Posted September 7, 2006

Ruth C. Wortman

Ruth C. Wortman

Ruth C. Wortman of Martha's Vineyard and Westlake, Ohio died peacefully at her home in Oak Bluffs on August 23 after a pleasant day visiting with friends, swimming at the beach, and enjoying dinner with her family.

She was born in Norwell on Oct. 5, 1912, to Charles and Hester Coughlan and grew up in Newton Center. She graduated with a bachelor of science from Jackson College (Tufts) where she met her husband Weldon W. Wortman of Melrose. They were married in the Chapel at Tufts on June 20, 1936, residing in Boston and Bennington, Vt., before moving to suburban Cleveland, Ohio, in 1945.

She had a great zest for life and her interests were many: travel, sailing, swimming, bicycling, square dancing, reading, knitting, and spending time with her family. She was fiercely independent and faced life's challenges with determination and enthusiasm.

Music was one of her great loves. She earned a fine reputation as a musician, both as organist and choir director at West Shore Unitarian Church in Rocky River, Ohio, and as a well-respected piano teacher. She was very active in the Northeast Ohio Music Teachers' Association.

Ruth was very committed to her church and to her community and volunteered in many capacities. She delivered Meals on Wheels and tutored students at Harper Elementary School in Cleveland well into her 80s. She also made beds at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital with her husband, and in her younger years was director of the Red Cross Learn to Swim Program in Fairview Park, Ohio.

She had a great love for "her Vineyard," first coming there as a young child and later summering at the family cottage in the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association Campground in Oak Bluffs for 60 years.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband Weldon in 1993, an infant daughter Doris Marjorie, her parents and younger siblings, brother Donald Coughlan who died in infancy, and sister Marjorie Pratt.

She is survived by her three daughters and their husbands: Sally Dagnall (Russ), Jan Levine (John) and Julie Wortman (Anne Cox); five grandchildren and their spouses: Audrey Grossberg (Rick), Cheryl Green (Eric), Richard Dagnall (Denise), Jeffrey Levine (Carmina) and Andrew Levine (Liz). She also leaves eight great- grandchildren: Emily and Elyse Grossberg, Lucas and Sydney Green, Zachary and Megan Ruth Dagnall, Bennett and Isabel Levine; one brother Ernest Coughlan; and many close and dear friends

A memorial service will be held on October 22 at the West Shore Unitarian Church in Rocky River, Ohio.

Those who wish may make a memorial donation to the Tabernacle Restoration Fund, P.O. Box 1176, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

John S. McClintock

John S. McClintock died peacefully on August 29. He was 82 years old.

He was born on January 11,1924, in Minneapolis, Minn., the son of George D. and Jessie M. McClintock. John was a retired businessman, sales manager, and bank officer who was very active as a volunteer for a number of local service organizations.

John served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.

John is survived by his wife of 61 years, Edith Sinclair Taylor McClintock. He is also survived by his children and their spouses, Marney M. Toole and her husband Richard Toole, Todd C. McClintock and his wife Katherine McClintock, Lon T. McClintock and his wife Maureen Matthews McClintock, and Corey M. McClintock and his wife Carole S. McClintock. John is also survived by nine grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his son, John S. McClintock, Jr.

John loved to cook, read, hunt geese, and be useful. He found great joy traveling with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was very active with the Federated Church, Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, and other organizations over the years.

A private graveside service will be held at the Edgartown Cemetery to be followed by a celebration of John's life at the Federated Church, 24 S. Summer Street, Edgartown on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 11 am. A reception will follow.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, P. O. Box 5277, Edgartown, MA 02539 in memory of John.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. For more information and an online guestbook, visit

Joseph Stiles Jr.

Joseph Stiles Jr. of Vineyard Haven died in Falmouth on August 28. He was born in Boydton, Va., to Joseph and Elizabeth (Duncan) Stiles Sr. on November 1, 1925. Joseph's family moved to Freehold, N.J., where he graduated from Freehold High School. Joseph served his country during WWII in the United States Navy. He was stationed on Martha's Vineyard where he met and married Mary Cecilio. Being an avid gardener, Joseph worked many years for Morrice Florist, Rod's, and Woodland Garden Center.

He was a member of Good Shepherd Parish, American Legion Post 257, Holy Name Society, St. Vincent DePaul, past Deputy Sheriff of Dukes County, past member of the Tisbury Fire Department.

