Lester Horace Woodcock died peacefully at the Falmouth Hospital on July 25. He was 94 and was one of the last surviving members of the original Sports Illustrated editorial staff.

Les was born on June 30, 1927 in Amityville, N.Y., the son of Horace and Carol Woodcock. After graduating high school, he attended Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where he played on the baseball team.

After serving in the Korean War as a cryptanalyst, he began his journalism career as a copy boy for the New York Sun. He was working at Time Inc. in 1954 when he was asked to join the editorial staff of a new sports magazine to be called Sports Illustrated. After graduating from the Columbia University School of Journalism, Les was an editor and writer for Sports Illustrated from 1954 to 1968. During that time, he was asked to accompany many dignitaries and well-known people, including sports enthusiasts William Faulker and Robert Frost, to baseball games and the Kentucky Derby.

After his time at Sports Illustrated, he became a freelance foreign correspondent in the Time-Life Bureau in Rome and brought his family of eight to live abroad. When he returned to the United States, he spent the next 13 years founding three sports magazines and a regional lifestyle magazine titled Long Island Life.

In 1982, he worked for 11 years as the editor and principal writer for Major League Marketing, revolutionizing the way football and baseball cards were written. He took enormous pride in his journalistic career.

He will be remembered by many of the East Chop community as the sprightly older gentleman who passed them, smiling and waving, on his regular walks around the Chop. He enjoyed many community activities after his 2009 retirement to the Vineyard. He was a member of the First and Third Club, and served on the advisory boards of the Friends of the Oak Bluffs Library and the Oak Bluffs Senior Center.

Aside from his extraordinary career, Les will be most remembered for his ability to make everyone in his presence feel important, loved and special. You were the most important person in the room. He will be remembered with a smile when we see a plate of shrimp, when the Red Sox beat the Yankees, or when we see a Sports Illustrated cover.

Les was a devoted husband, father and loyal friend to many. He was gracious and quick to express gratitude for any small favor bestowed upon him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Woodcock; his brother, Norman; three sons, Mark, Brian and his wife, Debbie, and Kevin and his wife, Mel; three daughters, Kathleen Lopes and her husband, Rob, Susan Woodcock, and Maria Schiavello; five grandchildren; and his former wife, Mary Gill.

His family will host a celebration of his life on the Vineyard toward the end of June 2022, around the time of what would have been his 95th birthday.

Because Les loved books and films, donations can be made to the Oak Bluffs Library or the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

For online tributes and more information, visit chapmanfuneral.com