J. William Houlder Hudgins (Bill), mariner and resident of Edgartown “crossed the bar” at his home on Davis Lane in Edgartown on Jan. 30.

He was born in Chicago, Ill. on June 14, 1937.

His formative years were spent with his mother Vallie (Olson) his dad, Houlder, and sister, Llyssa, on Old Church Road in Greenwich, Conn. where he attended Greenwich Country Day School, and then at 54 Brimmer Street in Boston where he went to the Manter Hall School.

His dad died at age 63 and his mother later married Wellington Wells and moved to New Hampshire.

Bill’s early sailing experiences were at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club where he was a presence throughout his adult life. Following his love of the sea, he went to the West India Steamship Company in West Palm Beach where he studied to become a deck officer. His first job upon graduation was Third Mate on the SS West India.

When Bill was 10 years old his dad, who everyone called Hudge, commissioned the building of INFANTA, a Philip Rhodes Designed 47’ yawl built at Kretzer Boat Works in City Island, N.Y. It was Bill’s start of his love affair with the ocean. Decades later, he was reunited with INFANTA when he was 72, sailing aboard her from Edgartown to Newport

He joined the Edgartown Yacht Club in 1969 where he had once been the Fleet Measurer. Bill was also a member of the Edgartown Reading Room for more than 35 years, serving as Vexillary and on the House Committee. Upon reaching age 80 he was elected an Honorary Life Member in recognition of his long association and service. Both clubs were a short walk from his home on Cooke Street and later his home on Davis Lane.

Aside from being a member of just about every civic organization in Edgartown and elsewhere on the Vineyard, his civic mindedness led him to become one of Edgartown’s first volunteer EMTs along with Courtney Brady, who predeceased him by two weeks, also a yacht club member.

Bill was a yacht delivery captain, having made many intracoastal trips to Florida and back. There wasn’t a marina, yacht basin or yacht club that he wasn’t familiar with. He knew all the waterfront characters in most every port on a first name basis. Many are the stories of Bill stepping off the boat he was delivering and immediately walking up to the harbormaster, the commodore or a local wharfinger and shaking hands like old friends. If he did not know you, you soon became his friend.

His last regular job before semi-retirement was as captain of Wind Shear out of Edgartown, owned by Dr. Leonard Greene. He later continued his seafaring as a relief captain on large yachts when the actual captain had shore leave. Bill would get the call and off he would go, of course never telling anyone where he went and then regaling everyone with his stories upon return.

He is survived by his nieces Linda Spering of Suisun City, Calif., and Tanya Langland of Stockton, Calif., nephew Eric Helgesson of Talent, Ore., and two cousins, Susan Waldrop of Bethesda, Md. and Jean Zeitz of Arlington, Va.

A remembrance will be held the Edgartown Yacht Club, Sunday, June 30, at on. Come and share some “Bill” stories. “Bye for now”