Obituary : Weston Howland
Weston Howland Jr., 85, was a businessman, philanthropist and outdoorsman. He grew up in Milton, and attended Milton Academy. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army and attended the Officers Candidate School. He was stationed in China, India, and Burma during World War II and earned the rank of Lieutenant in the OSS. He completed his college education at Harvard College (Class of 1949) and founded the investment advisory firm Howland Capital Management.
Dusty, as his Vineyard friends knew him, first came to the Island in 1949, the year he married his beloved, late wife Melita. They first rented in West Chop, but eventually were drawn to the rural beauty of Chilmark where they purchased the family property in 1955 and built their home shortly thereafter. They summered on the Vineyard every year after that.
Although on vacation, Dusty was not one to sit on the beach. He loved fishing and boating and spent many happy hours chasing fish around the Vineyard waters on his sportfishing boat Tiderunner. One of his greatest joys was sharing with his grandchildren his love of the ocean, running a boat and fishing. He enjoyed his many friends and developed a large cadre of both summer folks like himself and Island residents. He could often be found early in the morning on Menemsha docks visiting with the commercial fisherman, listening to their stories and gathering local lore about the island he loved so much.
He became an avid supporter of various Vineyard conservation efforts and was instrumental in getting the Squibnocket Associates property and beach as well as his home property placed under conservation easement. He has left a legacy of appreciation for the Island and its unique character and stewardship of the land they were so fortunate to live on, to his children and grandchildren. He supported the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society and Sheriff's Meadow Foundation and was a member of the Edgartown Yacht Club.
Outside of his busy business career he spent more than 25 years actively involved with The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and attended his last Executive Committee meeting just this past December. He was affiliated with a number of Boston-based charities. He was one of the founders of the New England Aquarium and spent over 25 years as a trustee at Tufts University where he received an honorary doctorate degree. He also served on the boards of Crossroads for Kids, Civic Education Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Plimoth Plantation, and The Trustees of Reservations.
His belief in the importance of education led to his funding educational fellowships at a number of the institutions with which he was involved. He loved to support organizations with innovative programs that addressed issues in different ways, and often his support was designed to promote others to give. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to give back to their communities through charitable organizations where there could be a multiplier effect from the support they provided.
For those who wish, contributions in Mr. Howland's memory may be made to The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, MA.