James Douglas Morgan (UPDATED)

1924 ∼ 2018

James Douglas Morgan (UPDATED)

James “Jim” Douglas Morgan of Menemsha, Massachusetts died of natural causes on September 25, 2018 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, surrounded by family. 

Jim was born on March 30, 1924 to Clarence and Mary (Douglas) Morgan and grew up in Menemsha.  He attended the Chilmark School and graduated from Tisbury High School.

Jim started his commercial fishing career at the age of 12 and retired from fishing in his eighties.  His career was interrupted by World War II when he went into the Merchant Marine with his friend Louis Larsen, crossing the Atlantic several times in convoys.  He served one year in the army, stationed in Colorado.  His 70 years of fishing were spent on George’s Bank for swordfish, around the Island for scup, fluke, flounder, and squid; and in Tisbury Great Pond and Menemsha Pond for oysters and scallops.

On September 29, 1955, Jim married the love of his life, Roberta (Allen) fromTisbury.  They were married just shy of 68 years. They had two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  During their married life, they enjoyed traveling around New England, creating art, working on their house, going to Linda Jeans and Humphries and being with friends and family.  Although Jim’s mobility was limited towards the end of his life, it didn’t stop him and Roberta from traversing the island and socializing with people.

Jim loved Irish music, whether it be at home, in his shanty or on the boat.  One could always find Jim, if you followed the music.  He also loved to read and had a large collection of books, with several by his side at all times. He enjoyed poetry and would memorize poems and recite them to his family. He was an established artist, creating carved boat models, weathervanes and paintings that he sold at his wife’s shop. Jim was a kind and generous man with a great sense of humor.  The thing he was most proud of, was his family.  He felt that there was nothing more important than family and proved it every day with his own.

Jim is survived by his wife, Roberta (Allen) Morgan; his daughter, Barbara (Morgan) Armstrong and her husband, John; his son, James Morgan and his wife, Diane; grandchildren, Colin Ruel and his wife, Nettie; Patrick Ruel and his partner, Beatrice Whiting; Lily Morgan and Alistair Morgan; 3 great grandchildren, Asa Ruel, Lenora Ruel and Razmus Ruel; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held at the Chilmark Cemetery on September 30, 2018.

Donations may be made in his memory to an Island charity of one’s choosing.

Veteran of the merchant-marines


Sunday, September 30, 2018 | 12:15 PM

Abel's Hill Cemetery
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To an Island charity of one’s choosing

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James Douglas Morgan (UPDATED)

1924 ∼ 2018

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