Brandy Wight, the pioneering Island art dealer who cofounded the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury, died Feb. 26. He was 101. News of his death was emailed to the Gazette Monday by his longtime business partner and husband Bruce Blackwell from their home in Florida.

The son of the late Frank B. and Edna Wight of West Tisbury, Brandon Mayhew White was born in Rhode Island and traced his roots to some of the Island’s oldest families.

He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1937; more than half a century later, in 1990, he and his sister were among those awarded an honorary degree by the college which had not been formally accredited until 1944.

He served in the U.S. Army Engineers in the Pacific during World War II, receiving a special citation for heroism on Saipan. Following the war, he worked briefly for the Baker Furniture Company and Lord and Taylor in New York. But his heart was on the Vineyard, and in 1954 he moved year-round to the family house in West Tisbury with his companion, the late George Bigelow. Together, they opened the Flea Market -- an antiques boutique and art gallery on Mayhew Lane in Edgartown. In 1960 they moved the store to Vineyard Haven, where they sold antiques and work by Island artists. At the time there were only a few art galleries on the Vineyard.

George Bigelow died in 1964. Brandy later became partners in business and in life with Bruce Blackwell, who had moved to the Island to be executive director of the Vineyard Conservation Society. Their many summer patrons included Katharine Cornell and Nancy Hamilton, James Cagney, John Hersey, Lillian Hellman and Mike Wallace. Brandy and Bruce were nicknamed the Fleas, after their store.

In 1977 they bought the Red Barn Emporium, situated off Old County Road in Brandy’s home town of West Tisbury. It was little more than a tack shop at the time, used primarily for storing feed for farm animals. The walls ceilings and floors were covered with wire to keep out rodents. They whitewashed everything and used the space to hang art -- naming it the Granary Gallery. Through the years they continued to show the work of Island artists, photographers and sculptors of every stripe, including Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and Alison Shaw, the art photographer who began as a photojournalist at the Gazette. Patrons included President Clinton and his family during summer visits to the Island.

In 1996 Brandy and Bruce sold the gallery to Chris Morse, who had worked for them since 1987. They later relocated to Florida, but in 2004 were married on the Island, marking the occasion with Cheryl Stark-designed wedding bands.

In August 2015 they returned for Brandy’s centennial birthday celebration, held at the Granary Gallery. Fittingly attired in a summery seersucker suit, Brandy greeted well-wishers and reminisced about the past.

Gazette archives contain a letter written by him to his grandmother in 1945 when he was stationed in Okinawa. In it, he describes his love of the Vineyard.

“There’s something about the Island that grows on you. Once it gets into your heart it sticks there, and gradually it pushes out all other places,” he wrote. “For a long time now I’ve felt a warm sport inside for the wonderful smell of the salty air, the sparkling sun, the rolling rocky hills, the little towns with their holiday bustle, south shore, the moors, and the velvety silence of the fog.”