Meverell “Mev” Locke Good Jr.


Meverell “Mev” Locke Good Jr. died in Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after a brief illness on Feb. 9, 2015. He was 91.

Son of Dorothy Stewart Good and Meverell Locke Good, Mev was born on Jan. 20, 1924, in St. Louis, Mo. He attended St. Louis Country Day School, where he was on varsity soccer, tennis, and track teams. Mev enjoyed many summers in La Jolla, Calif., with his paternal aunt and uncle, where he perfected his tennis game.

In 1942, during his freshman year at Princeton, he saw a poster: “Enlist in the Mountain Troops.” Though not a skier, Mev was accepted, and proudly served in the 10th Mountain Division. The ski troops trained at Camp Hale, Colo., and played an essential role in the Italian campaign. After the war, Mev returned to Princeton, majored in history, and was a member of the Quadrangle Club. His thesis on the conflict in Ireland was titled “Irish Whiskey and Orange Bitters: Home Rule and Ulster Resistance.”

Mev made life insurance his career, and worked in Princeton, N.J. and New York City before moving to Hartford, Conn., where he became an officer at Connecticut Mutual. Later he moved to the home office of Aetna Life and Casualty, where he was the senior administrator of marketing, training, and development. He taught courses in chartered life underwriting, and was inducted into the New England Training Directors’ Hall of Fame in 1991.

Mev was a lifelong sports fan. His passion for the Cardinals was fostered early, when his maternal grandmother would occasionally take him out of elementary school to see the Cardinals play home games. He had the classic strokes of his day on the tennis courts, and also enjoyed golf.

He and his wife Anne honeymooned on the Vineyard in 1961, and raised three children in West Hartford, Conn. A member of St. James Episcopal Church, he served on the vestry. He also taught tennis, was one of the founders of the West Hartford Junior Tennis Association, and was the beloved coach of several girls’ soccer teams. The family spent time each summer on the Vineyard, and eventually purchased a home there. Mev retired from Aetna in 1989 and relocated to Vineyard Haven.

Mev became a very active member of the Island community. He served as chairman and committee member of the finance committee for the town of Tisbury. Reflecting his Scottish ancestry, he was known to say, “Be frugal, not foolish.” Mev joined Grace Episcopal Church, where he served as treasurer and founded “Grace in Action,” which provided practical assistance for church members in need. He coined the phrase “Move your feet so that others can eat” while encouraging people to participate in and support the annual Crop Walk. He enjoyed playing tennis at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, and teaching the game to adults on the town courts. He loved being a part of the garrulous gang in the conversation group at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center. In later years he found his bliss at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Vineyard Haven.

A natural storyteller, Mev was a warm, friendly, and witty extrovert who loved to talk and exchange ideas. A lover of people, he made a point to reach out with a phone call or letter to those in need. Old-fashioned values, such as a handwritten note thanking people for any kindness, were important to him. Outdoors, he was never without a hat regardless of the season. Indoors, he was not a fan of men wearing hats, as many high school students will attest.

He was a voracious reader, devouring biographies, mysteries, adventure stories, and books devoted to history, politics, and sports. His encyclopedic knowledge of sports statistics was very impressive. Mev also greatly enjoyed attending town meetings and taking in the local political scene.

A proud veteran, he took part in the Island’s annual July 4th parade and Memorial Day observances. Mev was honored to be included as one of the serviceman and women interviewed for the “Those Who Serve” oral history exhibition about Martha’s Vineyard WW II veterans at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in 2012.

In 2002, in his 80s, Mev began substituting at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. This brought him tremendous joy. Mr. Good was fondly nicknamed “Señor Bueno” by the students, and was known for “going off script” to share his life experiences related to the topic at hand. He was popular among students and teachers alike, and the key points he liked to get across to his classes were “Live your history” and “Be a go-giver, not a go-getter.” Mev brought a sports whistle to class until he was told it was too shrill for classroom management. In time he began serving as a guest lecturer in history classes, where he taught students about the Civil War, the Roaring ’20s, and World War II, weaving in his personal and family narratives. He also shared his accounts at several Island senior centers and the Vineyard Haven library. A serious fall in April 2012, when he was 88 years old, ended his teaching career at the high school. Students, teachers, and staff celebrated his time there with a special tribute, “Mev Good Day,” on Nov. 30, 2012.

Mev is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Anne Good; their three children, Amanda Good Hennessey of Somerville and her husband Art Hennessey, Trevor Good, and Samantha Good Horton of Nantucket and her husband Michael Horton. He is also survived by children from a previous marriage: Geoffrey Dickinson Good and his wife Patricia Moskwa Good of Phoenixville, Pa., and Locke Good and his wife Carol Good. He leaves four grandchildren, Alexander Meverell Horton and Isabelle Anne Horton of Nantucket, and Sophia Good and Drew Good of Phoenixville, Pa.

Mev was preceded in death by his daughter Christy Stewart Good of Melbourne, Fla., who died in November 2014.

A memorial service will be held at Stevens Chapel, Unitarian Universalist Society, 238 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 2 pm.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mev’s name to the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard, PO Box 1182, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. For more information, please contact Julie Anne McNary at 508-338-2212.