Condolences to the family and friends of James Alley who passed away last week. He always had a smile and a cheerful story to share with one and all, especially about cars and houses, and he always assisted us when our school bus drivers would allow us to stop at Alley’s General Store for a treat on our way home from school. He will certainly be missed for his unwavering dedication to the town of West Tisbury.

Have you read Tom Dresser’s latest book, Women of Martha’s Vineyard? It features Helen Vanderhoop Manning and Gladys Malonson Widdiss of Aquinnah who were both incredibly active and vital advocates for our tribe and our community. They are both missed immensely.

Condolences to the family and friends of Emory Francis who passed away on May 20 at his Aquinnah home. Emory was a tribal elder, the son of the late Wealthy Francis. During his residence in Aquinnah over the past few years, he was assisted often by Daniel Mayhew, who would take Emory grocery shopping or for other errands. He had a circle of other friends as well who would often assist him as he no longer was able to drive. Emory is survived by his brother, Robert Francis, and by his nieces, Elizabeth Kaeka and Baylee Francis. He is also survived by numerous cousins and his extended tribal family, as well as by tribal staff — Bonnie Chalifoux, Andrea McGee, Sarah Saltonstall and Kristina Leslie — who assisted him over the years.

James and Melissa Mahoney returned from Omaha, Neb., this week following graduation exercises at Creighton University. Melissa received her doctorate in occupational therapy, which she will put to good use as the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools occupational therapist. While they were away, their children, Aileen and Seamus, spent the week in Tisbury with grandparents, Kevan and Marcy Nichols.

Margaret Maida was also invited to the premiere of the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge in Washington, D.C., this past week. Margaret is an ardent supporter of the annual event on the Vineyard, and has donated her time and energy as a volunteer each autumn and looks forward to the arrival of the veterans.

Noah James Manning returned home on Sunday night after spending a few days in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with his grandparents, Bill and Joan Kistner. Noah was accompanied by his parents, Paul and Theresa, and GrandmaJune. The happy occasion was to celebrate Joan’s 80th birthday, and what a grand celebration it was with family flying in from California, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as well as former neighbors in New Jersey. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with family and friends at LeChambord in Hopewell Junction, N.Y. Favors for all included Chilmark Chocolates with a raffia bow and a photograph of Joan from various decades. There were a few toasts, many photographs, lovely gifts and a great time. On our journey home on Sunday, we visited with Christopher P. Manning who is presently enlisted in the U.S. Navy and is attending submarine school in Groton, Conn. He graduated from basic training in Great Lakes, Ill., in March and expects to be in Groton over the next year. We look forward to attending one of his graduation ceremonies in the near future, and Chris looks forward to a visit home in July. Needless to say, we are very proud of him and his accomplishments. Chris is a 2007 Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School graduate.

Get well wishes to Elmore “Bud” Mayhew, who was air-evacuated to Massachusetts General Hospital this past week. He has been discharged from intensive care and still has a long road to recovery while in acute care.

Beatrice Patadal was home over the weekend to visit with her mother, Joan Gentry Patadal, her grandmother, Beatrice Vanderhoop Gentry, and her aunt, Barbara Gentry. Joan and Bea traveled off-Island on Thursday to find a new dog as their little dog had been hit by a vehicle on Tuesday.

Congratulations and all the best to Michael F. Sellitti Jr., who graduated cum laude from High Point University in High Point, N.C., on May 4 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in psychology. He is working at Up-Island Auto with the Jenkinson family for his seventh season. His future plans include further education in law enforcement. His graduation exercises were attended by his grandmother, Gloria Fisk, his mother, Cheryl Vanderhoop Sellitti, his sisters, Penny Vanderhoop and June Rosebud Vanderhoop, his nephews, Corey and Tyler, and his cousins, Tobias Vanderhoop and Thomas Fantasia. Michael is a 2009 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

Get well wishes to Michael F. Sellitti Sr., who underwent orthopedic surgery this past week and is now recuperating at home.

Get well wishes to Paul David Sampieri, who is a patient at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Get well wishes to Erick P. Vanderhoop, who was transferred from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to Massachusetts General Hospital where he underwent surgery on Sunday. He is resting comfortably and is expected home by the weekend.

Happy 11th anniversary wishes to Seth and Megan Woods as they celebrate their special day on May 25. Happy 29th anniversary wishes to Paul and Sylvie Vandal on May 26, and happy 31st anniversary wishes to Michael and Eleanor Hebert on May 29.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Kathleen Kendrick, who celebrated her special day on May 21. Kay Manning, Jon Mayhew and Nicholas Wallen will all party today. Janis Vogel will party on May 25. Stephen “Meatball” Costa will observe a major milestone on May 26. Kayden Keith Devine will be five years old on May 27. Janice Brown, Dr. Richard Koehler, John Kozboski and Joanne Vanderhoop Robey all share the day on May 27. Susan Anderson, Russell Peters, Nonie Madison and Christy Duarte will all celebrate on May 28. Fan Ogilvie, Nancy Benoit and Michael Francis celebrate the day on May 29. Michael Gilman will observe his special day on May 30, as will Warren “WoWo” Webber-Gibb, who will be seven years old. Roxanne Ackerman and Jasmine Devine party on May 31.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend activities. Be mindful of all of those who serve and have served our great nation.