With the death of Jeff Riotte on Feb. 21, East Chop has lost one of its most beloved and respected residents. Whether he was leading the Fourth of July parade around East Chop, sitting on his porch watching birds visit his feeders, listening to his favorite Beach Boy tunes, wearing one of his comical and clever T-shirts, sharing laughs on Friday night at the Ocean View, or walking his dogs around the Chop, Jeffie left an indelible mark on all.

R. Jeffrey Riotte died peacefully at home, four months shy of his 70th birthday, from cancer.

Jeff grew up in Montclair, N.J. He was the son of Francena and Robert Riotte. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in 1968 and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from University of Massachusetts Amherst shortly thereafter. Jeff began his career with the Merrimack Valley Regional Planning Commission. He then joined WEB Engineering and Leak Detection Systems on the south shore of Massachusetts, where he worked for 30 years.

Jeff first vacationed with his family in West Tisbury when he was two years old. His passion for tennis led his family to East Chop and the East Chop Tennis Club. Jeff was a perennial winner of summer tournaments and was an accomplished ECTC tennis pro in the 1960s.

Jeff earned varsity letters at Montclair High School for bowling and tennis, and captained the men’s tennis team at Middlebury College. In 1969 he pitched the East Chop Brewers to the league championship. He took up golf in the 1990s and always jumped at any opportunity to hit the links. Jeff was a longtime fan of Boston sports teams. Most recently he developed a fondness for watching golf, particularly the Masters, as a proper rite of spring. Jeff also spent many quiet hours casting a lure from his rock at the base of the East Chop bluff.

His passions extended beyond sports. He was an excellent musician who was a highly skilled pianist, guitarist, and vocalist. In the mid ‘90s he channeled his musical acumen to the harmonica, playing gigs at the Ritz in Oak Bluffs and a variety of venues in Boston and the south shore, and at impromptu concerts for his adoring fans.

Jeff cherished the fun times he had with his two granddaughters, Penelope and Eleanor Riotte. He was an avid reader who became an authority on the Civil War, American presidents, and Lewis and Clark. Jeff had extensive knowledge of Vineyard history and was also known for his ability to identify many birds by either sight or song.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Christina, of East Chop; his son Sam Riotte of Cumberland, Me. and his wife Liz; his son Toby Riotte of San Francisco, Calif. and his girlfriend Clare; and two granddaughters. He is also survived by his sister Carol Hyler of Parker, Colo. He was predeceased by his brother Wyndham Riotte of Fernandina Beach, Fla.

The Riotte Family would like to extend their appreciation for the care and loving treatment Jeff received at Hope Lodge in Boston, the Infusion Center at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (with particular thanks to Walter and Stacey), and to the caregivers at Hope Hospice, especially Chantale.

There will be a memorial service for Jeff on June 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the East Chop Tennis Club.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 2214, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or mvcancersupport.org.