Joseph leaves his two daughters Joyce Stiles Tucker and Shari Duncan and her husband Canute all of Vineyard Haven; one son Kenneth Stiles of Randolph; three grandchildren Jennifer Watkins, Kenneth Watkins, and Brandon Watkins; two nephews and one niece.

His funeral mass was celebrated on Sept. 1 at St. Augustine's Church, Vineyard Haven. Burial followed in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Vineyard Haven with full military honors offered by the Veterans of Martha's Vineyard. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 720 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman. Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. For more information and an online guestbook, visit

Melvin C. DeBettencourt

Melvin C. DeBettencourt

Melvin C. DeBettencourt, 67, of Oak Bluffs died Sunday, Sept. 3, at Martha's Vineyard Community Hospital.

Mr. DeBettencourt was born on October 10, 1938, to John and Marion (Pachico) DeBettencourt. He was a graduate of Oak Bluffs High School in 1956. He was accepted at Stonehill College for the Class of 1960, but accepted a full time position with The Steamship Authority. He retired from his position as assistant agent in 1973 and began operating The Corner Store, and continued to do so for the next 33 years.

Melvin enjoyed being a fixture in the Oak Bluffs business community and looked forward to greeting new Island visitors as well as old friends at the beginning of each season with a smile. He was an avid reader and in recent years spent more of his winters on the beach in Hollywood, Florida. Melvin enjoyed many simple pleasures in life. He was an unassuming gentleman, but when it came to others he always extended every courtesy and lent an ear or words of wisdom. Melvin was a kind and generous friend to many, whether he was on the beach in Florida or sitting on a bench outside of the Corner Store.

Melvin was involved in many organizations as well. He was a long-time member and past secretary of the Martha's Vineyard NAACP. He was a member of the Boards of the Directors of both the Martha's Vineyard Cooperative Bank and Edgartown National Bank. Although busy, he still found time to be active in the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

He was the loving father of Jennifer, Jason, and Luke; adored father-in-law of James Padre, Corrin (Pierson) DeBettencourt and Danielle (Weiss) DeBettencourt; loving grandfather of seven grandchildren, Jordan Clark, Jessica, Kayla, Noah, and Amanda Padre, and Anna and Maya DeBettencourt; as well as beloved brother to John A. DeBettencourt Jr. (deceased), Violet M. Rego (deceased), Ruth Metell, Richard DeBettencourt, Geraldyn DeBettencourt, Gaynell Downs and Brenda Frederick; beloved brother-in-law to Lois DeBettencourt, James S. Rego Jr. (deceased), Fred Metell (deceased), Vivian DeBettencourt and Charles E. Downs; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

His funeral was held on Sept. 7, with a Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs. Interment was at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs.

Memorial Donations may be made to the Vineyard House, P.O. Box 4459, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit for online guest book and information.

Ella G. Jepson

Ella G. Jepson, 101, formerly of Waterford, Conn., died Sept. 1 at her home in Oak Bluffs. She was married for 57 years to Clarence Richard Jepson, who predeceased her in 1983.

Born on Jan. 18, 1905, in Fall River, she was the daughter of Alexander Remington Townson and Ella Bayley Goss Townson.

She was educated in the Fall River schools and was graduated from B.M.C. Durfee High School class of 1923.

She was a member of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, the Council on Aging and the Senior Center all in Oak Bluffs. Mrs. Jepson was also a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter #57 in Fall River.

She is survived by her daughter, Ruth C. Spohn of Riverside, R.I.; her grandson and his wife, Matthew and Karen Spohn of Portsmouth, R.I.; and her granddaughter, and her husband, Kathryn and Roger Jawharjian of Cranston, R.I., and several nieces and nephews.

Her funeral service was held in Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven on Sept. 4, officiated by the Rev. Robert Hensley and the Rev. Alden Besse. Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs. Donations made in her memory to Grace Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1197, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; the Tabernacle Restoration Fund of the MVCMA, P.O. Box 1176, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; or Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02568 would be appreciated.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit for online guest book and information.

Alice R. Murphy

Alice Rose (Hagearty) Murphy died on August 30 after a courageous battle with emphysema. She was surrounded by friends and family. A Sept. 30 memorial service will be held at St. Augustine's Church in Vineyard Haven. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Times.