Carol Skydell, R.I.P.

Longtime Marha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, resident, Carol Skydell died on March 4 in Camarillo, California, at age 94. Quoting from her obituary:

“Carol thrived in her role as town clerk for eight years before finally retiring. She was seldom idle and followed her evolving and diverse interests with an all-encompassing and tireless passion. For several years she devoted herself to genealogy and through her extensive work with the Jewish Genealogical Society, she assisted hundreds of people the world over in finding their roots, and in at least two notable cases she discovered close living relatives of people who were thought to have died many years before.”


“Long before she left the Vineyard for the last time, Carol gave instructions to her sons that when the time came, her ashes were to be spread along the Squibnocket shore at sunrise. On rare moments of indecisiveness, she would change that request to Menemsha at sunset. While this dilemma remained unresolved at the time of her death, Carol had already placed a granite marker at the foot of her husband Marvin’s grave in the Hebrew Cemetery. The marker bearing her name is engraved, ‘She’s at the Beach.'”

You can read the entire obituary at:


Right where I want my ashes to go too!


“She’s at the beach” What a wonderful epitaph.

Liked by 1 person

Sharon Freeman Corey March 21, 2020 at 8:55 am

What a remarkable person. I wish I could have met her. I love Martha’s Vineyard as well although I have never had the chance to visit. My love for the island is through author, Susan Branch and all her wonderful tales about it. I also love Sanibel Island, Florida and I am an advid seashell collector. “She is at the beach” is the perfect epitaph. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Liked by 1 person

What you failed to mention was that Carol was a commanding presence in the early years of JewishGen, serving as VP of Communications from the early 90’s until her retirement in 2008. Carol was also instrumental in creating many JewishGen projects that endure today.


I was saddened to read of the passing of my first genealogy mentor, former JewishGen VP Carol Skydell.
I blogged a few years ago about one of our first interactions, when I found the grave of her great-grandmother and namesake.


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