Every Thursday night when the Vineyard Gazette’s printing press gears up for its weekly performance, the low rumble and shake reaches the newsroom upstairs like an approaching squall. Once More the Thunderer is how the newspaper’s legendary owner and editor Henry Beetle Hough described this ritual of publishing in his 1950 book by the same name.

It was Jerry Kohlberg’s favorite of Mr. Hough’s many books — and he had read them all. Mr. Kohlberg read constantly and widely, often buying multiple copies of books he liked and mailing them to family and friends, always with a personal note. He read the Gazette with the same avidity and did so for decades before he came to its rescue.

Newspapers had paled as a financial investment well before 2010, when Mr. Kohlberg, a pioneer in the private equity industry, and his wife Nancy acquired the Gazette. But Mr. Kohlberg had a different motivation: to preserve the high standards of community journalism laid down by Mr. Hough and burnished during the many years of ownership by the Reston family.

In an interview at the time of the purchase, he articulated his vision in a sentence that has come to serve as the newspaper’s mission statement: “I want the Gazette to be a vibrant voice for the Vineyard community far into the future, continuing the wonderful traditions from the past, offering excellent, in-depth journalism, reaching the Vineyard’s diverse communities, and adapting, as necessary, to the changing economic conditions which are affecting print media all across the nation.”

For five years Mr. Kohlberg — just Jerry to the staff — presided over this newspaper as its champion-in-chief. He wanted no formal role, had no agenda to promote, no axes to grind. He greeted employees by name, followed bylines closely and would occasionally surprise a young writer with a warm word of praise for a story well told. When he and Mrs. Kohlberg attended weekly news meetings, as they frequently did, it was to listen carefully and offer encouragement.

More than one person remarked on his physical resemblance to Mr. Hough, whom he admired and with whom he shared a fierce dedication to conservation and to the Vineyard Gazette.

He loved the oversized broadsheet, the black and white format, profiles of longtime Islanders and the bits of Vineyard history reprinted in the Gazette Chronicle, published each week on the Editorial Page. But he understood the changing media environment and the need to invest in digital delivery. He believed ardently in the principles of good journalism: get the facts, strive to be fair, never kowtow to power. And he was glad to be employing Islanders in year-round jobs, one of countless ways he found to support the continued vitality of the Island.

Kind, incisive, self-deprecating, principled, witty, endlessly generous. The Vineyard has lost one of its truest friends in Mr. Kohlberg, and so too has the Gazette family. He never wavered in his belief that a strong independent press is essential to the health of our community.

Once more for Jerry Kohlberg, the Gazette thunders on.