Kenneth M (Ken) Beebe died peacefully at home in Vineyard Haven March 19. He was 76.

He was known to many as Dr. Play, the name on the business card he handed to people he met. It was his philosophy for living — make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you.

An avid fisherman and birder, despite the slow progression of Parkinson’s disease, he continued to double-haul through life, providing an inspiration to those he met. Ken was born Dec. 14, 1944, in New London, Conn., the son of Horace and Edna Beebe. He graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1966 and went on to earn a degree from the University of Rhode Island and an EdD from the University of South Dakota.

He was a school principal in New Hampshire when his school burned down. That led to a job in Tisbury as assistant principal. When the position was eliminated, Ken decided to enter the business world, first in Boston and later living in Colchester, Vt. He retired at age 55.

A longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard, Ken enjoyed giving an occasional sermon and sharing his philosophy of life.

John Kollet, an avid fly fisherman, met Ken at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club’s flyrod striped bass catch and release tournament in June 1994. John and his brother had come to the Island to fish. Ken wasn’t big on tournaments, but the catch and release with its emphasis on fun and camaraderie had a special appeal. He joined it every year. At the tournament awards ceremony, he and Ken started talking. John told Ken he and his brother had had a good time but did not have a place to stay and would probably not return next year.

John recalled Ken told him: “Not only will you be back, but you will be staying at my house.” The next year John met Sandra, his future wife, at the tournament and moved to the Island.

Ken is survived by his wife Laura Williams Beebe of Vineyard Haven; son Christopher Beebe and his wife Diana of Dillon, Colo.; brothers James

Beebe and his wife Irma, and Alan Beebe and his wife Doreen; sisters Elizabeth Mclntyre and Jeanne Bearor; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by a daughter, Karen Beebe.

Services will be private and a celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced.

Donations can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, 135 Parkinson Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305-1425 or the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, 100 Felix Neck Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539, or, 209 Winn Rd., Falmouth, ME. 04105.