It was May 17, an early spring Sunday morning, at that special moment when wispy pink clouds kiss the tops of tall trees and the golden rays of sun begin to bathe our Island. It was at this precise time that Theophilus Miguel Araujo, affectionately known as “TM,” beloved husband, brother, father, and “Pa,” closed his charming blue eyes and entered his eternal rest peacefully at home, after a difficult battle with liver cancer.
All people die, but not all people live. TM lived! He lived to share his contagious smile, to spread joy, and to make others laugh. A man known for his strong faith in God and a wealth of pure love for his family and friends. A strong man with a big heart, who never met a stranger.
TM made everyone’s life a little better. Whether it was walking in his custom-made Uncle Sam suit in the Aannual Edgartown Fourth of July Parade sharing waves and smiles with our community, making his rounds at Christmastime in his Santa suit, or just taking the time to sit and talk, he always showered people with love and positivity. He will fondly be remembered as a Vineyard Icon.
TM was born a twin in his family home in Tisbury, to Julio Bartolomeo Araujo and Mary Emilia Silvia, on March 24, 1942. He was born as the fourth child to Julio and Mary; however, his mother Mary had been married before, and had nne children prior to marrying Julio. TM was No. 13 in a family of 18 children, nine Moreis children and nine Araujo children.
In 1999 TM was appointed deputy sheriff at the Dukes County House of Correction; he remained an honorary deputy through 2007. Also in 1999, he completed basic firefighting training at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. TM worked for 25 years for the Steamship Authority, retiring as a purser in 2005. He loved working on the boat, greeting everyone with a smile and often sharing a piece of candy — he bought in bulk, always being sure to have enough to share! He was so dapper in his white uniform and suspenders, well-respected, and always sharing his wit and sense of humor with every passerby. He even brought his humor to the microphone when he made announcements entering port … “If you’re on the right side, you’re on the wroooong side!” he would bellow for all to remember. After retiring, TM worked as a crossing guard for the Tisbury School, sharing smiles and high-fives. In his free time he could either be found traveling house to house visiting his brothers, sisters, sons, and grandchildren, or you could find him at a sporting event, or in his yard, tidying up his gardens and his cherished rock sculptures.
TM was called many affectionate names throughout the years, but most endearing to him was “Pa.” He was the most loving and present grandfather a kid could wish for. He made each grandchild feel extra-special, sharing quality time, and never missing important events in their lives, always collecting sports schedules and never missing a game. He was the true definition of a role model, giving the kids someone to always look up to. Relationships were very dear to him; he had such a special way of allowing everyone to feel his love and his light.
TM’s zest for life was nothing short of exceptional, but he was no stranger to struggle. With immense courage and strength, he conquered addiction; sober 45-plus years, he would often share his experience, strength, and hope with others he met on his path. He has been a true inspiration to many. An active, longstanding member of the NAACP of Martha’s Vineyard, he had strong beliefs in equality. A devoted member of the Saint Augustine’s Parish in Vineyard Haven, TM attended Mass regularly, and would share his faith in God openly and honestly.
TM Araujo taught us so many things with how he chose to live his life. Asking his grandchildren what he taught them, these responses emerged: “Don’t ever give up,” “Always work hard,” “Look out for others,” “Look at life with humor,” “It’s never too late to turn your life around,” and “Have fun.” His energy and spirit will live on in all of us; his parting words for all of us would most certainly be … “I love you more!”
He was preceded in death by both his parents, and by eight of his siblings; three died as young children, as did Raymond J. Moreis, Cynthia M. Moreis, Peter A. Moreis Jr., William Moreis, and Paul A. Araujo.
He is survived by the following siblings, in birth order, Anna Mae Cecilio (Moreis), James Moreis, Madeline C. Moreis, Josephine M. Moreis, his twin brother Joseph Araujo, David Araujo, Adalena (“Lena”) Vanderhoop (Araujo), Julio B. Araujo, and John C. Araujo. He is survived by his loving wife Marie, and his precious pooch Suki; his three grateful sons from his first wife Sharon, Derick J. Araujo and his wife Rachel, Aaron D. Araujo and his wife Kimberly, and Durwood S. Araujo and his wife Katrina; his grandchildren, Delmont, Diamond, Dylan, Saige, Aidan, Logan, Tyler, Tyson, and Tristan Araujo; his sister and brother-in-law Anne and Gary Weagle of Rutland, and their children Andrew and Katie Weagle of Holden; and David Weagle and Linley Dolby of Edgartown, with his great-nephew, Otis. He also leaves behind a myriad of Moreis-Araujo nieces, nephews, and cousins, as well as a wealth of dear friends, one of whom being Lorna Chambers Andrade, who would use her vast nursing knowledge to help him with his medical problems — she was always there to listen.
A service in TM’s honor will be held at a future date, when it is safe to do so. If you wish to make a donation in his name, please pick the charity of your choice — he supported many through the years.
For online guestbook and information, please visit ccgfuneralhome.com.