Ray Gailey of Edgartown died peacefully at home on March 28. He was 68.

Born Sept. 13, 1947 in Pawtucket, R.I. to Raymond J. Gailey Sr. and Jeanne Dubois Gailey, Ray grew up in Pawtucket and spent summers om Dennisport and Little Compton, R.I. with his cousins. He graduated from Tolman High School in 1965 and attended Rhode Island Junior College, where he learned drafting.

He worked with his uncle Ray Kempton at ITT Grinnell for a short time and then lived one winter in Dennisport working as a carpenter before he moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where he had worked as a lifeguard in the summer of 1969, in 1970.

On Martha’s Vineyard Ray worked on the boats Dana J, the Aquarius, and the Sea Gull with Danny Larsen, and with Turtle Lawry on the Isle of Shoals and the Sea Pearl, the Olympic Star and Olympic Javelin and many other boats until he started staying closer to shore to dig clams, tow for scallops, farm oysters and design and build houses.

Ray had an inquiring and inventive mind, evident in his inventions to make digging quahaugs easier and in his house designs. He had a sharp dry wit and loved practical jokes and starting ridiculous rumors. He was a gentle, strong, funny, handsome, quiet, singular and private man who had a lifelong love for being in or on saltwater, but especially in saltwater.

He leaves behind dozens of heartbroken friends, his aunt Florence Morris of East Greenwich R.I., his uncle Albert Kelley Sr. of Lincoln, R.I., and his cousins Al Jr. Mike, Cindy, Dewayne, Arlene, Linda and Jan. He was predeceased by his parents and his cousin Brian.

A celebration of life is planned for June 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall Post 186 on Katama Road in Edgartown. Donations to the Ray Gailey Memorial can be sent care of PO Box 875, Edgartown, MA 02539.