John D. Morelli died Oct. 17 at his home in Chilmark. He was born in Utica, N.Y., on April 30, 1938 to the late John and Victoria Martinelli Morelli.

John graduated from Proctor High School and Utica College of Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English. He went on to earn his master’s degree in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.

John moved to the Vineyard in 1966 and taught English for 35 years, retiring in 2001 as the head of the English department.

John was loved and revered by his students and colleagues alike and will forever be remembered as a scholar, a friend and a very special teacher. We will all miss his humor and his kind and generous spirit.

In 1990, John lost his beloved daughter Kyra in a tragic car accident. She was the love and the light of his life.

Survivors include his wife Deborah Hilton Morelli; stepchildren and spouses Robert and Karen Hilton of Utica N.Y., James Hilton of Atlanta, Ga., and Amanda and Rich Smith of Buffalo, N.Y.; seven grandchildren: Emily, Bradley, Claire, William and Leah of Utica, N.Y., and Jake and Alec of Buffalo, N.Y.; his mother and father in law Jack and Elizabeth Hubbard Ovens of Clinton, N.Y.; his sister in law Molly Kent and her daughter Miranda of Tucson, Ariz.; many aunts, uncles and cousins, especially his cousin Elizabeth Hlavaty of Utica, N.Y.; and many friends.

John also was predeceased by his father in law, M. Gilbert Hubbard.

His family wishes to thank Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and all of his wonderful and caring friends who were with John along the way.

His funeral service was private. Donations in his memory may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.