Gordon (Gordy) Raymond Long, a man whose character and physical constitution were as sturdy as the oaks he tended over a long career as a professional arborist and tree warden for the town of Wilbraham, died Sunday in Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, not far from the beloved Camp Ground cottage that he shared with his wife and family, first as a seasonal resident and later as a year-round Islander. He was 83.

Gordy, as he was known, was born in Everett on March 19, 1932. As a young man he was a talented athlete and excelled at basketball, enough so that he earned a sports scholarship to Yale. At one point, he played on the team with the forgettable name that provided a foil for the hijinks of the Harlem Globetrotters.

When he decided that he preferred to concentrate on his studies and not basketball, and could not afford the Yale tuition, he transferred to the University of Massachusetts in Stockbridge, where he studied forestry. That is where he met and later married Doris Aloha Long — the middle name reflected her father’s love of Hawaii — on Dec. 26, 1954.

Following graduation he became a tree warden for the town of Wilbraham, and with a partner, Dick Swain, began Suburban Forestry Service.

Dick Swain had a house in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground, and introduced Gordy and Aloha to Martha’s Vineyard. It was love at first sight, and the family, with their children Donna and Raymond, returned season after season, first as visitors, and after 1974, as homeowners.

In the summertime, the family would stay in the house and Gordy would commute, arriving every Friday afternoon toting a cooler with “three Diet Cokes on the top and three Budweisers on the bottom,” in case anyone was curious, his son Ray Long recalled. He would leave early Monday morning on the boat that delivered newspapers.

He also enjoyed inviting a group of his Wilbraham buddies to fish, drink, and play poker — and not necessarily in that order. The annual trips would become a tradition that spanned more than 40 years, and the fish tally for the “Wilbraham Salties” was often reported in the local newspaper.

He was strong and solid, a man who was “steady as you go,” his daughter Donna said, “who always had a good word for everyone.”

Following his retirement in 2004, he and Aloha sold their Wilbraham house and moved permanently to Oak Bluffs. Gordy loved everything about the Vineyard experience, from fishing to clamming, scalloping, and Illumination Night, but mostly he loved people.

He was a member of the Masons and the Lions Club in Wilbraham. He also served on numerous Camp Meeting Association boards, and volunteered at the Oak Bluffs visitors’ booth, where he never tired of chatting with tourists. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Gordy was predeceased by his sister, Jean Gwendolyn Long Harvey. He leaves behind his wife Aloha of Oak Bluffs, daughter and son-in-law Donna and Chuck Cummens of Vineyard Haven, son and daughter-in-law Ray and Annie Hale Long of Edgartown, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

In keeping with his wishes, services will be private, and his ashes will be scattered over the Vineyard in places that he loved. Donations in his memory may be made to The Trustees of Reservations, P.O. Box 2106, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or the Camp Meeting Association, P.O. Box 367, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.