Carl Sayles Shabica died at home in Charlotte, N.C., on August 11 after a short illness. He was 68 and is survived by his second wife Mary, son Michael, and daughter Claire by a previous marriage to Diana Lagas Spurr. He was blessed with four grandchildren, Rachel, Emma, Sophia and Isaac.

Carl first came to the Vineyard as a toddler in the late 1940s with his parents and older brothers Charlie and Stephen. They stayed at Grandfather Arthur Wright’s cottage at 75 Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs. Carl’s summers were spent in the Camp Ground where the beach was a short walk away, along with the Flying Horses and the Circuit Avenue Arcade for an ice cream cone.

Carl graduated from Hanover College in Hanover, Ind. with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and worked as a police officer in Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven until 1973. He then attended North Carolina Central University Law School in Durham, N.C. and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1975. He went on to receive his master’s degree in tax law at the University of Missouri - Kansas City in 1976.

The Vineyard has always been his favorite place and he wanted his ashes to rest in Oak Bluffs.

Some of Carl’s favorite things:

  • The ferry ride from Woods Hole and watching for basking sharks and feeding the seagulls.
  • Searching for beach glass, pirate gold and whelk egg cases on State Beach and jumping off the “second bridge.”
  • Sailing Lightning, a five-foot sailboat built for him by his father Tony Shabica, in Sengekontacket Pond.
  • Sailing in the Edgartown Regatta with his buddy Alan Crossley.
  • Visiting “Uncle Arnie” Fisher and his wife Priscilla to exchange a bucket of littlenecks for a big bag of sweet corn. Checking out the cows and the milking facilities.
  • Illumination with candles in the lanterns, peanut butter cookies and punch for little kids, and scary memories of the time Ken (Uncle Dud to us) clapped out the lantern that caught fire (circa 1952).
  • Hanging out with friends at the Lampost and as a cop, breaking up fights between drunks.
  • The best for last: Wednesday night Community Sing in the Tabernacle:

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night;
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loved ones’ watch am keeping,
All through the night.

                              - Welsh Lullaby