For Jayne Brumley Ikard, Martha’s Vineyard was a picture of all that was perfect in her native Massachusetts. The highlight of her year was the July Fourth parade that passed by their North Water street home. Her guests for the event typically included an array of familiar Island faces, including Walter and Betsy Cronkite, Mike and Mary Wallace, Beverly Sills and Peter Greenough.

Jayne died quietly in Washington, D.C. last Friday, August 27, after a battle with emphysema.

During her 83 years, she was a lead political reporter for Newsweek, becoming the news magazine’s first woman bureau chief when she headed the Boston office from 1964 to 1967. She covered the 1968 presidential campaigns of Sen. Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

In 1972, she married Frank N. Ikard, the Texas-born president of the American Petrolum Institute, and over the next 19 years developed into one of Washington’s leading hostesses.

Her heart will always reside on the Vineyard, which she first began visiting in the early 1960s as guests of the Hornblower family of Squibnocket. Her first husband, Calvin Brumley, hunted with Harry Hornblower, David Flanders and Herbie Hancock along Squibnocket Pond. And in the mid-1960s, the family purchased a three-acre “calf pasture” from Anna Belden along South Road, overlooking Chilmark Upper Pond. They sailed a Sunfish or rowed their dinghy over to South Beach, often carrying treats from Humphrey’s Bakery or the Scottish Bakehouse.

They were at their Chilmark house when men first landed on the moon, and also there when word first came in July 1969 that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy had been involved in an accident on Chappaquiddick. She was the first national reporter on the scene, and her Island ties helped Newsweek add local color and detail to the story.

Jayne Brumley Ikard started as a scrappy Irish tomboy in the Depression-era Boston suburb of Walpole. Her entry in the Walpole High School yearbook graduating class of 1944 proclaimed her goal “to be happy” and her hobby “meeting interesting people.” She combined the two throughout her life.

Born Mary Jane Keegan to an Irish Catholic household, early on she changed her given name to Jayne. She also lapsed from Catholicism, telling friends she would return to the church “when an American becomes pope.” In fact, she returned to the Church of Rome in her later years, after being widowed twice.

After World War II, she traveled to the Texas panhandle, where she married a fellow reporter, Calvin Brumley, who hailed from nearby Hereford. Their son Bryan E. Brumley was born in Fort Worth in May 1952.

The young family followed Calvin’s career first to Denver, Colo., and then to New York city, where he was hired by The Wall Street Journal. Jayne worked as a Macy’s buyer.

The Journal sent the Brumleys to the paper’s southeastern bureau in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1956. From there, Calvin flew to Havana to cover the Cuban Revolution.

Jayne worked for the Jacksonville Journal, and began her association with Newsweek, hired as a stringer by fellow New Englander John McAllister, whose family lived for many years in Cohasset.

The family moved to Boston in 1960, when Calvin was appointed the Journal’s Boston bureau chief. Jayne worked for the Boston Herald, while also writing with increasing frequency for Newsweek. Her speciality always was people, and her articles from this period included the first national coverage of cookbook author Julia Child, Beverly Sills, who became a lifelong friend, and the humorist, songwriter and Harvard mathematician Tom Lehrer. She also interviewed Poet Laureate Robert Frost, and covered the campaign of Edward Brooke, who in 1966 became the first African-American senator since reconstruction.

As the campaign of 1968 developed, she was the main Newsweek reporter assigned to Bobby Kennedy’s challenge to President Lyndon B. Johnson, building on her Kennedy sources. She covered the Oregon primary, then flew back to New York before the June 5 California primary. Following Mr. Kennedy’s assassination that night, she flew back to Washington to cover the funeral.

After Mr. Kennedy’s death, she was reassigned to the campaign of Richard M. Nixon, developing close ties to the inner Nixon circle, including John Mitchell, Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John Sears, Herb Klein and Bebe Rebozo, as well as speechwriters Pat Buchanan and Raymond Price.

Back on the Island, the Brumleys were frequent visitors to the Brooke home in Oak Bluffs, as well as to the Chilmark home of Leah and Jerome Wiesner, who had been science advisor to President John Kennedy and later provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1966, Calvin was reassigned to New York, where Jayne worked in the Newsweek headquarters, and in 1969 they moved to Washington, D.C., where she became spokeswoman for the newly created Council on Environmental Quality and he was spokesman for the U.S. Treasury. Calvin died of a heart attack in March 1972.

A few months later, while attending an environmental conference in Sweden, Jayne met Frank Ikard, an event she chronicled later for the Saturday Evening Post. Carrying a banner bearing the image of a silver whale, Jayne was marching though Stockholm in a parade that blocked the streets. Frank was stuck in the resulting traffic jam, swearing under his breath at the lady with the whale. They were introduced at dinner the following night, and began a whirlwind romance that led to marriage six weeks later in Austin, Tex.

On their wedding day, the couple visited former President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson at the LBJ ranch. After giving them a high-speed tour in his white Lincoln convertible, Johnson invited them to spend their honeymoon night at the Haywood House, another LBJ property, about 20 miles away. Johnson gave the new Mr. and Mrs. Ikard their first wedding presents, two silver mint julep glasses stamped with his initials on the bottom.

Jayne later wrote for The Washington Star, and worked at the Joint Center for Political Studies, a Washington think tank specializing in African-American issues. Much of her energy went into entertaining. Her dinner parties often included senators from both parties, Supreme Court Justices and leading journalists, and once President and Nancy Reagan. They strove for a nonpartisan atmosphere, in the days when that still was possible in the nation’s capital.

With the shift from journalism to socializing, Jayne shifted her sights from the relative quiet of up-Island to Edgartown, moving eventually into the North Water street home.

“I knew Jayne from the time she was Newsweek’s bureau chief in Boston. I watched her as she probed the brightest and dismissed pretenders,” said her friend Deirdre Henderson of Manchester in an e-mail. “Jayne was frank and entertaining. Underneath her sometimes caustic words she was a kind friend to many. She loved politics but most of all she loved her family and especially her son. Bryan — even though he is a liberal — remains my true friend. I will greatly miss Jayne.”

She is survived by her son Bryan E. Brumley, of Portland, Ore., and grandsons Christopher, of Houston, Tex., and Jeffrey of Boulder, Colo. A memorial service is planned in late September at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, in Washington, D.C. A service will be held on the Vineyard at a future date to be announced.