Obituaries

Posted May 10, 2007

Donald J. Maguire

Donald J. Maguire

Donald James Maguire died peacefully at home on April 30. He was 85.

Born in Danvers on November 26, 1921, Don met his wife-to-be Hazel Ruth Mello in elementary school. The love of his life, she preceded him in death in 1995.

Don graduated from Holten High School, and served in World War II in the Army Air Corps as an airplane armorer; 334 Fighter Squadron-4111 Fighter Group based in England, attaining the rank of Sergeant. Citations include; Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Ardennes Campaigns. Decorations include Distinguished Unit Badge, European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

During the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944, Don often recalled living on the flight line at the squadron base in Debden for a full month constantly rearming the P-51 and P-47 fighters assigned to him, and not returning to barracks and a proper bed until early July. He received a personal salute from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a chance personal encounter on the base when the ETO Commander-in-Chief visited the 4th Fighter Group to congratulate the pilots and aircrews for destroying 1,000 German planes. Don was very proud of his military service, appearing in photographs in several books and magazine articles about the 4th Fighter Group, and was a Lifetime Member of the American Legion.

Upon return to the United States, Don married Hazel and they moved to Ithaca, N.Y., where he attended Cornell University. After serving as a farm manager on Loch Lee Farm in Williamsville, N.Y., Don purchased his own dairy farm on Keller Road in Clarence, N.Y. Don and Hazel worked side by side starting with 12 cows and 250 acres to make a home for themselves and for their son and daughter, Charlie and Beverly. Don loved the farming life; his rich baritone voice echoed in the milk house, the barn and in the fields, as he sang joyfully while he worked.

In 1969, he sold the farm and moved to Martha's Vineyard working at first for a landscaping business whose clients included writers and other celebrities. Soon, however, the lure of the farm embraced him once again and he returned to farm management for Herring Creek Farm in Edgartown. Raising Hereford cattle, sheep, pigs, and chickens, Don and Hazel had the time of their lives. Even in his later years, Don returned to the farm to maintain the barns and buildings on his own work schedule.

A keen outdoorsman all his life, Don always harbored a desire to travel to Alaska and see for himself the unspoiled beauty of the far north. He made many trips; viewing every corner of the state; winter and summer, making many friends and adopting a new lifestyle for himself after the death of his beloved Hazel. His minute interest in Alaska and the Sourdough lifestyle approached legendary status in his lifetime, and memories of his passion for a good wood stove and fine fur pelts will continue to be celebrated warmly by family and friends.

Don is survived by his son, Charlie and his wife Mary Jamin-Maguire of Minneapolis, Minn.; and daughter, Beverly Hughes Brady and her husband Brian of Buffalo, N.Y. He was also blessed by seven grandchildren: Elsie and James Jamin-Maguire, and Benjamin, Adam, Nicholas, Jacob and Alexander Hughes.

A funeral Mass was held on May 5 at St. Elizabeth's Church, Edgartown. Burial followed in Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association Memorial and Honors Program, P.O. Box 1132, Fairfax, VA 22038. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.

Philip R. Craig

Philip R. Craig, 74

Philip R. Craig died peacefully on May 8, 2007, at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital after a brief illness. He was born on Dec. 10, 1933, in Santa Monica, Calif., and he and his sister and three brothers were raised on a small cattle ranch in southwest Colorado, near Durango. Phil was thrown off his first horse (a big palomino mare, actually) when he was four years old, and thereafter rode drag on the annual two-day cattle drives to and from the family's summer cattle range. Until he was nine or ten, the Craig ranch had no electricity or running water; but the house was full of books, and he always remembered the times as happy ones. The children would play so hard their shirts would become untucked and fly out in the wind behind them as they ran, so the ranch was called the "Flying Shirttail."

Phil rode horseback or walked the two miles to the one-room Long Lane School for eight years. There were eight rows of desks; from left to right they represented eight different grades. He would say that if you were slow in one subject, you could listen with your left ear to what the previous grade was being taught; if you were fast, you could listen with your right ear to what the class above you was being taught. One of the recess activities of the boys was throwing hunting knives at a wall of the stable where they kept their horses during school hours.

