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Vineyard Gazette
Edgartown, Massachusetts
December 2, 2016     Vineyard Gazette
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December 2, 2016

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TEN VINEYARD GAZETTE, MARTHNS VINEYARD, MASS. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016 Marilyn Abrams, Social Worker, Ceramicist Ginny Langley Marilyn Abrams Jack Lesperance Worked For the Island Queen Marilyn Spitz Abrams, who spent summers on the Vineyard for more than 40 years, died peacefully and painlessly at home in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thanks- giving Day. She was 94. She was born in Brooklyn to Polish immigrant parents who ran a flower shop on the lower east side of Manhat- tan. While at Brooklyn College, she went to a summer program at Cornell in 1940, and met her husband-to-be, Herb Abrams, who was a student there. They married in 1943. The marriage lasted 73 years until Herb died earlier this year at 95. For a few years after their marriage she worked at the Bureau of Labor Sta- tistics to help put him through medical school, and at the same time was able to receive her master's in economics from Columbia. Soon after, in 1946, she gave birth to her daughter Nancy In 1948 Marilyn and Herb drove across the country for him to take a job at the Stanford Medical School in San Francisco. The following year her son John was born. She raised her kids in the Bay area and practiced interior design. Beauty in all things was woven into the fabric of her life -- she had a tremendous sense of design about space, furnishings, fash- ion, and gardens; later in life she would devote herself to creating art. In 1967, with their children pursuing their own paths, she and Herb moved to Boston, where she dedicated herself to social work. She was a longtime pregnancy counselor at the Florence Crittenden Clinic. During her time in Boston she began to study and practice wood sculpture. Despite all her per- sonal endeavors, she also managed to be a tremendously supportive partner to her husband's professional career. During this time she began to vacation on the'vineyard. In 1975 she worked with her son John to design and build a house on Middle Road in Chilmark. Marilyn and Herb spent every summer there. In 1985 they moved back to California. Marilyn continued to do social work, but ceramic sculpture became her great pas- sion. For many years she produced el- egant, abstract free-form ceramic pieces. john T. (Jack) Lesperance of Gardner died unexpectedly Thursday, Nov. 10, while vacationing in Costa RicH. He was 77. Born in Gardner on August 10, 1939, he was the son of the late Freeman and Elizabeth (Bedard) Lesperance. A lifelong resident of Gardner, Jack graduated from Gardner High School with the class of 1957. He received his associate's degree in business from Mount Wachusett Community College of Gardner and his bachelor's degree in business administration in 2002 from Fitchburg State University. Prior to retiring in 2000, Jack was employed in the Inside Sales Depart- ment and Credit Office of S. Bent and Brothers, Inc. of Gardner for many years. He was previously employed by Temple Stuart Furniture Company and Simplex Time Recorder. He was a member of the former Sa- cred Heart of Jesus Church of Gardner. He enjoyed biking, traveling, reading and doing yard work. He was a loyal fan of the Boston Red Sox and the New Eng- land Patriots. He loved spending time on Martha's Vineyard where he worked for the Island Queen Ferry and information desk in Oak Bluffs. lack loved people and was a true humanitarian. He was a vol- unteer of the Gardner Museum and also served as its trustee. Hewas a member of the Lions Club of Gardner and was a volunteer for the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association as a tour guide and usher for various programs. He is survived by his wife orS1 years, Roberta A. (Matthews) Lesperance of Gardner; a son, Gregg A. Lesperance and his wife Fabiana of Hubbardston; a daughter, Jennifer L. Lesperance and her husband Keith Fisher of E. Hampton; The Bay area was the place she loved Anne Virginia Langley, the best. During the two long periods in Devoted to Faith, Family California (1948-1967 and 1985-2016) she created wonderful homes and gardens Anne Virginia (Ginny) Langley of in San Francisco, Marin, and Palo Alto. Edgartown and Naples, Fla., died peace- She was truly at home there, and during fully after a brief illness on Monday, the second period she enjoyed hosting Nov. 21at the Martha's Vineyard Hospi- her children, grandchildren and great- tal, surrounded by her large and loving grandchildren at her gracious home in family. She was 85. Palo Alto. She was a homemaker in the Ginny was born Sept. 8, 1931, to the largest sense of the word. late Hun. William J. Keenan and Irene During her last 10 years, as the rav- Keenan, of Dorchester. She