Obituaries

Posted December 14, 2006

Laura D. Southworth

Laura D. Southworth

Laura Dorothea Petersen Southworth died peacefully in her sleep at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital on Dec. 12, after a joyous and eventful 95-year journey through life. Born in Scarborough, N.Y., on October 12, 1911, Mrs. Southworth was the third and youngest daughter of Irene Taylor Petersen and Nicholas Anthony Petersen. Mrs. Southworth grew up in Scarborough, where her father was the first pastor at the Presbyterian Church. She attended Connecticut College in New London, Conn., and was graduated in 1931.

Following college, Mrs. Southworth began work at the Bank of New York, where she soon met her future husband, Kenneth Alden Southworth, Jr. They married in May 1939 and were joined a few years later by two sons, Kenneth Alden Southworth, III and Edward Brown Southworth, III. The family made its home on Myrtle Avenue in Millburn, N.J., where Mrs. Southworth was an active member of the Wyoming Presbyterian Church congregation. After retiring to Edgartown in the winter of 1969, Mrs. Southworth put her sensitivity, compassion, and drive to good use, becoming a zealous and committed volunteer to a number of local organizations. She was most proud of her work as a founding member of the Edgartown Council on Aging, a member of the Women's Guild at the Federated Church in Edgartown, and a longtime volunteer at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. Recently named an honorary deacon of the Federated Church, Mrs. Southworth remained involved with the church up until the end of her life.

Mrs. Southworth was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Alden Southworth, Jr., her son Kenneth Alden Southworth, III, and her sisters Irene Petersen Caterson and Mary Kathrina Petersen Stoddard. She is survived by her son, Edward Brown Southworth, III of Edgartown; grandchildren Kenneth Alden Southworth, IV and his wife Ellie, of Darien, Conn., Laura Southworth Sorota and her husband Bruce, of Andover, and Edward Brown Southworth, IV and his wife Roseann Squire, of Centreville, Md.; and seven great-grandchildren.

She will be remembered by her friends and family alike for her quiet dignity, her selflessness, and her deep commitment to all those whom she loved.

Her funeral will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 pm in the Federated Church, S. Summer St., Edgartown officiated by the Rev. Dr. Jerry Fritz. Visiting hours in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home are Friday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 8pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or the Federated Church of Edgartown, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539.

Jack Moment

Jack Moment of West Tisbury died November 23 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital of congestive heart failure at 85 years of age.

Jack was born in Plainville, N.J., and graduated from Lawrenceville School and Yale University.

Jack served in World War ll with the 17th Airborne Division and parachuted into Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, Jack worked as an Art Director and Producer of commercials. After leaving the field of advertising, Jack became involved in many activities. He became an artist working for Portraits, Inc., sculpting heads of many famous people to be bronzed. He also created several portraits of many homes in the Folk Art Tradition. Jack displayed many paintings in the J Johnson Gallery and the Frank Miele Gallery in New York City, and later at the Granary and the Field Galleries on Martha's Vineyard.

Jack was an avid fly fisherman who enjoyed making his own rods and tying his own flies. He also created a collection of hooked rugs which he designed and crafted himself.

Jack Moment leaves his wife, Barbara; two sons, Robert of Vassalboro, Maine, Matthew of Monroe, N.Y.; and three grandchildren. He also leaves two step-children; Scott McDowell of Menemsha and Timmaris McDowell of Cardiff, Calif.

Private interment arrangements in Kents Hill, Maine are planned for some time in the summer.

Raymond P. Houle

Raymond P. Houle

Raymond Proctor Houle died on Dec. 10 in his home of West Tisbury. Born on April 25, 1918 to Frank and Dorothy Proctor Houle in Newbury. He attended Newburyport High School where he participated on the football team and as a youth formed a life guard station on Plum Island. He went on to Stockbridge School of Agriculture UMass. There he received a certificate in Wildlife and Forestry. In June of 2005 he also received an Associates in Science as Alumni of the school. It was there that he formed a friendship with Arnold Fischer of West Tisbury that lasted more than 60 years.

He married Myra Graves in August of 1941 and moved to Connecticut to work at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. He was drafted at the age of 26 and served his country during World War II as a flight mechanic in the Navy; stationed at the Equator in the Galapagos Islands defending the Panama Canal. He came back and continued to work at Pratt and Whitney until his retirement as engine warrantee manager in 1973.

Ray and Myra resided in Andover, Conn., for 30 years. It was there that they purchased a 230-acre dairy farm and later established a Christmas tree farm. During those years Ray remained active in the community. He served as a trustee of the Andover Congregational Church, and member of the Andover Board of Finance and Zoning Board.

Ray moved to West Tisbury in 1979 and continued his commitment to community service. For years Ray served as treasurer of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish group, a non-profit organization committed to raising shellfish for Island towns. He served on the board of the Vineyard Conservation Society and also the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary board. He was an honorary member of the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club and the Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Cub. He served as shellfish constable and also town assessor for the town of West Tisbury for 20 years retiring from both posts at the age of 87. He was also a member of the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.

Ray had a zest for living and led an exemplary life of purpose, stewardship, and service. He loved nature and savored the simple pleasures life offers. The many friendships that he had with people of all ages and walks of life are a testament to the man he was. We have been blessed by knowing him.

Ray was predeceased by his sister Caroline; he is survived by his brother William of Clinton Township, Minn.; his son Peter and wife Christine of Andover, Conn.; his daughter Elisabeth (Betsy) of Andover; and his son Mark and wife Laurel of Hebron, Conn.; and seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A celebration of Raymond's life and words of remembrance will take place Saturday Jan. 6, 2007, at 1 pm at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury.

Donations may be made to Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, P.O. Box 1552, Oak Bluffs, MA. 02557 or to Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary P.O. Box 494, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.