The school library was a closet with some old (early 1900s) books in it, including Tarzan novels.  Phil had seen Tarzan movies, but had never guessed that there were Tarzan books, and over the next few years he read 24 of them, thereby establishing himself as the reigning Tarzan expert of southwest Colorado.  In that same closet were two or three novels about The Campfire Girls, so he read those, too, and became a Campfire Girls expert.  About this time he started writing poetry and prose fiction. Later, in Durango High School, under the influence of a wonderful English teacher, Sharley Pike, who loved anyone who liked books and writing, he wrote more poetry and prose.

Bad knees and flat feet kept Phil out of the Korean War, and in 1951 he went to Boston University with the intention of becoming a minister.  At BU, he was an avid fencer (All-American in 1955) and eventually got a degree in religion and philosophy. But before graduating in 1957, he had become more interested in literature and writing than in philosophy and religion.  Phil studied poetry with Robert Lowell, who quickly persuaded him that he had no future in that field, and studied prose with Gerald Warner Brace, who encouraged him to write fiction. Phil claimed to be a terrible student and barely graduated because he really majored in fencing and minored in bridge.  In fact Phil was invited to join the Olympic fencing squad, but a knee injury and a total lack of money prevented him from accepting. Still, he received his degree in 1957, largely, he always thought, because Boston University just wanted to get rid of him. In December of that year, he married Shirley Jane Prada of Edgartown, whom he had met at a fencing salle while in college.

In 1962, Phil was awarded an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where Vance Bourjaily was his advisor. During summers on the Vineyard during the 1960's, he covered Island matters as a stringer for the New Bedford Standard Times.

From 1962 until 1965, he taught English and journalism at Endicott Junior College in Beverly. In the spring of 1965, he read a freshman theme aloud in class to illustrate some point. The theme included either the word "damn" or "hell" (he forgot which), and he was summarily fired by the dean, who said, "You're too creative for us, Mr. Craig." In the fall of 1965, Phil joined the faculty at Wheelock College in Boston, where he continued to teach English. On a sabbatical in 1973 and 1974, he took his family to Europe for the year, living in Spain and England, and traveling to Morocco. While at Wheelock, Phil often took students to England for a hands-on course in English literature. He became well known to the locals in the town of Bath, England, and was once invited to play on the local pub's cricket team. Upon his return from England one year, Phil introduced Bath's favorite pub game, "shove ha'penny," to the colonies, having his own game board made by a Vineyard headstone carver. Spirited family competitions ensued, always accompanied by a pint of ale. Phil remained at Wheelock until the spring of 1999, when he retired as professor emeritus of English and became a full-time writer.

Best known to many as a novelist, Phil wrote his first novel (Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn) during his noon lunch breaks in the back room of Al's Package Store in Edgartown, where he worked summers.  It was published in 1969, when he was 35.  His second (A Beautiful Place to Die) was published in 1989, when he was 55. During the 20 years between appearances in print he wrote and submitted novels that no one wanted to publish. Every year since 1989, Scribner has published a volume of Phil's mystery novels, all of which are set on Martha's Vineyard.  A Vineyard Killing was the July, 2003 selection of the book club on Good Morning America. Scribner also published  First Light and Second Sight, novels co-written with William G. Tapply, author of the Brady Coyne mysteries. Along with his wife, Shirley, Phil wrote a cookbook based on the recipes in his mystery series. It's called Delish: the J.W. Jackson Recipes and was published in September 2006 by Vineyard Stories.  The eighteenth book in the J.W. Jackson mystery series, Vineyard Stalker, will be released this June, and Third Strike, the third book co-written with William Tapply, will be out later this year. The final, as yet untitled, book in the J.W. Jackson series will appear around June of 2008.

