Obituaries

Posted December 13, 2007

Everett F. Warner Sr.

Everett Frazar Warner, Sr., of Needham and Edgartown, died peacefully of heart failure on Dec. 7, at the North Hill retirement community where he lived for the past ten years. He was 87 years old and is survived by his children Everett F. Warner, Jr., of Blacksburg, Va., Elizabeth (Beta) W. Weedon of Wellesley, and Ahni C. Warner of Amherst, N.H.; and eight devoted grandchildren.

An Island memorial service will be held in July 2008. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Times.

Eleanor G. Hollingsworth
Eleanor G. Hollingsworth. Click photo for larger version.

Eleanor G. Hollingsworth

Eleanor G. Hollingsworth, 101, died on Dec. 4, at her home in Westwood. She and her husband, Amor, were married for 71 years. She leaves three loving daughters and their spouses, Holly Towles and Khalil Khalil of Naples, Fla., Happy and Bob Doran of Brookline, and Nancy and Randy Taplin of Warren, Vt. She also leaves seven grandchildren and their spouses, Stokley Towles and Sarah Brace, Amor and Maggie Towles, Kimbrough Towles and George Loening, David and Tricia Doran, Eleanor Doran, Jessica and Jim Fecteau, Joel Taplin and McKenzie Burrus-Granger. She also leaves ten loving great grandchildren. She resided at Fox Hill in Westwood and for many years, wintered at Boca Grande, Fla., and summered at West Chop. An avid golfer, she had her second hole-in-one at age 90 at the Gasparilla Club in Boca Grande. A service was held on Dec. 11 at the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill. Arrangements by George F. Doherty and Sons Funeral Homes, Dedham.

John C. Nevin

John C. Nevin died on Nov. 30. He was born on Winter Street in Edgartown in 1921. He spent his entire life in Edgartown, except for his service in World War II. He was a prisoner of war and survived not only his experience in Germany but also fought in Normandy. He later returned to his home and married Mary Jane Smith of Vineyard Haven, his high school sweetheart, and together they had four children. John was predeceased by his wife in 1987, and his son Jack in 2006.

John was a real estate appraiser and a volunteer firefighter. He was a doting father to his four children whom he adored. He also has many grandchildren, nieces, and nephews whom he spent many fun outings with.

John was an avid reader, photographer, and finder of treasures with his metal detector. He will be remembered most for his quick wit and his wry humor.

John leaves behind his loving companion and confidante, Polly Ann Emin; three daughters, Anne Nevin of West Tisbury, Nancy C. Nevin of Williamstown, and Mary Jane Nevin of Beacon Hill. He will be missed by all who knew him.

A service was held on Dec. 7 at St. Andrew's Church. Burial was private. Donations may be made in John's name to the Red Cross of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 1116, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; or to the charity of your choice.

Rose M. Simonds
Rose M. Simonds. Click photo for larger version.

Rose M. Simonds

Rose Millington Simonds died on Dec. 4, following a lengthy illness. Born in New York City during the summer of 1918 and raised there, she was the oldest daughter of John Henry and Agnes Millington. "Rosie" met the love of her life in 1936, and she married her beloved husband Robert Garfield Simonds on June 18, 1938. During their 34 years of devoted marriage, they lived in New York City and West Trenton, N.J., and welcomed Judith Ann and Peter Wilmot into their family. Following her husband's death, Rose lived in Avon, Conn., for 20 years, and spent each summer on the Vineyard before relocating to the Island permanently in 2005, so she could remain near her daughter.

Rosie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bobbie; her parents; her sister, Kay Donnelly; and her great-grandson, Macklin Eberle. She is lovingly remembered by many, especially her family. She is survived by: her devoted children, Judy Mueller of Vineyard Haven and Peter of Henderson, Nevada; her nephews, Mark Donnelly of New York City, and Brian Donnelly of Davis, Calif., in addition to her niece, Sara Sexton Lucas of Newburyport, and her nephew, Christopher Simonds of York, Maine; her son-in-law, Carl Mueller and daughter-in-law Betsy Reed; her grandchildren Kristi Mueller of Damascus, Md., and Remik Mueller of Windsor, Conn.; and her six great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Owen, Zimri, and Mason Eberle, and Hayden Rose and Tynan Mueller.

