Carroll Buress died peacefully on the evening of Saturday, March 17 with his wife of 30 years, Deborah Buress, and family around him at their home in Vineyard Haven. He enjoyed celebrating his 90th birthday a few months ago.

Carroll was born in Baltimore on Dec. 22, 1927, the only child of Roy and Katherine Buress. He studied engineering at John Hopkins University before joining the Army and becoming a sergeant first class medical inspector at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. His white glove treatment was infamous, a fact he reminded his children of during each morning’s bedroom inspection, much to their dismay.

After his honorable discharge in 1953, he found his stride selling electrical equipment and eventually took over a whole company, renaming it Downie, Tuner & Buress.

But everyone who knew and loved Carroll understood that sailing was his great passion. As a young man he competed in and won countless races in the Chesapeake Bay, Bermuda, and beyond. He started racing with Lightnings then moved on to a 26-foot Ranger, then his 33-foot Allegra, 42-foot Vitesse, 52-foot Liberté, and finally 54-foot Chessie.

Naturally, he met his third wife, Deborah at Singles on Sailboats. Many of his friends and family remember the joy of drinking a rum and Coke, or a can of Tab soda, and eating potato chips on one his beloved sailboats and watching Carroll work his magic. (His children mostly remember having to clean and varnish the boats non-stop.) He and Deborah married on Feb. 12, 1988, he retired in 1990, and they moved from Annapolis, Md. to Martha’s Vineyard in 1995.

In retirement he sailed up and down the East Coast, all the way to the Keys, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Belize. Later in life, when sailing became more difficult, Carroll turned to racing Soling remote control boats in Vineyard Haven harbor every Sunday. It wasn’t long before he was spending more time in his workshop meticulously building the boats for himself and his Martha’s Vineyard Model Yacht Club buddies than he did sailing them. Indeed, his family and friends cherished (and took full advantage of) his natural ability to build and fix pretty much anything.

He is dearly missed and survived by his wife, Deborah Buress, and their dog Bob; his children and their spouses, Mark and Mary Katherine Koehler, Lee and Armelle Buress, and Bill and Kathy Buress; his stepdaughters Cameron, Kylie, and Makenzie and their spouses Brandon, Carlos, and Christopher; his grandchildren Alex, Elizabeth, Nicole, Katelyn, Jeff, Tristan, Nicholas, Charlie, Daniel, March, Brookes, and Hartwin; and his great-grandchildren Bridget, Jack, and Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Island Housing Trust,