Laurence A. Mercier, a former longtime Edgartown businessman and town official who was widely respected for his civic-minded nature, died at home on Sunday. He was 81.

A son of Edgartown, Larry Mercier had worn many hats through the years, among other things owning two grocery stores and the Chappaquiddick Ferry, and serving as an Edgartown selectman and later longtime highway superintendent.

“I’m sort of a jack of all trades. Not good at any of it but I know enough to get by,” he deadpanned to the Gazette in a 2003 interview when he retired as highway superintendent after 21 years on the job. “I’ve loved what I’ve done. I’ve been lucky to do things I enjoyed. I never woke up not wanting to go to work,” he said at the time.

He had many successful business ventures throughout his life. He owned the On Time, the two-car barge that was the Chappy Ferry, from 1962 to 1966 when he sold it to Jared Grant. In 1966 he bought Connors’ Market on Main street Edgartown and renamed it Mercier’s Market, following in the footsteps of his father who had been a Main street grocer in the 1920s. He expanded the grocery in an era when Main street still had two drug stores, a post office and a hardware store. He ran the market until 1974 when he sold it to Robert Harrison Jr.

In 1972 he bought the former First National Store on Water street in Vineyard Haven and reopened it as an IGA. He closed the store in 1976.

Deeply devoted to the interests of Edgartown, his civic life was as diverse as his business life. He had served as an Edgartown selectman in the 1970s during a time when many blueprints were drafted that would help shape the future of Martha’s Vineyard. His years in public service saw the implementation of zoning, the creation of the Dukes County Planning and Economic Development Commission and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and the saving of Katama Farm. Later he was at the forefront of efforts to have the town take over the Edgartown Water Company. After his retirement as highway superintendent, he served as a town assessor and on the refuse district for many years.

An equally devoted family man, he and his wife of nearly 55 years, Doris, raised their four children on the Island.

He was a longtime member of the Friday morning breakfast club, a handful of town fathers who would talk politics over coffee and eggs.

“The only rule is we don’t agree on anything,” he told the Gazette in the 2003 interview. “When you get up and walk away from the table, you forget it. That’s politics. You win some, and you lose some.”