Richard Prada, 79, Was Active on the Waterfront

Richard Prada of Edgartown died at home on Jan. 29. He was born in Edgartown on Nov. 28, 1924 to Frank and Olive Prada. He grew up at their home on South Summer street, and was graduated from the Edgartown High School in 1942. Subsequently, Mr. Prada attended the Maritime Service School in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., graduating as seaman second class.

After a period of service as an able-bodied seaman, Mr. Prada attended the U.S. Maritime Service Officers School in Fort Trumbull, Conn. In February 1945, he was commissioned as ensign. When the war ended, Mr. Prada continued to go to sea for several years, working for companies such as Esso and Standard Oil.

In 1951, Mr. Prada married Maurita Daniels and they made their home in Edgartown. Between 1952 and 1959, they had five children. Mr. Prada stopped going to sea in the mid-1950s and worked several jobs in the following years. He managed the boat rentals and taught sailing at the Harborside Inn. He worked as a house painter and fished commercially. In the early sixties, Mr. Prada started work as an oil deliveryman for Wells Oil Service, a job he continued until his retirement in 1988. In addition, he worked several years as the launch operator for Edgartown Marine.

As part of his work for Edgartown Marine, Mr. Prada maintained their numerous moorings in Edgartown harbor. Later, this responsibility expanded to include the town's moorings. More importantly, Mr. Prada mapped the location of the moorings for springtime location efforts. In later years, Mr. Prada worked as assistant animal control officer.

Mr. Prada served in other capacities for the town. In 1970, he was appointed to the conservation commission. As a member of the planning board from 1973 to the early 1980s, he participated in creating some of the key regulations that guided the subsequent development of the town.

Mr. Prada's community service extended beyond his contributions to town government. He was a Boy Scout leader of Troop 98 for several years. Many people met Mr. Prada through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, where he taught classes on boating safety. He was a frequent participant in the Sunset Sail Patrol with Dick Harper and Bob Russell.

Sailing and fishing were activities that Mr. Prada engaged in through his entire life. He also loved to read, and read two newspapers a day. As a member of the Geriatric Quahog Squad, he spent about 16 years on the Katama flats with his sister Fran and their fearless leader, Robert Hathaway. Mr. Prada was an avid fan of the Boston Celtics, and rarely missed a game.

Three siblings survive Mr. Prada: Frances Resendes of Edgartown, Edward Prada of Woodbridge, Va., and Catherine Griffin of Falmouth. He is also survived by his daughters, Christine Eissenstat of Frederick, Md., Barbara Prada of Edgartown, Mary Dombrowski of Allentown, Pa., and Ursula Prada of Edgartown. In addition, Mr. Prada is survived by six grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Maurita Prada, and his son, Vincent Frank Prada.

A visitation was held at the family residence, 134 Katama Road, on Monday evening, Feb. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. His graveside service was held in the New Westside Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3. Contributions in memory of Mr. Prada to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are by the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.