Prentice Bowsher died from complications of Covid-19 on Jan. 4 in Washington, D.C. He had turned 80 on Dec. 19.

Prentice was an excellent journalist and editor, a skilled advocate for affordable housing, a master gardener, a music lover, an avid reader and adventurous traveler, a cherished friend and treasured member of his family. He was a deeply kind and compassionate man who worked to make the world a better place.

He fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard on his first visit in 1980. He and his wife, Sally Steenland, became summer renters, then homeowners in 1995 when they bought Joe and Gay Yowell’s house on Slough Cove Road in Edgartown. Joe spent a full day training Prentice on the intricacies of the various inventions he had installed in the house and the care of Gay’s beautiful gardens.

Prentice quickly got to know his neighbors. He took Bernice Duarte to church and enjoyed lunches with her at Linda Jean’s and the airport restaurant. He loved hearing her childhood stories about the Vineyard. He also loved going to Bruce and Myrna Cummings for dinner, Scotch and s’mores. He was the unofficial marshal of their annual Fourth of July Family Olympics Parade.

Prentice helped lead the campaign to save Herring Creek Farm from development in the late 1990s. He lived next door to the farm and treasured its beauty and history. He and other concerned citizens were successful in their fight, when the Nature Conservancy bought the farm in 2001.

Prentice loved early morning swims at Bend-in-the Road beach, bike rides, grilling on the deck, Morning Glory blueberry muffins, taking the boat out to the barrier beach, riding the cut, getting his Christmas tree from Matt Tobin, staring up at a black starry sky, seeing a huge full moon cast its watery light on the Edgartown Great Pond.

What he loved most of all was volunteering twice a week at the Polly Hill Arboretum. He worked with a core group of volunteers to prune, weed and keep the grounds beautiful. They often got together for dinner, fishing excursions and picnics. For several years, Prentice served on Polly Hill’s board.

For 20 years, the Bowsher/Steenland house at Slough Cove was a gathering place for family and friends. The memories made there are priceless.

Prentice is survived by Sally Steenland, his beloved wife of 44 years; son David Bowsher and daughter in law Elizabeth Holt; and grandchildren Meriwether and Rex Bowsher of Birmingham, Ala. Also surviving him are loving brothers in law and sisters in law and nieces and nephews.

Donations can be made to the Polly Hill Arboretum, P.O. Box 561, West Tisbury, MA 02575, or to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., 2115 Ward Court, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037.

A memorial service will be held when conditions are safe.