All of the members of Rose's family extend their deepest appreciation and admiration for the entire staff of the Henrietta Brewer House. The dedicated professionals provided the highest quality of care in a warm setting, making her final year as comfortable as possible.

In addition to her family, Rosie drew great pleasure from reading and remained devoted to her faith. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who remember her make a donation to the American Cancer Society, attn: web, P.O. Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454 or the public library of their choice.

Nancy W. Whiting
Nancy W. Whiting. Click photo for larger version.

Nancy W. Whiting

Nancy Weadock Whiting, of West Tisbury, died on Nov. 16, at the Falmouth Hospital. The cause of death was complications of chronic lung disease. She was 82 years old.

Nancy was born on Sept. 23, 1925, in Detroit, Mich. She was the only child of George Philip Weadock and Martha Currie Weadock. Her mother's family was from colonial New England, and they included the Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen in their family tree. The Curries were early migrants to the upper Midwest. Her father's family came to the United States from Ireland to escape the great famine of the mid-19th century. The Weadocks were a family of public citizens, lawyers, and politicians, both in Ireland and in the States. Nancy always said that had she been a boy, she would have been an attorney, because every man in the first three American generations in the Weadock family had become a lawyer.

When she was young, her family often moved, and she attended schools from Michigan to Florida to New York to Vermont. By the time she became a student at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, she had attended 11 different schools. There she majored in philosophy, and was an active member of school government. She was not able to finish her degree, but years later earned a Bachelor of Arts diploma from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt. She also studied Library Science at the University of Rhode Island, and attended residential programs with the Christian Community on the Island of Iona, Scotland, and at the St. Benedict Center in Madison, Wis.

She married Sloat Fasset Hodgson in 1947, and moved to West Falmouth, on Cape Cod. They had two children, Thomas Sloat Hodgson and Michele Weadock Hodgson. While living on the Cape, she helped organize the Woods Hole Child Center. In 1954, Sloat and Nancy divorced.

In the late '40s, Nancy began summering on the Vineyard. She first rented houses in Chilmark, first on North Road and then the Whiting family Quenames Farmhouse. She became a West Tisbury resident in 1954. In 1956, she bought land from Percy Burt, ten acres of back pasture from the old West farm, off Music Street, and built her house.

Nancy worked many jobs in her early Vineyard years. She cooked and did household work at Seven Gates Farm, and worked for Peter Mitchell at Heathland Farms, which was then located in an old barracks building at the county airport, where she did everything from keeping books to grading eggs. She served as West Tisbury tax collector in the early '60's, and eventually went to work for Martha's Vineyard Community Services, where she became the research assistant for Dr. Milton Mazer. In 1970, she went to Boston to spend a year working for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. After this year she returned to the town and community she loved, and became the West Tisbury librarian. Under Nancy's stewardship, the library became an increasingly thriving and vibrant organization.

In 1971, she married Everett Davis Whiting, of West Tisbury. She embraced her newly extended family as her own, and the next ten years were among the happiest of her life. After Everett's death in 1981, she worked with his family to help ensure the preservation and survival of the Whiting Farm.

She was a devoted and active citizen, a person of character and integrity, of strongly held beliefs, deep thought and care. She dedicated much of her life to action. She served on town committees. She participated in the Civil Rights Movement during the '60s, and in 1964 was jailed in North Carolina for encouraging people to register to vote. She was a founding member of the MV NAACP. She protested the war in Viet Nam, and worked in the Peace Movement. She was for many years a member of the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, and subsequently of Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven. She befriended people from all walks of life, and was a tutor and mentor to many. Among her varied interests were art, music, and baseball. She read extensively. She loved numbers and words, and although little-published, was a writer of great talent and ability.

