Massachusetts State Police said the Framingham man, who was found in the surf on Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday, Sept. 25, drowned.
On Monday, State Police identified the man as Francis G. Elms, 74, of Framingham.
Elms suffered from dementia and Parkinson's disease State Police Sgt. Jeff Stone told the Vineyard Times newspaper.
Elms had stopped driving last year because of his failing health, he rented a car on Tuesday morning in Framingham and drove to Martha's Vineyard without telling family members, reported the Vineyard Times.
Police investigation showed Elms boarded the noon boat on Tuesday, Sgt. Stone told the Vineyard Times.
While on the ferry, Martha's Vineyard passengers saw him put a leg on the railing and alerted crew members who spoke to Elms. Elms assured the crew members that there was no cause for concern. However crew members continued to monitor him during the crossing, reported the Vineyard Times.
Elms arrived in Oak Bluffs, Sgt. Stone said. He had lunch and then was seen boarding a boat to leave Oak Bluffs at 2:45 p.m.
Steamship Authority records show that 15 people boarded the boat as passengers, but only 14 disembarked in Woods Hole.
There is no way to know for certain whether he accidentally fell or jumped from the ferry, Sgt. Stone told the Vineyard Times.
Born in Boston, Elms was the son of the late Genevieve (McDonald) and Frank Elms. He was the husband of Cynthia (Palmer) Elms of Holliston.
He was involved helping out with many organizations including; Cub Scouts, Special Olympics, teaching CCD at St. Mary’s in Holliston, volunteering at Fatima Shrine and working with Veterans.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two children, Frank W. Elms and his wife Katherine Peltz of Concord and Michele Elms of Natick. He also leaves behind 3 siblings, Patrice Kehmeyer of Hingham, Jane Long of Cohasset, and Michael Elms of Canton; 2 grandchildren, Ethan and Sophia Elms as well as several nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass and burial at Lake Grove Cemetery in Holliston took place on Tuesday.
Donations may be made in his name to the Parkinson Foundation at http://www.parkinson.org/