John Wallace Roberts, a beloved husband, father and grandfather, died peacefully at home and surrounded by his family on March 3. He was 90.

He was a longtime resident of Greenwich, Conn. and Vineyard Haven.

John was born on August 3, 1932 in Stamford, Conn., the son of Gladys Jessup Roberts and Samuel Wallace Roberts. He attended Stamford High School and graduated from Andover Academy in 1950. He earned a bachelor of arts at Yale University in 1954. At the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he earned a law degree, he was a member of the board of editors for the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

He worked in Connecticut as a lawyer and started his own practice in 1973. He continued to work until 2022, finding immense satisfaction in the theory and application of law as well as the collaborative process with fellow lawyers.

John and his wife Betty were introduced to Martha’s Vineyard by Carol and Bob Haskel in 1964. After spending a night in Menemsha, they were never quite the same. They fell in love with the Island and spent many good times with friends and family there. They built a home in Vineyard Haven in 1976. Over the years they cherished their time celebrating summertime with the West Chop community and soaking up all that the Island has to offer.

Fourth of July celebrations in Edgartown became a favorite family tradition. They met lifelong family friends “by the cannonballs” and lingered long enough to be able to boast that all were able to see the parade pass by twice.

John found delight in the simple pleasures of life and loved sharing that delight with all around him. He led many clamming expeditions to Lake Tashmoo, coming home with a bushel of quahogs and making his famous Clams Tashmoo that were enjoyed by all on a warm summer afternoon on the deck.

He spent wonderful long summer days on the beaches of Katama, Chappy and Aquinnah, tossing his young daughters in the surf and braiding dune grass bracelets to tie around their wrists. When his daughters were young, he would don the role of skipper and sail with them in Vineyard Haven harbor. Many rainy afternoon were spent at the Flying Horses, a tradition passed on to his and Betty’s 12 grandchildren.

His family fondly remembers many off-season trips to the Island, including annual Thanksgiving celebrations with dear friends and family. One year they traveled to the Vineyard for Thanksgiving and took the last ferry of the day. Lulled by the gentle rocking of the ferry, everyone fell asleep in the car. They awoke hours later, docked in Vineyard Haven, on a now entirely-empty and dark ferry, surrounded by the crew whispering about how to wake the family up.

In more recent years, he and his family spent time exploring numerous hiking trails and kayaking. John and Betty enjoyed long walks through Felix Neck and discovering Land Grant hikes, delighting in any new or historic addition to the preserved open spaces.

John and Betty were generous with their summer home, happily sharing their love of the Vineyard with many visitors. One of his favorite activities was to act as tour guide. He spent countless hours driving out of town guests around the Island, regaling them with its history and landmarks, venturing off the beaten path and down sandy side roads to discover what was beyond the next bend in the road. His family will always yearn for one more Island adventure with him.

John is survived by his wife Betty, four daughters, four sons in law and 12 grandchildren. His love, kindness, wisdom and generosity have made then all better people.

Memorial contributions can be made to Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation at