Library Friends of Oak Bluffs inc

Richard C. Brown Memorial Scholarship

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Dick Brown scholarship info

The Friends can’t imagine anyone more deserving of being memorialized with its scholarship than Richard “Dick” Brown. Dick loved the Oak Bluffs Public Library and was a founding member of the Library Friends, a volunteer organization that raises funds to support the library and its programs. He would go on to donate his expertise as the Friends’ official treasurer for nearly two decades.

Although he had ties to Martha’s Vineyard going back to 1940, it wasn’t until 1967 that Dick took up full-time residence on the island together with his wife, Carol, and their children. Although he spent his entire career as a marine engineer and traveled the world over, he set out to build a different kind of business literally from the ground up. He built the original Edgartown Dairy Queen with his own two hands and spent the next 20 years dishing out ice cream and good will with help from his family and equally dedicated employees.

The Dairy Queen wasn’t Dick’s only creation. After retiring from the family ice cream business, he built a new home in Oak Bluffs where he hosted family gatherings and celebrations.

A loving family man, Dick also devoted his time and talents to his island community and its children. He served as catalyst in reorganizing the island’s only Boy Scout troop and spent the next 12 years as an inspiring leader. Among other things, Dick guided the development of Camp Duarte as chairman of The Friends of Martha’s Vineyard Scouting. The Boy Scouts of America honored his dedication to scouting with one of its highest awards available for adults, the Silver Beaver Award.

Dick also demonstrated his commitment to the youth of Martha’s Vineyard and his love of baseball by umpiring Little League games. He expected players to exemplify good manners and the highest ideals of sportsmanship while having fun. Altogether, he spent 53 years behind home plate, first on Staten Island and then the Vineyard. Dick retired only when his failing eyesight beat out his passion for the game. Upon his retirement, one of his players wrote of him that he taught them “how to lose with dignity and how to win with honor.”

Dick also gave unstintingly of his time to his church. He served as treasurer for the Edgartown United Methodist Congregation for more than 20 years and volunteered for many activities, most notably the Monday Night Community Suppers held at the church where he did everything from setting up tables, peeling potatoes and washing dishes. The church in turn honored him as one of their “Angels Among Us.”

Dick excelled at woodcarving, a skill he perfected during long maritime journeys. He shared that skill by teaching woodcarving at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center.

Toward the end of his long and rich life, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy honored him as its “Alumnus of the Year” and recognized his many accomplishments at the Academy’s Homecoming football game.

The Library Friends announce this scholarship to recognize his kind spirit and willingness to help. We hope the recipients of the scholarship will follow in his footsteps and exemplify that generosity and true community spirit.

Dick Brown scholarship info


Official Newsletter of the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs, Inc.

Les Woodcock, Editor, Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer 2013




Twenty-five years ago, in 1988, Ronald Reagan was ending his term as President, Toni Morrison’s epic novel, Beloved, won the Pulitzer Prize, the year-round population of Oak Bluffs was less than 3,000 and the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs was founded by Bonnie Scott, at the urging of library director Mabel McCarthy.

“Bonnie brought people together,” says Betty Daniels, who became involved with the LFOB shortly after it started.  Betty was president at one point and is currently a member of the Steering Committee.  “Bonnie was a doer, an active person and knew a lot of people.  Bonnie had a passion for the library and was able to share it.”

Also present at the birth of the LFOB was Richard C. Brown and his wife Carolyn, the original Dynamic Duo.  Dick, now 97, was the organization’s first and long-time treasurer, while Carolyn helped out wherever needed.  “I loved working for the Friends,” says Carolyn.  “The most fun was when we gathered up as many used books as possible and sold them at HarborFest in Oak Bluffs.”

The only other living members of the founding group of eight are Betsy Marshall, the organization’s first secretary and Lorraine Hoggan, who was also on the Board of Trustees for a number of years.  Betsy, a registered nurse at Hospice, served as secretary for eight years and still helps out at the annual Book Sale.  “Bonnie, who really reached out to people, said to me that we’re starting a Library Friends and you are going to be secretary.  You did not say no to Bonnie.”

Lorraine was a schoolteacher before working as a bookkeeper at The Vineyard Gazette for years, also helped out at the library.  “I was a big reader, am still at 91, but I was too busy in those days to be very active in the Friends, except for Board meetings.  I wouldn’t miss those.”



As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, the Library Friends actively seek volunteers to serve on Committees, as Officers and on the Board of Directors.  To remain a vital force, the Friends always need Volunteers who can share their time, interests and skills. We need help with everything from sorting books to leading the Friends through our next 25 years.  For some ideas on how you can help, see our Volunteer Opportunities at  Volunteer.   SAVE-THE-DATE – our Book Drive on June 1 (book donations accepted 12:30p -2:30p) and our Annual Book Sale,  July 18 – 20, from 10am daily.


Oak Bluffs Public Library News!  Library Director, Sondra Murphy, recently accepted an award from the MLA Public Relations Committee for, our Library’s newly revamped website.  More innovative ideas from library staff include ŸHomebound Delivery Service, on a trial basis, to Oak Bluffs residents Ÿ“Little Free Library” will offer books from a container in Post Office Square  Ÿ“Tech Soup” seminars, lead by Miki Wolfe – a different topic monthly.  Great news!