Obituary : Lorna Tilton Flanders
The following is an excerpt from the graveside service held Wednesday, June 3.
Lorna Tilton Flanders died on June 1. She was at home, with people who loved her and things that she loved.
As many of you who have come here today to honor and remember already know, Lorna was musical. She was practical. She was creative, quick-witted, persevering. She was helpful to others. Lorna loved the Island and its history. She loved playing the piano and the organ and bell-ringing. She loved going out on a boat and fishing with her husband. She loved her garden and birds - her own, the wild ones at her feeder, and the injured ones that neighbors knew to bring to her, because she would nurse them lovingly back to life.
Lorna was born on the Vineyard on November 18, 1927 to Donald and Alice Tilton. She grew up in Vineyard Haven and graduated from the Tisbury School in 1945. She then went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1949. She then worked in a lab at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston where she enjoyed city living at Mt. Vernon Street on Beacon Hill.
On June 23, 1951, she married Richard B. Flanders of Chilmark, at the Christ United Methodist Church in Vineyard Haven. The merging of these families including Tilton, Flanders, Mayhew, and Cottle was an Island event. The couple then moved to Levittown, N.Y., so Dick could pursue his career as an aeronautical engineer. He designed airplanes - not something he could do on the Island.
Their daughter, Martha, and son, Steven, were born and raised in Levittown. While Lorna lived there she enjoyed access to the suburban lifestyle and was involved with volunteer work, her church, and her music. The family frequently returned to their Island roots in Vineyard Haven and Chilmark during those years. And Lorna brought her love of the land and plants to their suburban yard, which had the best vegetables and flowers in the neighborhood. Lorna always had a creative knack for making things and she was active with the Cooperative Home Extension there.
In the early 1970s Lorna and Dick returned to the Vineyard and built the house near Stonewall Pond they had always talked about when they picnicked on that land for many years before. They became active in her family's business, Tilton Lumber Company, which had been in the family for several generations.