Obituary : Wilfred A. Lawrence
Wilfred A. Lawrence died at the age of 91 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital on November 2. He was born in Oak Bluffs on January 21, 1917, to Joseph Lawrence and Mary (Sylvia) Lawrence. He was raised on Clinton Avenue in the Campgrounds with his brother and sister.
Wilfred was a chef in Oak Bluffs and Florida in his younger years, followed by many years as a general contractor and builder. He built commercial and residential buildings on the Island that include the former Bergeron Garage, and he renovated Giordano's Restaurant and the Boston House. Along with the contracting business he owned Lawrence Plate, Mirror and Safety Glass. After phasing out the construction business, he embarked on hotel property management. He managed the Island Country Club Inn, the Harborside Inn, Hillside Homes and Condominium Trust and Hidden Cove Property Owner's Association.
In the 1960s he organized and chaired the Martha's Vineyard Transportation Committee, which provided transportation service to and from the Vineyard during the Steamship Authority's labor strike, and was later an advisory member of the Steamship Authority.
Wilfred organized and chaired the first Island Building Code Committee and was building inspector for the Town of Oak Bluffs and later served as an appointed member, then chairman of the Board of Appeals. He was vice-chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Commission and Chairman of the Oak Bluffs Historical Commission that published the history of Cottage City. He was instrumental in nominating the Camp-Meeting Association for the placement in the National Register of Historical Places.
Wilfred enjoyed golfing and gardening. His interest in learning remained with him throughout his life.
Wilfred was predeceased by his brother, Adelbert Lawrence and his wife Harriet (Peters) Lawrence. He is survived by his two sons, Carl Lawrence and his wife, Molly Mattoon of Oak Bluffs and William Lawrence of South Berwick, Maine; his daughter, Patricia Lawrence of Edgartown; two grandchildren, Eric Hathaway and his wife, Kimberly, of Edgartown and Lisa Moscato of Mattituck, N.Y.; and great-grandchildren, Kylie and Jenna Hathaway and Lillian and Mark Moscato. He also leaves his sister, Dolores Vital of Warren, R.I., many nieces and nephews and his friend Patricia Bakke of Edgartown and her family.
A funeral mass was held celebrating Wilfred's life at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs on Friday, Nov. 7, followed by burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Donations may be made in his memory to a charity of one's choice.
Arrangements were under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home located on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.