Edward S. Child of West Tisbury died at the McCarthy Care Center in Sandwich on Monday, April 29 after a short illness. He was 91.
He was born on Sept. 30, 1921, the son of Henry T. Child and Katherine Waldo Child. His sister Helen Child Sykora predeceased him.
Ed grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from the Brooklyn Manual Training High School and began further education at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute when Pearl Harbor intervened. In January of 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and after training at the Navigational School in Monroe, La., was sent to the European Theater of Operations in April of 1943 as a navigator on a B-17 (Flying Fortress). He completed 25 missions over Europe and received the Distinguished Flying Cross Air medal with three oak leaf clusters and American Campaign Ribbon. On return from England Ed earned his pilot wings and was discharged on July 24, 1945.
During the summer of 1945 Ed visited the Vineyard to take part in a wedding at the home of his cousin Hazel Child. The Island so captivated him that he stayed until the fall, when he met his future wife, Barbara Cottle. They were married in June of 1946.
He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., as a metallurgical engineer. His first position was at the Baldwin Duckworth Chain Belt Company in Springfield; he lived in Westfield where they raised a dairy cow plus purebred Herefords.
The Island called four years later and Ed and his family moved to Lambert’s Cove to work and farm and participate in Island life.
Ed held many Vineyard jobs in order to stay on the Island, among them were car salesman, truck driver, farm worker, land surveyor and substitute teacher. Eventually he became a sales representative for various companies and traveled throughout southern New England. His last position was plant manager for the Metallurgical Processing Institute in New Britain, Conn., which he held until his retirement.
Retirement was an opportunity for Ed to take on interesting pursuits. He and his wife signed up for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief program and were sent to the following disaster areas: Nashville, Tenn., for a tornado; Jackson, Tenn., for a tornado; Puerto Rico for a hurricane; Missoula, Mont. for wildfires; Kentucky for ice storms; and the New York city area after 9/11. Ed also served as a campground host in Anchor River, Alaska, then studied moose on the Wildlife Sanctuary on the Kenai Peninsula in the 1990s. But his heart was always with the “Cove.” He loved long walks on the beach, time with his sons and studying nature.
Ed leaves his wife, Barbara, and three sons, Henry (Hal) and Kenneth, both of West Tisbury, and Clint of Cordova, Tenn.; as well as his much loved grandchildren, Brandon, Bess, Morgan, Jesse, Carissa and Hayden; and a great-grandson, Aiden.
Services are planned for Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m. at the Lamberts Cove Cemetery with military honors provided by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard and a Masonic Funeral Service performed by the Oriental-MV Masonic Lodge.
Donations may be made in his memory to Hospice of MV, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, or to the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, 57 David avenue, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.