Mary J. Peters, 87, Was Devoted to Her Family

Mary J. Peters, beloved mother and grandmother, died Jan. 2 at her home in Oak Bluffs. She was the daughter of Joseph and Marian Mello Benefit of San Miguel, Azores. Born in Fall River on Jan. 23, 1916, she became an Islander at a very young age. Mrs. Peters was graduated from the Edgartown High school at the age of 16. She was married to the late Earl J. Peters of Oak Bluffs on Dec. 23, 1936 at the Sacred Heart Church.

Mrs. Peters was a homemaker, waitress at the Edgartown Café, The Boston House of Oak Bluffs as well as a bookkeeper for her husband's plumbing and heating business. Her father started her shucking scallops at the age of five, sitting her on a high stool and eventually onto a milk carton. Up until her illness, she still wanted to help her family do the shucking. She was known as one of the fastest openers. She was a faithful member of the Sacred Heart Parish, also a member of the Holy Ghost Society, and enjoyed her friends at the Oak Bluffs senior center.

She is remembered as always enjoying her gift of dancing with her husband. Her favorite summer pastime was sitting on the Oak Bluffs harbor boardwalk, watching for the safe return of her sons' and grandsons' boats and their catch of the day. Years ago she did the same for her husband Earl's boat, The Inheritance. The family has since then nicknamed her "Shore Patrol and Radar." Her life totally revolved around the love for her family.

She is survived by her two sons, Earl V. Peters and Glenn Peters, both of Oak Bluffs; two daughters, Carol Fullin of Falmouth and Joanne Roberts of Bonita Springs, Fla.; a sister, Helen P. White of Edgartown; 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Joseph Benefit Jr., and her sisters, Lillian Belisle and Hilda White.

Visiting hours were held on Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. Her funeral mass was celebrated in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Oak Bluffs at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7. Interment will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Oak Bluffs. Donations may be made in her memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.