Ralph Sargent, 79, Had Long Career in Military

Ralph C. Sargent, 79, of Vineyard Haven died on July 26, surrounded by the love of his family and friends.

Mr. Sargent enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard on Nov. 19, 1941, and retired on Jan. 1, 1968. He was decorated with seven Good Conduct Awards, the National Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Ribbon, American Defense, European Theater of Operation Ribbon, Bronze Star and the Asiatic-Pacific Area Ribbon.

In his more than 26 years of military service, Mr. Sargent saw a lot of the world. From North African ports such as Casablanca to the British Isles, he traveled the globe. He sailed through the Panama Canal on the USS Rhodes and was then assigned to Ellis Island Receiving Station in New York. He arrived in Pearl Harbor on August 21, 1945, and from there it was back to San Diego. He saw duty on the Portland Lightship, Boston Lightship and Stonehorse Lightship. He was also the officer in charge of the Gay Head Lifeboat Station in Chilmark for six years. He ended his career as the officer in charge of the Point Bonita.

Mr. Sargent was a life member of VFW Post 9261 in Oak Bluffs and for many years was the post quartermaster. He was also a past post commander. He was a member of the Tashmoo Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men of Vineyard Haven. He served as chief of records for the Tashmoo Tribe in 1969.

Mr. Sargent was predeceased by his parents, Eleanor F. Short Sargent and Raymond Sargent; by a brother, David Sargent, and a son, Ralph Sargent Jr. He is survived by a son, William, Sargent; a granddaughter, Ana Sargent of Aquinnah and a grandson, Christian Sargent of Tisbury; a brother, Leland E. Sargent of Newburyport; a sister, Gertrude Benjamin Davey of Westfield, Wis.; a nephew, Paul R. Davey of Harrisville, Wis.; a great-nephew and five great-nieces.

A memorial service will be held at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 17, with full military honors by the veterans of Martha's Vineyard. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.