attended St. ages of Alzheimer's irrevocably altered Gregory's and was a graduate of Mount her experience of life, she was lovingly Ida College. cared for by her husband and her two She met her husband, Laurence (Roy) devoted caretakers, Juliet Peralta and Langley in Dorchester. They were mar- Regina Malonzo, who became impor- fled Oct. 12, 1950, and had recently cel- tant members of the family. ebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Marilyn is survived by her daughter They raised their family in Milton until Nancy and her husband Richard Eil- 1974, when they moved to Naples and bert; son John and his wife Christine; began spending summers in Edgartown. three grandchildren, Pinto and Sophie Devoted in faith and family. Ginny Abrams, and Natasha Eilbert; and three was an active member of St. Elizabeth's great-grandchildren, Kalib, Silas, and Church in Edgartown for over 38 years Axel Abrams. where she was a eucharistic minister Memorial donations in memory of and CCD teacher. She was devoted to Marilyn Abrams may be made to theLaurel Redington Honored raising her seven children and was hap- Cure Alzheimers Fund, 34 Washington Mvyradio producer Laurel Redington piest when surrounded by her children, Street, Suite 200, Wellesley Hills, MA was honored earlier this month by the their spouses and her 12 grandchildren. 02481 ( Massachusetts Broadcasters Associa- In addition to being an extraordinary tion for a feature story she produced homemaker, Ginny enjoyed gardening, Bad Martha Brewery about addiction. was an avid baker and an accomplished Ms. Redington received a Sound Bite knitter. Bad Martha Brewing was honored award for a story about author andVine- Ginny leaves behind her adoring hus- with several awards at the Great Inter- yard summer resident Anita Devlin who band, Roy. She is also survived by her national Beer and Cider Competition in wrote a book with her son chronicling seven children, Roy lr. of Charlotte, N.C. by her sisters, Carole Keenan of Wey- Providence, R.I. his battle with addiction. and his wife Kathy; ]ackie Driscoll of Ed- mouth and Irene Burgess of Milton. She Bad Martha's cucumber jalapeno The story originally aired on WMVY gartown and Naples Fla.; Brendan and was predeceased by her sister Patricia kolsch won a silver medal in the fruit in fall 2015 as part of the radio station's his wife Lisa of Edgartown; Maryanne Terrella, her brother William J. Keenan and spice lager category, and the com- weekly news program The Vineyard Jerome and her husband Ed of Edgar- Jr, and her grandson Joseph Jerome. pany earned two bronze medals, one in Current. town; Betsy Stabler and her husband A celebration of her life was held the old ale/strong ale category for its Ms. Redington has served in various Larry of Chevy Chase, Md.; Merrill and on Nov. 25 at St. Elizabeth's Catholic bourbon barrel aged strong ale and one roles at WMVY since 1991, and she his wife Jamie of Edgartown; and Justin Church. in the fruit and spice Belgian category is now a producer focusing on com- of Fairhaven. In addition, she is sur- Memorial gifts in her honor may be for pumpkin pie bock. munity outreach and creating weekly vived by her grandchildren, Roy 3rd and made to the St. Elizabeth's Church of Several of the company's beers canbe programs like The Vineyard Current. Keenan Langley. Nicholas Jerome, Will, Edgartown, 55 School Street, Oak Bluffs found at their brewery and tasting room She also leads the station's efforts to Charlotte and Peter Stabler, Catherine, M_& or to The Joseph Jerome Memorial on Upper Main street in Edgartown, teach broadcasting skills to students. Merrill and Charlie Langley, Caroline Fund, P.O. Box 2232, Edgartown MAwhich is open for the season through The award was handed out at a cer- and Jack Langley. She is also survived 02539. Christmas in Edgartown weekend, emony in Framingham. A special offer for NEW SUBSCRIBERS to T| • SUBSCRIBE to Martha's Vineyard Magazine for two years and get a 2017 Peter Simon calendar absolutely FREE, a $19,95 value, \ \ The Vineyard Calendar 2017 by Peter Simon Bringing Out the Best of the Vineyard (508)627-4311 or Offer expires January 13, 2017. Mention this offer when subscnb~hg. lack Lesperance three brothers, Gerald Lesperance and his wife Jeanne of Aiea, Hawaii, Neal Les- perance and his wife Deanie of Pax*on, Alan Lesperance and his wife Barbara of Jefferson, Ga.; four grandchildren, Jack- son and Amelie Fisher and Gabfiella and Anthony Lesperance; nieces and neph- ews, Jeff Carney, Donna Carne~ Dawn Comptois and Renee Terranova. He was predeceased by his sister, Jean Carney. Funeral services were held Nov. 22 in Gardner. Interment will be on Martha's Vineyard at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to MVCMA, P.O. Box 1685, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Please note "Tabernacle Res- toration Fund" on the memo line, and reference in memory of John Lesper- ance. Fred Sonnenberg Was A Regular at Farm Neck Frederic Arthur Sonnenberg of The Villages, Fla., and Oak Bluffs died at home, Nov 25 surrounded by his family. He was 84. He was born in East Orange, N.J. on Oct. 21,1932 to Margaret I. (MacClellan) and Arthur J. Sonnenberg. Fred enjoyed a long career as a pro- fessional engineer. