Robert Samuel Carroll


Robert Samuel Carroll died on Sept. 14, 2023, at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Sammy was born on Dec. 31, 1959, in Oak Bluffs to Elizabeth (“Bette”) Flanders Carroll and Marshall (“Curly”) E. Carroll. Sam attended the Chilmark School, and graduated from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 1978; later he attended and graduated from Elmira College near Ithaca, N.Y. He served at the Chilmark Community Church and for the town of Chilmark in various roles, volunteering on the fire department and as a special policeman during the summer in Menemsha. For many years he was an election official during town elections. Sam was installed as the Master of the Oriental–Martha’s Vineyard Masonic Lodge in Oak Bluffs for the year 2001. It brought him much joy to be a part of this fraternal organization, and to be a Freemason.

Sam had an abundance of positive, faithful energy and love of his home in Menemsha, and of his family. He loved his mom a lot, and spent much time with her. Sam also loved the greyhound he adopted, Ezra. He was an accomplished saxophonist, and sang all four years of high school at the MVRHS as a Minnesinger. His old blue Willys Jeep was in the Inaugural Parade for President Lyndon Johnson, and he used it to give his cousin rides to and from Minnesingers practice. 

We all remember how kind and positive Sam was, in spite of his poor health and weekly transfusions at M.V. Hospital for his ailing kidneys. Eyesight was a challenge for him, but he was riveted on the Good Words of Christ, and saw every day as an opportunity to find good in the world and among people. His unconditional love and positive outlook were infectious. Sam was one of those friends who would go out of his way, or drop what he was doing, if he knew a friend needed help.

Sam loved going to the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair in August to catch up on seeing family “on the porch,” listening to the Flying Elbows play bluegrass, eating corn on the cob with ribs and his favorite drink, Diet Coke, of course. Sam and his cousin Jimmy Powell did a lot of genealogy together, traveling to New Bedford Whaling Museum, talking for hours, sharing files and photos of Mayhew and Flanders ancestors. For many years he researched our family history and gifted his family with this wonderful work he put together. In addition to being an amazing researcher, he was an accomplished artist. He worked with all types of mediums to produce his art. Some years he would have a show at Mocha Mott’s.

Our family Sunday dinners were tradition that he savored for years at the Carroll homestead overlooking Menemsha Harbor. The porch at his boyhood home was always covered with wild birds. Sam appreciated and was quite knowledgeable about Mother Nature’s creatures. His unconditional love for others, positive outlook on life, and forgiving demeanor will stand as part of his legacy, which we would all do well to remember for his outstanding example.

Sam was predeceased by his grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and brother Emmett Carroll. He is survived by many friends and family, who cherish his memory and will never forget his smiling face and happy outlook on life.

There will be a celebration of Sam’s life on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1 pm at the Abel’s Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to any of the following, or a charitable organization of your choosing: to Camp Jabberwocky, P.O. Box 1357, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or online at; to Greyhound Friends, P.O. Box 549, Fulton, CA, 95439-8861 (or some other nonprofit that saves greyhounds); or to the VNA of Cape Cod and M.V., P.O. Box 370, Hyannis, MA 02601. Please make checks payable to Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, and note on check “VNA of Cape Cod – MV, in memory of R. Samuel Carroll.”


  1. Dear Sam
    I will alway cherish the painting you made for me! It is magical! Spirit Bear climbing the campfire Smoke❤️

  2. One of the first people I befriended when I came to this island. We shared many fun adventures and had many great conversations about a huge variety of topics. An accomplished artist, sweet soul and loyal friend. You are missed

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