William Joseph Hall Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather, and treasured friend to many, died peacefully at his home in Vineyard Haven on March 20 from natural causes. He was 89.

Referred to by many as Mr. Positivity, Bill lived his life with one purpose — to spread love wherever he went. He was always ready with a hug, kind word or words of wisdom for all who crossed his path, especially here on the Island he loved so much.

Bill was born on Oct. 5, 1928 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford and grew up in Arlington as an only child. He enjoyed a blissful early life with many neighborhood friends and loved boating, fishing, hunting, playing ice hockey and wood working. After graduating from Arlington High School, he was accepted to Northeastern University but decided to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard and serve his country instead. It was because of the Coast Guard that he met and fell in love with his wife and Martha’s Vineyard.

At the Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven, where he was admitted while in the Coast Guard after becoming ill, he fell in love with the medical secretary and Island girl Joanne Finnegan. For him it was love at first sight and they were married at Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs in 1951. Bill deeply loved his Vineyard bride and Martha’s Vineyard all the days of his life.

He was a true entrepreneur in every way, so it made sense that after a successful career in Boston selling diesel ship engines he would start his own firm. In 1976 he left his job and started his own marine brokerage firm he named Hall Associates. With a dream, desk and phone in his home he sold ocean tugs and barges from every corner of the world and rapidly became one of the most notable marine brokers of his time. He ran his company from the Vineyard with his son Christopher until 2007. After living on the South Shore of Boston and raising four children, Bill and Joan moved home to Martha’s Vineyard in 1982 where they spent the “best years of their lives” in their William street home.

Bill was an avid golfer and considered the fourth hole at Farm Neck his “church.” He loved working with his hands, gardening, and especially enjoyed growing his beautiful award-winning dahlias which took home many blue ribbons from the Agricultural Fair. He was a proud member of the Island’s infamous Barnacle Club, and a self-taught expert and appraiser of oriental carpets, which he enjoyed for their intricate beauty. He loved music of all kinds, from Bach to Billie Holiday.

He had deep, lifelong interests in the ocean, boats, marine history, archaeology, genealogy, Vineyard history and astronomy, as well as a tireless desire to learn. He believed deeply that the universe is infinite and once wrote to Stephen Hawking to tell him so. He always treasured the note that Professor Hawking sent back, respectfully letting him know that while he appreciated his note, he was in fact wrong.

After the death of his wife in 1999 Bill reached out to friends to start a poker group on Wednesday nights, which has continued to this day and will continue after this death. As a nod to his love for astronomy he called the group Intuitive Cosmology and Poker Society or ICAPS. He was a devoted hospice volunteer and was grateful to have Martha’s Vineyard Hospice care for him as he recently neared death.

He is survived by and will be dearly missed by his three daughters: Martha Hall Kelly of Litchfield, Conn., Sally Hatcher of Downers Grove, Ill., and Polly Simpkins of Vineyard Haven. He was predeceased by his wife, Joanne Finnegan Hall of Vineyard Haven, and son Christopher Hall of Seattle, Wash. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, two sons in law and many friends and family who have been inspired by Bill’s joie de vivre. His love for those around him, belief in unconditional love and forgiveness, delight in the beauty of life and continued positive attitude even in times of strife will be forever missed. Until his last day of life and in the face of adversity he woke every day with a true passion for making each day the best it could be and even in his last words he spoke of “surrendering to love.”

A celebration of his life will be held on June 16 on the Vineyard. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at mvmuseum.org, or perform a random act of kindness for someone who may not be expecting it, or reach out to someone that you haven’t spoken to for a long time or may need some support. That was the way William J. Hall lived his life and inspired others to do the same.