The Lives They Led: July – Sep. 2021


July 4: Frances Elizabeth Smith, 93, Oak Bluffs
Frances worked at the Edgartown Senior Center, and was a member of the Federated Church in Edgartown. She was also a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star Oriental Chapter No. 93, a past matron for three years, and a grand representative to New Mexico in 1977, serving in that chapter for 47 years.

July 7: Clayton Albert Friis, 95, West Tisbury
Many Islanders knew Clayton from his years as captain of the Menemsha Bike Ferry. He also worked on the Chappaquiddick Ferry and Vineyard Haven Harbor tender. He also established a yacht delivery business, and sailed out of Vineyard Haven Harbor to the Caribbean, the Azores, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Chile, and Brazil.

July 8: Otis P. Jeffers Jr., 87, Taunton
Otis, a Wampanoag tribal elder, grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 19. He served in the Korean War; he was honorably discharged in 1955, coming home with many honors. His Purple Heart and Good Conduct medals were two of his proudest accolades. In 1975, he moved back to Martha’s Vineyard, and became one of the two UPS drivers on the Vineyard. He was loved by his customers on his up-Island route, and made many friends over the years.

July 9: Dorothy E. White, 100, Vineyard Haven
Dorothy’s family bought and ran Bangs Market on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, and Dorothy continued teaching first grade at the Edgartown School for many years. After retiring, she devoted her time to her church, Christ Methodist Church, singing in the choir and serving on numerous boards.

July 10: John Robert (“Bob”) Jahries, 91, Vineyard Haven
The winters during Bob’s retirement in West Tisbury were spent paging through seed magazines, and rooting many specimens, from quercifolia and kousa dogwoods to buxus sempervirens, which he liked to give as gifts. His garden and greenhouse were even featured in the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and in C.L. Fornari’s book, “A Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard.” He was very proud of his Walla Walla onions he entered in the fair every year, and his many blue ribbons.

July 10: Theodora Louise Edwards, 96
After graduation, Dora was employed as a telephone operator at the Vineyard Airport, where she met her future husband, Scott Thayer, who was serving in the U.S. Navy.

July 11: Eleanore Frances Tompkins, 96
Eleanore was a professional volunteer, and would help anyone in need. She served on the board for Island Elderly Housing from its inception, and was a communicant of the Good Shepherd Parish, Martha’s Vineyard.

July 11: Doris Mitchell, 90
Throughout her married life, Doris and her family were part of the community on Martha’s Vineyard, where they spent almost every summer. This love of the Vineyard was passed down to her children and grandchildren, who retain the family home on the Island.

July 14: Pauline (“Polly”) Friedrichs, 92, Exeter, N.H.
For more than 30 years, Polly and her family spent their summers on East Chop in Oak Bluffs, where Polly would walk the bluff every day at dawn, rain
or shine.

July 16: Kathleen Pond Baptiste-Maki, 70, Vineyard Haven and New Bedford

July 18: Albert Jeffrey (“Jeff”) Dando, 82, West Tisbury
As a visitor, Jeff grew to love the Island. In 1981, Jeff and Marge bought what would become their permanent home in West Tisbury, on the Whiting Farm. Over the years, Jeff planted fruit trees, tended a garden, and even tried raising chickens. He felt blessed living there.

July 19: Deborah C. Glasser, 100
Deb was an early member at Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha’s Vineyard, and golfed well into her 90s. After many years of summering on the Vineyard, she moved to Hidden Cove in Oak Bluffs, and became a beloved member of the Vineyard community.

July 24: Pauline Ann Gregory, 82

July 25: Ronald Burns (“Sandy”) Campbell, Jr., 83, Edgartown
Above all, Sandy loved his Martha’s Vineyard home and his family. He delighted in family gatherings. Whether it was enjoying Red Sox games at Fenway, sailing the waters of the Vineyard, skiing the icy slopes of New England and the powder of Utah, or exploring trails around the world, he brought joy and laughter to his family.

