Mariana C. Reynolds, 91, Loved Poetry, Gardening
Mariana Conklin Reynolds died peacefully Sept. 9 in Chester, N.J. Born in Newark, N.J., on Sept. 19, 1910, she began spending summers on Martha's Vineyard in 1922. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ludolph Conklin, bought a house on the corner of Cooke and School streets in Edgartown in 1927. It was this house that was pictured on the cover of Life magazine in 1943, when a hurricane sent a large tree through the roof, reportedly breaking a babysitter's toe.
Mariana married Frederic Clinton Reynolds in 1934, and they had four children, all of whom have spent time on the Vineyard. Two of her grandchildren now own property in Edgartown.
Fred and Mariana sold the Cooke and School street home in 1961 when Edgartown became "too noisy." They bought over 100 acres on Meeting House Way from Mr. Fay, land that included one of the oldest houses on Martha's Vineyard (circa 1648).
Avid birders, they were active in conservation causes, gardening and the Federated Church, and volunteered at Camp Jabberwocky. After Fred died in 1976, Mariana donated all but six acres of land to the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation. Morning Glory Farm now grows crops on some of the land.
A lover of poetry, Mariana wrote Island Weekend about the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., which was published in the Vineyard Gazette: "Friday's fog smothered our Island shore, a symbol of heartache; Saturday's wild wind and rain were mood music for frustration and anguish; Sunday's fresh clean beauty was hope transcending the desperate need to understand."
After her husband's death, Mariana continued to spend a great deal of time in her beloved "gray house." After 1987, she became too ill to return to the Vineyard and spent the rest of her life at her home in Morristown, N.J.
Mariana was the mother of Frederic Clinton Reynolds Jr. of Edgartown and Bedminster, N.J., Mariana Reynolds Heap of La Morra, Italy, Jane Reynolds Riggan of Arcata, Calif., and the late Christopher Conklin Reynolds. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Those who wish may make a donation in her name to Camp Jabberwocky.