The Yates family drugstore was a fixture on Main street Vineyard Haven for decades.

And now the Yates family name will forever be tied to a generous annual scholarship for a Vineyard student, thanks to a $1 million bequest from the late Margaret A. Yates to the Permanent Endowment Fund of Martha’s Vineyard.

Announced on Tuesday by leaders at the endowment fund, the scholarship will be called the George R. Yates and Margaret A Yates Memorial Scholarship Fund. The bequest is expected to generate some $40,000 annually in scholarship money. It has not been decided yet how the funds will be awarded, i.e. in a single scholarship or more than one. But according to the wishes of the late Mrs. Yates, preference will be given to students interested in pursuing higher education in the health fields, including nursing and pharmacy.

“This is one of these wonderful giving stories, of being so generous and giving back to the community,” said Emily Bramhall, chairman of the Permanent Endowment Fund, during a brief visit to the Gazette Tuesday morning with fund executive director Julie Anne McNary.

Margaret Yates and her husband George Yates owned and operated Yates Drug Store in Vineyard Haven from 1944 until their retirement in 1969. Mrs. Yates was born in Vineyard Haven in 1911, the daughter of Capt. Armindo Pinto and his wife Mary Pinto. She married George Yates of Fall River in 1935. She was a graduate of the Truesdale Hospital Nursing program and he was a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. They bought Tilton’s Drug Store on Main street Vineyard Haven in 1944, and presided over the store’s gradual transformation from a soda fountain to a full-service pharmacy (that still sold ice cream). They lived in the apartment above the store and raised their family on the Island.

The drug store was sold to new owners in 1970 and continued to operate as Yates Pharmacy until 1981.

Following their retirement, the Yateses moved to Falmouth. George Yates died in 2006. Margaret Yates died this past spring at the age of 103. And as her estate now confirms, her deep affection for the Island never abated.

“I’m told she kept the Island in her heart,” Ms. McNary said.

Ms. Bramhall and Ms. McNary said the gift is significant for the Permanent Endowment Fund, a community fund established in 1982 with a modest bequest of $60,000. Today the fund has grown to $10 million and has handed out more than $2 million in scholarship money. A breakfast was held on Tuesday morning honoring this year’s scholarship recipients.

Thanks to the Yates family gift, next year’s scholarship offerings will expand.

“It’s a real testament to the vision of Jack Ware,” Ms. Bramhall said, referring to the late founder of the Permanent Endowment Fund.