Jeffrey Thomas Clements, 67, passed away on Friday, August 4, 2023, while out on his boat off State Beach, doing what he loved.
Jeffrey was born on July 18, 1956, in Oak Bluffs. He was the son of Albert R. Clements and Lorraine E. (DeMont) Clements. Jeffrey grew up in Oak Bluffs. He attended Oak Bluffs School, and was a true O.B. kid. Life was simpler then: Summers were spent on the water, coin diving, fishing, horsing around, jumping off the drawbridge with his friends; winters were spent playing pickup hockey games on outdoor ice, and sledding with his best friend, Mark Landers, on Sunset Hill. Jeffrey was a true outdoorsman.
Always passionate about sports, Jeffrey excelled in every sport he played from grammar school through high school. Throughout his four years at MVRHS, he played football, basketball, and baseball. He had a reputation as “one of the best.” He played multiple positions, including quarterback, safety, and kickoff returner. Jeff was on the basketball teams that played at the Boston Garden in ’73 and ’74. He was a starter on the team all four years. Jeff was very proud of his athletic accomplishments, and shared many entertaining stories about those years with the people he knew. Jeff loved to pass on his sports knowledge to young people in his quiet way, out of the limelight. He graduated from MVRHS in 1974.
Jeff was a hard worker, starting at an early age with a paper route, then moving on to mowing lawns. Throughout high school, Jeff worked as a landscaper with Ed Landers, where he gained knowledge about shrubs, trees, and all facets of the trade. Jeff loved tree work, and eventually ran Vineyard Tree Service for his dad, Al. Jeff’s co-workers were impressed by the meticulous work he did while up in the bucket, trimming trees fearlessly and artistically.
In addition to landscaping and tree work, Jeff had a calling to be on the water. He was a commercial fisherman, scalloping and lobstering, working for himself or as crew for others if something good came along.
During the late ’70s and early ’80s, Jeff crewed for Capt. Roy Scheffer on the swordfishing boat Tiki 12. Jeff spoke fondly of those days fishing on the Grand Banks, traveling south in the winter to fish, and eventually out to Hawaii in ’83’ and ’84 on the Tucana. Jeff was first mate for Capt. Scheffer at that time. Jeff loved Hawaii, and continued to swordfish there after Capt. Roy came back to M.V.
Jeff moved back to the Vineyard, and spent his time running his father’s tree business, fishing the ponds, and lobstering around the Island.
Jeffrey was a kind man, and often referred to as a “gentle giant”; his nieces and nephews liked to call him “Uncle Quahog”! Jeff was witty, and had a great sense of humor. He had a soft spot for kids and adults with special needs or different needs. Jeff loved to help people. He could sense if someone needed a little extra help or attention, and was always ready to give it, never expecting anything in return. He was a selfless man, always willing to help.
Jeffrey loved his family, and shared many stories about growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters. Jeffrey was a huge presence, and will be greatly missed.
Jeffrey is survived by his sisters, Deborah Suneson of Oak Bluffs, Jenifer (Larry) Stockdale of Brookfield, and Andrea Clements of Centerville; brothers Albert (“Albie”) and Joel of Oak Bluffs, and Mark (Sue) of West Tisbury; and sister-in-Law Meg Clements of Edgartown and Barrington, R.I. Jeffrey is survived by numerous nieces and nephews: Lindsay, Summer, Albert, Jordan, Marie, Mark, Pete, Caitlin, Erin, Andy, Chrissy, Tyler, Angie, Harrison, and Emmarie; great-nieces and -nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, and many loving friends, including the Baird family. Jeffrey was predeceased by his parents, Albert R. and Lorraine E. Clements; brothers Gregory and Peter; sister Carolee; and nephew Erick Clements. His beloved sister-in-law Vera-Jean Clements passed away a few days after Jeff.
There will be a celebration of his life at the first bridge (Little Bridge) in Oak Bluffs on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 11 am, followed by a reception at the P.A. Club from noon to 3 pm. A dish or dessert would be welcomed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of Oak Bluffs, P.O. Box 1281, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Please note in the memo that the donation is for a memorial bench for Jeffrey Clements.
In Jeffrey’s memory, please perform a little act of kindness for someone in need.