Harold W. Chapdelaine died peacefully at home on April 9 after gracefully enduring a rapidly progressing illness. He was 67. His wife Joan, the love of his life and stalwart companion, was at his side when he died.

He was born on May 30, 1954 to Edmond and Louise Gobiel Chapdelaine in Providence, R.I. and he grew up in Pawtucket, R.I. He met Joan Castanho in 1975 when he was her patient. They married in May of 1977. In true Harold fashion, on busy nights he brought pizzas for the nurses in the intensive care unit where Joan worked. In the blizzard of 1978, he cross country skied to the hospital with extra skis so she could get home for a change of clothes.

When Joan got a job as a nurse at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in 1979, they moved to the Island and made a life for themselves as washashores. He joined the Vineyard construction community, working for Lee Welch. He then opened Stonebridge Building and Design and had been building, renovating, and maintaining Island homes with love, creativity and excellence since then.

After welcoming two daughters in the mid 1980s, he built homes for his family, the first in West Tisbury and the second, which his wife and daughters joined him in constructing, in Vineyard Haven. From there, they embraced Island life for the next three decades.

Harold loved Martha’s Vineyard and took great joy in all it has to offer. From the Fair to the clam flats, from the wind in the Sound to any number of Island businesses and restaurants, Harold delighted in people and their passions.

A man who never finished college, he was a lifelong student, teacher and a lover of education and community in all forms. He enjoyed sailing and shared that by teaching map and navigation basics to West Tisbury elementary kids through following the BOC Challenge global yacht race. He later earned his Coast Guard captain’s license. He constantly improved both his construction and design skills, devouring current literature, working with engineers, architects and interior designers.

He always took time to teach and learn from his colleagues and employees. He learned how to play lacrosse with a baseball glove in the backyard and went on to coach at both the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Falmouth Academy. He went from editing his daughters’ school papers to chairing both the William Street historic commission and the Tisbury School building committee. The resulting approved school design was one of his most valued achievements.

Harold truly embodied his favorite phrase: carpe diem. He has now passed the torch to his adored wife Joan, daughters Elise and Michele, Michele’s husband Colin and their children Audrey and Liam, to carry on that joyful legacy.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 22 at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, with a celebration of life to follow at the Agricultural Hall from 1 to 4 p.m. He will be interred privately at a later date. Those planning to attend the celebration may bring a potluck dessert to celebrate Harold’s fondness for sweets.

Memorial donations can be made to either Hospice & Palliative Care of Martha’s Vineyard (P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA, 02568) or the CJD Foundation (cjdfoundation.org/donate). Please visit chapmanfuneral.com to sign the online guestbook and more information.