Elwin Dodge, 93

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 7:30am

Wilbur Elwin Dodge passed away on April 3, 2017 in the Block Island home that he loved and in which he was born 93 years ago. Elwin cherished the island and enjoyed recounting his many stories about its history. As a young boy, he hiked the unpaved roads and the land that had been cleared for farming. During his lifetime, he witnessed the advent of plumbing, electricity and automobiles. Among his fondest memories were times spent as a boy fishing the Block Island waters with his father and grandfathers. As an adult, he continued the Dodge family way of life, sharing his love of fishing with his daughters and grandchildren. Elwin especially loved swordfishing and was proud to serve as Striker. His memories and stories recounted the devastating hurricane of 1938 that destroyed the island's fishing fleet, and he told of the fires that claimed the Mansion and Ocean View hotels. He remembered well the frigid temperatures of winters past: the ice floes off the island and cars driving on the frozen harbor.

When World War II broke out, Elwin proudly served his country in the Merchant Marine, sailing with American Export Lines both during and after the war. He later came ashore, but continued in the maritime industry, working for a stevedoring company based in the Port of New York and Norfolk, Virginia. Though he worked the next 45 years off-island, he visited his family and island friends as frequently as possible. In retirement, Elwin finally came home to stay. He could often be seen walking his dogs through the fields and along the winding dirt roads, admiring the beauty and nature of the island that has always been his home and place of solace.

Block Island has lost one of her best and most dear native sons. He will long be remembered, loved, and missed by his family and friends.

Elwin was born to Gretchen and Linus Dodge on ----July 10, 1923 and was predeceased by his loving wife Ruth, his daughter Marsha and brother Evan. Elwin is survived by his daughter Allison Dodge, his grandchildren Hunter and Scott Barto, his nephew George Dodge and his wife Nancy, his niece Betsy DeMaggio and her husband Don, as well as their children and grandchildren. A graveside service will be held on a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Block Island Rescue Squad.