John Robert (Bob) Jahries died peacefully at his Vineyard Haven home on July 10. He was 91.

He was born on May 8, 1930 in Summit, N.J. Raised by his mother, Margaret (Peggy) Ellis James, he spent his early years on the move, attending nearly every elementary school in Summit. At age 11, he was sent to live at the Bonnie Brae Home For Boys while his mother looked for work. After a year, he happily returned home and attended Summit High School, graduating in 1950.

In 1952, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and was sent to fight in the Korean War. He earned the rank of sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. This was his proudest moment. Honorably discharged, he returned to Summit.

He worked for the NJ Bell Telephone Company, later Verizon, for 35 years, first as a Yellow Pages advertising salesman, later as sales director and, finally, as a manager.

At age 30, he had a fortuitous encounter with Judy Blackmar at the Short Hills Ski Club. For him, it was love at first sight. They married soon after, raising four children in Summit. As a wedding present, Bob was given some property in East Callais, Vt., that he named Singing Pines and where he built a modest home. He enjoyed floating on the “bar of soap” styrofoam raft on No. 10 Pond, looking for shooting stars, tending his summer garden and building giant snowmen with family and friends. He enjoyed splitting wood for his wood stoves and did so until he was 80.

Over the years, he had many dogs and enjoyed showing them. His beloved Bernese mountain dog, Lottie, won a blue ribbon for reserve winner at the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. He also showed Lucy, a beautiful red and white basset hound and loyal friend for 14 years; she won a blue ribbon in the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair.

Bob’s passion was all things horticultural, so he spent his life gardening. Every house in which he lived had gardens that were magnificent, abundant with rare and native perennials, koi ponds and raised beds. During his retirement, winters in West Tisbury were spent paging through seed magazines and rooting specimens that he liked to give as gifts. His garden and greenhouse were featured in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and in CL Fornari’s book, A Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard. He was proud of his Walla Walla onions, entered them in the fair every year and won many blue ribbons.

“He who plants a tree loves others,” was a favorite saying. Wise, patriotic, kind and gentle, Bob saw beauty in people, animals and the natural world. He will be greatly missed.

His legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren: Sarah Jahries and Nicole Hager of Maplewood, N.J. and their children Rylie Hager and Martha, Charlie and Robby Kenyon; Stephen and Diana Jahries of Greenville, S.C., and their children Allison and Matt Rogers and Kate Jahries and her fiancé Phillip Waller; Peter and Jill Jahries of Towson, Md., and their children Jack, Matthew and Ben Jahries; and Emily and Perry Moehnke of West Tisbury and their children Porter, Margaret and Mathilda Moehnke.

The family sends a special thank you to Tom Coye of Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard for his compassion and care.

A private celebration was held at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark, where he joined his late wife Judy and her parents, John and Marjorie Blackmar.

Donations can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society or Polly Hill Arboretum, both in West Tisbury.