Nelson (Eric) deBettencourt died peacefully at home in California on Feb. 15, his 54th birthday, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving fiancé Holly Bario, daughter Emily deBettencourt, and Holly’s children, Emma and Peter Bario as well as his wonderful Hospice nurse, Mary.

Eric was born in Oak Bluffs on Feb. 15, 1967 to the late Nelson J. deBettencourt and Sandra Geddis deBettencourt. He attended the Oak Bluffs School and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, graduated with the class of 1985.

Everyone knew Eric for his great sense of humor and a huge heart. In the 1980s he carried his boombox down Circuit avenue blaring the hits and brightening everyone’s day. He was the Class Clown of the class of 1985, an honor he loved and deserved. Teachers still to this day recall what a joy Eric was to have in class.

He was a man of many trades, who somehow seemed to master them all. There wasn’t anything Eric couldn’t fix, build or take care of. From his first job at Reliable Market to his last job with Verizon, there were many notable accomplishments along the way.

He dabbled in construction, plumbing, and electrical work. In his most recent years he was able to combine many of these skills and do caretaking on the Island which he enjoyed thoroughly. Though skilled in many different areas of life, Eric’s true passion was for the people he cared about.

He was a deeply committed and proud father, a devoted fiancé, protective older brother, funny and playful uncle, caring son and a loyal, true friend. Eric loved a good game of golf and will be deeply missed by the many who were lucky enough to play with him. In recent years, he loved to travel and meet new people. He loved to dance and sing and attended parties, especially the ones that allowed for an iconic selfie opportunity. For his 50th birthday he went to Hawaii and declared Maui was the best place on earth besides Oak Bluffs. He thoroughly enjoyed his “football picks” group and loved to watch every game of the season, including watching Tom Brady win his seventh Super Bowl. Eric made friends wherever he went and maintained these relationships over the years.

He is survived by his children, Emily and Ben, his fiancé Holly and her children, Emma and Peter, his mother Sandra, his sister Melanie Marchand and her husband Mike and his brother Mike deBettencourt and his wife Erin, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his father, Nelson, who died last fall. Interment services will be private. A celebration of Eric’s life will be planned for later this year when we can safely gather. Donations can be made to advance cancer research at UCLA, directed to the UCLA Foundation, Attn. Heidi Saravia, P.O. Box 7145, Pasadena, CA 91109-9903. Please indicate the gift as in memory of Nelson Eric deBettencourt and would support Dr. Shuch – Kidney Cancer Research 64439C, or online (