Richard Mavro, Family Man with Many Talents (2024)

Richard J. Mavro of Oak Bluffs died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Friday morning, Dec. 1 at the Beth Israel – Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. He was 89.

He was the husband of Lorraine (Rogers) Mavro.

Born in Boston in 1928 as a two and a half pound premie, Richard was destined to overcome many obstacles in his lifetime. Although he was diagnosed with dementia 11 years ago, many never realized it because his same friendly smile and greeting were still the most recognizable parts of his personality.

He graduated from Edgartown High School in 1947. After graduation he headed off to Daytona Beach, Fla. on an infamous car trip in his Model A Ford with his good friend Jimmy Klingensmith. In 1948 he returned to the Island to marry his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Rogers, on Feb. 19, 1949.

Also known as Dick, Richie, and Greek, Richard’s interests and talents were as varied as his names. At a young age he learned that economics dictated that he become a true do it yourselfer. Every chore became a puzzle to the naturally curious and intelligent person he was, including fixing cars (Model A’s into his 70s), building chimneys, sewing a canvas top for his boat, fixing his motorcycle, rigging a new rudder for his sunfish, a chimney sweep and so many more. He was a long time motorcyclist. He leaves a full complement of motorcycle friends from his trips to Americade and other rides.

In his younger years he was an avid photographer. As he and Lorraine traveled, there were always plenty of slides to see upon their return, with a story to go with each one. His artistic side also came out with the wire boats he made and the wooden numbers he would produce for Lorraine, commemorating how many years they were married.

Richie was a social man. Every job he had saw him working with the public. Those who knew him would remark about him being quick with a smile, an anecdote, or a joke. He loved getting together with friends and family where he would often become the center of attention with some jokes to tell. You might be laughing, but watch out. You’d never know when you would end up the subject of his humor.

He worked for 24 years at the First National Stores (located where the Vineyard Haven post office is today) until it closed 1972. Not wanting to leave Martha’s Vineyard (God’s country as he called it), he declined a transfer to the Cape. After a short stint at the Steamship Authority, he was hired at the Oak Bluffs post office. Interestingly, when he transferred to the Vineyard Haven post office, he ended up back in the familiar building where he spent so many years in the employ of First National.

When he turned 63, Lorraine convinced him to retire so they could have time to enjoy life. He left the United States Postal Service after 20 years of service, but that was not the end of his work life. He was a caretaker, mechanic, lawn mower, handy man, and worked part-time for Chapman, Cole and Gleason, making friends with the same men who will now lay him to rest.

Most of all he was a family man. No matter what came his way, family always was first. Many don’t know it, but he had a chance for an appointment to West Point when he graduated high school. Instead of taking advantage of such an opportunity, he declined because he felt his mother needed his help and support. He and Lorraine had only 2 children, Richard (Dick) and Noreen, but he had an extended family that crossed the states. Cousins from Danvers to Maine to South Carolina to Arizona were still a source of great pleasure for him through his 89 years. The summer party for Cousins Day was something he always looked forward to. He was enormously proud of his three grandsons and the “cherry on the sundae” was the pleasure of spending time with his great-grandchildren.

As well as his loving wife of 68 years and their children, Richard R. Mavro and his wife, Nola, and Noreen Mavro Flanders and her husband, Brian, he is survived by his three grandsons and their spouses: Matthew B. Flanders and his wife, Carole Lee (Sylva); Christopher A. Flanders and his wife, Brianna (Jean); and Timothy Mavro and his wife, Kandace (Sylvia). He also leaves eight great-grandchildren: Christopher’s children Alanna, Avery and Amelia Flanders; Matthew’s children Mackenzie Flanders and Sydney and Justin Bierman; and Timothy’s children Lennox and Ethan Mavro. (Finally a boy to carry on the Mavro family name!) He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins to round out his family tree.

He was the son of the late Mary (Salvadore) Ripley and stepson of the late William Ripley. He was also predeceased by his sister Anna Mavro Morgan and his brother Donald (Buddy) Mavro.

Services will be on Tuesday, Dec. 5 with calling hours from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. His funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Saint Augustine’s Church on Franklin street in Vineyard Haven. Interment will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Vineyard avenue, Oak Bluffs followed by a celebration of his life at the Portuguese American Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard’s name to Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth, Senior Behavioral Care Unit, 275 Sandwich St., Plymouth MA 02360.

Richard Mavro, Family Man with Many Talents (2024)

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