Milton Mazer, psychiatrist and longtime director of the Island Counseling Center, died peacefully Jan. 7, at the Longhill Assisted Care Facility in Edgartown. With him in the last days before his death were family, friends, and the loving staff of Longhill.
A summer resident of the Vineyard since the early 1950s, Milton, with his wife Virginia and children Mark and Ruth, moved to the Vineyard year-round in 1961 with the dream of practicing community medicine. The recently formed Martha's Vineyard Community Services was able to raise enough money locally and obtain Commonwealth and Federal Grants for Milton to open a mental health clinic that September. For the next 20 years he directed this clinic and proudly helped Community Services grow into an organization that provided visiting nursing care, early childhood programs, substance abuse counseling, and many other programs.
Born in 1911 in New York City, Milton grew up in Philadelphia. His father, a first generation American whose Jewish family had immigrated from the Ukraine, was a tailor who was deeply involved in the union movements of his time and who displayed the pictures of the candidates of the Socialist Party in the window of his one-man tailor shop. Years later, Milton marveled at the courage it must have taken for his father to stand up for his beliefs at a time when the Attorney General of the United States was arresting thousands of Socialists nationwide. His father's forthrightness and liberal politics were qualities that stayed with Milton throughout his life. From his childhood, Milton remembered trips to see Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics, Sunday trips to the country standing on the running board of a model T Ford and being among the first to walk across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River when it opened. Later, he entertained his children and grandchildren with stories of the funny and raucous ethnic mix of his South Philly neighborhood and a small but oft-told collection of jokes about a recent Eastern European immigrant.
After graduating with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933 with a specialty in internal medicine, Milton worked for the Veterans Administration. Assigned to a V.A. hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi, and needing a place to stay, he rented a room in a house from a recently married couple, Frank and Virginia Wells. Years later, after the death of Frank, Milton and Virginia would begin a marriage that lasted until Virginia's death in 2000.
In 1943 Milton enlisted in the Army Air Force, and was stationed in England for the duration of the War in Europe. Among his assignments were the briefing of flyers before bombing raids on Germany, experiments as to what colors showed up best on the ocean, and as the war was ending, research as to where the most important German scientists were located.
In England he met Francis Chinard, who, with his wife Jo, an Englishwoman Francis had just met, would become lifelong friends of Milton and Virginia. The Chinards, who built a house in West Tisbury in the 1960s, would share many years of family dinners, beach outings, and trips. For many years Francis and Milton sailed together in the Quitsa races. Milton - a straight off the rack man when it came to food and drink - did finally admit that there was a difference between the wine he bought and Francis's wine - which was actually drinkable.
Returning from the War, he left medicine for a time and used his mustering out pay to try his hand as a writer. While living in New York City, he had stories published in The New Yorker (the same week as J. D. Salinger's first story) and Esquire Magazine. At this time he also began his training as a psychoanalyst.
The 1950s were filled with family life in a suburb of New York and his psychoanalytic practice in the city. His daughter, Ruth, was born in 1949 followed by his son, Mark, in 1951.
Summers were spent on Martha's Vineyard and as the years passed both Milton and Virginia - who worked as a television screenwriter throughout this time - found it increasingly harder to leave the Vineyard at the end of the summer. The move to the Vineyard in 1961 fulfilled them both, what he later wrote was "a sense of community...rapidly disappearing from American life." On the Vineyard, Milton and Virginia stayed active in the political life of the country. Both were founding members of the Martha's Vineyard Branch of the NAACP and active in various organizations attempting to end the Vietnam War. At this time, he also became Moderator of the West Tisbury Town Meeting.
Through his work at The Island Counseling Center, Milton published many articles about psychiatry and community medicine. These articles culminated in his book "People and Predicaments" in 1976. This book detailed the stresses on Islanders while showing a deep appreciation for a unique way of life. After his retirement from Community Services, Milton served as Chief of Staff at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. He also maintained a psychiatric practice into the early 1990s. At the time of his death he was putting together a collection of letters he had written political leaders throughout his life.
The death of Milton and Virginia's daughter Ruth in 1978 was a huge loss for Milton and Virginia, but followed as it was by the birth of their grandchildren, they were able to find the strength to continue life as they had. Until his grandchildren went off to college Milton and Virginia saw them almost every day.
Laurie and Rafe remember many sleepovers, excursions to Menemsha, tea parties, poker games, Mr. Wizard type scientific experiments and large doses of "cupboard love."
A gentle, honest, kind, and forthright man, Milton will be missed by many friends and colleagues, and especially by his dear friends Russ and Marianne Hoxsie, his former daughter-in-law, Marybeth Keenan, his grandchildren Laurie and Rafe and his son Mark. For the last six years of his life, Milton lived with his new "family" at the Longhill Assisted Living Center. The care which Elizabeth Sandland, Nancy Nevin, and the entire staff provided was extraordinary and for this his family is deeply grateful.
Milton was cremated and his ashes will be interred with his wife Virginia and his daughter Ruth in the West Tisbury Cemetery. A memorial service celebrating Milton's life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2 pm at the Agricultural Hall, Panhandle Road, West Tisbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Martha's Vineyard Community Services, 111 Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Michael D. Jenkinson Sr.
Michael D. "Flash" Jenkinson, Sr. of Oak Bluffs died Jan. 14 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. He was 62. He was the former husband of Ellen (Maury) and Rosemary (Anthony). He also was the father of Michael Jenkinson, Jr. of Florida, Dennis Jenkinson of New Hampshire and Stephen Jenkinson of Oak Bluffs; and brother of Peter Jenkinson and Polly Emin. A graveside service will be held at a later date and a full obituary will appear in a later edition of The Times. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.
