Eunice C. Honey died Monday, June 24 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was 88.
Eunice was born August 15, 1924 in Utica, N.Y., the daughter of Norman and Eunice Coke-Jephcott. Norman Coke-Jephcott was born in Coventry, England, a man of extraordinary musical talent, who at 15 was assistant organist and choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church in Coventry. At 17 he traveled alone to New York to be organist at Church of the Holy Cross in Kingston, N.Y. and when his first daughter Eunice was born he was organist and choirmaster at Grace Church in Utica, N.Y.
In 1932 Eunice moved to New York city when her father was appointed organist and choir master at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Eunice and her sister Ann grew up within the musical community of the cathedral. Summers they took the overnight steamer from New York to Oak Bluffs where her mother would find a cottage and a piano. She was a “summer girl” who celebrated her birthday and rode her bike alongside the parks in Oak Bluffs.
Eunice attended St. Agatha School, graduated from the Lenox School and from Barnard College. She served in the WAVES (Naval Reserve) during World War II from 1946 to 1948, in the Naval Air Experimental Station – Photographic Laboratory.
She married William M. Honey in 1948 and moved to Martha’s Vineyard. They divorced in 1983.
Mrs. Honey joined the choir at the Christ Methodist Church. She helped to form the Women’s Chorus and was its first president. In the 1960s she helped revive the Boy Scouts and was a den mother. She worked diligently for the establishment of the Regional High School and to end the mass aerial DDT spraying in Tisbury.
In 1970, when her eldest daughter was in college, Mrs. Honey received her Masters in Education from Tufts University and went to work at the Edgartown School. She taught fifth grade there for 21 years until her retirement in 1991. Teaching was one of her greatest joys.
But family was her greatest joy. Eunice was lucky to be able to enjoy her children, five grandchildren and a great grandson all living on the Island.
Eunice enjoyed writing, her garden, music, tennis, the Red Sox and Scrabble. The Red Sox game schedule was always posted on her refrigerator, and her TV was set to watch endless tennis matches. She enjoyed her home in Hidden Cove and was active in its association.
She had fun with words and possessed a witty humor. She was a stickler for grammar and most of us remember it being corrected, followed by the appropriate grammar rule. She’d even cite news reporters, which brought a laugh.
Even during some of the most challenging times she was a “good sport.” For those that knew her, she was a warm and caring person with the uncanny ability to know if something was on your mind. Eunice was interested in people and a great listener offering words of wisdom.
Eunice Honey leaves her daughters, Sarah Honey Murphy and husband Fred Murphy, Elizabeth Honey MacPherson and daughter in law Laura W. Honey; her grandchildren, Ross E. and Reid M. MacPherson, Megan L. Honey, Grace L. Murphy, Annie D. Sylvia and her husband Jake Sylvia; and great grandson Benjamin K. Sylvia. She also leaves her sister, Ann Pogue of Lancaster, Pa.; her nephew, John Pogue and his wife Pamela and their children Julia, Andrew and Katelyn; and her niece, Kari A. Pogue of Washington, D.C; as well as longtime friends and caregivers Susan Tirabassi and Megan Spokus.
She was predeceased by her son, David W. Honey in 2005 and her son in law Robert E. MacPherson Jr. in 1994.
A graveside service for Eunice C. Honey is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 at 10 a.m. at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, followed by a gathering at the Owen Park bandstand. Donations in her name can be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Massachusetts Chapter 9 Erie Drive, Suite 101, Natick, MA 01760, or online at: ma.lls.llsevent.org/eunicehoney.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. An online guest book is available at ccgfuneralhome.com.