John J. Varkonda

MARTHA’S VINEYARD, Mass. – John J. Varkonda, 55, died Dec. 31 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

He was born in Salem, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 1958, a son of John and Ruth Varkonda. He graduated from Salem High School.

After working for the National Park Service and the town of Mashpee, Mass., he was named superintendent of the Manual F. Correllus State Forest, the largest tract of public land on Martha’s Vineyard, in 1987.

While working for the National Park Service, he met the woman who would become his wife, Jane Broderick, with whom he settled on the Vineyard.

He is survived by his wife, his son Aiden and his daughter Kasey, all of Martha’s Vineyard, his mother, Ruth, and his sister, Lynn, of Salem, and his sister, Amy, of Columbus.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. A funeral home service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday. Donations in his memory may be made to The Cape and Islands NPR Station, 3 Water Street, PO Box 82, Woods Hole, MA, 02543 or .

A tribute to his life and service as a long-time caretaker of the state forest can be found on-line at mvgazette. com.