Philip Jeffrey Norton Jr. died peacefully at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Saturday, Nov. 5, surrounded by his family. He was 84.

He was born in Oak Bluffs on July 14, 1938 and grew up enjoying everything the Island had to offer, including fishing its waters and hunting its woods. After attending elementary school in Edgartown, he went off-Island and graduated high school from The Tilton School in New Hampshire. He continued his higher education by attending Boston College for two years before transferring to Suffolk University in Boston, where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees.

While serving as a summer patrolman for the Edgartown police during his college and graduate school years, he met and married Jane Brugiere, the love of his life, in September 1963. After the birth of their sons Jeffrey and Andrew, and while working for Hill & Barlow in Boston, he moved the family back to the Vineyard in 1970. There he eventually started his Worth & Norton law practice.

Jeff was deeply involved in public service. He was a founding member of Vineyard Preservation Trust, served as a Dukes County commissioner, founded and chaired the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited, served as chairman of the board of trustees for the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank (and previously the MV Co-Operative Bank), and was Edgartown’s town moderator for 43 years.

He was a longtime member of the Edgartown Golf Club and served for many years on its board of governors. He was also an honorary member of the Vineyard Golf Club and The Boathouse & Field Club.

Jeff welcomed anyone and everyone into his office to sit and chat, dispense advice only when asked and offer a pragmatic opinion on every topic. He taught how to be kind to others and never had a negative word to say about anyone.

As a local attorney, he often was the recipient of various forms of recognition from his clients, from freshly-laid chicken eggs, baked goods, gift certificates to Dairy Queen and cases of Black Label beer back in the day. One of his favorite routines for many years included an early Saturday morning breakfast with his friends at Linda Jean’s Restaurant in Oak Bluffs, followed by a trip to the dump. Always a thrifty soul, he crammed as much garbage as he could into one bag to avoid the additional five dollar fee for another bag.

He was an avid Red Sox fan and followed every game. If you asked him how his golf game was, he would reply that it stinks but he enjoyed playing every weekend.

His daily presence will be missed by everyone who knew him. He would want everyone to know how deeply he cared about the well-being of the Island community.

Jeff is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jane B. Norton; sons Philip Jeffrey Norton 3rd and his wife Shannon S. Norton, B. Andrew Norton and his wife Shelley C Norton; and grandchildren Reid H. Norton, Everett S. Norton and Drew C. Norton.

He was predeceased by his father Philip Jeffrey Norton; mother Louise M. Norton; and brother Clement Scott Norton.

The family is planning a celebration of life to take place in July 2023.

Memorial donations can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club at P.O. Box 654, Edgartown, MA 02539 or online at; the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital at P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 or online at; or to the Vineyard Preservation Trust at P.O. Box 5277, Edgartown, MA 02539 or online at

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