Rita Mae Minor was interred Oct. 6 in a private graveside service at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. She died on Nov. 24, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla. She was 82.

Rita was born at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs on July 14, 1936, the daughter of the late Albert T. Silva and Drusilla (West) Silva. She grew up in Vineyard Haven, and graduated from the Tisbury High School. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Jesse V. Minor from Shinnston, W.V. Jesse was serving with the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed at Coast Guard Station Gay Head. They wed on Sept. 24, 1955, and were married for 54 years.

Rita began her new role as a military wife by moving to West Chop, where Jesse became the lighthouse keeper. During this time the couple welcomed the birth of their daughter. Rita enjoyed the travel and adventures of military life, but at the end of Jesse’s 20-year career they were ready to return to the Island that they both loved. They bought a home in West Tisbury where they lived for almost 30 years. Upon the death of Rita’s father, they relocated to her childhood home in Vineyard Haven.

Rita enjoyed travel, and one of her most favorite places to frequent was Barbados. She loved playing and watching tennis, gardening, cooking and reading a good book. Most of all she loved her family. She enjoyed visiting with her daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was always happy to go to Florida for the cold winter months, and happier to return to the Island in the spring. She loved sitting out on her front porch watching the birds, and listening to the Island sounds — the steamship whistle being a favorite.

She was greatly loved, and is missed.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, Jesse V. Minor and a brother Roswell A. Silva. She is survived by her daughter Mona M. Combra and her husband; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.