976 on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.

Benjamin A. Smith
Benjamin Anthony Smith, son of Abbott Metcalf Smith and Catherine Anthony of New Bedford, died in West Palm Beach, Fla., from complications following hip surgery on April 7. He was 85 years old.

He attended Friends Academy in Westport and Deerfield Academy where he was followed by two of his sons. He graduated from Yale College in 1942. After service in the United States Navy in North Africa and Bermuda in World War II, he returned to Yale for his law degree. While at Yale he was a member of the Yale Glee Club and the Whiffenpoofs a cappella singing group. The social ease and bonhomie of the Whiffenpoofs influenced his style throughout his life.

After graduating from Yale Law School he practiced law for 20 years in Providence, R.I., where he was a member of the Art Club and the Agawam Hunt Club. He was an active member of the English-Speaking Union. He subsequently practiced law in New York City and Boulder, Colo.

In 1980 he converted a former whaling captain's house in Edgartown into the Point Way Inn, which he ran successfully until his retirement in 1999. In his later years he was an enthusiastic English croquet player, founding the Edgartown Mallet Club and participating in many United States Croquet Association events.

He is survived by three sons, Benjamin Anthony of Boulder, Colo., Llewellyn Gibbons of Brooklyn, N.Y., and John Hyrne Tucker of Larchmont, N.Y.; two daughters Sarah Millee of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Carol Gutwein of San Diego, Calif.; step-daughter Marni Katona of Bristow, Va.; and five grandchildren.

An interment service will be held at the family mausoleum in the New Bedford Cemetery on May 19.

William C. Zelle
William C. "Bill" Zelle died unexpectedly early Friday morning, April 21, at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. He was 73.

Bill graduated from Somerville High School in 1952, served four years in the Air Force and was a veteran of the Korean War. He resided in Brockton and worked for US Air at Boston's Logan International Airport for 28 years, becoming a lead mechanic at the airline. He enjoyed participating in activities with his sons, Scott and David, and he became particularly involved with the Boy Scouts, as he loved the outdoors. He came to Martha's Vineyard in 1992, eventually retiring here to live year-round in Edgartown in 1995, in a house he helped to build with the expertise of his good friend Steve Morgan.

Bill established himself as an important member of the Island community, volunteering for Meals on Wheels and for the Trustees of the Reservations. He worked for and became great friends with the Edgartown Harbormaster, Charlie Blair, and could always be seen at Memorial Wharf during the summer season. He met his wife, Eunice, here on the Island, and they were married in 2002 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Edgartown. Both Bill and Eunice loved the water, boating, kayaking, traveling, and working and playing outdoors together. Bill also enjoyed history, sports (particularly football), building things, and talking and being with his family, friends, and co-workers.

Bill was the husband of Eunice S. (Murray) Zelle, the father of William "Scott" Zelle and David Zelle, and the grandfather of Amanda Zelle. He is also survived by his sisters, Eleanor J. Genaro, Muriel I. Narvid, and Phyllis J. Raimo, as well as by his step-children, Patricia A. Oliver, James H. Murray, Michael D. Murray, and Erica L. Elliott, and step-grandchildren, Melissa L. Howell and Neil C. Oliver. He was pre-deceased by his parents, William and Alida Zelle, and two step-sons, Stanley J. "Chuck" Murray, Jr. and Stephen J. Murray.

Services were held at Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home on April 24. Interment will take place at the Bourne National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Andrew's Church, Edgartown or American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131. Please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

Melvin F. Cleveland
Melvin Francis Cleveland died on April 17 at the Kathleen Daniel Health Care in Framingham. He was born September 20, 1919, in Vineyard Haven, the son of Lydia and Llewellyn Cleveland. Mel grew up in Vineyard Haven. He enjoyed sailing, fishing and hunting. He graduated from Tisbury High School and attended University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He served in the Coast Guard Reserve.

He is predeceased by his son Melvin F. Cleveland, Jr. of Oak Bluffs and three sisters Elizabeth O'Hearn, Lena Sears, and Ruth Haddock. He is survived by his daughters Jean Grebe of Southborough, Marjorie Sudmyer of Framingham, Nancy Downey of New York and daughter-in-law Yvonne Cleveland of Belmont. He is survived also by his sisters Rita Cleveland of New Bedford, Marjorie Taylor of Vineyard Haven, and a brother Harold Cleveland of New Hampshire, several grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private graveside service will be held May 6 with the Rev. Roger Spinney officiating.

Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home.