Dr. Michael Romanowsky died Jan. 15 at home surrounded by family. He was 64 and had been a larger-than-life person for all who knew him, especially his family.

If Michael had had the chance to write his own obituary, it would undoubtedly have been bursting with tall tales of him as a disco model, professional snowboarder, or stand-up comedian and would have required multiple rounds of censoring and editing.

He was born and raised in Lowell to Emil and Lillian Romanowsky, the youngest of six siblings in a tight-knit family. He looked up to his brothers, Bob, Eric, and Mark, all of whom were doctors, and eventually followed their path to medical school.

He met his wife Jan at a pub in England while he was there on medical rotation. The tall, charming American doctor quickly grew on her and before she knew it, she was following him back to the States. They moved to Delaware and spent some of the happiest days of their lives sailing their J24 on the Chesapeake Bay. After his residency, they moved back up north, settling in Hampstead, N.H., to raise their four children and start a family medical practice. Michael practiced and taught medicine for 32 years. He adored his patients and his students and often told stories of their funny or sweet interactions. He hoped to never retire. His practice will carry on, operating in Salem, N.H.

After getting his practice up and running, Michael set his sights on a home on Martha’s Vineyard, a place where he could sail and catch blue crabs and lobster. He fell in love with the Island and bought a condominium on Lake Tashmoo. He and his family spent nights crabbing and days picking the meat from boiled shells on the sun-kissed patio. When the crabs were finished, lessons began. Michael taught each of his children how to ride a bike, drive a boat, catch squid, and filet a fish. He gave summers a soundtrack, and taught all the words to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” They sang Bryan Adams’s “18 Til I Die’’ driving around in his maroon convertible by day and Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” while jigging for squid down at the docks at night.

In 1996, the family moved to Edgartown, where Michael enjoyed croquet competitions on Chappy and spent most of his time out on the water. It was in these years that he hit his stride — making friends everywhere and developing a larger-than-life persona and reputation. No one can forget his floats for the July 4th and Christmas parades, in which he was often dressed as Naughty Santa (much to the town’s chagrin.) His friends began to refer to him as Big Love, because that’s exactly what he was. He treasured his best friends, Pip, Elder, and the other Skulls — the adventures they had and hijinks they’d get into. He loved a theme party and annual events (most notably Tobogganing National Championships, pig roasts, and pirate parties) and any other excuse to get his favorite people together over a lobster pot full of rum punch.

His true legacy lives on in his children — Rachel’s athleticism, steadfast stoicism, creativity, and ability to always see the best in people, Grace’s love of socializing, entertaining, cooking and being out on the water, Jacob’s genius, compassion, and wacky, uncensored humor, and Lucas’s gentle nature, humility, work ethic and curiosity.

All who knew him were shaped by him. Maybe he made you your first real martini (Chopin vodka, blue cheese stuffed olives, and two cocktail onions), convinced you to try your first oyster, put you on your first fish, helped you get over a heartbreak, or baked you one of his famous pies. All who knew him are far richer for him. He was undoubtedly taken from this world too soon, but he would have wanted to get to heaven before everyone else to start planning a mighty party. Until then, raise a real martini in his honor, and live the fullest, most colorful lives possible.

He is survived by his wife Jan; four siblings, Bob, Eric, Anne, and Mark; his four children Rachel, Grace, Jacob and Lucas; and his twin grandsons Gray and Julian. He was predeceased by his sister Sandra and parents Emil and Lillian.

Donations can be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard or St. Jude’s Hospital.