John Howard VanPutten, 46, died peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 27, at his home in Vineyard Haven. John was born on July 11, 1970, in New York City, and moved to Martha’s Vineyard at the age of 2. He attended the Tisbury Elementary School and was a graduate of Milton Hershey High School in Hershey, Penn. After graduating from high school, John returned to Martha’s Vineyard and worked as a meat cutter and manager for both the A&P and Stop and Shop supermarket chains for 29 years. John was a kind, generous, and loving soul who always lent a helping hand to those in need. His infectious smile lit up a room, as people often gravitated toward his friendly personality and caring nature.
John was well known on the Island for his love of sports and his extraordinary athletic talents in football, baseball, and basketball. His unwavering affection for professional sports teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees often sparked friendly debates with fellow New England/Boston sport fans. At age 24, John had the opportunity to try out for the New York Mets organization, making it all the way to the final round of cuts. Such drive and passion for the sport of baseball made the transition to playing in the Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Softball League even easier. John played for his beloved Brewhas for the past 29 years. He was highly respected by everyone in the league, not only for his superior level of athletic play but also for his leadership qualities and competitive composure.
John is survived by his wife, Channon C. Capra; his mother, Arba Clark; his maternal grandmother, Willa Cherot; his brothers Walter Holliday (Erica), Eric Wildanger (Elexis), and Jamie Wildanger (Stacy); and his sister, Arba Marte, also survive him. Many nieces and nephews also survive him.
A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 11 am in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs, officiated by the Rev. Michael Nagle. Please arrive by 10:30 am. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in his memory to Hope Health Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.