July 25: Morton (“Captain Mort”) Fairbanks Terry, 73, Harwich

July 25: Lester Horace Woodcock, 94
Les will be remembered by many of the East Chop community as the sprightly older gentleman who passed them, smiling and waving, on his regular walks around the Chop. He enjoyed many community activities after his 2009 retirement to the Vineyard. He was a member of the First and Third Club, and served on the advisory boards of the Friends of the Oak Bluffs Library and the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging.

July 26: Dr. Gregory Francis Sullivan, 81, Edgartown
In the early 1980s, the family’s love affair with Martha’s Vineyard began, and ultimately Greg and Gene would retire there, surrounded by their large family. Inspired by their travels, they created formal gardens at their properties. In collaboration with their dear friend, the late Michael Faraca of Avant Gardener, their creations were published in several Vineyard gardening books.

July 30: Simone Desiree Bergeron McCarthy, 78
Simone and her husband Terry started Dockside Marketplace and Marina in 1980 in Oak Bluffs, and they ran it until 2013. During that time, Simone mentored many Island children who worked for the business.

July 30: William Scott Turpie, 52

August 1: Sheila P. DeMarco, Vineyard Haven

August 2: Therese Katherine Wheeler, 51

August 4: Susan Wilder Hobby, 84, Martha’s Vineyard and Plymouth
Susan loved preparing for her art shows on Martha’s Vineyard, where so many supportive members of her community would buy her art and commission paintings. This is where she really thrived, and felt a strong sense of purpose.

August 4: Joseph T. (“Buddy”) Cazeault, 88, Edgartown
Joe stayed active in his retirement years, and could always be found driving his truck or golf cart around town. He especially enjoyed driving his 1931 antique Ford truck in the parades while his grandkids sat in the back throwing candy to the crowds, going to Sunday breakfast at the airport, attending Island charity events, and just meeting people. If you couldn’t find him at home, you only needed to look for a bench on Main Street in Edgartown, where he most likely would be sitting and holding court with his dear friends Geno and Walter.

August 5: William Cooper (“Bill”) Barendse, 42, Kalispell, Mont.

August 6: Spencer Huntington Nitchie, 57, Baltimore, Md.
Spencer grew up in Annapolis, and spent summers in Chilmark. As a teenager, he learned to play the flute, guitar, and five-string banjo. He worked at Poole’s Fish Market in Menemsha, and later learned carpentry skills from Island craftsmen, skills which he continued to hone throughout his life.

August 7: Roger William Wey, 80
Roger had an extensive career in public service. He served as a selectman in Oak Bluffs for 21 years. He also served on the Oak Bluffs board of appeals, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, as a Dukes County commissioner, on the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, and the Dukes County Retirement Board.

August 7: William Edward Belcher, 78, Tarpon Springs, Fla.

August 8: Gertrude Mertens (“Trudy”) Goff, 93, Edgartown
Trudy worked hard as a committed volunteer at Texas Children’s Hospital and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was often seen striding around town, working in the garden, or relaxing with a needlepoint.

August 9: Alton Lamont Hardaway Jr., 72, Oak Bluffs

August 11: Everel Adams Black, 101, Edgartown
While raising a family, Everel taught 4-H to many Edgartown girls. She enjoyed fishing with her husband John, who died in 1988.

August 12: Chad L. Grant, 44, Edgartown

August 13: Kathleen F. Rose, Edgartown

August 14: Donovan Fitzgerald Bennett, 54, Edgartown

August 14: James E. Rogers, 86, Oak Bluffs

August 18: Eunice Shirley Zelle
Eunice loved the ocean, and in her 60s she retired to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, where she continued to serve others through her work at the Edgartown Council on Aging. While on the Island, she met and fell in love with William Zelle, whom she married in 2002. Bill and Eunice were two peas in a pod, and could frequently be found traveling, kayaking, boating, or hanging around the waterfront in Edgartown — most of all, simply enjoying one another’s company.

