Mary Ann (King) Alwardt


Mary Ann (King) Alwardt, daughter of Antone and Jessie Jesus (Gouveia) King, died at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital surrounded by her family on Dec. 22, 2015, after a brief battle with pneumonia. She was 77.

Mary Ann was a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs, and for the past four years was a resident of the Windemere Nursing Home.

Mary Ann was born at home in Tisbury on June 13, 1938. She graduated from Tisbury High School in 1956.

Mary Ann was a loving mother, not only to her own four children, but also to the many children that she took care of in her home. She often said that her children were her life. The parents of the children she cared for wrote her warm notes of appreciation for the love and affection she had shown their children, and how she had loved them as if they were her own. She had a great affection for her cat Mia, as well as the other cats she had over the years that had kept her company.

Mary Ann was a past chaplain of the Women’s Auxiliary VFW Post 9261, a lifetime member of the Holy Ghost Association (P.A. Club), where she enjoyed working in the Crown House during the annual Portuguese-American Feast, and was a past member of the Degree of Pocahontas.

Mary Ann enjoyed trips that she took with her sister Flora and friends to places such as New Hampshire, Amish country in Lancaster, Pa., and her first plane ride to Nantucket Island. She loved attending the Agricultural Fair, where she enjoyed strawberry shortcake; attending fish-fry dinners at the P.A. Club, and dinners at Linda Jean’s. She also enjoyed doing word-find puzzle books, being the top player on the Bingo board at Windemere, and watching classic TV shows and movies.

Mary Ann was predeceased by her parents, Antone and Jessie Jesus (Gouveia) King, her sister Flora Silvia, her four brothers Louis, Arthur, Antone, and Joseph King, and her former husband, Orland S.M. Alwardt.

Mary Ann is lovingly survived by her daughter Mary Ann and her husband Lionel Romain of Northampton, daughter Valerie and her husband Bruce O’Donnell of Oak Bluffs, her son Brian and his wife Denise of West Tisbury, daughter Pamela Alwardt of Oak Bluffs, and her sister, Gloria (King) Sylvia of Edgartown. Vavoa, as she was known to her grandchildren, will be sadly missed by Caitlyn and her husband Greg, John and his wife Shauna, Ashley, Kevin, Alysha, Cory, Amber, and Natalie, her great-grandchildren Liam, Jacob, and Deacon, her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and their families, as well as Donna Barry, who was like another daughter to her, and her cat Mia.

A funeral service was held at Saint Augustine’s Church, Franklin Street, Vineyard Haven, on Dec. 29. Burial followed at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs.

Donations in Mary Ann’s name may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; Windemere Nursing Facility, P.O. Box 1747, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; or Vineyard Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.