John William Mercier of Edgartown died Nov. 6 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after years of a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

He was born on Feb. 16, 1943 to Herman and Alene Mercier in Hartford, Conn. He was raised in Swanton, Vt.

All who met John instantly found him to be a strong, good-humored person. He was a man of many mastered talents who lived an incredibly dynamic life.

Instilled with a passion for the great outdoors while growing up in the mountains of Vermont, he loved hunting and fishing. Because he did nothing in half-measure he caught and sold his bait, made his own lures and arrows, loaded his own bullets and built and painted his own decoys. He gutted, cleaned and sold his fish, dragged and butchered his hunts, and dried and sold his pelts and furs. He was a completely self-reliant man who sought to understand all aspects of any task at hand.

In his younger years and all the way through college, John was active with baseball, basketball and football. This love for sports and health sparked his pursuit of a physical education degree at Ithaca College and his first career as a phys ed teacher. His love of teaching grew and he became a ski instructor at a few resorts in Vermont.

His interest in entrepreneurship grew from there, fostered by a start in construction, which would become a lifelong passion. He also became part owner of an après-ski spot called The Last Run Cafe. For years he split his time between being a ski instructor, bartender, chef and builder, changing hats between seasons.

John first moved to the Vineyard in the 1970s. He became co-owner of the Ocean View restaurant in Oak Bluffs. Tending bar filled his love for entertaining people and he formed deep, long-lasting connections in the community.

Taking advantage of his new surroundings, he began saltwater fishing more frequently and even started lobstering commercially. All the while, he still swung a hammer and built his own home on West Chop between shifts. Somehow amidst all of this he still found time to earn his pilot’s license and spent years flying throughout the Cape and Islands.

Being on the water was bliss for John, whether it was fishing, clamming or scalloping. He embraced Island life and all it had to offer. There was nothing he loved more than introducing friends and loved ones to these hobbies.

John moved back to Vermont once more before finally returning to the Island. He focused his later years completely on building and worked well into his 70s. His energy and enthusiasm always amazed everyone he knew.

He will be remembered as a man who celebrated life. His work ethic was unmatched and an inspiration to us all. His positive outlook on life never wavered and enthusiasm for the next challenge never diminished. His family will miss how he lit up when telling a story, whether it was over a cold gin and tonic at his kitchen table, or down on the docks, fueled by the salt air.

John was the beloved husband of Lex Roberts Mercier. He is survived by his three children: his son Jeff Mercier and his wife Moiria of Martha’s Vineyard; his daughter Courtney Mercier of Stowe, Vt.; and his son Sam Mercier and his wife Elyse of Sandisfield. He was Papa to six grandchildren: Kaden Mercier, Avery Fastman, Tully, Brea, Weylan and Radley Mercier.

His family asks people to join them to honor John at their home at 85 Martha’s Road in Edgartown on Friday Nov. 17 or Saturday, Nov. 18 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.