Richard A. Colson, 43, Was Contractor and Pilot

Richard A. Colson of Edgartown, 43, died on Tuesday, Nov. 12, when the plane he was piloting went down off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

Mr. Colson was born in Saugus on Nov. 26, 1958. He grew up in Lynn and spent his summers in Naples, Me. He attended Lynn Tech, where he studied carpentry.

He worked with his lifelong friend, Primo Lombardi, at Papa John's in Swampscott before coming to the Island in 1978 to work for Primo and with lifelong friends Johnny Teves and Eric Gaudette at Papa John's in Oak Bluffs. In the early 1980s, he began working with lifelong friend Michael Brandon at the Brass Bass Restaurant.

Between 1978 and 1982, Mr. Colson found his calling in the construction business. By the early 1990s he was an accomplished carpenter and started his own contracting and design business, Vineyard Builders Associates. He went on to build magnificent homes that reflected his own style, passion and ambition.

He was an experienced pilot and a member of the Martha's Vineyard airport commission and the Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club.

Mr. Colson had a deep passion for the art of singing and songwriting. He brought pleasure to many people with the sound of his voice and his fingers strumming an acoustic guitar. He loved to cook and entertain his family and friends. His annual Labor Day parties will long be remembered by everyone who knew him. This tradition will be continued every year in his memory by family and friends at the dream house he designed and built for himself.

He is survived by his two children, Katelin Rose, 13, of South Carolina and Nathan, 25, of Linn; his parents, Janice Colson of Windemere Rehabilitation Center in Oak Bluffs and Richard Colson of Revere; two sisters, Debrajean Bissonette of Auburn, Me., and Rose Gaudet of San Diego, Calif.; two nieces and three nephews, all of Maine; the godfather of Katelin Rose and lifelong friend, Larry DeFilippo, and many loving friends.

A memorial service will be held at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. His family has requested that any donations be made in memory of Rick Colson and Robert Buchanan to the MV Harley Riders.