Merle Tankard Beaulieu died quietly on May 24, 2021, surrounded by family, at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where she resided for the past five years.
Merle was born in New York City on April 23, 1939. Merle’s family moved to New Jersey in 1945. Merle had many interests, including dancing salsa and travel, but her greatest gift was how she loved people. She was patient, kind, and nonjudgmental with everyone she met. Early on, Merle found an outlet for that gift by working in the retail industry, and later in food services.
Merle was also very active in the Catholic Church and its youth organization. Her desire to become a wife and mother came to fruition shortly after her 21st birthday, when she married Samuel J. Del Valle Sr., a merchant seaman, and had two boys, Samuel J. Del Valle and Anthony Del Valle.
In 1963, Merle moved with her two sons to Martha’s Vineyard, after one memorable vacation as a teenager. She eventually remarried Everett (“Sonny”) Beaulieu, and had a daughter, Erica Beaulieu. While living on the Vineyard, Merle worked in a variety of jobs, and eventually retired from the town of Tisbury after working as an assistant cook at the Tisbury School.