Catherine Melanson Brannen died on Dec. 15 surrounded by family at her home on in West Tisbury after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 67. She was the beloved wife of John Brannen and an incredible mother to her three children: Colin, Kate and Peter.

Cathy’s smile and laughter will be missed every day by her friends and family. Caring, warm and a wicked funny storyteller, Cathy was someone whose company you never wanted to leave. Her bravery, intellect, kindness and compassion will never be forgotten.

Born Nov. 25, 1947 in Newton, to Robert and Florence Melanson, Cathy first came to the Island in 1969 to work at the St. Pierre School, a children’s camp located in the old Marine hospital and future site of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. She immediately fell in love with the place — the stone wall borders, the sandy beaches, the beguiling seasonal light, the green pastures, the wild turkeys, the rugged oaks and Beetlebung trees.

Many years later, she brought her young family back for summer vacation, renting a small cottage in Vineyard Haven. As her kids grew up, the family returned to the Vineyard every summer for two weeks in August. Together, they spent long sunny days at Long Point walking to the cut at Tisbury Great Pond or swimming at Lambert’s Cove.

She instilled in her children and husband a deep love of the Island. In many ways, each of her children began their careers on the Vineyard, either in journalism at the Gazette or in marine conservation growing oysters in Island ponds. Cathy and John eventually moved to West Tisbury to live year round.

Cathy graduated from Regis College in Weston and earned a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College. She started her library career in Watertown, and later became the children’s librarian at Lincoln Public Library. She was head of libraries for the Stow public schools for more than a decade. She passed on her love of books and learning to her students and to each of her children.

After her long career as a librarian, she returned to school to more deeply explore her faith and its intersection with her love for art. She earned a master’s of divinity from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a licentiate in sacred theology, an ecclesiastical degree held by few lay people, and even fewer women. The time she spent at Weston researching, writing and exploring her faith was among her happiest.

While at Weston, Cathy wrote her thesis on Father Marie Alain Couturier, a Dominican friar who most famously collaborated with artist Henri Matisse on the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, a landmark that she described in her own words: “In 1970, as a young woman I visited it and experienced such beauty and peace there that I have carried it with me ever since.”

Cathy dedicated her life to children, and in addition to her library career, volunteered to lead school children on tours at Westminster Abbey when she lived in London with her husband. On the Vineyard, she led school tours at Polly Hill Arboretum, one of her favorite spots on the Island she called home. Cathy had the opportunity to combine her love of Martha’s Vineyard with her passion for books most recently when she joined the effort to raise money for a new library in West Tisbury. The library opened in March of this year and will be enjoyed by adults and children on the Island for generations.

With her husband John, she traveled all over the world. Whether it was a fiery red sunset on the ferry home, the blue hydrangea in her garden or a stained glass window inside a European cathedral, Cathy had an eye for beauty and a desire to share life’s exquisite details with those she loved. The world will miss her sparkling eyes, joie de vivre and the natural gift she had for welcoming people into her life and making them feel loved.

She also leaves behind her devoted older brother Robert Melanson; his children, whom she loved; her son in law David Gura and her granddaughter Maeve, who called her Mimi.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at noon at St. Ignatius Parish on the Boston College Campus, 28 Commonwealth avenue, Chestnut Hill. A visitation hour will be held before the mass from 11 a.m. to noon. A reception will be held nearby after the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Partners in Health,, in Cathy’s memory.