The Rev. Robert Charles Day, a West Tisbury resident for the past 23 years, died peacefully on Jan. 23 in Sarasota, Fla. He was 90 and had lived a full life of service, teaching and community involvement in Boston and on the Vineyard.

He was born in Hackensack, N.J., on July 29, 1927, a son of Harvey Carter Day and Sophie Therese (Bausback) Day. He graduated from high school in Delaware and served in the Army on Governor’s Island in New York city from 1945 to 1946. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1949. With the aid of a Fulbright Scholarship, he taught English in Kavala, Greece from 1955 to 1956. In 1959 he earned a master’s degree in English language and literature at Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College.

After returning to the United States, he taught English at several preparatory schools, including Groton and St. Paul’s School before heeding the call to become an Episcopal minister.

He initially studied at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where he met his wife Barbara Blackwell Whidden, who was working at the Lincoln Center. They were married in 1965. He earned his master of divinity degree at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. In 1966, he was ordained at the Advent Church in Boston.

In the summer of 1964, Bob and Barbara had volunteered at Mills College in Birmingham, Ala., a historic African-American college, where Bob taught English to freshmen. He said later that both he and Barbara realized at the time that “elementary school is where we need to start; this foundation is the most important part.” He said the Advent School, founded in 1961 in Boston, was the place where “we could do something meaningful and enact what the nation has been trying so hard to do.”

In 1965, Father Day became head of school at the Advent School and remained there for 30 years. Building an elementary school that offered a progressive, integrated education was of paramount importance to him. His pupils, their families, his faculty and staff were all important to him. In 1995, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared May 5 as Robert C. Day Day out of gratitude for Bob’s contributions to the city. Karen Cord Taylor also included him in her book Legendary Locals of Beacon Hill.

In 1995, he and Barbara, an artist who loved painting Island landscapes, became year-round residents of the Vineyard, where Barbara had a longtime relationship with the Island going back six generations to early Blackwell family members.

During their summer Island years, Bob Day was frequently a substitute and assistant minister at Grace Church. After decades of summers in Vineyard Haven, they retired to West Tisbury where they hoped there would be rich soil to satisfy Bob’s gardening enthusiasm. He found just what he was looking for and soon was planting hydrangeas, peonies, catmint and phlox in their garden on Willow Tree Hollow.

The Days quickly became active in town and Island affairs. Bob volunteered at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and became a board member at the Council on Aging at Howes House. He was president of the Grace Church preschool board and served on the West Tisbury conservation commission, the town parks and recreation committee and the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society board. He led a reading group and enjoyed the men’s luncheon group at the Harbor View Hotel. He and Barbara took trips with friends and family around the world.

On the Island, Bob savored long strolls and dips at Quitsa Pond and Stonewall Beach. In evenings, when children and grandchildren were visiting, he liked playing charades and board games. He enjoyed classical music, good books and holding Barbara’s hand while they savored cups of tea. A person of integrity, dedication, serenity, optimism and quiet spirituality, he planted seeds in many gardens. They will continue to bloom and honor his service to others.

In addition to his wife of 53 years, he is survived by his daughters, Catherine Day-Carlson and her husband Dave of New York city, and Elizabeth Churchill of Menlo Park, Calif.; a son, Matthew and his wife Tracy, of Sarasota, Fla.; loving grandchildren Jessica, Luke, Scott, Fred, Bob, Lucy, Jackson, Garrett and Caroline. He was predeceased by his son in law John Churchill.

A small family gathering was held in Sarasota, where Bob and Barbara had moved in October to be near their son and his family.

A celebration of his life will be held at Grace Church in Vineyard Haven in July, at a time to be announced. Interment will be at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Robert C. Day Financial Aid Fund at the Advent School, 15 Brimmer St. Boston, MA 02108.