Obituary : Melissa T. Howland
Melissa (Missy) Tinker Howland died at her home in Lambert's Cove, West Tisbury, on February 26. The cause was complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Born in New Haven, Conn., on July 2, 1925, she grew up in Wallingford, Conn., where her father, Harold L. Tinker, longtime resident of West Tisbury, was a teacher at the Choate School.
She was a "summer kid" on Martha's Vineyard from the age of 11 after her father and mother (Helen Wingate Tinker) bought a half-cape on New Lane in West Tisbury in 1936.
Young girls were not felt to be appropriate at boys prep school at that time so Missy was "boarded out" to Northfield Seminary for Girls (now Northfield Mount Hermon) from which she graduated in 1944 - a year late as a result of a horseback accident on Meetinghouse Lane.
She entered Pembroke College of Brown University, class of 1948. It was at Brown that she met her husband-to-be, Jack, a returned Pacific Theatre Army Veteran.
They were married shortly after graduation. They lived variously in Bridgeport, Conn., where Jack's first job was as a trainee at G.E. Later they lived in Montclair, Chatham, and East Hanover, N.J., and New York City, where Jack was director of advertising at AT&T.
Frequent summer visitors, Missy kept up with her Island friends and after retirement in 1982 returned permanently to their home overlooking Duarte's Pond in Lambert's Cove where Missy became known as the "Duck Lady" feeding the local wild fowl.
It was her wish to be cremated. Services will be private.