Garth W. Edwards of Essex, Conn., and Chilmark died May 3 at his home in Essex Meadows. He was 97. His passing was peaceful and he was surrounded by his loving family.

Garth was born on August, 25, 1915 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the youngest of five children. After he graduated high school, he migrated east for college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and then to the University of Illinois where he graduated in 1939. He met and married Ollie Nance while at the University of Illinois and they started a long and wonderful life together. Their marriage lasted 73 years until Ollie’s passing in October of 2012.

Garth’s career, after service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, took him and his family to Washington, D.C.; Aiken, S.C.; Manhasset, N.Y. and New Britain, Conn. He retired as a senior executive of the Stanley Works in 1976. He served on many boards of directors for corporations as well as nonprofit companies both before and after his retirement. In the many years after his retirement, Garth and Ollie enjoyed extensive travel throughout the U.S. and abroad, but were most happy when they were at their home on Abel’s Hill on Martha’s Vineyard surrounded by friends and family.

Garth is survived by his son, Garth Nance Edwards, and his wife, Jenny, and daughter, Nancy Edwards Thompson and her husband, Hilly; six grandchildren: Garth Ross, Cathy, Libby, Critter, Cortney and Ben and eight great-grandchildren. A private family interment service will be held in Chilmark for both Ollie and Garth on June 21, with a gathering of friends and family afterward.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, P.O. Box 5277 Edgartown, MA 02539 or the New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington street, New Britain, CT 06052. To share a memory of Garth or send a condolence to his family please visit Arrangements are under the care of Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, Conn.