Richard T. Wilton II


Richard T. Wilton II of Edgartown, formerly of Wellesley, died on August 19, 2023. He was 65. 


Richard loved and deeply cared about many things, including our planet, the creatures that visited his deck, gathering knowledge of just about everything, humor, and most of all, his family and friends. All things really, really mattered to Richard, and during the brief time he had on this planet, he really, really wanted to talk with us about everything, often with an urgency and need to share what he knew, what he thought, and how much all matters, no matter how great or small, really, really, do and should matter. 

Richard was born in Wellesley, to Miriam Mae Wilton (Kuusisto) and Richard Rhodes Wilton. It was August 1957, and his mother soon called him her “Little Sputnik.” Similar to the famous satellite, 1957 launched Richard’s lifetime fascination with the cosmos, a need to gather knowledge with purpose, and to communicate what he knew before his time ran out. He loved and cared about so many things, it’s impossible to list them all. He loved playing sports, starting with Little League, and softball later on, and he managed several teams, usually at the same time. He was a pretty good basketball player too. He loved, loved, loved his hometown teams — Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics — his movies, his television shows, and he loved, loved, loved talking to people about all of it. He also loved reading, whether newspapers, histories, guidebooks, fantasy, science fiction, or NFL draft reports. It didn’t matter the content; Richard just accumulated and retained data and information at stellar proportions. But Richard’s purpose in all of this amassing of knowledge was to share it with his biggest love, the people in his life.

Richard’s experiences in life included the more traditional to the less than what we would have wished for him, but he always orbited through them, gathering information and relating, sharing it with us. He was our life’s traveler in many ways, encountering things we would not want to ourselves, enjoying or struggling through it all, and remaining our brother and friend. He lived what turned out to be his final 28 years on Martha’s Vineyard with our mother Miriam. We hope Richard knows how very much Miriam loved him; it was a bond of love that started with her “Little Sputnik,” and never faded, never burned out, and she loved and deeply cared about him unequivocally. We are forever grateful for Richard caring for our mother during the final years of her life. Richard’s life’s orbit involved love, caring about things, and, yes, struggles; he was there for Mom, experienced and did many of the tasks we weren’t prepared to do. 

Among those saddened by his death and already missing his phone calls are his sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn C. and Thomas C. Hopkins of Vineyard Haven, and his sister and brother-in-law Melissa M. Wilton and Martin L. Leonard of Holliston; his nephew, niece-in-law, and grandnieces Leif D., Lea Cardona, Ligaia, and Lanna Sage Hopkins of Bangkok, Thailand, and Vineyard Haven; and his cousin Stephen Kuusisto of Syracuse, N.Y. 

We love you and care about you, Richard, and we thank you for including us in your orbit! 

The Edgartown Free Public Library was very important to Richard. Please consider contributing in Richard’s honor; contact the library with questions, 508-627-4221. 

A visitation period with remembrances will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9,from 10 to 11 am, at Chapman Funerals of Oak Bluffs, on the Edgartown Road, followed by burial in the New Westside Cemetery, Robinson Road in Edgartown. Visit for more information and online condolences.