George Gustave William Magnuson Jr. died peacefully surrounded by family at Massachusetts General Hospital on April 17 after a brief illness. He was 90.

He was born on Sept. 4, 1924 in Oak Bluffs to Lillian Alley Magnuson and George Gustave William Magnuson and was raised in West Tisbury. George attended the West Tisbury elementary school in the one room schoolhouse and graduated from the Tisbury High School.

After graduation George enlisted and served in the Merchant Marines for six years during World War II. Upon his return home from the war, he married his love Priscilla Mae Silva on April 20, 1949. They spent their early married years living in West Tisbury, first living in The Coop at Whiting’s Farm, and then in their first home in West Tisbury, while honing his carpentry skills working for Daniel Manter.

After a few years they moved to Edgartown, where he worked on the Chappy ferry that was then owned by his father in law George T. Silva. But he sorely missed carpentry and he returned to that field and built the house that he and Priscilla would raise their children in, and would remain in for the next 60 years until his death.

In 1964, George and Sherm Burnham formed Burnham & Magnuson builders, and built it into one of the most durable and most respected construction companies on the Vineyard. A part of his legacy has left hundreds of well-built houses to be proud of and admired. Their company recently celebrated 51 years in business.

One of his great hobbies and skills was his vegetable garden, which was legendary. People would pull into his driveway to admire and take pictures of his lush vegetable garden, grape arbor, numerous fruit trees and giant sunflowers. George derived much joy from working the dirt with his hands.

His other passion and talent was building furniture, and caning and rushing chairs. All of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always cherish what their Papa made for them, be it baby cradles, bureaus, chairs, tables and even a Chappy ferry replica.

George was active in the Federated Church for many years and was always lending a helping hand wherever Rev. John Schule needed him, be it ushering on Sunday, building the platform for the annual Christmas pageant, fixing a fence or something in the parish house. He was always quietly and humbly there for whatever was needed of him.

George was predeceased by his wife of nearly 64 years, Priscilla, in  2012. He was also predeceased by his sister, Alice Scott, and his first grandchild, Gregory John Phillips, in 1976.

He is survived by his daughter Barbara Magnuson Phillips, his son John Magnuson, both of Edgartown; his five grandchildren Leah Phillips D’Amato and her husband Joe of North Reading, Andrew Phillips and his wife Vanessa Pisano Phillips of Carlisle, Rachel Magnuson Gonzalez and her husband Rafael of Onset, Geoffrey Phillips of Eastham and Kenneth Magnuson of Edgartown; by three great-grandchildren Malik Magnuson, and Madeline and Mallory D’Amato; a niece Nancy Burleson and her children Kelly and Sam, and a nephew Keith Lowe, his wife Pam, and their daughters Amy and Angie of Ohio and St. Augustine, Fla.

A graveside service was held on April 25 and officiated by Rev. Terry Martinson and dear friend Rev. John Schule.

Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, P.O. Box 654, Edgartown, MA 02539.