Among other activities related to writing, Phil served on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and has chaired or been a member of panels at international conferences of mystery writers in Omaha, St. Paul, Scottsdale, Monterey, Washington D.C., Albuquerque, Denver, and Nottingham, England. He taught workshops on mystery writing on Cape Cod and in Arizona, and has been a guest lecturer on fiction writing at Arizona State University, the University of the Virgin Islands, Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., Emerson College in Boston, and Dartmouth College.

In the fall of 2004 Phil accepted an invitation to house his papers and other archival materials in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.  He had more than 20 cartons of material because he'd been saving almost everything pertaining to his writing since the 1950's when he decided to keep a record of his efforts to become a novelist. Phil was flattered by the invitation to house his material in the Gotlieb Archives, but also very aware of the ironic contrast between his many boxes of paper and the single envelope that could contain all of what is known about Shakespeare!

Phil and Shirley retired to their summer home in Edgartown, where he would sail his catboat, surfcast for bluefish, cook, sing in the Island Community Chorus, garden, go shell fishing, lie on the beach, and engage in other island activities.  Most mornings, he would write.  He also loved to play guitar and sing folk songs with his family and friends. Phil loved to cook and entertain, and even in retirement was constantly busy with social activities. He served on the board of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society and was vice president of the Martha's Vineyard Chapter of the Scottish Society. Phil was a member of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters, The Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, The Trustees of Reservations and the Rod & Gun Club. He and his son Jamie also belonged to the Speckled Band of Boston, a Sherlock Holmes society. When he could afford it, he and Shirley would travel, particularly to sites of ancient civilizations.  Together they visited 49 states and 43 countries.   

Phil was an amazing husband and father, who always supported and encouraged his children no matter what direction they took in life. He loved interacting with his grandchildren, encouraging his granddaughter Jessica to write, his grandson Peter to play guitar, and teaching his six year old grandson, Riley, the basics of real fencing; all passions of his life. He was never pushy with advice, but was always there to guide us when it was most needed. In every way, he was larger than life, and his loss leaves a void that can never be filled.

Phil is survived by his wife of 49 years, Shirley Jane Prada Craig, his children Kim Lynch of Durango, Colorado and Jamie Craig of Edgartown, his grandchildren Jessica and Peter Harmon and Bailey Lynch of Durango, and Riley and Amelia Craig of Edgartown, his bothers Kenneth and Howard Craig and sister Martha Walker of Durango, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was pre-deceased by his younger brother, Roger Craig. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the Island Community Chorus, one of his favorite organizations. You can reach them at P.O. Box 4157, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. A remembrance will be held in August at a date to be announced, and Phil's ashes will be spread in the waters of his beloved Vineyard. Pamamine, my love, may your spirit soar with the eagles.

Wendell N. Johnson

Wendell N. Johnson

Wendell Norman Johnson, formerly of Oak Bluffs, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Oscar and Ida Johnson. He graduated from Boston Latin School, the New England College of Pharmacy, and earned a master of science in international communications from American University. Enlisting in the United States Navy in 1956, Norman was designated a Rear Admiral in 1983.

Commander, Destroyer Squadron Thirty-Five and Commander, Naval Base, South Carolina were two of his notable assignments. The Legion of Merit with gold star, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star and the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars represent a sampling of his awards.

From 1989 to 2003 Rear Admiral Johnson served as dean of students at Boston University (BU). The University Resource Center at BU that he created lives on. His leadership of the former BU Residential Charter School provided a residential education experience that resulted in high school diplomas for young people in the state foster care system.

Norman loved Martha's Vineyard, he enjoyed sharing time with family and friends there. He enjoyed working on his home and garden in Waterview Farms, Oak Bluffs. He felt that he was truly home when he had his wife by his side and could look out at his beautiful water view.

His death on Dec. 7, 2006 in Scottsdale. Ariz., surrounded by his loved ones, slightly diminished for a minute all who knew this uncommon man. But the flood of memories of his good works here on earth quickly uplifted everyone. Norman will remain loved, respected, and remembered by many. May he rest in eternal peace as his soul soars, free of mortal concerns.

