Margaret (Trika) Smith-Burke, a longtime summer resident of West Tisbury, died peacefully at home in SoHo, N.Y., on Oct. 13 after a brave battle with colon cancer. She was 71.

Born Sept. 6, 1943 in Princeton, N.J., to Albridge C. (Bud) and Margaret (Miggie) Smith, she was a graduate of Miss Fine’s School in 1961, and Vassar College in 1965. She received her doctorate in education from Rutgers University in 1975. She was formerly married to New York artist Michael Burke.

As a professor at NYU from 1975 to 2007, Trika was passionate about making reading pedagogy more effective. She also worked hard to see that young women scholars received the support they needed to become successful researchers. She served a term as president of the National Reading Conference. At NYU she helped establish the Reading Recovery Project, an early intervention program which trained teachers and teacher leaders working directly with school districts, teachers and students as well as national and international programs.

She always enjoyed teaching students one-on-one and developing strategies for struggling readers. Trika adored her longtime friends and loved to make new friends and mentor young people. Her delight in the arts, especially opera and dance, was accompanied by a great love of quiet time in nature, especially on the Vineyard. All of her summers starting in the 1940s were spent at the family home on Paul’s Point, or more recently with old friends or relatives. She felt the Vineyard renewed her spirit.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Reading Recovery Project of NYU, 239 Greene street, New York, NY or the Margaret (Trika) Smith-Burke Scholarship Fund, c/o the Community Foundation of the Virginias, P.O. Box 4127, Bluefield, WV 24701.