Patsyann Maitland Gentsch, better known as Patsy, died on Friday, August 7 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, with her son James Stewart Gentsch and husband Charles Stewart Gentsch at her side. She was 76 years old.

She was a lifelong visitor to Martha’s Vineyard and 20-year resident of Englewood, Fla. She fought a long, hard, courageous battle with cancer; her third bout with cancer spanned 30 years. This final battle lasted 30 months.

Patsy was born in 1938 in Grand Junction, Colo. to Marion (McQuade) Maitland and Peter McGregor (Greg) Maitland, of Clinton, Mass. while then-Col. Greg Maitland was on Army assignment in Colorado. She had two sisters, Elaine Maitland Kelly of Bakersfield, Calif. and the late Jane Maitland Burgoyne, as well as a brother, the late Peter Maitland.

At a young age, Patsy moved with her family to Clinton and visited relatives in Oak Bluffs every summer. She met her husband-to-be 70 years ago in Pennacook Park in Oak Bluffs. She was a good student and high school cheerleader in Clinton, where she made many lifelong friends. In her high school years her parents moved to Oak Bluffs. Patsy graduated from Oak Bluffs High School, where she again was a cheerleader and friend to all. She went on to be a graduate of Fitchburg State Teachers College. She worked summers at Brickman’s in Vineyard Haven and the Boston House Restaurant on Circuit avenue. The restaurant job ended when she and boyfriend Stewart were becalmed while sailing and she was late for work.

Her first teaching job was in Cromwell, Conn., and she arrived in a yellow 1960 Corvair. Later she taught and substituted in Enfield, Conn., Longmeadow, Mass., and on Martha’s Vineyard. Although she loved teaching, her favorite job was doing market research for Milton Bradley. She tested all new games with focus groups. That was heaven for an avid game player like Patsy.

At all of her jobs, she had one condition: she would have her summers off to be on Martha’s Vineyard. She did not miss one summer on the Vineyard that anyone can recall. In fact there were years that she did not return to her mainland home until after Thanksgiving. While on the Island she loved the tennis at East Chop Tennis Club up until 10 years ago, in addition to boating and beaching with her beach group on State Beach. The cancer may have changed her routines of beaching and boating but she still had to be on the Vineyard as the warm weather arrived – by choice, her final days were spent on the Island on her favorite covered sun deck at home in Oak Bluffs.

Patsy was an active member of Community Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Fla. She taught the STAIR reading program at that church for many years. She also was an affiliate member of the Federated Church in Edgartown for at least 20 years. She was well known in Oak Bluffs and Englewood for her warm smile and engaging personality. Always “upbeat” and excited by what was happening, even when the cancer was restricting her activities she hardly ever mentioned it. She viewed a cancer trial in Orlando, 155 miles from her Florida home, as an opportunity to get to see the rest of Orlando beyond Disney. On each trip to Orlando she and her husband explored a new section of the Orlando area and really enjoyed the beautiful suburbs.

Patsy is survived by Charles Stewart (Stew) Gentsch, her husband of 54 years; her son James S. Gentsch of Bradenton, Fla., and his wife Tiffani and daughter Abby; her sister Elaine Maitland Kelly and her husband Judge John I. Kelly of Bakersfield, Calif., and by many nephews, nieces, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 11 a.m. at the Federated Church, 45 South Summer street, in Edgartown. Interment will be in the family plot at Oak Bluffs Cemetery, attended by family and a few close friends at a later time.

Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs MA 02557, The Federated Church P.O. Box 249, Edgartown MA 02539, or a charity of your choice.

Patsy loved everyone and everyone loved her. Her smile and warm greetings were contagious and will be dearly missed by all.