Merle Tankard Beaulieu died quietly on May 24 surrounded by family at the Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center where she had lived for the past five years. She was 81.

Merle was born in New York city on April 23, 1939. Her family moved to New Jersey in 1945. She had many interests including dancing salsa and travel, but her greatest gift was in how she loved people. She was patient, kind and non-judgmental with everyone she met. Early on Merle found an outlet for that gift by working in the retail industry and later in food services.

She was also active in the Catholic Church and its youth organization. Her desire to become a wife and mother came to fruition shortly after her 21st birthday when she married,Samuel J. Del Valle, Sr., a merchant seaman. They had two boys, Samuel J. Del Valle and Anthony Del Valle.

In 1963, Merle moved with her two sons to Martha’s Vineyard after one memorable vacation. She eventually remarried Everett (Sonny) Beaulieu; they had a daughter, Erica Beaulieu.

On the Vineyard, Merle worked in a variety of jobs and eventually retired from the town of Tisbury after working as an assistant cook at the Tisbury School.

She is survived by her children Samuel Del Valle, Anthony Del Valle and Erica Beaulieu.