Marilyn Ann O’Callaghan


Marilyn Ann O’Callaghan of Vineyard Haven died peacefully at home on Thursday, January 26, after a long and valiant struggle with COPD. Her husband, Jack, and daughter, Cheryl, were at her side to comfort her in her final hours.

Marilyn was born on November 6, 1947, the oldest of two children of Josephine (Quinn) and Walter Johnson of West Haven, Conn. She was an adventurous and curious child, always one to go her own way, and spent much of her childhood exploring the outdoors, and often brought home a wide range of objects that caught her curiosity. She made many pets out of the snakes, frogs and the like that she found. In later years, she delighted in teaching her grandchildren the proper technique for catching frogs.

Anxious to enter the adult world, Marilyn married early to Albert Peluse of West Haven, and she soon got about the business of raising her two beautiful children, Robert and Cheryl, who became the joy of her life.

After Bobby and Cheryl were well on their way to adulthood, Marilyn started her second life with Jack O’Callaghan of Ansonia, Conn. Jack and Marilyn went on their first vacation as a couple to Martha’s Vineyard and, like many before them, felt instantly and completely at home in the welcoming embrace of the Island. It wasn’t long before they were able to fulfill their dream of moving from Ansonia to Vineyard Haven, which became their happy home of 23 years.

Marilyn had a unique talent for decorating, both indoors and out. Her home was like an ever-changing boutique, with much of her finds coming from her almost daily visits to the Thrift Shop. Her landscaping skills were equally impressive, and her small stone walls, paths, and plantings provided a beautiful year-round setting for all who visited. Her bird feeders and birdbaths were always full and well maintained. She spent many happy hours working in her gardens and watching the many birds that were attracted by her handiwork.

Marilyn’s openness and non-judgmental manner provided her with many more friends than she could have imagined. All who knew her considered her a friend, and her varied work experience provided fertile ground for the making of those friendships. In addition to being a regular Thrift Shop devotee, Marilyn worked at several restaurants, including Louis’ Tisbury Café, Le Grenier, and the old Anthony’s. She worked at the A&P/Stop&Shop in Vineyard Haven, provided some housecleaning services, and also did a stint in Home Health Care.

Marilyn is survived by her husband, Jack O’Callaghan, of Vineyard Haven; her son, Robert Peluse, and his wife, Melissa, of West Haven, Conn.; her daughter, Cheryl Abboud, and her husband, Donald, of Sainte Cecile de Masham, Quebec, Canada; her “second daughter,” Jeanne Kendzierski, of Ansonia; her grandchildren Robert Peluse, Marilyn Peluse, and Rouge Lane Abboud; her brother, Walter Johnson Jr., of Milford, Conn.; and her mother-in-law, Lorraine O’Callaghan of Oak Bluffs. She was predeceased by her parents, Josephine and Walter Johnson, most recently of Milford, Conn.

Memorial visiting hours will be held in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5 to 7 pm with a funeral service at 7 pm officiated by Rev. Roger Spinney.Donations may be made in her memory to Island Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601 or to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, PO Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Please visit for online guest book and information.