Michael Bencion Moskow died peacefully on July 23 at his home in Chilmark, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great grandchild. He was 88.

He was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and colleague.

Michael was born in the fall of 1933 in Boston and grew up in Newton as the oldest of four children. He graduated from Harvard College in 1955 and, a few years later, earned a master of business administration degree from Columbia Business School. He used his education to launch his own successful real estate development company in Boston and Newburyport.

In 1958, he met the love of his life, Donna Melnick, after friends set them up on a blind date. Michael proposed two weeks later and they were happily married for 61 years until Donna died in 2019. They raised their four children — Ken, Keith, Cliff and Carla — who eventually expanded the family with 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

In his real estate business, he worked primarily to identify buildings across Boston that were in need of improvement before buying, renovating and holding them long-term. He developed extensive holdings in Newburyport with a long-time real estate partner.

In addition, he was one of the key business leaders in the landmark Park Plaza case in the early 1970s, which ultimately prevented a redevelopment plan calling for skyscrapers along the Public Garden and Boston. Despite the highly challenging political environment that resulted from the legal case, the experience reinforced in Michael the importance of legally protecting one’s rights and conserving land for public use. It also rekindled his long-time interest in environmental issues and led to his collaboration with the Conservation Law Foundation, where he served as board chairman for more than 10 years.

His life was guided by a strong work ethic and a deep appreciation of his family and the good fortune that his education and business achievements provided. He brought his extensive experience in real estate to serve and support causes that were close to his heart. He was actively engaged with the Harvard Crimson, the Walker Home, Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School, the Child Welfare League of America and others.

During the 1960s, Michael and Donna regularly rented homes by Squibnocket Beach. They purchased a large property in Chilmark in 1970. With his John Deere tractor, which he continued to operate into his mid-80s, Michael cleared the land then built a home, acting as general contractor and with his sons working on the construction crew.

Since then, he had spent every summer weekend in Chilmark. On the Island, he relaxed by being outside on the land, either cutting the fields with his tractor or lanting dozens of different varieties of trees. He planted more than 1,000 trees and plants that have become homes for a wide array of birds. He built a similar sanctuary at his home in Newton.

Through his example, he instilled this appreciation of nature in his children and grandchildren. He also stressed to them the importance of being involved in one’s community, treating others with empathy and kindness, staying humble and connecting with other people to make the future a brighter place.

Michael is survived by his children: Keith Moskow of Cohasset, Cliff Moskow of Carlisle and Carla Moskow of Newton; grandchildren Zachary, Jacob, Nicholas, William, Samantha, Charlie, Michaela, Andrew, Jack and Ava; his great-granddaughter Charlotte; his sister Marina Kaufman of Newton and brother Jeremy Moskow of Cambridge; and a large collection of extended relatives, colleagues and friends.

In addition to his wife Donna, Michael was predeceased by his son Kenneth Moskow and his sister Wendy.