August 18: Dorothy May Gregory, 76, West Tisbury

August 19: Herbert Paul Golub, 81, Chilmark
Herbert was a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Healthy Aging Committee, the Chilmark Democratic town committee, and the Martha’s Vineyard Democratic Council.

August 22: Joseph P. Kenney Jr., 68, Tisbury
Joseph worked as the hardware manager for Hinckley’s in Vineyard Haven; prior to that he worked for Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn. Joseph enjoyed woodworking and model-making.

August 24: Don Lyons, 94, West Tisbury
Don and his family moved to the Vineyard in 1966. He would serve for nearly two decades as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven, providing a gentle and forward-thinking leadership. After his decades as a church leader, he retired and became the sports editor for The MV Times, no surprise as he’d been a Little League umpire for many years. Don wrote for The Times until he retired at 85. Always a compassionate and caring advisor, Don worked as a support to the recovery community on the Island, as well as serving on several boards of directors, including Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Island Theatre Workshop, and Camp Jabberwocky.

August 27: Raymond H. Kellman, 97, Chilmark
Ray and his wife Lillian fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard, and moved here in 1980, where they formed many strong friendships and participated fully in life on the Island. It was important for Ray to give back to the community he loved so much. He served on the Conservation Commission for 26 years, and was on the board of M.V. Community Services. He was one of the founders of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, helping to put on its annual summer concert series. His own music group, the Island Consort, in which he played recorder, performed at weddings and concerts for many years. He taught photography classes at the Featherstone Center for the Arts, sharing his love for photography and the arts.

August 27: Rosemary E. Gambino, 70, Vineyard Haven
In 1978, Rosemary moved to the Island with her friend and son, and in 1980 she opened Rosecuts Hair Salon. She grew Rosecuts to become Martha’s Vineyard’s longest-standing beauty salon, all while raising a child. In 2016, Rosemary also opened Found It! Antiques and Collectables. This was a dream in her later years, and was a passion project meant to occupy her through retirement.

August 30: John C. Hartley, 70
In the late 1990s, John set up his dentistry practice on Upper Main Street in Edgartown. John was known for his caring treatment of his patients, and became well-loved by his employees and patients alike. The Hartleys were often seen walking their dog during lunch breaks, or while taking an evening stroll into town.

August 31: Donald Read Shanor, 94, Edgartown and Chappaquiddick
Don looked forward to the Land Bank’s annual cross-Island hike, and enjoyed long rides on his Chinese bicycle, the Flying Pigeon. But there was nothing as wonderful as ice skating with his granddaughter Zoe on Sheriff’s Meadow Pond.

Sept. 2: David B. Butchman, 75, Vineyard Haven
On the Island David worked as a bank teller and at the movie theaters, then ended his career at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, supporting the medical records department.

Sept. 4: Dolores Tinney Valeriano, 92, Oak Bluffs
Dolores was a longstanding member and board member of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. She was also a proud Methodist. Dee loved spending time with family and friends, traveling, quilting, crocheting hats, playing card games (specifically Hand and Foot), and watching the morning sunrise at Inkwell Beach.

Sept. 10: Linda Marvin Hastie, 82

Sept. 11: Dexter P. Nerney, 74, Oak Bluffs
If there was a fish within 25 nautical miles, Dexter could sense it and locate it, not with sonar, but by watching the birds and by scent. He taught so many people how to fish and love the ocean, especially around Martha’s Vineyard. He was always eager to take out family and friends. It was never just about fishing, but the experience, and especially making people happy.

Sept. 12: Paul Joseph Strople, 64
Paul was an avid fisherman. He and his cousin Herbie enjoyed fishing the shores. He took part in the annual Derby, always looking to catch the big one.

