John Michael Shriber of Edgartown, formerly of Watertown and Newton, died Oct. 9 surrounded by family and friends. He was 65.
John Michael was a vibrant presence. He loved to tell stories and would enrapture an audience, from the small children in the family who were always drawn to his infectious laugh and wicked sense of play, to his aunts and uncles whom he loved and respected very much, to all the rest in between.
John Michael enlisted in the Marines in 1967 with 10 other young men from Watertown. He would go on to sign up for a second tour of duty. After being wounded in March 1969, John Michael returned to Watertown and then Newton as a decorated veteran. He was proud of his military service.
He worked for a number of years on the railroad but was ultimately disabled by his service in Vietnam.
The son of the late Emmet “Bill” Shriber and Mary Elene (Duffy) Shriber, he is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary Jane Reen. He is also survived by sister Judith (Shriber) Lavigniac and husband Michel of Forestdale; brother Josef Mark Shriber of Medford; brother in law David Hickey, the surviving husband of his sister, the late Jeanne Shriber of Durham, N.C.; nephew Michael Best and wife Annie of Washington, D.C.; sister in law Judith Alice Reen; sister in law JoAnne Ames; and niece Mary Jane Ames, all of Weymouth. John Michael was also part of a large extended family, including his uncle, the late James Duffy and his surviving wife Pam Duffy of Belmont; uncle Norman J. Duffy and wife Cynthia of Lexington; uncle Robert L. Duffy and wife Natalie of Weston; aunt Marie (Duffy) Barry, wife of the late Hon. John Barry of Pittsfield; his uncle the late Harvey D. Duffy and his surviving wife Joan Duffy of Lexington; his aunt, the late Kathleen Shirley (Duffy) Burke, wife of the late Edwin Burke and his surviving wife Mary Burke now of Acton; the late Edmund Duffy and his wife the late Joan Duffy formerly of Vermont; aunt Donna (Shriber) Enzor and her husband Charles of Peoria, Ill.; aunt Bonnie (Shriber) Randall, wife of Charles of Knoxville, Ill.; and aunt Pat Shriber of Normal, Ill.; as well as many cousins who were dear to him.
With his passing the world is a slightly less interesting place and all who knew him will miss his stories, his fun, his wicked smile, his intelligence and the everyday joy of knowing that you might be talking to him soon.
A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Nonatum Post 440, 295 California St., Newton, MA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John Michael’s name to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services: 111 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; phone number: 508-693-7900.
A full private Marine military burial will take place in the spring at the Arlington National Cemetery.