John Sherman Lovewell, one of Edgartown’s senior statesmen, died on Saturday at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was 96 years old; ailing but spirited to the end.

Mr. Lovewell lived the life of his surname. He had many passions, many old and new goals that took him around the world many times. But central to his being was his privacy and his love for the multiple generations of family that surrounded him. Since boyhood, his love of baseball and its stories carried him through all kinds of life adventures.

Mr. Lovewell was born in Boston, lived some of his life in Brookline. But the home of his grandfather, on South Water street in Edgartown, was central to his life. His grandparents Julien W. and Anna Pease Vose and parents Frank S. Lovewell and Elsie Vose Lovewell were extremely close. They all had their time in the house. A lonely child, his cousins were his siblings.

Throughout his youth in Edgartown he sailed, he swam and spent many leisure summer days at the Vose family boathouse. He met his first wife, Beth Davis at the movie theatre on Main street in Edgartown which today is the mini mall.

As a wartime Navy sailor from 1942 to 1945, he served his country mostly in the Pacific. He married his sweetheart the day before Christmas 1943, in Berkeley, Calif., while on shore leave. Though a veteran, he refrained from marching in patriotic parades, brushing off the thought saying that others were more deserving of the honor, he having never seen battle.

John Lovewell with his faithful companion Gizmo. — Mark Alan Lovewell

He graduated from Dartmouth College 1947, and Thayer School of Engineering with a degree in Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1948.

A civil engineer, he used his skills to connect to the world, even after he retired. He worked for Metcalf and Eddy of Boston from 1948 to 1957, then Camp Dresser and McKee, a Boston-based engineering firm. With both firms he solved clean water and wastewater problems for municipalities around New England. While visiting different job sites locally and in different states, over a span of nearly 20 years he and his wife raised their five children in Wellesley Hills, never far from his Vineyard friends and the Vose family, they coincidentally living nearby. He never missed a summer on the Vineyard with family. In Wellesley he coached a Little League baseball team and was a Sunday School teacher.

When his company went global, Mr. Lovewell got a passport and left the states. He and his colleagues took on projects helping poorer foreign cities grapple with health concerns about water and waste. He worked in Thailand for many years; even brought his wife and three of their youngest children (Frank, Jack and Mark) to Bangkok in the late 1960s, while the Vietnam war raged less than 400 miles away. His next two wives were stunningly beautiful Thai women. He worked in the Middle East which included Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. His second wife, Henni followed him to Alexandria, Egypt, where she tragically died in a commuter accident in that city.

Mr. Lovewell came back to the United States and in time married again, this time to Patty. Together they went to Surabaya, Indonesia when he took on another engineering project. Soon after his mother’s death in 1983, he and his wife settled in his grandfather’s house in Edgartown. Mr. Lovewell put his passport away, trading airplanes, ships and trains and any further travel out of the country to driving around in his mother’s large green 1974 Buick Apollo. More often he rode through the streets doing errands on an old bicycle, with his little Tibetan spaniel Gizmo in the forward basket. They were both smiling. Walking the dog is how most today remember him.

Supposedly a full-time resident in retirement, he couldn’t retire. He volunteered in the affairs of the town in many ways, sharing his expertise locally on water and wastewater treatment and finance. He befriended many town employees and town officials. He was one of the first commissioners when the town took over the Edgartown Water Company in 1992. Not a century before, his grandfather was its co-founder. Being a water commissioner gave him great pleasure, because for years, as a stock holder in the company, he was critical about the way the old company was run. He served as water commissioner for 30 years, longer than any of its employees.

For three terms he served as a wastewater commissioner. From its inception and construction going back to the 1960s, Mr. Lovewell liked to hover over the wastewater project, do site visits and converse with those in charge before he stepped onto another plane and traveled to a foreign country. Details mattered to him in so many aspects of his life.

While Mr. Lovewell enjoyed spending a lot of time with his peers at the Edgartown Golf Course, he also enjoyed visiting construction sites all around the Island and befriending its workers. One of his local clients was the Wampanoag Tribe Housing Authority. Plus, he helped many residents get their septic systems up to code. Every morning, early in the week, he would do the New York Times crossword puzzle. As his eyesight got worse, he penciled sudoku from the Boston Globe. A vociferous reader of all kinds of publications, in his later years he shifted almost entirely to nonfiction, favoring Russian history and stories about European conflicts. In the last decade he wrapped himself around a Kindle, and even journeyed into writing emails.

He loved his dogs and had four of them, the last being Gizmo. With baseball, he kept better record keeping on the activities of players than many of the AM radio sports announcers. He listened to baseball games on the radio all the time and through the years, his radios went through changes, from tubes to transisters and digital chips. The only significant difference through the years was the volume; the radio got louder as his hearing deteriorated. He declined to wear a hearing aide. He often listened to baseball games on the radio, while watching the same game on television with the sound turned off. This method was easy to explain. “Radio announcers are better,” he said.

He kept scrapbooks of handwritten baseball details for future reference. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, he could have prematurely died and gone to heaven. When politics got nasty, he kept scorecards on Congressmen around election time.

When estranged from his third wife, Mr. Lovewell grew even closer to his children and to his first wife, Beth. She died 10 years ago.

As a trustee, he was a quiet but active steward for the Vose Family Trust along with members Donald Vose and Julien Weston. Together the three helped a number of Island nonprofit organizations raise money, allowing them to use what was their grandparent’s Tower Hill property overlooking the harbor for fundraising events. A good day for him in recent years was just sitting in a red chair on Tower Hill and watching Edgartown Harbor, considered by him to be one of the best views in the world.

In his final hours, he was visited at the hospital by most of his children and many of his grandchildren. A precious memory in that final chapter was that of him singing the 1906 song “Take me out to the Ball Game” with the medical caregivers at his side and his children singing along.

He is survived by his daughter Deborah Lovewell of Wellesley, four sons, Robert Sherman Lovewell of Concord, N.H., Mark Alan Lovewell of Vineyard Haven, and twin sons Frank and Jack Sherman Lovewell of Pennsylvania; nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, with two on the way.

Mr. Lovewell will be buried in the family lot at the Edgartown cemetery, next to his first wife and the ashes of his last dog. A private family ceremony will be held soon at the graveside. A more public celebration of his life is being planned for early next summer, when the baseball season is full swing.

In lieu of flowers please send contributions to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard or the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.