Robert Earl Gilkes ,71, of Edgartown MA., passed away in his home, after an 11 year battle with cancer, Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Born in Oak Bluffs MA., February 18, 1947 to Cooper Gilkes II and Amy (Noyes) Gilkes. Bob graduated from Laconia High School in New Hampshire, then attended New Hampshire Vocational Institute in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Bob served honorably in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter recovery crewman on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam war, and was part of the Apollo recovery mission. Serving later as an anti-submarine sonar specialist in the north Atlantic.
He returned to the Vineyard becoming a commercial fisherman, serving the island community in various capacities including president of the MV Fishing Club, Edgartown Harbormaster and most recently as a Captain of the Chappaquiddick Ferry.
He was also proud to have been a member of the Oriental Martha’s Vineyard Masonic Lodge for the last 20 years. He was a commercial fisherman, charter captain, artist and photographer who loved his dogs. Having a passion for cataloguing the beach erosion, he gave his final seminar at the Edgartown Senior Center only two months ago.
Bob was proud to share his photography work and show his wood carvings.
Bob was predeceased by his mother and father and is survived by his brother Cooper Gilkes III and sister-in-law Lela and his two nephews Tim and Dan Gilkes and niece Tina (Gilkes) Polleys.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Save Our Seniors Program, Akita Rescue of WNY, Inc., P.O. Box 428, E. Amherst, NY 14051 or to Elder Services of Martha’s Vineyard, Meals on Wheels,P.O. Box 2337, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or to Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks lane, Hyannis, MA 02601.
There is no formal funeral service at this time, his body was donated to Harvard Medical School.