updated March 8, 11:30 am
Robert J. Priore, a longtime resident of Vineyard Haven, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family and friends, after waging a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 73.
Robert was born in Hartford, Conn., and raised in nearby Windsor. He attended Loomis Academy, now known as the Loomis Chaffee School, and the University of Hartford. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War as a medic in the United States Air Force.
Robert began his lifelong love affair with Martha’s Vineyard in the late 1960s, when he came to the Island on vacation and decided to find a way to earn a living that would keep him here, at least part-time. Early on, he recognized the potential of building affordable vacation homes, and developed what became known as Bernard Circle, Leonard Circle, Canterbury Lane, and numerous other streets in Vineyard Haven. He also built several homes in Katama. In the span of a career that lasted 40 years, Robert oversaw the building of more than 200 homes on Martha’s Vineyard.
Robert moved to the Vineyard full-time in 1992 to raise his sons in the type of environment he believed every child should be raised in, a life lived outdoors filled with fishing, boating, swimming, and clamming.
In 1998 he met Maribeth, the woman who became the love of his life, and not too long after, his devoted wife.
Robert was an avid sailor who loved nothing better than navigating the waters off Martha’s Vineyard at the helm of his Endeavor, Maribella, in the company of his family, friends, and faithful canine companion Quinn. He enjoyed all the Vineyard had to offer, whether it be fishing, clamming, listening for the first pinkletinks of spring, or simply gazing in awe upon a starry, starry Vineyard night sky.
Robert is survived by his sons Rob and Chris, his daughters-in-law Jenafer and Stephanie, his grandchildren Olivia and Owen Priore, his brother Henry Priore, and his many nieces and nephews.
Memorial funeral services for both Maribeth Priore, 61, who died unexpectedly on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at her home in Oak Bluffs, and her husband Robert J. Priore will be held on Saturday, March 18, in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs at 1 pm, officiated by the Rev. Thomas Lopes, with burial of their remains to follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, with military honors for Robert Priore provided by the veterans of Martha’s Vineyard. The family will begin receiving visitors in the funeral home at noon. Donations may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Infusion Center, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Please visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guestbook and information.