John F. Spindler of Tempe, Ariz. and West Tisbury died peacefully from complications of COPD and heart disease on June 3. He was 91.

He was born August 23, 1929 in Milwaukee, Wis. to Margaret Elizabeth Knauf Spindler and Howard Leo Spindler. While he moved frequently, some of his most vivid joyful memories were of summers in Wisconsin with his Knauf and Spindler grandparents and cousins. During high school in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., he met his future wife, Martha Ann Murdoch, and was valedictorian of the class of 1947.

He graduated with honors in 1951 from the University of Michigan College of Literature Science and the Arts and from University of Michigan Law School in 1952. He was admitted to the bars of Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Throughout his academic career he continued his courtship of Martha Murdoch, riding his motorcycle between Ann Arbor and Cleveland where she attended art school. They married June 26, 1952 in their hometown of Mt. Lebanon.

John was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1952 and was an honor graduate of the Quartermaster School in Ft. Lee, Va. He transferred to the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and served in the litigation division at the Pentagon.

He began work as an attorney in 1956 when he joined the firm of Cummings & Lockwood. He became a partner in 1963 and held that status for more than 50 years. His special focus was breaches of fiduciary duty by trustees and fights for corporate control. He served on the ethics committee of the Connecticut Bar Association.

He also used his legal talents in service of his family and local organizations. For more than 50 years he was a general partner in the management of the Murdoch family partnership Murland. On Martha’s Vineyard he researched and wrote a real estate covenant for a road association to improve and maintain Charles Neck Way, Vineyard Meadow Farms and Waldron’s Bottom Roads.

He loved history and was a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. He served as a trustee of the Stamford Museum (Conn.) for many years and was an enthusiastic participant in Stamford’s Civil War roundtable.

John was a very active member of Al-Anon in Stamford, Conn. and Martha’s Vineyard. He volunteered at the Edgartown jail, offering prisoners new perspectives and his personal story. He credited his Al-Anon participation with greater self awareness and serenity and said that joining was the best thing he ever did.

John was a supporter at the inception of Holy Spirit Church in North Stamford, Conn. and sang cheerfully and loudly with its choir for many decades. He sang with the Foretravel RV groups around the country, his church choir in St. Augustine, Fla, and a choir at Friendship Village in Tempe.

He was the quiet glue of the Spindler and Murdoch families. His belief in the power of family connection was most evident in his purchase of a summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, a place where extended family could gather together.

He was preceded in death by his wife Martha Murdoch Spindler and son John F. Spindler Jr.

He is survived by his children Susan Spindler Nelson and her husband James of Ipswich, Elizabeth Spindler of Melbourne, Fla. and Robert P. Spindler and his wife Linda Brown of Tempe, Ariz. and Quemado, N.M.; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his sister Margaret Spindler Strauch and her husband Gerald; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at a later time.