Lucile Pruet Keith died June 3 at her home in Westwood.
She was born in Ashland, Ala., on August 29, 1912, the daughter of Bennett W. and Vernie Allen Pruet. She was the fourth child of a family of six, three boys and three girls, all of whom grew up in Anniston, Ala., where their father was a successful private banker. She attended high school in Anniston, attended Converse College, and after the start of the Great Depression, finished her college education at the University of Alabama where she excelled in mathematics.
She met her husband, Eldon Bradford Keith, around the time of the marriage of her older sister Helen to her future husband's older brother George.
Lucile and Brad were married Feb. 21, 1936, and she moved north to Brockton. When the United States entered World War II, Brad Keith entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and was stationed in Texas for just over three years. Lucile moved with him and cared for the house and three small boys. In 1945, the family moved back to Brockton where the fourth child of the family, a girl, was born.
During the war, Lucile and Brad decided that when it was over they would like to have a farm. Brad had a business partner, Joe Walker, who had a farm on Watcha Pond. In the spring of 1946, Brad came to the Island looking for a farm of his own and purchased a property in Chilmark.
The following year, the Keiths built a house on Middle Road, then unpaved and in a very rural part of the Island. That was the beginning of a long and close family association with the Island that continues to this day.
The farm was a working farm from 1947 until 1995 and was managed by Ozzie Fischer for most of that time. Most of the land had to be cleared from the second-growth woodland that had grown up since it was previously farmed, and a great many rocks had to be removed from the fields before hay or other crops could be planted. Some of the rocks ended up in the Oak Bluffs harbor jetty, which was being extended at that time. Eventually the farm had a herd of beef cattle, several pigs, more than 1,500 chickens raised each year, and up to six milk cows.
About 1991, Lucile and Brad moved from Brockton to Fox Hill Village in Westwood, which was their winter home for the rest of their lives.
While living in Brockton, Lucile was active in the Fortnightly Club and the Brockton Hospital Auxiliary. She was an accomplished bridge player and an avid reader. On the Vineyard, she was particularly supportive of the Chilmark Public Library, served occasionally as a judge at the Agricultural Society's annual fair, and made many friends among both summer visitors and year-round residents alike.
Lucile was a loving wife and mother, sister, aunt and friend, possessed of strong willpower, always supportive of her children, delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and devoted to her friends.
Survivors include her son Allan Keith and his wife Winkie of Chilmark; her son Bill Keith and his wife Claire of Woodstock, N.Y.; her daughter, Mimi Keith Drummond and her husband Tucker of Ashland; her granddaughters, Lucy Keith of Port Charlotte, Fla., Tess Keith of Portland, Ore., Emma Drummond Becker and her husband Will of Quincy, Amanda Drummond Conley and her husband Chris of Marion and Coral Keith Rabey and her husband Steve of Grandes Rocques, Guernsey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom; grandsons Charles Keith and his wife Helen of New Haven, Conn., Martin Keith and his wife Euphrosyne of Saugerties, N.Y., and Jesse Drummond of Ashland; and great-grandson Max Rabey and great-granddaughter Sky Rabey of Grandes Rocques, Guernsey.
She was predeceased by her husband Brad in 1999, and by her son Cary Keith in 1981.
A family graveside service was held June 12 at the Keith family burial site in Union Cemetery, Brockton, followed by a reception for family and friends at Fox Hill Village in Westwood.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in her memory to the Chilmark Public Library, P.O. Box 180, Chilmark, MA 02535.