Oak Bluffs remembers Joann deBettencourt


It seems impossible, but another Memorial Day has come and gone and for the first time in many years, the lilacs bloomed with perfect timing for the parades and ceremonies. When we were children, lilacs were always at the peak of perfection at this time of year, but the increasing temperatures over the years meant these fragrant blossoms had long since faded by the end of May. Many flags flew all over town as people proudly proclaimed their patriotism and remembered those who gave their lives so today we are free to live ours. Thank you to all veterans and also those who take time to arrange for parades and the display of flags and contribute in any way to this Memorial Day observance.

Last week was the annual Windemere Spring Dinner for family and friends of residents. Thirteen of my family were able to attend and have a delicious dinner while spending some time with my husband, their father and grandfather, who now makes his home at Windemere.  We are so fortunate to have this facility on the Island and so blessed to have such a caring staff. It is remarkable how patient and caring they are with each resident, many of whom require constant and difficult care. You have to be a very special person to take such loving care of these residents and we are most grateful and appreciative.

Longtime friend Joann deBettencourt, wife of Buddy, died on Memorial Day. Joann was a strong, hardworking woman who didn’t hesitate to express her opinions yet she also was a loyal wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Her strength and determination, faith and sense of humor, enabled her to overcome many serious health problems over the past years. For many years, until the last few, on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Joann, Buddy, my husband Dennis and I would place the  firemen’s flags on the graves of firefighters in the Sacred Heart and Town cemeteries. Joann kept an accurate list and would direct us to the proper sites. The whole process always ended up as somewhat of a history lesson as everyone shared their memories of the person whose name was read off. How fitting that her passing occurred on this holiday, and we send condolences to her family and friends.

My sister Joyce Wadsworth has been visiting from Paso Robles for the past few weeks. While here she has been enjoying time with her daughter Lynn Rebello and two grandsons, James and Joel Rebello. She has been staying with Cynthia Schilling of Vineyard Haven during her visit. She, Cynthia, and I grew up together and we have enjoyed sharing many stories and much laughter.

Our busy library will be showing a coming of age story set on Cape Cod with Steve Carell and Maya Rudolph on library movie night, Thursday, June 5, at  6 pm. Not only will you be able to enjoy a great movie, but refreshments — sandwiches from Skinny’s Fat — will be served.

An outdoor yoga for kids program will start at the library on Thursday, June 5, and run  through August 28. The class will start at 4 pm. This is a drop-in class for ages 4 and up and will be canceled if raining. Bring a mat or towel. The instructor is Sondra Murphy.

The subject for the Curious Minds’ monthly forum for Thursday, June 12, is Continuing Consciousness After Death. This will be hosted by Holly Nadler and starts at 6 pm.

Celebrate Children’s Librarian’ Zoe’s birthday with games, crafts, and cake on Saturday, June 7, from 10:30 am to 12 noon.

Relay For Life and event to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS) is this weekend starting at 9am Saturday May 31 until  Sunday June 1 at 9 am at the MVRHS track. Please visit the website  RelayForLife.org/MarthasVineyardMA or their facebook page Relay For Life Martha’s Vineyard for more information.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is welcoming Eric Jay Dolin back to the Island in preparation for the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th voyage, when the ship will dock at Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven, June 21–24. Mr. Dolan will talk about the history of whaling on June 3 at 5:20 pm at the Federated Church in Edgartown followed by a reception where an exhibit on the Morgan will be unveiled.

At the Oak Bluffs School Community Meeting last Friday, students and staff honored and remembered those who have served our country. They were fortunate to have the following veterans as their guests: US Army Artillery Specialist 4th Class Herbert, Combra, US Army Infantry 1st Lt Robert Falkenberg, USAF Senior Master Sergeant David Kann, USAF Lt Col David Berube, USAF Major Stan Mercer, US Army Sergeant and Dukes County Veterans’ Service Officer Joanne Murphy. Trumpeters Zach Smith, Fiona Smilie, Jacob Gurney, and Caleb Burt serenaded the crowd with America and Taps. Angela Hayes sang the National Anthem, and grades 1, 2 and 3 sang patriotic songs.

We send birthday smiles to Charlene Barbosa and Vicki Simione on the 31st, Jaime Reilly and Erika Destiney Cournoyer on June 1, Mia Rebello on the 2nd, Bert Combra on June 4, and my sister Ann Hearn on the 5th.

Enjoy your week.  Peace.