Robert Bixler Darlington Jr., 69, of Oak Bluffs died on October 11, 2010 of lung cancer. Bob was born July 4, 1941 in Indiana and grew up in Connecticut. He was the son of the late Robert Bixler and Jean Senior Darlington of Edgartown, formerly of West Hartford Conn.
Bob summered all his life in Edgartown. He became a full-time resident of the Vineyard in the early 1980s. He worked for the A & P and continued with Stop & Shop for over 40 years.
Bob’s many volunteer activities included helping with the Boy Scouts, of whose uniform he was very proud. He helped the Edgartown harbormaster’s office with his very own call sign, Starfish 12, and received a citation for his service. He was an assistant coach for several sports. He could be found helping out at the hockey rink, the baseball field, and soccer field.
When not at work, in the warm months Bob could be found on the Town dock with the many children who learned to fish and loved fishing with him. Fishing was Bob’s passion. Bob was the original wharf rat. Bob was a careful guardian of his students, including jumping in the water to rescue them on occasion. He was always quick to help with boats that came in to tie up, including the Pied Piper ferry. Off-season, he was a careful volunteer at the M.V. Arena, whose property he mowed for many years.
Bob’s awards included a bronze medal from the Humane Society in 1961 for his rescue of Warren Jernegan who fell off the Town dock, from United Cerebral Palsy for his years of volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky, as well as several certificates of appreciation from the U.S. Coast Guard.
He leaves behind his sister Kate Darlington Davy, niece Kristin Davy and great nephew Rowan Gruffydd, all of Edgartown. He was predeceased by his nephew, Captain Robert Davy. Bob leaves behind his legacy of fishing to the generations of fisher-people he so carefully nurtured.
A memorial service is planned for November 6 at 11 am at the Federated Church on South Summer Street in Edgartown. All are invited to join and share their memories of Bob. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard or the M.V. Arena in his name or to the charity of your choice.