Robert Howard Edwards, 95, a native of Oak Bluffs died on Sunday, August 8, 2010 at Windemere in Oak Bluffs, where he had resided for the past several years. Mr. Edwards was born on April 6, 1915, the son of M. Howard Edwards and Ethel Luce Edwards. He grew up in the Highlands section of East Chop and graduated from Oak Bluffs High School, Class of 1933.
Mr. Edwards was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie Bowman Edwards, and his sister, Ethel Merchant, and is survived by his sons, Kenneth Edwards Sr. of New London, Conn., and Robert Edwards Jr. of Hiltons, Va., six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Mr. Edwards often spoke of his grandfathers — Madison Edwards, the founder of the Seaman’s Bethel in Vineyard Haven, and Jason Luce of Vineyard Haven, an officer on whaling ships out of New Bedford.
Although his favorite employment over the years was after high school at Leonard’s Texaco in Oak Bluffs, he went on to a career in marine construction as a master mechanic and crane operator with Merritt Chapman & Scott and Whaling City Dredge and Dock while living in Fairhaven, Mass., and Waterford, Conn. He was a retired member of ILJOE Local 478 Operating Engineers.
He returned to the Vineyard on retirement and rebuilt a home in the Highlands that his father had originally built from a camp removed from the Baptist Tabernacle. He always had fond thoughts of the Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, the Highlands, his father, fishing and scalloping, going with his father to cut ice at Crystal Lake or chop wood for fuel and heat. When they heard the fire horn, both he and his father would sprint across the Tabernacle, often in the pitch dark, to man the Highland Hose engine and respond town-wide.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, Aug. 12, 10 am in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs followed by an 11 am funeral home service with the Rev. Arlene Bodge officiating. Burial will take place in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Bluffs.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, P.O. Box 1310, Edgartown, MA 02539, Windemere Nursing, P.O. Box 1747, or Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, P.O. Box 1477, both in Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.