William Lawson


Bill Lawson, 63, of Oak Bluffs, died peacefully at home on Sunday morning, August 9, in an east wind and a rising tide.

He was born a block from the beach in Scituate, and save for a few youthful cross-country adventures, never strayed far from the sea. Over the years he lived in Vancouver, Mexico, the Florida Keys, and Puerto Rico. He met his wife and started a family in Mattapoisett and the Chesapeake while living aboard the S/V Phoenix.

Hurricane Bob brought them to the Vineyard in 1991, where Bill spent the next 24 years as a boat builder, marine mechanic, and charter captain. He will be remembered as a spinner of yarns, an irreverent humorist, and a man who said what he thought.

He leaves his wife Jane; four children, Savannah, James, and Alex of Oak Bluffs, and Sara Beth Barwise and her wife Ana of Pine Grove Mills and Pittsburgh, Pa.; as well as four siblings, Mary Ann, Robert, Sandra, and Lawrence.

Bill treasured his friends and family in the Island community who have been so tremendously supportive in his last Vineyard summer.

He was predeceased by his parents, Kay and Bill Sr., and by his true soulmate, Spot, a feisty Jack Russell who steamed ahead to the great offshore just nine days before him.

Memorial contributions to the amazing folks at Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard would be lovely.