Helen McVey Colvin died peacefully Sept. 11 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 72.

She was born July 30, 1942 in New York city, the daughter of the late Camden and Louise McVey of Edgartown and Harrisburg, Pa. Her father was a former commodore of the Edgartown Yacht Club and past president of the Edgartown Reading Room.

Helen was raised in Harrisburg and attended Harrisburg Academy, but her summers were spent in Edgartown. She attended the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., from which she graduated in June 1960. She went on to study at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., from which she graduated in 1964.

After college, Helen moved to New York where she found her calling when she landed a job teaching children in Harlem as part of the Head Start Program. Later she moved back to Harrisburg and spent much of her remaining life teaching at the Harrisburg Academy where she was recognized as an outstanding teacher and alumna. While she continued to teach, she was twice elected to the academy’s board of directors, once as vice chairman of the board. She also received the Seiler medal for distinguished service to the academy.

Helen is survived by her husband Riley Colvin, her daughter Ann Colvin Pierce and her son in law Jonathan Pierce.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Federated Church in Edgartown. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Boys’ and Girls’ Club.