His life is celebrated by his beloved mate of 48 years, Helen Underwood Johnson; his daughters, Laura Hairston and her husband Brian, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Lois Johnson and her husband Miguel of Alexandria, Va.; and his son, Norman Jr., and his wife Stefanie of San Jose, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

Interment with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C., on Friday, May 11, at 11 am will precede a memorial service at Boston University on Monday, May 14, at 11 am at Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Avenue. A reception will follow at George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue. In lieu of flowers donations would be welcomed at the Crispus Attucks Children's Center, 105 Crawford Street, Dorchester, MA 02121 in W.N. Johnson's name: attention Leslie Christian. Arrangements entrusted to Messinger Indian School Mortuary, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Isabel W. Powell

Isabel W. Powell

Isabel Washington Powell, who gave up the nightclub and Broadway stage to marry Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and become a much-loved figure in uptown society, died on May 1. She would have turned 99 on May 23.

The Powells divorced in 1945 after 12 years of marriage and she never remarried, saying no one could match the charismatic minister and political leader. "I so admire the things he did," she said in 2002. "And we had such fun. Those 12 years were the best anyone could have."

Born in Savannah, Ga., Isabel and her sister Fredi became popular performers in New York. Isabel played the "other woman" in Bessie Smith's only film, "St. Louis Blues," and she was dancing at the Cotton Club when Powell first saw her.

Powell's minister father objected to his marrying a showgirl. But their wedding at Abyssinian Baptist Church, where Powell Sr. was the pastor, drew 3,000 spectators.

After the divorce, Isabel became a special education teacher, volunteered, did occasional performing and remained the center of a large social circle both in the city and on Martha's Vineyard.

"My only problem is I don't have enough room on my calendar for everything I want to do," she said in 2002.

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. died in 1972.

A memorial service for Isabel Powell will be held May 12, from 10 am to noon, at Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th Street, New York, N.Y.

Isabel W. Powell's obituary was written by David Hinckley, staff writer for New York Daily News. It appeared on May 3.

Mandred T. Henry

Mandred T. Henry

Mandred Thomas Henry, 73, of Edgartown, member of Grace Episcopal Church, Vineyard Haven, and previously a long-time resident of Hartford, Conn., and Worcester, died on May 5, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. He died peacefully, surrounded by his family.

He was born April 6, 1934 in Hartford, Conn., to parents Mandred Floyd Henry and Corrinne E. Taylor Henry. Mandred grew up in Hartford as a member of St. Monica's Episcopal Church, graduated from Weaver High School in 1953, and attended the University of Connecticut, Storrs. A visit to Martha's Vineyard during college began a lifelong love of the Island, where he later enjoyed fishing with his Dad and spending summers with all of his children. He moved to the Vineyard when he retired after 27 years from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Worcester. He became an avid golfer and fisherman.

Mandred was a seventh generation descendant of Venture Smith, who was captured in the 1700s as a slave in New Guinea, and eventually bought his freedom and his family's freedom and owned several hundred acres of land on the Connecticut River when he died in 1805.

Although Mandred has fought racial inequality all his life, his leadership role began to flourish on the Vineyard as he was elected Martha's Vineyard NAACP president for 12 years; served as a Martha's Vineyard Hospice volunteer and Board Member; and served as vestry member and junior warden of Grace Episcopal Church.

His best friend Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., once wrote, "To me, Mandred Henry is Mr. Martha's Vineyard. From the time he arrived on this island he has worked hard to increase racial harmony and understanding, and to make sure that equality of opportunity and fairness are applied to all people. He has made it his life's mission to promote good relationships between people of all diverse ethnicities. Mandred loves and cares for people."

