Madeline Moreis

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Madeline C. Moreis (“Midge”), 83, of Vineyard Haven, passed away on July 5, 2020 at her home. 

Madeline Moreis

Madeline was born on Feb. 10, 1937, in her family home in Tisbury to Mary Silvia and Peter Moreis. She was their third daughter, and their eighth child. Mary had another daughter, then later remarried Julio Araujo, and went on to have another nine children, blending their families into one Moreis Araujo tribe. Growing up on Summer Street was challenging. With 15 surviving children, all the kids were expected to help on the farm and with household chores. They worked hard from an early age, but they also had lots of laughs, sharing bicycles, cars, and bedrooms, always putting family first.

Midge was most proud of her children and grandchildren. With Wendy, she shared her fierce devotion to raising resilient children and her love of cooking. Through Leigh, you could find that devilish laugh and lovable sense of humor. She taught Wanda devotion and unconditional love for those in her family and her community. She would light up whenever her grandsons came to visit, making sure they were well-fed, with lots of laughs in the house.

As a single mother of three kids, life wasn’t always easy for Midge. But she never complained, making sure to always support her children in whatever they chose to endeavor. She worked tirelessly to provide for her family, working many long hours as a housekeeper. She worked at the Ocean View Restaurant for more than 20 years, and loved being part of the extended Jackson clan. Her private clients were family to her as well, and she loved filling her home with their gifts of art and china.

Like most proud Cape Verdean women, Midge LOVED to cook, and was known for making the best jag and potato salad in the family! In such a large family, holding this coveted title was an honor. Midge helped to build her home, decorating it with only the finest things. She loved the color blue, and showcased that throughout her home with teapots, glasses, and vases. Midge took great pride in entertaining. She planned every detail of her get-togethers meticulously, throwing epic theme parties on her patio. There were tea parties, hat and dance parties, with endless buffets of food where guests often got their own goodies to take home.

Midge was at her happiest when she was spending time with family, and was especially close to her sisters Anna Mae, Cynthia, Lena, and Josephine. Affectionately referred to as “the Tisters” or “the Homies,” it was hard to find one without the others. Midge and Josephine are only a year and a half apart, so there are countless stories of those two getting into all kinds of trouble together as kids! Midge also thoroughly enjoyed her ladies’ staycations, and mother-daughter brunches thrown by her niece Marie. Midge was an enthusiastic singer with the choir at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, a proud member of the VFW’s ladies auxiliary, and a great addition to the Mary’s Girls bowling team.

Midge had a quiet strength about her, that showed as she faced several serious health challenges in the past few years. She battled back, when hope was fading, proving her resilient strength once again. Although not Native herself, Midge had a lot of Wampanoag relatives. There is a Wampanoag prayer that says each of us has our own path to travel, our own gift to share. Each one is special, and each one of us is a special gift to each other, because we’ve got something to share. Midge shared with all of us her charm, her laughter, her strength, and her ability to care for others.

Madeline is survived by her children, Wendy Moreis and her husband Leroy Gonsalves, Leigh Moreis Vanderhoop and his wife Christy, and her daughter Wanda Moreis; her grandchildren, Joshua Moreis and his wife Elysia, Anthony (“A.J.”) Gonsalves, Damien Gonsalves, Jeffrey Duarte, Isaac Vanderhoop, and Levi Vanderhoop; her great-grandson Tyler Moreis; her siblings (in birth order), Anna Mae Cecilio, James Moreis, Josephine Tucker, Joseph Araujo, David Araujo, Adalena (“Lena”) Vanderhoop, Julio Araujo, and John Araujo. She was predeceased by both her parents, and by her siblings Raymond Moreis, Peter Moreis, Billy Moreis, T.M. Araujo, Paul Araujo, and Cynthia Viera. She also leaves behind a myriad of Moreis Araujo nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Visiting hours will be held Thursday, July 9, from 5 to 7 pm at Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, in Oak Bluffs. A graveside service will follow the next day, Friday, July 10, at 11 am, at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of Midge’s life will be scheduled at a later date, when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Midge’s memory to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Development Office, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Donations will help pay patients’ outstanding medical debt.