Peter Bogue Van Tassel of Edgartown died at his home on South Water street on June 1, 2020. He was 91.

Peter was born on Dec. 29, 1928, to parents Chester Burroughs Van Tassel and Alma Ruth Bogue Van Tassel, in White Plains, N.Y. He was the grandson of Charles Conklin Van Tassel and Martha Young Van Tassel, and Morton David Bogue and Anna Tefft Bogue, all of Brooklyn, N.Y. He grew up in Scarsdale, in a historic rambling farmhouse named Farm End. The property, now known as the Fisher-Van Tassel House, included the first privately-owned paddle tennis court in the country. His sisters Gretchen and Katrina were considerably older, so in many respects he was raised as an only child.

He graduated from the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, class of 1950. He attended the Royal Institute of British Architecture in London, then returned to Yale, earning a master’s degree in architecture.

From New Haven, Peter relocated to New York city, where for years he lived on the Upper East Side. He spent much of his career at the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill working on commercial buildings. Mid-century modern was the style of the time, characterized by clean simple lines, and integration with nature. Peter spent two years living in Brussels, Belgium, working on SOM’s Banque Lambert project. He ended his professional life in New York city working for Scalamandré, a high-end fabric and design firm.

An avid reader, his library was full of literature, history, European and British architecture and art. Reading the daily New York Times cover to cover was a lifetime ritual. He was a meticulous dresser, and a fastidious organizer of pretty much everything in his household.

One of his passions as a young man was travel, specifically to Europe, and judging from his letters and diaries from when he was in his 20s and 30s, he did so as often as possible, usually traveling by ocean liner (including the Queen Elizabeth and SS Rotterdam). His days and nights were packed with touring, museums, art, architecture, concerts, plays, and an active social life. He was an avid opera buff, both abroad and at home in New York city. One highlight of his time in London was attending the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Peter chose to live alone and wouldn’t have had it any other way. He was a creature of habit, making his bed perfectly every morning, followed by a breakfast of orange juice, milk, yogurt and a banana. Lunch and dinner generally came from the deli at the A&P, and his days always ended with a couple of stiff vodka and sodas. As much as he appreciated fine dining, he had no interest in cooking, taking the lead from his father, who famously didn’t know how to boil an egg. He had no use for television, and never owned a cell phone or a computer. Known for his loyalty, consistency and pithy sense of humor, he was matter of fact, to the point of being abrupt at times. But he cherished his family, his home, and his sense of place in society. After his death, it was discovered that Peter, the last of his Van Tassel line, had been keeping up a family diary that was started generations ago — a precious record for generations to come.

His connection to the Vineyard dated to the late 1930s, when his parents initially rented in Edgartown. In 1943, they purchased the Sanford House on Dunham Road, affectionately named Pinkletink by the Van Tassel family. In a letter to his mother in 1945, Peter wrote: “Your darling little house leaks like a sieve. We’ve been having a northeaster (Aunt Anna insists it’s a hurricane) and we were nearly flooded out.”

In 1955 the family bought the Earle House on South Water street, and a piece in the Vineyard Gazette at the time called it one of Edgartown’s oldest houses. The house was in extreme disrepair, and Peter served as architect for a complete renovation. Once the work was completed, his parents Alma and Chester retired to the Vineyard from New York.

Both houses became hubs for three generations of Van Tassel/Shaw/Wuerth family summer activities, and memories.

After his parents died, Peter inherited the house on South Water street. In 1988, just as his parents had done 30 years earlier, he left New York and retired to the Vineyard. During his retirement years, he kept busy with a variety of paying and volunteer jobs. These included the Granary Gallery, Book Den East, the Edgartown Library, MV Preservation Trust, and 15 years in the library and archives of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum (formerly the Dukes County Historical Society).

Peter also kept up his active social life and enjoyed a close network of neighbors — nearly all of them widows — and with Peter being the lone male, the story goes that he was affectionately named the rooster of the group.

In his later years he suffered from more than a decade of dementia and other health complications. He spent his time napping in bed and reading the New York Times, as he’d always done. His niece Alison Shaw and her wife Sue Dawson oversaw his care, along with a dedicated, patient, staff of caregivers and helpers — most recently, with the family’s thanks and gratitude, by Greg and Leo.

He was predeceased by his older sisters Gretchen Van Tassel Shaw and Katrina Van Tassel Wuerth, and his longtime partner Daniel Sullivan, who lived near Sheriff’s Meadow and is memorialized by a bench there. At the time of his death, he was survived by two nieces and five nephews: Alison, Stephen and Michael Shaw; Christopher, Jonathan, Peter, and Megan Wuerth; and their families. His niece Megan Wuerth died in December 2020.

His ashes will be interred in the Tower Hill Cemetery, alongside his parents, sisters, and brothers in law, and near his partner Dan, in a private family ceremony.

Donations can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.