Joyce West Erdman died from heart failure on April 12 at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, Calif. She was 86.

Joyce was born on March 7, 1929 on Martha’s Vineyard to Ann Quigley West and Richard West. She was the middle child of three, with older brother Richard and younger brother Peter. Joyce spent her childhood on the Island and ocean among her friends and family, including her dearest and lifelong friend, Janet Norton.

She attended Boston University, obtaining an AA degree in Fashion Illustration in the spring of 1948 and moved to New York briefly, where she worked as a model, culminating in a fashion pictorial in LIFE Magazine in June of 1949. During this period Joyce met Charles R. Erdman 3rd in New Haven, Conn., in February of 1948. They were married in her hometown of Edgartown on the Island on Sept. 4, 1949, and over the course of a 65-year marriage she stayed connected to her beloved homeland through the Erdman family’s summer residence on Tower Hill, overlooking Edgartown harbor.

Joyce and Charlie began their family in Princeton, N.J., eventually having five children. But they longed for a simpler, rural lifestyle and in 1959 moved to East Dorset in southern Vermont, where they started a business on 210 acres that included a resort motel, a guest cottage, and dining services known as Erdman’s Eyrie.

Over a span of 20 years Joyce played an active role in developing the Eyrie into something of a paradise, a Mecca for urbanites who summered on the grounds, while raising her children and hosting a generation of Dorset-area youths among the lush, verdant foothills of the Green Mountains.

From 1987 to 2000, Joyce and Charlie lived in Stowe, Vt., before settling in Sacramento, Calif., in 2001 to be nearer to children and grandchildren who had moved west.

Joyce is survived by her husband Charles Erdman of Sacramento, Calif., her brother Peter West of Fort Meyers, Fla., children Cully Erdman of Moab Utah, Richard Erdman of Williston, Vt., Lucy Erdman of Burbank, Calif., Sarah Lowis of Tahoe City, Calif., and Calvin Erdman of Sacramento, Calif., and grandchildren Taylor Erdman, Jennifer Erdman, Iain Lowis, Kyle Lowis, Nina Erdman and Ario Erdman.

Services for Joyce will be held on July 23 in Edgartown.