Edward Walter Larkosh, teacher, artist and jazz musician, died peacefully at his home in East Providence, R.I. on March 14, 2021 with his son Dan and grandson Oliver at his side. He was 85.

He was born on March 2, 1936, in Pawtucket, R.I. He began playing the drums in grade school. By age 16, he was a professional jazz drummer. After graduation from North Providence High School in 1953, “Fast Eddy” Larkosh and his steady beat became fixtures on the local jazz scene.

He attended Rhode Island College of Education, where he pursued a teaching degree, and later transferred to Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn. There he met his future wife, Dorothy Ann Lenotti, and earned a bachelor of science degree.

He came to Martha’s Vineyard for the first time in 1963 for a drumming gig at the Edgartown Yacht Club. As the parents of two baby boys, Ed and Dorothy thought the Vineyard would be a good place to raise a family. He got a job at Island Craft Center and the family moved to the Island.

The first jazz group he joined on the Island consisted of pianist Dave Whittemore, bassist Art Sylvia, and Orbie Tower on tenor sax. It was the first of many ensembles that Ed would promote as the The Local Band. Edson Rogers and Ed Wise were other featured members.

As a traveling science teacher, his classroom was in an 18-wheel semi-rig that he drove from school to school. The fully-equipped classroom contained a laboratory and planetarium; children loved having science lessons in the Travel Lab.

In 1970, he founded a stained glass studio on Union street in Vineyard Haven. In the 1970s and 80s, many windows on Main street displayed Ed’s custom-designed and hand-crafted stained glass windows. The lobby of the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank featured his magnum opus, a rendition of the Gay Head Cliffs.

Ed continued drumming with the Tisbury Jazz All-Stars. The group opened for jazz luminaries Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck at the Hot Tin Roof. He eventually transitioned from drums to the chromatic harmonica as his musical voice. He carried “Hot Lucy” everywhere and performed to the delight of audiences and passersby. He also gave lessons.

In the 1980s, he founded Educational Developments and designed, manufactured and marketed a tool for teaching, studying, and understanding the structure and relationships amoung musical chords and keys.

An avid bicyclist, he could be seen all over the Island on his recumbent bicycle. He advocated for the right of cyclists to safely share the road with automobiles.

He always stood up for what mattered. The doors at Hillside Village are painted hunter green because he repainted his from the original red, and other residents followed his lead. Many other details in the circles in which Ed traveled were changed and improved because of him.

An Island character, he had an irreverent sense of humor, unique flair and sense of style. He was intelligent but never pompous. There were few things he loved more than a good conversation over a cold beer.

Ed moved from the Island to the Residence at Cedar Dell in North Dartmouth in 2010. In his later years, he loved road trips to Deer Isle, Me. to visit his sister Anne, traveling with his sons, movies, sporting events, music, discussing politics and hearty meals shared with friends and family. He returned to the Vineyard frequently and enjoyed birthdays and holidays with his grandsons.

He was interred at Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs with his ex-wife Dorothy Larkosh Roberts and son Christopher Edward Larkosh, who both predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his brother Jim Larkosh and sister Edna Davenport.

He is survived by his son Daniel James Larkosh and his wife Judit, grandsons Oliver and Xavier of West Tisbury; and his sister Anne Burton of Deer Isle, Me.