Mildred B. Wadsworth Lived in Three Centuries

Mrs. Mildred Bunker Wadsworth of Oak Bluffs died peacefully on Sunday evening, August 17, at Windemere Nursing Facility, Oak Bluffs. She was 104.

Mildred was born April 6, 1899 at her family home in the Methodist Camp Ground, Oak Bluffs, which was then called Cottage City. She was the daughter of the late Roy Alton and Gertrude May (Sandiford) Bunker.

She attended Oak Bluffs School and was graduated from Hyannis Normal School. She returned to Oak Bluffs as an elementary school teacher.

Mildred was wed to Harold Wadsworth in 1925 and had one son, her beloved James, both of whom predeceased her.

Throughout her years as well as teaching she loved her home baking, gardening and bird watching. Mildred continued her enjoyment of education, reading voraciously. She also remained one of the original members of the Oak Bluffs Homemakers Club.

Mildred remained at home until the age of 102 with the tireless help from her home care workers. She spent hours recounting the earliest history of the Vineyard, particularly Oak Bluffs. Her accurate recall astounded those privileged to hear her memories.

"I was born in the lap of the Tabernacle," Mrs. Wadsworth told the Gazette in an interview on the occasion of her 100th birthday in April of 1999. She recalled the days before the automobile when the Vineyard had livery stables, not service stations. "Each town had its own high school," she recalled. "Nobody went off-Island for games. Basketball games, they were betwen towns, and of course there's a lot of feeling there. Now there's one high school. You can be best pals with someone from Vineyard Haven. You couldn't be in those days."

Mildred is survived by her grandchildren, Earl Wadsworth, Karen Marrs, Carol Testerman and Lynn Rebello; one daughter in law, Joyce Bagley Wadsworth, 11 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and son, she was predeceased by her five brothers, Alton, Augustus, Gordon, Roy and John Clifford, and her four sisters, Evelyn Hope, Frances Bunker Luce, Louise Bunker and Gertrude Bunker.

Her graveside service will held on Saturday, August 23, at 10 a.m. at the Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Bluffs with the Rev. Alden Besse officiating. Donations in her name may be made to Vineyard Nursing Association, P.O. Box 2568, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are by the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.