Flags flew at half-staff this week as Menemsha businesses honored Everett Poole who died on Monday. The weather followed suit, delivering a few gray days with some fog and heavy rain thrown in.

“It’s fitting the weather is acting out,” said Katie Carroll from her perch at Menemsha Texaco. “Perhaps Mother Nature feels sad, too.”

Ms. Carroll had a long habit of visiting the Chilmark Chandlery to swap stories with Mr. Poole, she said.

“The conversations could go on for hours. He was an easy person to talk to, full of knowledge and willing to share it. He was genuine, with no frills, and he would tell you if you were doing something stupid, too.”

Recently, Ms. Carroll had stopped by to fill some gift baskets for the Coast Guard families.

“As per usual, he wouldn’t let me pay for a thing, piling on the sweatshirts and T-shirts,” she said.

Albert Fischer said he often stopped by the Chandlery and Poole’s Fish Market going back to when he was a young boy.

“He was gruff and grouchy and I was scared of him as a kid,” Mr. Fischer said. “And you could tell how mad he was by how much smoke was coming out of his pipe. But he was fair.”

Mr. Fischer told a story going back to when he was about 10 years old and had entered Poole’s to get a quahaug for bait. Mr. Poole was busy with other customers, and when Mr. Fischer kept pressing for his quahaug, “Everett threw it at me,” he said.

“But then the next day, when I went in again, he gave me two quahaugs for the price of one. He didn’t say he was sorry, that was his way.”

In later years, when Mr. Fischer would visit the Chandlery, he said it would bring back memories of Mr. Poole’s father and mother, along with his own parents.

“I would always come out of the Chandlery full of laughter and smelling of pipe smoke,” he said. “Everett’s mom was my school teacher. Being with him always brought back the full circle of memories.”

He continued: “I admired his work ethic. He taught many people who worked for him to be a good worker. He ran a tight ship.”

One young boy who learned a thing or two working at Poole’s Fish Market was Fred Meyer.

Sitting a spell with Mr. Poole could last moments or hours. — Jeanna Shepard

“I started picking out crab meat at a young age and worked there summers through my first year of medical school,” Dr. Meyer said during a phone call from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he is chairman of neurological surgery. He is also the executive dean of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, among many other titles.

“I give a fair amount of talks, often on leadership,” Dr. Meyer said. “I don’t consider myself that smart. Any success I have had is due to hard work and I learned that from Everett. That is not an exaggeration. I reference him all the time at talks and I show everyone his picture, with the pipe and the hat.”

Dr. Meyer even operated on Mr. Poole, who said he was the only person he would trust to do his spine surgery. “That was scary,” he admitted.

“He came out here to Rochester, Minnesota and walking around this Midwestern town he sort of looked like Popeye to people,” he continued. “And on the table when he was lying down just before we put him under he said to everyone, ‘I taught Freddy how to operate. I taught him how to use the knife. And I taught him well.’”

“He was like a second father to me,” Dr. Meyer said.

Ron Rappaport also said he learned a lot from Mr. Poole, including the Chilmark town meeting dress code.

“Coat and tie for the annual, but at no other town meeting,” Mr. Rappaport said. “And I abided by that.”

“We worked closely together for 25 to 30 years as town counsel and town moderator,” Mr. Rappaport added. “And it was a pleasure. He ran meetings by Everett’s rules, which were: He was fair, he gave everyone an opportunity to be heard, and he knew when to end the discussion.”

Jessie Benton noted his connection to history. “What a terrible loss for the Vineyard, and for all of us who grew up with Everett,” she wrote in an email. “He carried our connection to the history of sea-captains and whaling ships and the Vineyard of long ago. I will miss him every day.”

Chilmark select board member James Malkin said he first met Everett in the 1970s when he visited during summers.

“For whatever reason he befriended me,” Mr. Malkin said, adding that it was Mr. Poole who planted the seed for him to become involved in town politics.

Mr. Malkin told a story about the only time in his recollection that Mr. Poole stepped down from his role as moderator at town meeting.

“The discussion was about the Coast Guard wanting to put up a radio antenna at Peaked Hill to signal back and forth to their vessels. But abutters were complaining about their views. So Everett said, and I’m paraphrasing here, as moderator I cannot comment but I am now stepping down. Then he walked into the audience, raised his hand and when called upon said basically, what’s the matter with you people, the Coast Guard needs this to save lives and you are complaining about your views. The motion for the antenna passed.”

He continued: “We have lost a tremendous amount of what is emblematic of the old Island character.”

Katie Carroll seconded this feeling.

“The whole community felt like he was family,” Ms. Carroll said. “He was your extra dad, uncle, cousin, mentor. He filled so many roles for so many people.”