John Tenney Mead died on Friday, Feb. 3 after a very brief stay in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was 88.

John was raised, and raised his family, in Barrington, Ill. He had deep family ties to the Island, and was a life-long summer resident, first in Oak Bluffs and starting in the mid-1940s, Katama. In 1993, he retired from his law practice in Chicago and moved year-round to Edgartown.

One of John’s greatest joys was to be on the water. Always contemplative, he was happiest sitting and looking out at Katama Bay with a pipe as his constant companion. As a young man, he was an accomplished sailor in Edgartown and Chicago, where he regularly participated in the Chicago to Mackinac race. He also relished fishing Island waters for stripers and bluefish, and was a skilled hunter and shooter. Having grown up in the country, he loved being outdoors, loved animals, and had an encyclopedic knowledge of birds.

Happiest looking at Katama Bay, pipe in hand.

His mother, Ruth Appeldoorn Mead, was a noted painter and a founder of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association and the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown. His father, Sumner Adelbert Mead, had family roots on the Island going back several generations, and served on the Edgartown Yacht Club race committee.

John was a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago Law School.

He is survived by his daughters: Amy Mead of Edgartown, her husband, Cameron Griffiths, and their 9-year-old daughter; and Emily Mead of Brooklyn, her husband, Robert Hauer Santos, and their 2-year-old daughter. His former wife, Patricia Reeve Mead, lives in West Tisbury.

A memorial service is being planned for this summer in Edgartown. Memorial donations may be made to the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.