Richard (Chip) Yerkes, formerly of Edgartown, died Sept. 17 at Woodridge Nursing Home in Berlin, Vt. He was 75. He had battled early onset Alzheimer’s for two decades and died peacefully at sunset with family by his side.

He was born August 20, 1946, in West Chester, Penn. He attended Westtown School. True to his Quaker upbringing, he became an advocate for peace and kindness. He was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and served as a medic for two years at an NYU hospital in New York city.

In 1968, Chip moved with his parents and siblings to East Burke, Vt. to transform the Darling Farm into the well-remembered Darion Inn. He wore many hats, working as a carpenter, bartender, trail groomer and host.

In the early 1980s, he went on an extended adventure to Texas, working as a scuba diver and underwater welder on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. He competed in ironman triathlons and attempted to windsurf from Texas to Florida.

He traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to build a house with Charlie Chapman. The Island soon became his home. He worked as a bartender and contractor, and eventually purchased and renovated his own inn, the Jonathan Munroe House, on Main street in Edgartown.

Renovating and opening the inn was the culmination of his life’s work, bringing together his children and friends to reinvigorate a historic home. Chip found joy in being an innkeeper, entertaining guests for more than a decade. He caught up with friends for coffee once guests had finished their eggs benedict and left for their adventures, which he often helped plan.

He was passionate about the outdoors and biked, swam, skiied, ran or canoed daily. He battled the white caps on the Great Pond by canoe to get to South Beach for a long swim, windsurfed, and took jaunts through Sheriff’s Meadow for a quick break between jobs. He was at his best with nature.

Chip found and drew out beauty and humor in those around him. Always quick with a compliment or laughter, he made you feel like the best storyteller or most beautiful person in town. He was in awe of the interconnectedness of people and experiences. His kind spirit and generous heart were felt immediately in his presence, even in his last days.

He was a loving father, passing his love of the outdoors and ideals for peace and justice to his children. He made long trips from Martha’s Vineyard to Vermont to support their school, athletic and social endeavors.

He is survived by his sister, Jo-Ann Golden, and her husband Larry Golden of Lyndonville, Vt.; Doreen Yerkes, the mother of his children, of East Burke, Vt.; his son Jamie Yerkes and wife Polly Yerkes, all of Vermont; his daughter Julie Yerkes and husband Patrick Taylor of Concord, N.H.; his nephews, Ricky Golden, Larry Golden and Chris Hibshman; his niece, Carrie Hibshman Tomczyk; and his grandchildren, Ruby, Gus and Lila Yerkes, and Mika, Zadie and Meret Taylor.

He was predeceased by his father Richard (Dick) Yerkes, mother Marion Harmer Yerkes, and sister and brother in law, Nancy and John Hibshman.

A Quaker memorial service for friends and family will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 10, followed by a celebration of life from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Notch House on Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vt.

Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (, the Harvard Brain Bank ( or Greenpeace (