Robert F. Jewett of Vineyard Haven died on July 18 following a courageous battle with cancer, his wife Peggy at his side. He was a celebrated artist, educator and sailor, treasured by his family, friends and students.

Bob was born in Boston in 1946 to Edar F. and Frank B. Jewett Jr., and was raised in New Canaan, Conn. He attended Tabor Academy and Rockford College and went on to study ceramics with Warren MacKenzie and Curtis Hoard at the University of Minnesota.

After completing a master of fine arts in ceramics in 1972, he began a 41-year teaching career at St. Paul Academy and Summit School (SPA) in Saint Paul, Minn. He was hired to develop a ceramics studio program in the school’s fledgling art department, which subsequently grew to become one of the school’s signature strengths. During his tenure at SPA, Jewett served as chairman of the fine arts department and was a recipient of the Brooks Endowed Chair for Fine Arts.

His life and his art were inseparable. Every aspect of his life reflected his personal aesthetic, from the art he made to the house he lived in. Invested with simple beauty, his ceramics and sculpture trace their inspiration to the power of the Atlantic Ocean and the images found along its shores. His work was widely exhibited throughout the upper Midwest and at the Louisa Gould Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard.

His life was also inextricably intertwined with water. From the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River and back, he lived with a body of water within his sightline and his soul. The Jewett name is synonymous with sailing excellence on Martha’s Vineyard, and Bob continued that family tradition, combining his characteristic humility with a competitive edge. He crewed and skippered Solings for over 40 years, distinguishing himself early on as crew on the family boat, Epee, and winning the first Atlantic Coast Sailing Championship. He is remembered for his legendary success on his red Soling, Andiamo, which followed years of sailing accomplishment and service at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club.

He was a gifted teacher, and the intuitive and expert touch he displayed at a boat’s tiller or potter’s wheel informed his teaching. His studio classroom was a haven for self-reflection, exploration and pushing one’s limits, a place to experience the joy of making art invested with personal meaning, under his thoughtful and steady guidance. SPA created the Robert Jewett Award for Excellence in Ceramics to be awarded annually to honor his legacy as an artist, teacher and leader.

He retired to the Island in 2014, after years of summers spent sailing and tending to the historic 1700s harborfront home his grandparents acquired in the 1920s. He continued his studio practice on the Island and taught ceramics classes at Featherstone Center for the Arts. Still, he was happiest when pursuing one of his greatest joys: introducing newcomers, friends and family to the wonders of sailing, from the coastal waters of New England to the Caribbean Sea.

He stayed gracious and optimistic even as his strength ebbed away.

He was predeceased by his brother, Frank B. (Terry) Jewett 3rd.

He is survived by his wife, Peggy Keeling Jewett; stepsons Nathaniel Lee and Carter Lee; sisters, Rebecca Jewett Rendall and Edar Frances Jewett, and numerous extended family, including nieces and nephews, cousins and in laws.

A memorial service will be held on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven, with a reception to follow.

Donations can be made to Dr. Helen Shih’s Shine 360 Fund, which addresses the needs of cancer patients challenged with heroin/opioid addiction, Mass General Development Office, 125 Nashua St., Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114 or, or to Saint Paul Academy and Summit School.