In 1995, Nancy suffered a serious respiratory collapse and was on life support in a Boston hospital for six weeks. She spent months afterwards in a rehabilitation hospital before she could return home. Her doctors doubted she would live another year, and yet, in a year she was remarkably well and even driving again. Since then, despite physical limitations and repeated hospitalizations, her incredible courage and will to live kept her going. Even though her last years were mostly housebound ones, she maintained her friendships and community connections until the very last weeks of her life.

She is survived by a son, Thomas Sloat Hodgson and his wife Christine Gault of West Tisbury; a daughter, Michele Weadock Hodgson of Durham, N.C.; step-children Daniel J. Whiting and his wife Dorothy, Allen D. Whiting and his wife Lynne, and Prudence M. Whiting, all of West Tisbury. She also leaves grandchildren Lucy Hodgson Morse, Darcy Hodgson, Rebecca Hodgson, Emma Thomas, and Ian Phillips. In addition, she leaves step-grandchildren Daniel Whiting, Tara Whiting, William Whiting, Everett Whiting, Beatrice Whiting, Davis Solon, and step great-grandchildren Emma and David Whiting.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 am, at Grace Episcopal Church, Woodlawn Avenue, Vineyard Haven. Afterwards there will be a gathering of family and friends, from 1 to 4 pm at the Davis Gallery home of Allen and Lynne Whiting, in West Tisbury.

Contributions in Nancy's memory may be made to Grace Episcopal Church, Box 1197, Vineyard Haven, MA02568; to the West Tisbury Free Public Library Gift Fund, P.O. Box 190, West Tisbury, MA 02575; to Martha's Vineyard Community Services, 111 Edgartown Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or the charity of your choice.

Thomas P. Mills
Thomas P. Mills. Click photo for larger version.

Thomas P. Mills

Thomas P. Mills, loving husband to wife Arlene for over 50 years, lost his battle with cancer and died on Nov. 15, at their Port St. Lucie, Fla., home with his beloved wife at his side. He had been in home care provided by Treasure Coast Hospice for a short period of time.

His life was all about music, teaching both privately and in the public school systems on the Vineyard, Walpole, and in Jacksonville, Fla. His career as a church organist and choir director spanned more than five decades.

What brought him to the Vineyard in 1961 was his first position teaching music as the instrumental teacher for the whole school system but became the sole music teacher specifically for the high school where he founded the Minnesingers in 1967. Forty years later, this group of musicians continues to share its musical gifts both nationally and abroad. He served as interim organist for the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven, eventually becoming the organist and choir director for Grace Episcopal Church, again in Vineyard Haven. Also during the 1960s, he directed the Martha's Vineyard Chorus and the Vineyard Sinfonietta.

After earning his master's degree in 1971, he became a summer resident of the Vineyard, moving his family to Walpole, where he was music director for the school system until he and Arlene moved to Jacksonville, Fla., in 1981. There again he took a high school teaching position and was organist and choir director for Avondale Methodist.

Taking the position as the music director for Christ by the Sea in Vero Beach, Fla., in 1993, he got involved in establishing the Treasure Coast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and "8 Voices of Song", a vocal group in affiliation with the Vero Beach Opera Guild. In Palm City, Fla., he helped create the Academy of the Performing Arts located at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

A diverse composer, he had numerous commissions during his career. Complementing his church music, his writing included children's musicals, band and choral works, and even a special composition to help Vineyard Haven celebrate its Tri-Centennial.

He had such a love for gardening, which helped him create beautiful landscapes everywhere he lived. His pride and joy was his last, a tropical garden with over 150 species of different plants. He also loved woodworking - building furniture, cabinets and decorative art, and even three houses.

Tom Mills grew up in Rensselaer, N.Y., and graduated from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, with his bachelors and masters degrees in choral and orchestral conducting. He also received a bachelor of music education degree from Framingham State College. He is survived by his son Steve Mills; daughter Sue Mills-Fliss; and mother-in-law May Monington.