Paul Bruce Lewellyn of Vineyard Haven died at home on Sept. 14. He was 82.

Born in 1938 in Hutchinson, Kans., he attended the University of Kansas. Afterwards, he joined the U.S. Navy and served in Thule, Greenland before instructing at the Naval Officers Candidate School, and then attending Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I. to become a legal officer.

During this time, he met his wife, Jean Braddon Lewellyn. They moved to Palo Alto, where he attended Stanford Law School. They eventually settled in New Haven, where Bruce practiced law at Tyler Cooper & Alcorn for 37 years.

He served on the board of Christian Community Action (CCA), a nonprofit organization that provided emergency temporary housing as well as other services to those living in the inner city.

He and Jean became volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, restoring old houses in low-income neighborhoods. They subsequently became involved with Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard upon moving to the Island.

Bruce loved tennis, skiing, sailing, singing, woodworking and crossword puzzles. What ultimately brought him and Jean to the Island was sailing. He often joked that a landlubbing farm boy from Kansas who had never set eyes on the ocean until he was 18, was ironically converted into a full-fledged washashore salty sailor.

Having cruised the New England coastline with family and friends aboard their Tartan Jubilate for more than 30 years, Bruce and Jean retired to Martha’s Vineyard in 2004. He fully embraced Island life. Initially getting involved with town government in Vineyard Haven, he served as chairman of the dredge committee and was later elected to the town finance committee.

He was an active member of the Federated Church of Edgartown, lending not only his tenor voice to the choir but also serving on the church council and helping out with legal and financial matters.

His love of music, playing guitar and singing started at an early age and deepened over time. During his time in Newport in the 1960s, he was inspired by the culture and sounds of the coffeehouse folk music scene. He brought his guitar with him everywhere and was known to burst into song at a moment’s notice.

He sang with the acapella group, The Off-Sounders in Greenwich, Conn. for more than 20 years before joining the Island Community Chorus and the Federated Church choir.

A consummate tinkerer, Bruce could often be found in his workshop, designing, building and revising his various creations. His talents lent themselves to him becoming the de facto handyman to many friends and family members.

He is survived by his wife Jean and their children Braddon Lewellyn of Albuquerque, N.M., Megan Lewellyn of Seattle, Wash., and Curt Lewellyn of Boston; and grandchildren, Sam, Piper and Max Shethar.

A funeral service for family and friends will be held on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Federated Church of Edgartown. All attending must be vaccinated and wear masks. The service will be streamed live as well as recorded and can be accessed through the church website.

Donations can be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or online at; the Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539; or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, online at

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