Inez H. Metcalf
Inez Howland (LeBeau) Metcalf, 84, widow of William K. Metcalf died peacefully at her home on Jan. 10.
Mrs. Metcalf was born Oct. 4, 1922, in Tisbury. She was the daughter of Edward LeBeau and Inez Howland Merry. Her girlhood was spent on Martha's Vineyard and where she graduated from Tisbury High School in 1940. She continued her education at Bridgewater State in the class of 1944 with a bachelor's degree in education. That September she accepted a teaching position at Green River and Newton schools. She continued in that capacity until her marriage to William K. Metcalf on Jan. 11, 1953, at which time she moved to Shelburne Falls and taught for a year at Sanderson Academy.
She taught for 32 years in the Buckland/Shelburne/Colrain school system and retired in 1986. She was active in the teacher's association union negotiating committee and served as chairperson for several sessions.
She is affiliated with Trinity Church. Prior to its merger, she taught in the church school at Wm. Butler Memorial Church for ten years.
Mrs. Metcalf enjoyed ballroom dancing, opera and ocean swimming. She will be remembered for her constant pursuit of knowledge and her interest in the well-being of others.
She is survived by her son, James. also of Shelburne Falls; a daughter, Ann, and a grandson, Michael, both of Vineyard Haven. Her son Jonathan W. Metcalf predeceased her in 1979.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131 or visit www.diabetes.org. Arrangements are under the care of the Smith/Kelleher Funeral Home in Greenfield.
Patricia W. Lovell
Patricia White Lovell, 99, of Edgartown, died Jan. 10 at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. A full obituary will appear in a later edition of The Times.
George L. Wey
Captain George L. Wey, USNR (RET.), a valued member of his community, first in Boston and later on Martha's Vineyard, died on Dec. 4, 2006 in Boston. An influential and respected civil engineer, he was 99 years old at the time of his death.
Mr. Wey practiced the art of engineering for his entire career, which lasted more than 70 years and spanned most of the 20th century. Throughout his life, he embraced new ideas and change. Precise and exacting in his work, he was at the same time innovative and creative in his approach to problem-solving.
Born in Bristol, Conn., on May 28,1907, he was a son of William L. Wey and Eva Stecher Wey. He was the fifth of six children, and, at the time of his death, he was the only surviving sibling. He spent his childhood in Bristol and, at an early age, Mr. Wey excelled at sports and exhibited a love of competition and drive. At Bristol High School, George Wey was a star athlete and he was recruited by the University of Illinois to play football. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois in 1930.
George Wey was a member of the generation who came of age during the depression when jobs were scarce and work in his field difficult to find. He began his career with Coughlin Construction Company in Boston as Chief Engineer and Estimator. During his 10-year tenure with Coughlin, he was responsible for many construction projects throughout New England.
Mr. Wey's work ethic was formed by the experience of the Great Depression. Several of his grandchildren recall working for their grandfather one summer on the Vineyard at his company G.L. Wey Engineering Consultants. The project at hand involved digging a large ditch together with splitting several large boulders. The project came to an impasse and Mr. Wey's grandchildren could go no further. Mr. Wey's response was, as always: "You can do anything." With that, he asked them to step aside and, with one blow of a sledgehammer, he split the boulder in two. Mr. Wey was 90 at the time and the temperature matched his age. According to his grandchildren, he taught them never to give up when performing a task and to put your mind and heart into your work to accomplish your goals.
When World War II began, Mr. Wey volunteered for military service and was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy's newly formed Construction Brigade, the SeaBees. After completing officers' training, the unit he was assigned to was given the task of constructing the United States Naval Base in Bermuda. Having spent a year and a half in Bermuda, Mr. Wey's unit was shipped to the Pacific Theater in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. When the United States troops landed on Leyte Island and before the end of hostilities, his unit constructed an airfield and port facilities while under constant harassment by the enemy. Prior to Japan's surrender, Mr. Wey's unit was preparing for the Allied invasion of mainland Japan.
After World War II, Mr. Wey returned to Boston and was chosen to be the Chief Engineer of the Boston Port Authority, now the Massachusetts Port Authority. During his tenure with the Boston Port Authority, Mr. Wey implemented and supervised the construction of new shipping facilities within Boston's inner harbor. In the early 1960s, he left the Port Authority and was appointed Director of Transportation Planning for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was instrumental in preventing the implementation of the Inner Belt Highway which would have been very disruptive to the environment and the surrounding urban communities.
Upon reaching retirement age, Mr. Wey left the public sector and sold the family home in Winthrop, to build a house on his beloved Martha's Vineyard. With the completion of his home, he became restless with the desire to do something more with his life. At the age of 71, he formed G.L. Wey Engineering Consultants. He remained active in this pursuit until he was 94.
His family was at the center of his life and Mr. Wey delighted in following the lives and accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He will be remembered by his family and his many friends for his politeness, his competence, his generosity and the spirit of good will he showed to others. His grandchildren will always remember their grandfather's devotion to their grandmother during her lengthy illness.
On the Vineyard, Mr. Wey was a Director of Union Chapel and a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church, the East Chop Beach Club and the East Chop Tennis Club. He was a member of The American Society of Civil Engineers.
Mr. Wey was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Jean O. Wey; his daughter, Dr. Nancy B. Wey; and his son Jonathan L. Wey as well as all his five siblings. He is survived by his sons George C. Wey of Scituate and Roger W. Wey of Oak Bluffs. He also leaves 11 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and his second wife.
Funeral services were held Dec. 8, 2006 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, Oak Bluffs, with burial in the family cemetery in Bristol, Conn.