Bettyanne Maher Was Active Island Volunteer

Bettyanne Maher of Dunedin, Fla., formerly of Oak Bluffs, died Wednesday, July 23, after a long illness. She fought bravely to the end and died peacefully.

Betty was born Feb. 3, 1923 in Rego Park, N.Y. She was a runway model in Manhattan before the war, and then served her country as a WAVE in the U.S. Navy. During the war she met and married Raymond Maher, who predeceased her in 1990. The couple originally settled in New Jersey, but when their daughter, Wendy, moved to the Island in 1973, the rest of the family arrived for a visit - and stayed for decades.

Betty's many Island jobs and charities were as varied and interesting as she was. She and Raymond owned and operated Cranberry Acres Campground on Lambert's Cove Road for many years. It was here that she came to be known as Mama Bear. Over the years she volunteered at The Vineyard Playhouse and the Martha's Vineyard Community Services Thrift Shop in Vineyard Haven, where she soon became a valued employee and, once again, a runway model for the annual Thrift Shop Fashion shows.

Betty leaves behind a daughter, Wendy, and spouse Tom Smith of Palm Harbor, Fla; two granddaughters in Ohio; a son, Todd, and spouse Jackie of Bellingham, Wash.; and son Bradford, spouse Charlotte and granddaughter Hannah of Burlington, Vt.

A memorial service will be held by her family at 11 a.m. on Oct. 4 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Edgartown.