Nelson Joseph deBettencourt Jr., for more than 30 years the owner of N.J. deBettencourt and Sons Inc. Gas Station and Repair Shop in Oak Bluffs died peacefully at his home in Oak Bluffs Oct. 29. He was 84 and would have celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife, Sandra Geddis deBettencourt on Nov. 5.

Although officially retired for the last two years, he continued to maintain an office in the garage. There he would visit with the customers he had always enjoyed. In the garage’s old repair shop behind his office he would spin honey from the bee hives he tended at home.

He was born Feb. 10, 1936 in Oak Bluffs, a son of Nelson Joseph deBettencourt and Mildred MacDonald deBettencourt. He was a graduate of the Oak Bluffs High School and Coyne Electrical School in Boston, where he was at the top of his class. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Always a dedicated gardener, he was the Oak Bluffs tree warden for many years and known for planting apple trees on town property here and there.

Although he had become a mechanic, gardening and farming were in his blood. His grandfather Manuel Spindler deBettencourt had come to the Vineyard from Graciosa Island in the Azores. He soon was the owner of the 160-acre Cottage City Farm in Oak Bluffs, near where Farm Pond is now.

Although Nelson deBettencourt Sr became a mechanic and bought the New York avenue gas station in 1946, he inherited his father’s love of growing things and Nelson Jr. grew up on his father’s mini-farm off County Road. There, Nelson Jr. kept his own cow, which he walked to the grassy field opposite the gas station every morning leaving her there to graze until school was over. He continued to love and to have pets all his life.

The summer he and his wife bought their first house on Worcester avenue, with four acres around it, he planted corn in the front yard, remarking that when fall came and the corn had been picked, he would put grass in its place. Every year, at the first sign of spring, he would start looking for mayflowers to take to his mother to welcome the season. Beekeeper that he was, he bottled and sold his honey at the service station.

Although growing things was his favorite pastime, he also enjoyed biking and dancing, singing and listening to music. The greatest delight of recent years was spending time with his 11 grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children: Eric of Los Angeles and his fiancée, Holly Bario; Michael and his wife Erin of Oak Bluffs; Melanie Marchand and her husband, Michael of Oak Bluffs; a brother, David of Oak Bluffs; two sisters, Catherine Tiernan of Londonderry, N.H. and Deborah Ratcliffe of Oak Bluffs; and 11 grandchildren, Ben, Michael, Katherine, Molly, Nicole and Jack deBettencourt of Oak Bluffs and Matthew, Kaitlyn, Abby and Andrew Marchand of Oak Bluffs. His brother Allan (Buddy) deBettencourt died Nov. 12.

A celebration of his life will be held in the spring of 2021.

Contributions can be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.