Lee Huston McCormack died April 14 in Vineyard Haven after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75, and was a former poet laureate of Martha’s Vineyard.

Lee was born on Jan. 20, 1945 in Seymour, Ind., to U.S. Air Force Lieut. Lemuel Huston McCormack and Hazel Luke McCormack. He spent most of his childhood traveling with his family between Washington, D.C. and Europe. During their travels the family was stationed in Washington D.C., West Germany and Italy. Lee roamed the streets of Rome with his boyhood Italian friends, absorbing sights and sounds that most adults never experience in a lifetime. A source of his creative genius as an adult, Lee became a Road Scholar at a young age from his many travels abroad and life experiences.

As a young adult, he worked in construction in Washington, D.C. and became noted in local periodicals as an up-and-coming artist and designer of custom furniture. In 1971 he married June Ditchfield; they had two children, Devin, and Meghan.

In 1972, Lee was offered the opportunity to become the foreman for a locally owned construction company on the Vineyard. Although he spent his adult career as a builder of homes, his true passion and life’s work was his art which took many forms. He was a painter, sculptor and musician, but his true love was poetry. In July 2012, he was selected by the Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society as its first poet laureate. In his 48-plus years living on the Island, he authored hundreds of timely, stirring, funny, thought-provoking and sometimes dark poems.

He is survived by his son Devin McCormack and daughter Meghan McCormack; three grandchildren; a brother, David McCormack; and five sisters, Mary Jo McCormack, Carol Stone, Janet Mays, Sharon Donnelly, and Cindy Hester; two first cousins and many nieces and nephews.

Private interment was held at the Lambert’s Cove Cemetery on April 17, officiated by the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home.

Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and condolences. An open memorial service will be held at a later date.