Ralph W. (Benny) Gross died peacefully with his daughter Melissa and granddaughter Mylenna by his side at his Edgartown home on July 31. He was 84.

His death was related to a major stroke that he suffered in 2012.

He was born October 19, 1937 in Edgartown to Grace West Fisher and Benjamin Gross, the only son of their seven children. He grew up on Pinehurst Road. As a young boy he proudly delivered the weekly papers on his bike. He was an avid golfer at the Edgartown Golf Club during his life, starting in his teenage years.

He spent many years alongside Jimmy Morgan on his fishing boat in Menemsha, catching cod together. He was a jack of all trades who worked not just as a fisherman but also performed side jobs in painting and carpentry.

In 1971 he met his wife Lucille Simpson in Edgartown. They ventured to Everett and started their life together. He changed professions and invested in a fruit truck. He was passionate about helping others and sold fruit for cheap prices to people in need, right out of the back of his truck.

In 1979, after the birth of their first daughter, Ralph and Lucille returned to the Vineyard because his mother had fallen ill. Their family grew and they raised three beautiful daughters on the Island.

He had open arms to people in need. It didn’t matter what it was; he did not make judgments. He had a heart of gold and his heart made him the person he was.

He had a talented and creative mind. As he aged, he began to write poetry and could write anywhere at any time. He shared his poetry with whoever took the time to listen, from complete strangers to immediate family.

He was extremely family oriented, and making families happy made him happy. He enjoyed visiting his sisters Carol and Taffy and watching their families grow throughout the years.

In addition to his wife Lucille and their children, his greatest love was to be out on the water. His favorite place to be on his boat was in the gut of Cape Pogue, where he eased the stress of the world. He was a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and touched numerous hearts.

Ralph is survived by his daughter Melissa and her husband Clayton DeOliveira and their children Myllenna and Jonathan of Edgartown; daughter Angela and her husband Kedar Samuels of Florida and their children Noah, Hailee, Gunner and Elijah; granddaughter Symanthia Johnson and grandsons Joseph Aguilar and Idan Wrangler; sisters Emma (Taffy) Perkins and Carol Waris; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his wife Lucille, daughter Jennifer and his sisters Norma Spencer, Grace Kerns and Elsie Landers.

Funeral arrangements will be available at a later date on the Chapman Funerals & Cremations website at chapmanfuneral.com.