Caroline O. Seacord, 94, Was Historian, Organist
Caroline Osborn Seacord, 94, died peacefully in her sleep on July 21 at the Windemere Nursing Home in Oak Bluffs. She had lived at Windemere since April 2 of this year.
Carrie was born Caroline Warren Osborn at the Timothy Coffin House on South Water street in Edgartown on February 7, 1908, during a New England blizzard. The house was built by her great-great-grandfather Timothy Coffin and owned by her great-grandfather, Timothy Coffin Jr. She was the daughter of Walter Strong and Marion Hill Osborn.
A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution for 41 years, Carrie designed and created an authentic DAR flag in addition to making an American flag. She created the DAR flag during the summer and completed it in time to have it carried on the DAR-sponsored float in the Fourth of July parade in 1961. Carrie served as regent three times and as historian on several other occasions. She represented the Island at three constitutional conventions in Washington, D.C. Her patriotism included scolding local businessmen into flying American flags on their storefronts on a daily basis and educating the public on the proper name of Memorial Park (referred to by some as Cannonball Park).
Carrie had a long musical background. She played the piano at the Edgartown Theatre during the silent-movie era, was the organist at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Edgartown for 47 years and served as choir director for many years as well. For 13 of those years, she also played the organ at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven. Carrie gave piano lessons to many young people in her home on South Summer street and was the organist at the weddings of many Edgartown residents. She retired as church organist in June 1987.
Carrie was an avid swimmer. In 1979, at the age of 71, she received a Presidential Sports Award from President Jimmy Carter for swimming 50 miles as part of the American Red Cross's Swim and Stay Fit Program. She completed this program in a six-month timespan. Her other hobbies were playing duplicate bridge, polishing stones, making jewelry and knitting items of clothing for her children and grandchildren.
Carrie's first marriage was to Alton Butler Tilton of Vineyard Haven, where Alton was a fisherman for many years. Carrie and Alton lived in Vineyard Haven.
Her second marriage was to William (Bill) Thomas Reynolds of Edgartown. Bill's mother, Charlotte Pent, owned and created the Charlotte Inn on South Summer street. Carrie and Bill lived in the Charlotte Inn Cottage, across the street from the inn.
Her third marriage was to Frederick H. Seacord of Edgartown and Indian Lake, N.Y. Carrie and Fred lived in their home on West Tisbury Road and spend the month of August in Fred's cabin at Indian Lake each summer.
Carrie is survived by her sister, Elizabeth Osborn Ward of Roanoke, Va., her daughter Carolyn Tilton Medgyesy of Sengekontacket and Attleboro; her son David Butler Tilton of Rye, N.H., and Chilmark; her son Steven Whipple Tilton of Jeffersonville, Ind. and Saunderstown, R.I.; and her son William Philip Reynolds of Edgartown, and their families, including 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Predeceasing Carrie were her sisters, Raida, Mary, Natalie, Diadamia and Henrietta, and her brothers, Frederick, William, Samuel and John.
A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, followed by a celebration of her life at a site to be selected. The date will be announced when arrangements have been completed. Donations in Caroline's memory may be made to St. Andrew's Church, P.O. Box 1287, Edgartown, MA 02539 or Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, P.O. Box 1310, Edgartown, MA 02539. Arrangements under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home.