To the wider world, David McCullough was one of its most prolific historians, telling the story of American through books, television series and movies. But on the Vineyard, Mr. McCullough was known as a regular guy and dear friend who cared deeply about the Island.

Mr. McCullough and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough moved year-round to their home on Music street in West Tisbury in 1972 and quickly established themselves as part of the community.

Interviews with Islanders this week following the death of Mr. McCullough on Sunday at the age of 89 reveal a man who cared deeply about those he knew well and those he did not know at all.

“You would see him and you would feel better,” said Beth Kramer, former director at the West Tisbury Library. “He greeted everyone in the same way, everyone was important to him.”

Alison Shaw, a former Gazette staff photographer, said she found the McCullough house on Music street in West Tisbury to be a place where all were welcome.

“He was always willing to lend a hand or give advice or show support,” Ms. Shaw said.

“His connection to the Island was so strong…they were very much in the fabric of the community,” Ms. Shaw continued, referring to the warmth of both David and Rosalee — Mrs. McCullough died in June, also at 89.

Ms. Kramer noted that Mr. McCullough was a steadfast believer in the role public libraries play in informing the public. He was a former trustee of the West Tisbury Library and honorary chair of the library foundation. The library’s event space is named after Mr. and Ms. McCullough.

“He really felt that [the library] was the way a person who perhaps didn’t have the opportunities of education would be able to become fully educated,” Ms. Kramer said. “His belief in the public library system was such an important part of the person that he was.”

Mr. McCullough was also a longtime supporter of the Vineyard Preservation Trust. Former executive director Chris Scott recalled a fundraising event for the organization at which Mr. McCullough was supposed to speak — on Sept. 12, 2001.

On Sept. 11, the World Trade Center was attacked and Mr. Scott said he called Mr. McCullough, wondering if he should cancel.

“He said absolutely not. ‘This is so important for this country to keep going and keep its focus and I’m prepared to go forward if you are,’” Mr. Scott recalled Mr. McCullough saying. “He felt that it was an opportunity for us to come together and to continue to live.”

At the event Mr. McCullough took the audience through different tragedies the United States had experienced and how it came out the other side stronger, Mr. Scott said.

“It just taught me a lot about his character and his perspective,” he said.

Matthew Stackpole, former executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, remembered a speech Mr. McCullough gave at the Grange Hall, following the publication of his book on John Adams, in which he spent more time talking about Abigail Adams.

“I was walking back with Rosalee and I said, ‘boy I didn’t know all that stuff about Abigail,’” Mr. Stackpole said. “And she said, ‘Oh yeah, David really likes Abigail. In fact, she said, if Abigail were still alive I’d be a little worried.’”

Trip Barnes, Rosalee’s nephew, said David would never agree to travel anywhere unless Rosalee could come too. Mr. McCullough named his sailboat Rosalee, Mr. Barnes said.

“They were probably the happiest couple that I’ve come across,” Mr. Barnes said.

That the couple died within months of each other did not surprise Ms. Kramer.

“They are just so close,” Ms. Kramer said.

“I will miss the twinkle in his eye,” she added.