John Mortimer Coward III

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John Mortimer Coward III (“Jay”) of Ben Lomond, Calif., died on Oct. 15, 2019. He was born May 4, 1952, in Montclair, N.J., the eldest son of Patricia L. and John Mortimer Coward II. 

Jay was married in 1975 to Joan Astrid Höglund of Edgartown, and they spent 14 years roaming across the U.S. until reaching the West Coast. During that time Jay lived in Boulder, Colo., where he received his technical degree in electronic engineering — a lifelong passion — and later in Albuquerque, N.M., where he chased down hot air balloons before settling down in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.

Always a “gadget man,” Jay worked in the Bay Area for Avantek, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, Avago Technologies, Phase-Matrix, and National Instruments, specializing in research and development of semiconductors and radio frequency and microwave technologies.

Jay enjoyed many hobbies, including building models, collecting and rebuilding antique radios, working on his classic Volkswagens, and spending time with his family on Pohogonot Farm on the Vineyard.

He is survived by his brothers and sisters, George D. Flynn II of Mount Pleasant, S.C., Patricia Coward Post of Charlotte, Vt., Elizabeth Miller of Charlestown, Carroll Coward of Westport, Conn., David Coward of Caldwell, N.J., Sara Blum of John’s Island, S.C.; and step-siblings Kim Kolbe of Roseland, N.J., William (“Buzz”) Kolbe of Plano, Texas; and Katie Kolbe, of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; his children, Alyson Wingate Coward of Minneapolis, Minn., and Arianna Marie Coward of Ben Lomond, Calif.; and his wife Joan Höglund of Santa Cruz, Calif.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at the Shrine of St. Joseph, Santa Cruz, Calif., on Nov. 23 at 1 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Dana-Farber Cancer Center at P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or dana-farber.org/gift; or to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at 151 Lagoon Pond Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or mvmuseum.org/support.