He is survived by his loving wife, Laurie Perry Henry; his sister, Coralyn Henry Jackson and her husband, Jesse, of Hartford, Conn.; his son Mandred Thomas Henry II, by Lorraine Waters Henry of Falmouth; his children by Lilo Weiss Henry, Susi Ryan and her husband, Robert, of Worcester, Angi Perron and her husband, Gary, of Milford, N.H., Corinne Henry and Floyd Henry of Providence, R.I.; grandchildren Gina Ryan, Beatrice Perron, Christian Perron, Mandred Tyler Henry, Jazz Jordan Henry, Amber Henry, Evan Perron, and Hanna Perron; great-grandchild Jasir Robert Ryan Lee; several nieces and nephews; and his two best friends, Otis William Wade and Charles J. Ogletree Jr.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 11, from 6 to 8 pm at Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 56 Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 12, at 11 am at Grace Episcopal Church, 36 Woodlawn Avenue, Vineyard Haven. Contributions may be made in his name to the Martha's Vineyard NAACP, P.O. Box 1513, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, or the Martha's Vineyard Hospital Building Fund, One Hospital Way, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Notes of expression to the family may be left at www.ccgfuneralhome.com.

Stephen R. Ellis

Stephen R. Ellis

Stephen R. Ellis, 58, formerly of Haverhill, died on May 7 at his residence in Tisbury. He was born in Boston, July 26, 1948, son of Kenneth E. Ellis of Haverhill and Beatrice (Eastman) Ellis.

Educated in the Haverhill School system, Stephen graduated from Haverhill High, class of 1967. He earned a business degree from Graham College, Boston.

For over 25 years he was employed at State Street Bank, from where he retired in the mid 1990s as a vice president.

A devout Catholic, he once had dinner with the Pope and former President Carter.

He enjoyed traveling, antiques, and Martha's Vineyard.

He resided in Boston for several years, and moved to Martha's Vineyard full time two years ago.

He was predeceased by his mother, Beatrice (Eastman) Ellis and his brother, Kenneth Ellis. He is survived by his father; brothers, Nicholas P. Ellis of Haverhill, Gary S. and his wife Jeanette Ellis of Methuen, David H. Ellis of Vero Beach, Fla., and Michael D. Ellis of Haverhill; sisters, Kathryn L. and her husband Jeffrey Middleton of Topsfield, Beatrice E. and her husband Syngun Hare of Tarzania, Calif., and Patricia A. Ellis of Bradford; as well as several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral Friday, May 11, at 8 am from the H.L. Farmer & Sons Bradford Funeral Home, 210 S. Main Street, Bradford, followed by a funeral Mass at 9 am in Sacred Heart Church, Bradford. Calling hours at the Bradford Funeral Home will be Thursday, May 10, from 4 to 7 pm. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Haverhill.

Condolences to his family may be made at www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.

Susan J. McClinchie

Susan Jo McClinchie of Martha's Vineyard died on May 2 at age 61. Formerly of Glenshaw, Penn., she graduated from Shaler High School in 1964, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968. She received a graduate degree from the University of West Virginia, and was a food service director for various hospitals in New England.

Susan is survived by her brother Alexander McClinchie III and his wife Molly; her niece Melanie Carmelite; nephews Michael and Mark McClinchie; six great nieces and nephews, and a former sister-in-law Patricia Porto. She was predeceased by her parents, Georgia and Alexander McClinchie Jr.

Friends were received Monday, May 7, at the Bock Funeral Home, LTD., in Glenshaw, where a funeral service was held on Tuesday at 11 am.

A memorial celebration of Susan's life will be held in the Federated Church, South Summer St., in Edgartown on Sunday, May 13 following the morning worship service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Federated Church, 45 South Summer St., Edgartown, MA. 02539, or the Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 2214, Vineyard Haven, MA. 02568.

Ruth G. Dolby

A graveside service for the burial of cremains of Ruth G. Dowley-Dolby, who died March 10, will be held on Saturday, May 19 in Oak Grove Cemetery, Pacific Avenue, Oak Bluffs at 4 pm officiated by Rev. Mary Jane O'Connor-Ropp. Ruth was predeceased by her husbands, Bruce Dowley and James Dolby.