Ed Jerome, former Edgartown Elementary School Principal and longtime Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby President passed away on September 18th after a beautiful morning spent with friends at the Derby headquarters and quahoging off the shores of Sengekontacket Pond. Ed was 71 and died of natural causes.
Born in Absecon New Jersey, Ed was a star high school athlete and developed his love of fishing in waters off the coast of New Jersey. Ed taught at Holy Spirit High School where he was also the football and baseball coach. He was a principal in Gilmanton, New Hampshire before being named Principal of the Edgartown School from 1979-2005. Ed worked closely with Town officials to construct a new, state of the art elementary school, creating the best possible environment for children to thrive and succeed. Under Ed’s leadership The Edgartown School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. The following year Ed was awarded the National Distinguished Principal Award in recognition of his leadership. Ed established traditions that continue today including the Edgartown School Memorial Day March to Sea to honor US Veterans, the seventh grade annual ski trip to Gunstock NH and the eight grade trip to Washington DC. In addition to his involvement locally, Ed helped shape education policy as a member of the Board of Directors of both the Massachusetts and National Elementary School Principals Associations. For more than a quarter of a century Ed was professionally committed to making schools an excellent place for children to learn, teachers to teach and parents to work as partners in the process of educating their children.
Ed’s love of teaching also took place on the water. A lifelong fisherman and most recently Owner/Captain of Wayfarer Charters, Ed was an educator for the Mass Maritime Academy, teaching the 100 ton masters course from 2011-2018. As a charter boat Captain, he spent countless hours on the water teaching young children and families the art and lessons of fishing, rarely coming back to port with an empty net.
Shortly after Ed moved to the Vineyard, he began volunteering for the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. In 1979 Ed was instrumental in saving the tournament and, as President, helping it grow to the event that it is today. In keeping with Ed’s commitment to children, he was the driving force in establishing the MVSBBD Scholarship Program for graduating high school seniors, working closely with renowned artist Ray Ellis to fund the Scholarship program.
Ed was a loving and devoted husband to Maryanne and father to Joseph and Nicholas. Always wanting the best for his family, Ed showed them the world, taking numerous family vacations, most recently to Ireland and Scotland this spring. Ed loved spending time in the kitchen cooking his favorite Italian dishes- for a seemingly endless table of invited guests. He enjoyed time on the golf courses of the island and at the helm of his beloved boat The Wayfarer. He loved a good movie, his faithful dog Bodhi and his friends, too numerous to count.
Ed is survived by his loving spouse, Maryanne (Langley) and son Nicholas Jerome and predeceased by his son Joseph. In addition, Ed is survived by his sister JoAnn Elco of Brigantine NJ and her husband, Pete Elco; a niece, Lori and her husband, Kyle Rebstock, a nephew, Blaine Elco and is predeceased by Danny Elco. Brother in-law to Roy and Kathy Langley of Charlotte NC, Brendan and Lisa Brown Langley and Merrill and Jamie Langley of Edgartown, Justin Langley of Fairhaven MA, Jackie Driscoll of Naples FL and Betsy and Larry Stabler of Chevy Chase MD. Eternally loving uncle to Roy and Keenan Langley, Will, Charlotte and Peter Stabler, Katherine, Merrill and Charlie Langley, Caroline and Jack Langley and Shane, Ethan and Julie Rebstock. Loving uncle to Roy and Keenan Langley, Will, Charlotte and Peter Stabler, Katherine, Merrill and Charlie Langley, Caroline and Jack Langley and Shane, Ethan and Julie Rebstock.
Funeral services were held in Edgartown. In remembrance, donations can be made to The Joseph Jerome Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 2232, Edgartown MA 02539 and the MV Derby Scholarship Program PO Box 2101, Edgartown MA 02539.