Rita Mae Minor


Rita Mae Minor was buried on Oct. 6, 2019, in a private graveside service at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Rita passed away on Nov. 24, 2018, at her home in Sarasota, Fla., with her daughter by her side. She was 82.

Rita Mae Minor.

Rita was born at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs on July 14, 1936. She was the daughter of Albert T. Silva and Drusilla (West) Silva. Rita grew up in Vineyard Haven, and graduated from Tisbury High School. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Jesse V. Minor from Shinnston, W.V. Jesse was serving with the U.S. Coast Guard, and was stationed at Coast Guard Station Gay Head. Rita and Jesse were married on Sept. 24, 1955, and were married for 54 years.

Rita began her new role as a military wife by moving to West Chop. Jesse became the lighthouse keeper of West Chop Light, and it was during this time that the couple welcomed the birth of their daughter. 

Rita enjoyed the travel and adventures of military life, but at the end of Jesse’s 20-year career, they were ready to return to the Island that they both loved. The couple purchased a home in West Tisbury, where they resided for almost 30 years. Upon the death of Rita’s father, they relocated to her childhood home in Vineyard Haven. 

Rita enjoyed travel, and one of her favorite places to frequent was the island of Barbados. She loved playing and watching tennis, gardening, cooking, and reading a good book. Most of all she loved her family. She enjoyed visiting with her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rita was always happy to go to Florida for the cold winter months, and happier to return to the island in the spring. She loved sitting out on her front porch watching the birds, and listening to the Island sounds — the Steamship whistle being a favorite. 

Rita was greatly loved, and she is missed. 

Rita was predeceased by her loving husband, Jesse V. Minor, and brother Roswell A. Silva. She is survived by her daughter Mona M. Combra and her husband Craig; two grandchildren, Matthew C. Combra and Sara C. Noel, and her husband Kyle; and two great-grandchildren, Madison L. Noel and Sophia A. Noel.