Maria J. Williams (“Jesse”) passed away on May 24, 2021, after a period of declining health.
Born in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 1956, Maria grew up an only child in her family’s home on Oakland Avenue in Oak Bluffs, where she attended school. Her childhood was a typical one of friends, school, summer vacations, and just being a kid until she was tragically struck by a car while riding her bicycle at the age of 11, resulting in permanent brain trauma. Regardless of her injury, Maria was a naturally upbeat person, and as such was a much loved and familiar Oak Bluffs figure, particularly in her younger years. During the more than 50-year ownership of her family’s home facing Veira Park, she could often be seen in and around the park and businesses near her home — especially Smoke ’n Bones and Tony’s Market, where she was a daily visitor, and the staff were all very kind and generous with her.
Maria loved music, sports, coffee, conversation, and animals — particularly dogs. She never met a dog she didn’t like, and over the years had many canine friends she loved and adored. She often told lively stories about beloved family dogs she had in her younger years, all of whom she missed regardless of the passing time. Her last dog, Tammy, whom she adopted in the fall of 2010, visited Maria long after she was given to a trusted friend, and the two were always happy to be reunited on their visits over the years.
In October 2015, Maria moved first into Hillside Village, and more recently Woodside Village, where she continued to make friends and develop new interests. Her favorite pastime was to listen to music and drink coffee while having a chat with friends and neighbors who would call or stop by to visit with her. Her warmth, positive attitude, and desire to connect and form new relationships were an inspiration, and she will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.
Maria was predeceased by her beloved parents, Jesse and Josephine Williams.
Special thanks to the staff at the Vineyard Nursing Association, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Hillside and Woodside villages, and Leslie’s Pharmacy for all the care, patience, and goodwill shown to Maria over the years. Your compassion and kindness was essential to her quality of life.
Cremation rights have been accorded, and a private burial will take place at a future date. In Maria’s memory, please pick up the phone and call a family member or friend, and let them know how much they mean to you. Today is guaranteed, but tomorrow is never promised.