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northeastern University. After graduation, he served as an officer with the Army Corps of Engineers as an aeronautical research engineer for NACA (later NASA)Ames Aerolab, Moffit Airfield, Calif.. His assignment in atmosphere entry simulation gave him the opportunity to meet and work with many space pioneers such as Alfred Eggers and Wernher Von Braun. After NACA, he returned to the East Coast and spent several years at the Fox- boro Company. As a dedicated Patriots fan, he worked to get town approvals and funding for the first Patriots Stadium. Fred was an avid golfer. After moving to Martha's Vineyard he found his best job ever -- course engineer for Farm Neck Golf Club. He worked there for 30 years and was a familiar sight traversing the course in a golf cart with a big yellow dog at his side. On the Vineyard, Fred served on various town committees, was a director of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association and was ac- tive in humane groups rescuing and fos- tering animals. Retiring to The Villages, he continued to work as a consultant until his illness this spring. Fred Sonnenberg He was many things to many people -- loving husband, father, grandfather, friend -- everybody's Mr. Fix-it, always ready to help friends and neighbors with any project big or small. If you want to honor Fred, his family asks that you use your talents to help someone else as Fred would, or donate to your local animal shelter. He is survived by his children Alan and wife Linda of The'villages; Wade and wife Aliona of Oak Bluffs; Kristen and her husband David and son Nicholas of Oak Bluffs and Norton. He also leaves his wife and partner of 40 years, Marion Burke. He was predeceased by his brother Alan. A gathering will be held on Martha's Vineyard next summer. Please visit the online guest book at John VanPutten Always Lent a Helping Hand John Howard VanPutten died peace- fully on Sunday, Nov. 27 at his home in Vineyard Haven. He was 46. John was born on July 11, 1970 in New York city and moved to Martha's Vineyard at the age of two. He attended the Tisbury Elementary School and was a graduate of Milton Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa. After graduat- ing from high school, John returned to Martha's "vineyard and worked as a meat cutter/manager for both the A & P and Stop & Shop Supermarket chains for 29 years. John was a kind, generous and loving soul who always lent a helping hand to those in need. His infectious smile lit up a room, as people often gravitated toward his friendly personal- ity and caring nature. John was well known on the Island for his love of sports and his extraordinary athletic talents in football, baseball and basketball. His unwavering affection for professional sports teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees often sparked debates with fellow New England/Boston sport fans. At the age of 24, john had the opportunity to try out for the New York Mets organization making it all the way to the final round of cuts. Such drive and passion for the sport of baseball made the transition of playing in the Martha's Vineyard men's softball league even easier. John played for his beloved Brehaws for the past 29 years. He was highly respected by everyone in the league for not only his superior level of athletic play but also for his leadership qualities and competi- tive composure. • John is survived by his wife Channon C. Capra; his mother, Arba Clark; his maternal grandmother, Willa Cherot; his brother Walter Holliday and wife EricH; brother Eric Wildanger and wife Elexis; brother Jamie Wildanger and wife Stacy; and sister Arba Marte. Many nieces and nephews also survive him. A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at the Chap- man, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs, officiated by Rev. Michael Nagle. Please arrive by 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Hope Health John VanPutten Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Visit for an on- line guest book and information. VINEYARD GAZETTE --MEDIA ~ GROUP -- presents () JOIN US IN THE NEWSROOM when the Vineyard Gazette interviews a group of Island-grown children, Island Grown Schools project leader Noli Taylor and Rebecca Haag, executive director of Island Grown Initiative, about the value of a garden education. • SD 13 E{. ,E/VtB[ ,R 1 .,, 2016 i: 50. 7 p.m. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. for a reception. The event is free, but you must reserve a ticket in advance at: bit'ly/islandgr°wnlearning 34 South Summer St., Edgartown !