Violet M. Cleveland Waters died peacefully with family at her side on Friday, July 18, after a long and hard-fought battle, suffering from two major strokes a number of years ago. She was 85.
Violet had an amazing will and enjoyment of life that she did not let her infirmities slow her down.
Violet was born on Sept. 22, 1928. She was the beloved daughter of the late Herbert (Pat) Cleveland and Jane (Jackson) Cleveland. She was born and raised in West Chop. She graduated from the Vineyard Haven High School and went on to marry Charles F. Waters Jr. from Edgartown. They had seven children and lived all over the country while Charles was in the military.
After Charles retired, they moved their family back to the Vineyard to raise their children. Shortly after settling back on the Vineyard, Violet and Charles parted ways. Violet was a single mom who worked hard and never slowed down. She was a crossing guard and worked at the West Chop Beach Club. Violet was best known for her longtime career at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where she worked in the housekeeping department for over 20 years. She enjoyed time with her co-workers and enjoyed making the patients laugh. She was an active member of the American Legion and the Pocahontas Club, also known as the Pokies.
Violet later built a house in Edgartown with her partner Peter Starke, who died in 2003. Violet enjoyed her garden, home and family. Violet had amazing luck, there was very rarely a game of bingo or a raffle that she entered that she did not win. She had the largest collection of blue glass and beanie anyone has seen, and loved to continue to watch it grow. Violet was always very proud to show off the latest edition to her collections.
Violet had an amazing memory, although her body was failing she could tell you everything thing that was going on around her and the latest news in the family.
The family would like to express their thanks and gratitude to the loving staff at Windemere for taking such good care of Violet for the last 10 years, and to the acute care nurses and Hope Hospice.
Violet was predeceased by her parents, her beloved son Charles F. Waters III and her treasured grandson Joseph Kelly. Violet was survived by her sister Doris Cleveland of Vineyard Haven; her daughters: Jane Koelsch and her husband Chet of Middletown, Conn., Violet M. Weinstein of Florida, Darlene Kelly of Edgartown, Judy Sylvia and her husband Raymond of Oak Bluffs, and Patty Bernier and her husband Jim of Dartmouth; also her son Michael A. Waters and his wife Ashley of Edgartown, as well as 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held on Wednesday, July 23, in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Worriers Project in honor of Violet’s son Charles, or to the Windemere Patient Activities Fund, P.O. Box 1747, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.