Raymond A. Farland , 95, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2018 at the Henrietta Brewer House in Vineyard Haven. Born in New Bedford on August 19,1922, he was the son of the late Joseph A. and Irene (Surprenant) Farland. Raymond's father, " Spike" as he was known, served for many years as the Oak Bluffs fire chief, and Joseph A. Farland Square at the foot of Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs is named for him.
Ray grew up in Oak Bluffs and graduated from Oak Bluffs High School in 1940. He then attended New Bedford Textile Institute before enlisting in the army during WWII, serving from 1942-1946. After training at Camp Butner in North Carolina and at Clemson College in South Carolina, he served in the 292nd Engineers Combat Battalion "in action from England to the Elbe" in Central Europe. Following his military service, Ray completed his education in New Bedford. In 1948 he married Esther Kirkpatrick a long time summer resident whose family owned the Attleboro House in Oak Bluffs. Ray and Esther lived in Rhode Island, but spent summers and many weekends on the vineyard.
Ray worked in the textile industry as a salesman for Microfibres, Inc. of Pawtucket , R.I. for many years . With the death of his father-in-law in 1968, he went to work for the family owned food sevice business, Kirkpatrick Company of East Providence, R.I. After selling the family business to Luzo Foods of New Bedford in 1985, he continued to work for both Luzo Foods and FamousFoods.com. He retired in 2009, moving permanently to his childhood home on Nashawena Park in Oak Bluffs. He remained in his treasured home until moving to the Henrietta Brewer House in December where he was cared for with loving kindness and compassion.
Ray and his wife enjoyed golf, boating, and fishing together, and followed many sports teams including the Celtics and Red Sox. He was fortunate enough to make two trips to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, and attended the Olympics in 1980 in Lake Placid with his wife and in 1996 in Altlanta with his grandson Keith. Ray was an avid golfer playing into his nineties and could rarely be found on the course without lifelong friend, George " Buddy" Knight, beginning in their early teenage years. They were members of Wannamoisett Golf Club in Rumford , RI, where Ray served as the Treasurer for 25 years, and members of Edgartown Golf Club, where Ray served on the Board of Governors until 2016. Ray was a long time member of both East Chop Beach Club and the East Chop Yacht Club. He and Buddy enjoyed many a day boating and fishing (especially the Derby) with family and friends, on their boats the "Good Knight" and the "Wet and Wild".
A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Ray will be missed by his family. He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Esther. He proved to be a devoted husband, visiting her daily since she moved to Windemere Nursing Home 2 years ago.
He is survived by his children, Raymond Farland of Oak Bluffs and Nancy Gardner and her husband, Paul, of Hanover, MA. He was an exceptional grandfather, "Gramps", to his grandchildren, Keith Gardner and his wife, Julie of Marshfield, MA; Jaimee Gardner and her fiancée Keegan Hobson of Hanover, MA; and Justin Gardner of Amherst , MA. Ray adored his great grandchildren, Elliot and Ainsley Gardner of Marshfield, MA, who were a great source of joy to him in his last years.
Ray is survived by his sister, Therese Evans of Duxbury, his brother Joseph A. Farland Jr and his wife Jane (Duarte) of Falmouth, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Lt. Col. Vivian Farland, USANC (Ret.).
A memorial Mass will be held at St Augustine's Church, Franklin Street in Vineyard Haven on April 14 at 11 AM, followed by burial with military honors at Sacred Heart Cemetery, on Vineyard Avenue in Oak Bluffs Relatives and friends are invited to visitation from 9:30-10:30 on Saturday , April 14th at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to make a donation in Ray's memory may do so to the Good Shepherd Parish, P.O. Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.