JUNE D. MANNING
Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our eldest Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Member, Beatrice H. (Vanderhoop) Gentry, who died at her Aquinnah home on July 7 surrounded by her loving family. Beatrice was the middle child of nine, the daughter of the late Cummings Adrian Vanderhoop and Jestina (Thompson) and the only surviving sibling, having been predeceased by her siblings Ida, Clarence, Cummings Earl, Viola, Bertha, Alfred, Barbara and Thelma. Bea was the widow of the late U.S. Air Force Major James Russell Gentry and the mother of the late Russell Robert Gentry. She was the first president of the Wampanoag Tribal Council, at a time when federal acknowledgement was first being discussed for our Aquinnah Tribe.
Her leadership at that time was certainly administered respectfully, naturally for a woman of her stature and demeanor. Under her guidance, the first cultural enrichment program was implemented for the school-aged children of the tribe and funded through Bureau of Indian Affairs as the Title V Program. Today those young children have adult children of their own in college or in business for themselves. She challenged the youth of our tribe, empowering many along the way, and encouraging the education of one and all. She taught school on Indian reservations, as well as at home in the Oak Bluffs School and at the Menemsha School. Her store in Oak Bluffs was a treasure trove of silver and turquoise jewelry, beadwork, basketry and pottery from their winter shopping expeditions.
Beatrice was the grand matriarch of her Vanderhoop clan. In later years she cared for her daughter Joan, while being cared for by her own daughter Barbara. She is survived by her daughters Barbara Gentry and Joan Gentry Patadal, her granddaughters Beatrice Patadal, Anya Nicole Gentry and Adrian Gentry, and her year-and-a-half-old great-granddaughter Aiden Gentry.
Services were held on Thursday under the guidance of Chapman, Cole and Gleason at the Community Baptist Church of Gay Head with the Rev. Ellen Tatreau and the Rev. Roger H. Spinney. Burial was at North Cemetery on Thursday.
Aquinnah Cultural Center events this week will include house tours of the Edwin D. Vanderhoop Homestead on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as oral histories on Land and Life in Old Gay Head. There will be a new pottery exhibit featuring the work of the late Gladys A. Widdiss on July 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, July 20 there will be a demonstration of traditional deerskin clothing and regalia making with hand-painted decoration featuring the work of Mashpee Wampanoag Anita “Mother Bear” Peters Little.
The Aquinnah Public Library will feature Nancy Caldwell as the guest speaker on Thursday, July 18 at 5 p.m. at the town hall. Her discussion will be on Teaching Peace in Rwanda.
Kate Taylor will perform at the Old Whaling Church on Thursday, July 18. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, premium tickets are $50, which includes a meet and greet with Margot Datz to celebrate the recreation of the original 1840s-era Carl Wendte mural for the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.
Time to dust off your most treasured items in storage and have them appraised at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum by Skinner, Inc. on July 19. Reservations must be made by calling 508-627-4441, extension 117. Appraisal of one item is $15, and for three items $40.
Thank you to Max and Cheryl Batzer and their sons Lucas and Travis for their inimitable hosting of what is believed to be the 30th annual Fourth of July extravaganza. And what a party it was! It’s always great to see so many friends at this event. Till next year!
Welcome to Darrius Lewis, grandson of Ted and Kristina (Kestenbaum) Leslie, who has arrived from Philadelphia for his annual summer visit.
Christopher P. Manning, U.S. Navy Seaman, returned to his base in Groton, Conn., on Sunday after a four-day liberty spent with his parents Paul and Theresa, his younger brother Noah, and of course proud Grandma June. While at home Chris marched in the Aquinnah parade as well as the Edgartown parade. He enjoyed a dinner party, as well as attending the Batzer party.
Tim Murphy, son of Tom and Chris, returned to the YMCA Camp Becket in the Berkshires on Sunday after a brief visit home. Tim is a counselor and a coach at the camp where he has worked for a number of summers.
Thank you to Tom and Christine Murphy and their Old South Road neighbors for planning the 10th annual Old South Road Fourth of July parade. This was the largest parade thus far.
Fellow Vineyard Gazette columnist Jane Slater will have an unveiling of the lithographs of Adolph Dehn this evening and on Saturday at her Oversouth Antique Shop. Upon my weekly visit hunting for treasures, Jane’s fans were calling and stopping by to congratulate her on the Gazette article. P.S.: The lithographs of Gay Head have already been sold.