Greta C. Ghee, 72, Was Benefactor of The Yard

Greta C. Ghee, a longstanding summer resident of Chilmark, died unexpectedly at her Manhattan home on Dec. 22. She was 72 years old.

In the antique world Ms. Ghee was thought of as a significant collector and dealer in English and American coin silver and in smalls. She had been a regular exhibitor at the Chilmark Flea Market during the summer months, twice a week, rain or shine, since its inception over 25 years ago. In addition to Martha's Vineyard, her objects appeared in various antique shows from Massachusetts to Virginia. Some of her favorite items were also featured in antique trade publications. Ms. Ghee was well regarded for her antiques expertise and had given a Silver Society lecture sponsored by New York University. She generously shared her enthusiasm and knowledge of English Creamware and American coin silver with colleagues and customers alike. She had a keen eye for unusual items and reveled in sharing the historical context of their use. Her taste was eclectic: nautical, textiles, silver, ceramics, beautiful period jewelry, oriental items, ivory and tortoise shell among other things.

Ms. Ghee did not limit her activities to the antique world; she believed strongly in community service. She was a board member and former president of The Yard, a contemporary dance artists' colony in Chilmark. She worked tirelessly on behalf of The Yard and helped nurture its role as a haven for artistic development and creative inspiration to young people as well as year-round and seasonal Island residents. Additionally, she supported the Chilmark Library and worked together with other volunteers to help expand the productivity of the Martha's Vineyard Thrift Shop, an important source of funding for various Island community services. She also served as a board member at the Third Street Music School in Manhattan and was an active supporter of its activities.

Ms. Ghee was born in 1932 in San Pedro, Calif. The daughter of a regular naval officer, she spent her childhood at various military posts including Wake Island in the South Pacific, Lima, Perú and a variety of U.S. cities; the family finally settled in Richmond, Va. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from the College of William and Mary in 1953, and married Peter H. Ghee in 1960.

Ms. Ghee was well known on Martha's Vineyard and elsewhere because of the ease, enthusiasm and openness with which she met people and developed relationships that matured with time. She affected many people on many different levels and will be missed terribly.

She is survived by her husband, Peter, of Manhattan and Chilmark; three daughters, Annette E. Ghee of Seattle, Wa., Aileen D. Ghee of Norwich, Conn. and Margaret M. Ghee of Jacksonville, Fla. Ms. Ghee cherished her granddaughter Lea and had looked forward to welcoming a grandson into the world in early 2005.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 28 at 3 p.m. at The Yard off Middle Road near Beetlebung Corner.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Yard, P.O. Box 405, Chilmark, MA 02535.