Tobias Morgan Shepard died suddenly in Vineyard Haven on March 26. He was 44.

He was born on April 16, 1973 in Lebanon, N.H. and grew up in Acworth, N.H. Both his parents were artists, and Tobias and his brother, Nathan, began drawing at an early age. Following the death of his father when Tobias was 12, he was lovingly cared for by the David and Pamela Howard family of Walpole, N.H., as well as the Jay and Ellen Phinizy family of Acworth. He graduated from The Putney School in Putney, Vt., where he participated in the Ithaca Program and traveled to Greece and Turkey to study art. He attended the University of Redlands in California and studied lithography and printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He also studied art in Lacoste, France.

Tobias loved creating art, and seldom was without with a sketchpad (and an espresso) — sketching, painting or making collage. His work was shown in the Etherington Gallery in Vineyard Haven and the Reside Gallery in Cambridge, and is housed in private collections around the world. His donated work Everywhere is on view in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

His mother, Maggie, instilled in him a deep love for cooking. Tobias was a highly sought-after, self-taught personal chef, with devoted clients all over Martha’s Vineyard and throughout the country.

He was passionate about music. His favorites, well-known to all who spent time with him, were Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale, Miles Davis, Neil Young, and the Grateful Dead. Tobias loved to play poker, chess, bocci, ping-pong, , kick the ball with his dog pal Sen, and perform magic tricks for children who immediately recognized his joyfulness, softness and warmth.

Although Tobias struggled with depression and anxiety, he will be remembered by his family and wide-reaching network of friends for his loving nature that shone through his beautiful smile, his one-of-a-kind laugh, his openness and gift for connecting people, his philosopher’s mind, his honesty, playfulness and humor. He was a true bodhisattva. His infectious and urgent energy imbued a luminous quality to time spent with him; friends recall long animated discussions, rollicking storytelling, outdoor adventures, road trips full of magic, and deep confessional heart-to-hearts. He encouraged people’s gifts and mirrored the inner beauty of everyone he met throughout his entire life.

He is survived by his brother, Nathan Shepard, as well as an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins living on the Vineyard and in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and California. He is also survived by his stepfather, James Masek, stepbrother Jesse Masek, and stepsister Tanya Masek Carroway. Tobias was predeceased by both his parents, Maggie Pepp (Gibbon) Masek of Vineyard Haven and Robert Tyler Shepard of Acworth, N.H.

A celebration of Tobias’s life will be held on Sunday, June 3 at 2 p.m. at Featherstone Center for the Arts.