Rhode Island native and former Red Sox general manager Lou Gorman died Friday at his Weston, Mass., home at the age of 82.

Gorman passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family after an illness of almost a year, according to his nephew, Tom Dougherty.

"All he wanted to do was make it to Opening Day," Dougherty said.

Gorman joined the Red Sox in 1983 as vice president of baseball operations and general manager, a position he held until 1993, but his role in the organization was much larger. He's remained on the staff as an adviser and consultant, and, unofficially, as an ambassador for the game and the team.

Born in South Providence, R.I., Gorman earned his undergraduate degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., before earning his master's degree just up the road at Bridgewater State College. He joined the Navy, where he became a captain, served two tours in Korea and remained an officer in the Naval Reserve for 34 years.

He was dedicated to The Jimmy Fund and the Boy Scouts of America, and he worked for many years for the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), which financially helps former players, managers, umpires, scouts and employees who find themselves in need.

Gorman never played in the majors (he hit .036 in 16 career games for the Providence Grays of the Class B New England League in 1948). But that didn't prevent him from making a lasting impact in various roles for the Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.