Bruce Slater of Chilmark died in Boston on Jan. 27 after an illness. He was 81.

A native of New York city, Bruce was a businessman and home builder. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and served in the U.S. Army. He visited the Vineyard for the first time in August 1954. Bruce was on a sailing trip from New York to Maine with friends and had to seek shelter in Menemsha ahead of Hurricane Carol. He built his family’s home in Chilmark in 1977. An avid sailor, Bruce owned one of Tom Hale’s first Vineyard Vixens, Ragtime, and until recently sailed and raced a Vineyard Vixen 34 named Shy Fox.

He was predeceased by his wife Marcy and is survived by two children and one grandchild. Plans for services will be announced at a later date.

The Slater family has designated Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, P.O. Box 494, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or Sail Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1998, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, as organizations to receive donations in his memory.