Louis (Lou) James Croft Jr. of Edgartown died peacefully on Dec. 13. He was 95.

He was born on April 23, 1927 to Louis James Croft Sr. and Marjorie Comer Croft in N. Billerica. He graduated from Chelmsford High School in 1945 and immediately upon graduation, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During World War II, he was stationed in Boston, where he worked as a disbursing storekeeper until he was honorably discharged after the war.

Upon completion of his military service, he returned home and worked at his father’s restaurant and then his father’s service station. After four years in his family businesses, Lou was hired by Eastern Airlines as one of their ground crew. He was employed in that capacity until he decided to become a residential building contractor.

Lou learned the building trade in residential construction and honed his skills to the point where he eventually became co-owner of MAL Enterprises. This was a substantial residential and commercial contracting firm that at times employed as many as 75 people. He oversaw the construction of major condominium projects including Glen Devin in Amesbury and Nagog Woods in Acton, among others.

After several years in management, he decided to scale things down. He left MAL Enterprises to begin building single-family homes again as an independent contractor. He built beautiful custom homes as well as those designed by renowned architect Royal Barry Wills.

He retired in 1999 at the age of 72 and promptly began construction on a new home for himself and his wife Dennise in Hubbardston, where they lived for the next 15 years. In 2015 Lou and Dennise moved to Edgartown, where he resided until the winter of 2021 when he moved to a nursing home.

Lou was involved in charities and supporting the communities where he lived throughout his adult life. He was a member of the Holden Lyons Club, the Princeton Congregational Church and was master of the Montacute Masonic Lodge in Worcester in 1989. For 38 years, he was a master mason in the Boylston Lodge A.F. and A.M. in West Boylston.

He enjoyed boating and waterskiing with his family at Lake Winnisquam in New Hampshire. He spent summer vacations on Martha’s Vineyard with extended family. In recent years, Lou could often be found feeding his birds.

Lou is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Dennise Vose Croft, daughter Catherine Curry and her husband Donald of Cape Carteret, N.C.; daughter Cornelia Croft Carnazza and her husband James of Edgartown; grandsons Bradford and Duncan Curry, and Peter and Daniel Carnazza; great-grandson George Curry; and a nephew, Steve Willams of McMurray, Pa.

Services will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Judes’s Research Hospital at stjude.org or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, TN 38101-9950.