Arthur J. Cormier Jr.

Arthur Cormier, who was an integral part of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the community died after a short battle with cancer on Saturday morning, February 26, 2011. He was just 56 years old.

He retired in November of 2010 after 33 years of teaching special education at the regional high school. He loved working with his students, helped them accept life’s challenges, and brought smiles to their faces. Each of his students had a special place in his heart long after they graduated from school. He was someone who cared for the youth of Martha’s Vineyard and made a difference in their lives. He was heavily invested in the school’s extracurricular programs and outlets of creative expression. He had been in charge of the yearbook, worked on school plays, an advisor to students, and had been involved in many committees in the community. He will be remembered at the school for his dedication, concern, warmth, friendliness, humor, and his laughter.

Arthur was born in Newton, the son of the late Arthur and Margaret Cormier. While growing up in Burlington, he was involved in the high school’s drama programs and the recreation department’s “Camp Columbus” program, working with special-needs children. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1972, earned his teaching degree from Bridgewater State College and his master’s degree from Cambridge College.

Arthur was a volunteer for the Special Olympics, enjoyed traveling and was very proud of his Irish heritage. He enjoyed the company of his many friends on and off the Island, and was a great son, brother, and uncle. His passing came too early, but his life made a lasting impression on those he touched.

Arthur was survived by his siblings; Deanne Cormier of Millbrook, Ala., Betty Voag and her husband, Glenn, of Billerica, and Colin Cormier and his wife, Ann, of Burlington. He was a special uncle to Donald Vachon Jr., Denise McCaughan, Dawn Ramirez, Douglas Vachon, Lynn Scott, Michelle Towski, Jennifer Higgins, Laurel and Stephen Cormier.

Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington (Exit 34 off Rte. 128, Woburn side) on Friday, March 4 from 5 to 8 pm. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington on Saturday, March 5 at 11:30 am. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Arthur’s name may be made to Season’s Hospice, 275 Grove St., Suite 3-102, Newton, MA 02466 or the Special Olympics Massachusetts, Attn. Donations, Yawkey Sports Training Center, 512 Forest St., Marlborough, MA 01752, www.specialolympicsma.org.

For directions, obituary, & online guestbook see sullivanfuneralhome.net or saintmargaretschurch.net.