Gordon (Red) Newell Bates died peacefully on Sept. 24 after a period of failing health. He was 81.

He was born on August 24, 1932, in North Attleboro. As a teenager, he developed his strong work ethic by helping to manage Bates Lace Works. In 1950 he graduated from North Attleboro High School as an accomplished athlete.

His love of the Vineyard began as a young boy during summers in Oak Bluffs. Later, when he moved to the Island permanently he held many occupations in the community including working for Campanella Construction to build the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. As a contractor, he developed Old School House Village with his late brother, James S. Bates. Red was involved with planning, negotiating with town boards and craftsmen who always held him in high regard for his honesty and attention to detail. He constructed several homes in Edgartown as well as his own home on Marchant’s Path.

His former occupation before retirement was owner of the Haven Guest House, now the Thorncroft Inn, in Vineyard Haven. He and his wife, Ellie, were innkeepers for 10 years. Red had a knack for business as well as talking and connecting with guests, and the many workers he knew. Anyone he came in contact with sought his knowledge of the stock market and Vineyard real estate.

Red enjoyed travel in the off season. He took many ski trips with his family throughout the Northeast, Colorado and Canada. During retirement Ellie and Red would often travel to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Key West, Fla. He always had an eye out for a good travel deal.

He enjoyed spending time on the Vineyard walking the bike paths and beaches, as well as entertaining family and friends in his home. His abundant generosity welcomed people from all walks of life to enjoy good conversation and a cold drink.

Red is survived by his wife of 41 years, Eleanor (Ellie) Bates; two children, son Trevor Reid Bates of Somerville and daughter Amy Margaret Bates of Chicago; nieces and nephews Robert Bates and wife Page of Orleans, Judith Bates of Falmouth, Robert Cook of North Dighton, Tracee Cheretien of North Attleboro, Jan Jones of Florida, Natalie Coe and husband Ken of Fair Haven, Vt.; sister in law Jeanne Bates of Dennis; brother in law John Ribarik of Vineyard Haven. He was great uncle to many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his sister Margaret and four brothers, William, James, Charles and Alvin, as well as his sister in law, Rosemary (Roe Roe) Ribarik in March.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Fidelis Hospice, 25 Railroad Sq. 3501, Haverhill, MA 01832 or to Friends of Fleur de Lis Camp, 120 Howeville Rd., Fitzwilliam, NH 03447 or through their website fleurdeliscamp.org.