Monday services scheduled for Linda Marinelli, dead at 81

Linda Marinelli speaks to the issue at a town meeting. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Linda Marinelli, who for years cut a wide swath across the community and political landscape of Oak Bluffs as an outspoken citizen, selectman and member of town school, finance, and health boards, died Thursday, January 31, 2013 in Falmouth. She was 81.

The indefatigable Ms. Marinelli — a wife and mother, entrepreneur, and passionate community leader for decades — had a well-chronicled, larger-than-life personality that defied simple definition.

In 2002, at the age of 71, she wrote an autobiographical Island bestseller, “Never Say Die: The Private Life and Political Thunder of a Dying Breed,” a book that took no political prisoners and chronicled her position as town government’s top-ranking loyal opposition.

In 2009, Mrs. Marinelli moved to Mashpee and a home she shared with her daughter Charlene and son-in-law Tim Maciel and family.

She was married to Charles Marinelli who died in 2008.

Born in 1931 at the depth of the Depression, Ms. Marinelli was the youngest of 12 children of a truck farmer from Berkley.

At a gathering in her honor in November 2009, she recalled her early years living in a small house in Oak Bluffs, where she began Marinelli Farm. “There was no plumbing or electricity,” she recalled. “Charlie rigged up this foot-pedal generator that would produce just enough electricity for an hour at a time. ‘Bonanza’ was the big TV show then and that show was the only thing we watched all week, Charlie pedaling away to generate power to the TV.”

Visiting hours will be held in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs on Monday, Feb. 4, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Her funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Massasoit Ave., Oak Bluffs at 11 am. Burial will follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vineyard Ave., Oak Bluffs.

Please visit for online guest book and information. A complete obituary will follow in a later newspaper edition.