Jane Cottle Baker


Jane Cottle Baker died on April 9, 2012, at the Henrietta Brewer House in Vineyard Haven. She was 84.

Born in Boston on September 29, 1927, she was the daughter of Fred Raymond and Lemira West Cottle. The family lived for a time in Winchester before relocating to the family homestead at Lambert’s Cove in West Tisbury; she was a 13th-generation Cottle with Island ties.

Jane attended the West Tisbury School and Tisbury High School, from which she graduated in 1943 at the age of 15. A natural athlete, she attended Boston- Bouvé College (now the Bouvé School of Health Sciences at Northeastern University) where she received a certificate to teach physical education. During her long career she taught in Falmouth, Cohasset, and Hanover; in Tisbury and Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard; and in Warren, Rhode Island. She enjoyed all sports and was much beloved by the girls she coached in basketball and field hockey. After retiring from teaching, Jane had a successful second career in real estate, first working with her friend Beverly King and later with Ed Krikorian at Century 21 of Vineyard Haven.

Jane loved the Island and was proud of her Island heritage. She and her late first husband, Richard Gale, built a home in Lambert’s Cove in the 1950s, where they raised four children; Lynne Gale Silva of West Tisbury, Richard B. Gale of Oak Bluffs, Raymond A. Gale of West Tisbury, and Leigh Gale Reynolds of Edgartown. Martha’s Vineyard, especially Lambert’s Cove Beach, and Tarpaulin Cove on Naushon were her favorite places on earth; on summer days she could almost always be found in, or on, the water. She was an expert swimmer and skin diver, bringing home many a meal of fish caught while spearfishing at Lambert’s Cove. Sailing, gardening, lobstering with Ray, knitting, reading and traveling, were some of her favorite activities. She loved animals, especially her dogs and cats.

Above all else, Jane was committed to her family. She was a free spirit; a fun-loving, adventurous mother and grandmother. Her children and grandchildren well remember piling into whatever boats were available, be it Ray’s lobster boat or a sunfish, and cruising to “Tarps” for a day at the beach. She was a babysitter, a cheerleader, and a best friend who gave everything she had, every day, always. Her presence will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Jane was predeceased by her husband, Sumner Baker, and is survived by her devoted sister, Barbara Child, and her brother, Edmund Cottle, both of West Tisbury; her children, Lynne, Richard, Raymond and Leigh; eight grandchildren, Todd, Reid, Ryan, and Troy Silva, Jason, Alec and Lynlee Gale, and Phillip Reynolds; and nine great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was held on Saturday, April 14, at Lambert’s Cove Cemetery. The family would like to thank the owners and staff at Henrietta Brewer House for all the loving care they showed her during her residency and all the friends and relatives who supported her.

Donations to The Alzheimer’s Association would be appreciated. Jane’s daughters, Lynne Silva and Leigh Reynolds, are participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Ride at Fort Devens, Mass., on July 15 to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. Donations may be made by check to Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter, 480 Pleasant Street,Watertown, MA 02472, Attn: Memory Ride (please be sure to note rider’s name, either Lynne or Leigh); or online at http://www.alzmass.org/memoryride/online.asp (click on “Support a Rider” and fill in either Lynne or Leigh’s name).

Donations may also be made in Jane’s memory to Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, PO Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539, or The West Tisbury Library Foundation, PO Box 1238, West Tisbury, MA 02575.