Longtime charter boat Captain Robert A. Plante of Oak Bluffs, better known as “Edgar,” a man of strong convictions, who passed on his love of the ocean and fishing to a wide circle of those close to him and his many clients over the years, died Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, after suffering a long illness. Prudence Thatcher Magee, his best friend of 35 years and beloved wife of 12 years, his stepdaughter Molly Magee, and close friend Garreth Heath were by his side when he closed his eyes. He was 67.
Robert, known as both “Edgar” and “Bob” to family and friends, was born on Feb. 17, 1947, in North Attleboro. He graduated from North Attleboro High School in 1964.
Edgar joined the Army and served in Vietnam beginning in December 1965. A combat veteran, he received a Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, a Vietnam Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star and a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device. He received an honorable discharge in September 1967. A proud veteran, Edgar was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Following his Army service, Edgar attended various colleges and ultimately received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Edgar’s love of fishing began at an early age, when his father would take him and his sister Eleanor to a canal in their neighborhood. He spent many summer days visiting his Aunt Babs, who loved him like a son, and they often fished together at a reservoir near the Head of the Bay at Buzzards Bay. He was a father figure to many, and taught his nephew Chris Clark, close friend Garreth Heath, and many others to fish, and encouraged both Chris and Garreth to become boat captains.
Kind, quick-witted, and gregarious are only a few of the adjectives friends and family use to describe Edgar. He had the courage of his convictions, and firm beliefs that he stood by. Fun-loving and adventurous, Edgar loved to travel, especially to warm climates to test the waters fishing.
Edgar was a longtime resident and member of the business and social community on Martha’s Vineyard. His charter fishing-boat business was born in Oak Bluffs harbor in the late 1970s on board the The Piano, and subsequently The Banjo. Many have wonderful fish stories that all begin aboard the deck of The Banjo, which he shared with his Labs Slick and Rip.
Edgar and Prudy were married aboard The Banjo by his nephew and first mate, Chris Clark, on Sept. 15, 2002. His best man was John Grimes.
Edgar’s impact on the lives of others cannot be adequately expressed, and he will be missed beyond measure by those who had the chance to know and love him. Many more lives will be touched by the memories that he leaves behind and the lessons he taught, which will be shared for years to come.
In addition to his devoted wife Prudy, Edgar is survived by his stepchildren, Owen Silver of Mount Pleasant, Mich., and Molly Magee of Oak Bluffs; a brother, David Plante; sister Eleanor Clark and her husband Arthur; nephew Chris Clark and wife Heather, and their children Hadleigh and Hunter; niece Deborah Gould; niece Donna Clark and her children Ryan, Shane, Kyle, and Morgan; and all of North Attleboro. He is also survived by his favorite aunt, Eleanor Babs Plante of Attleboro, sisters-in-law Carol Thatcher, Janine Thatcher Moreis and her husband Keith, and their children Tyler, Darrell, and Kelsey; and his mother-in-law, Betty Thatcher. Bob is predeceased by his parents Eugene and Rena (Albertini) Plante, and a brother, Ronald Plante.
The family wishes to thank Betsy Marshall of Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and the nurses at Brigham & Womens towers 9 C and D for their care and support.
Services will be Monday, Oct. 13, leaving from Oak Bluffs Harbor aboard the Skipper and other boats. A celebration of Edgar’s life will follow at a location to be announced. Further details will be available at ccgfuneralhome.com, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-1495, and in next week’s paper.