Sept. 13: Alain F. Lucas, 50, Oak Bluffs

Sept. 14: Paul Bruce Lewellyn, 82, Vineyard Haven
The shared passion that ultimately brought Bruce and his wife Jean to the Island was sailing. He often joked that a “landlubbing” farm boy from Kansas, who never set eyes on the ocean until he was 18, was ironically converted into a full-fledged, “wash-ashore” salty sailor. He fully embraced Island living. Initially getting involved with town government in Vineyard Haven, he served as chairman of the dredge committee, and was later elected to the town finance committee. He was an active member of the Federated Church of Edgartown, not only lending his beautiful tenor voice to the choir, but also serving on the church council and helping out with many legal and financial matters.

Sept. 16: Joseph Lenin Liriano, 2, Edgartown

Sept. 17: Richard (“Chip”) Yerkes, 75
Chip eventually purchased and renovated his own inn, the Jonathan Munroe House, on Main Street in Edgartown. The renovation and opening of the inn was the culmination of his life’s work — bringing together his children and great friends to skillfully reinvigorate a historic home and shine its original beauty. Chip found great joy in being an innkeeper, entertaining guests from far and wide for more than a decade. He caught up with friends for a bottomless cup of morning coffee once guests had finished their eggs Benedict and had left for their daily adventures, which he often helped them plan, opening up the lesser-known beauties of the Island he loved.

Sept. 18: Jennifer L. Gross, 42

Sept. 23: Samuel R. Nussbaum, 73, Clayton, Mo. and Oak Bluffs
Dr. Nussbaum and his family quickly fell in love with the Island. He taught his children to swim in Fresh Pond, and to dig for quahogs in Sengekontacket, where he would wade out into the water, carrying a clam rake (and of course his clam permit), towing his children in an inflatable raft, and exclaiming, “This one’s fighting!” every time he hit a clam.

Sept. 23: Thomas L. (“Les”) Eldridge, 89, Sebastian, Fla.
His fishing adventures took him to many ports throughout the oceans, in places like Montauk, Chatham, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Bimini, Cat Cay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Hawaii, but none were more beloved than the rips off Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. He was a proud member of the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of Nantucket friends who returned the Nantucket Lightship to the Island in 1975, where it served as a museum under the watch of the Nantucket Historical Association.

Sept. 24: Jeffrey Scott Traenkle, 56
Jeffrey was a member of the East Chop Yacht Club, and loved his powerboats, and being on and near the water.

Sept. 25: Rosamond Fay Isenberg, 91, Palm Beach Fla. and Edgartown

Sept. 26: Joyce Ann DelTorto, 76, Fla.
Joyce was the owner of Shear Elegance Hair Salon for 20 years. Upon her retirement from hairdressing, she became the assistant head cook at the Edgartown School, where her bright smile, humor, and love for kids were infectious to all around her. She always had a hug and a great meal for everyone.

Sept. 26: Shirley Carter, 89
Shirley loved the Vineyard, and the many warm and supportive friends she met here over the years. She was a talented artist, and preferred Impressionism. She studied under renowned Russian artist Sergei Bongart, and always enjoyed the time she spent at Featherstone and at the Field Gallery. She was also an avid gardener, and spent many gorgeous Vineyard days planting beautiful flowers in her 50-year-old perennial garden. Shirley loved nature, and feeding the beautiful birds on the Island.

Sept. 27: Madeleine Carroll, 80, Vineyard Haven

Sept. 28: Connie Lowe, 93

Sept. 28: Leslie Ann Gray, 72, West Tisbury
Here Leslie’s green thumb yielded wonders in the garden. Her dedication was rewarded at the annual Agricultural Fair with ribbons for “biggest tomato,” garlic, and many others. She became a skillful and inventive cook, complementing her efforts with locally sourced products whenever possible. The enthusiasms and travails of the home gardener, as well as her engaging writing style, are on display in her blog.

No Date: Robert Benton Jackson III
Bobby retired to his beloved summer home of 70 years on Martha’s Vineyard. He enjoyed tennis, chess, grilling out, and time with family and friends. He was always the life of the party.