Robert J. Searle died on Oct. 6 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital following a brief illness. He was 71 years old.

Bob was born on March 17, 1942 to George R. Searle and Margaret A. Searle in Elizabeth, N.J. Upon moving to the Vineyard he attended the Edgartown School.

He was a landscaper and gardener and tended to many properties on the Island. Bob was very particular about making every lawn and garden he tended a work of art. His clients were very appreciative of his hard work.

Bob enjoyed the outdoors and liked the ocean as well. He was a great clammer and quahaugger. He especially enjoyed being with his siblings during scallop season on the lagoon in Tisbury. Bob looked forward to the scallop weekends that the family would put together to open the catch and have a great meal afterward. He loved the family gatherings; his family was very important to him and he was very important to his family.

Bob was a quiet soul with a heart of gold who earned the name “A Gentle Giant.” He was tall and broad shouldered and always grateful for what he had. He was unselfish and caring.

Bob lived at Woodside Village for the past two years and made many friends there. His neighbors told stories of his acts of kindness. He enjoyed his time at Woodside and his new friends.

Bob liked his trips to the Tisbury landing, where he would watch all that went on and have coffee with his friends at the Vineyard Haven post office. He was also a great fan of country music. He will be missed by many.

Bob leaves his two brothers, William Ross Searle and wife Diane of Mashpee, and Alexander Searle and wife Debbie of Sandwich, as well as his sister, Margaret Ditson and husband Randy of Vineyard Haven. Besides his parents, who predeceased Bob in 1982 and 1988, he was predeceased by four brothers, George Searle in 1996, Stewart Searle in 2002, David A. Searle in 2008 and James A. Searle in 1967. He leaves many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins and his favorite buddy, Buster.

Rest in peace our brother, you were loved.

A graveside service for the interment of his cremains will be held in the New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown on Saturday, Oct. 19 at noon officiated by the Rev. Roger Spinney. Donations may be made in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project: P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or online at; or to the Animal Shelter: PO Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. An online guest book is available at