Lucia Evans Moffett, co- owner of the Greek restaurant, Helios, that thrived on the Vineyard in the 1960s and 1970s, died on Oct. 24 in Powell, Ohio after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late George Moffett Jr. of Edgartown.

Since leaving the Vineyard after the death of her husband in 1978, Lucia had lived between Baltimore, Ireland and New York city. There were also brief Island stays to see old friends such as Alice Hall, Sandy Fisher, Claudia Canerdy, Joe Hall, Lucy Mitchell and Gus Ben David, and to visit her Edgartown property. That property was once part of the 240-acre Amoz Smith farm, abutting the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary was created from 210 of those acres donated by Mr. Moffett. After the death of Mr. Moffett, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank purchased an additional 40 acres from Lucia to add to the sanctuary.

Lucia Moffett was born Nov. 2, 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio, a daughter of the late Charles and Elisabeth (Krieg) Evans. She was a 1955 graduate of Norwood High School in Norwood, Ohio, where she was her class valedictorian, and a 1959 graduate of Denison University. She spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris and developed a lifelong affection for the French language. She taught French at the Alliance Francaise in New York city and later lived on a houseboat on the Seine. In Paris, she met the Irish musician, David O’Docherty, who become a part of her Vineyard life.

In the early 1960s, Lucia found an apartment on Patchin Place in Greenwich Village, just across the street from where the poet e.e. cummings had lived. It was in Greenwich Village that she met the artist Bill Prokos. They came to the Vineyard together in 1968 with W.A. Benjamin, a publisher of science texts who had fallen in love with Edgartown and was bringing his writers and artists to the Island during the summer to work on his company’s books. Bill Prokos was one of his illustrators.

Like W.A. Benjamin, Bill and Lucia were delighted with the Vineyard, and in 1970 they decided to make it their year-round home. To do so, Bill, who was of Greek heritage and had grown up on Greek cooking, began preparing Greek fare on the Island. In those days, there were various national nights during the winter months at the Black Dog Restaurant. Bill and Lucia became the Greek Night cooks, producing moussaka and honey almond cakes and Greek salads. Greek dancing also became part of their Black Dog evenings.

Later, the couple branched out to the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair in West Tisbury, selling lamb shish kebab, honey cakes and other Greek fare there. It proved so popular that they opened a hole-in-the-wall Greek café that they called Helios on Mayhew Lane in Edgartown below the fashionable beauty parlor of Robert de Paris. There, with only a few outdoor tables, they expanded from simple Greek fare to grander dishes. The kitchen space at Helios was so small that the cooking had to be done at the Dr. Shiverick House, where their friends John and Cappie Hall lived, or sometimes as far away as the kitchen at the youth hostel in West Tisbury or the Fenner Farm in Chilmark. But guests never minded delays. There was always camaraderie at Helios around the espresso machine — reputedly the first to arrive on the Vineyard.

Helios was an instant success. Islanders flocked to work at it, not just for the pay and the tips, but because of the warmth and camaraderie of their employers.

“She made Helios a community center, a place that brought everyone together,” said Arabella Hall, who grew up in the Dr. Shiverick House. “She was the most magnanimous human being I’ve ever met.”

“I started working at Helios when I was 20,” Valerie Reis of Aquinnah remembered. “Helios was magical, due in no small part to Lucia’s charisma, her insistence on quality and authenticity and beautiful presentation. She was also the first person I knew who valued and sought out fresh and local, buying produce and flowers from Arrowhead Farm, fish from local fishermen and milk and cream from Fred Fisher at Nip ‘n’ Tuck.”

”Lucia lived her life as though her life was simply about helping people,” said Julia Mitchell of West Tisbury, another onetime Helios employee.

Others remembered her melodic voice, her gentleness, and her love of nature and animals (she and Bill once had 13 cats).

By 1975, Helios was so popular that the time had come to move to larger quarters. James Taylor had bought the Nobnocket Garage on State Road in Vineyard Haven and it was seen as a possible site. Bill Prokos revamped it, and in the fall of 1976 the new Helios began welcoming guests to its spacious porch on warm summer days or its indoor restaurant during the winter.

Although Bill and Lucia took occasional trips to New York city to buy such items as Greek Kasseri cheese and Greek olive oil and olives, they spent most of their time at the restaurant. Its illustrious guests included William Styron, Lillian Hellman and Beverly Sills. The restaurant staff began to do catering, too. The New York and Chilmark architect Don Page insisted on having Helios cater his parties, and Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham, who had recently bought the extensive estate Mohu in West Tisbury, liked to use them too.

In the back of the building, the Art Workers Guild, which had flourished across from the Vineyard Haven fire station from the 1930s into the 1950s, had been recreated. It became a workplace for the sculptor Travis Tuck, weavers Julia Mitchell, Anna Edey and Clare Thatcher, and glassblower Jim Glavin, among others. There was also a boat building operation there.

But barely a year after Helios opened in Vineyard Haven Bill Prokos died. Shortly afterward, Lucia married George Moffett, at whose Edgartown house she and Bill had been caretakers and tenants. Yachtsman George’s wedding present to his bride was a 30.4-foot pinky sloop like those used as Maine fishing boats. He had her built for Lucia and named the boat for her. The lead for her keel was five tons of old type from the Vineyard Gazette, which was no longer using lead type.

George and Lucia began a round-the-world honeymoon (though not on the Lucia), but were interrupted when George became ill. They returned to the Vineyard, where he died in 1978.

Not long afterwards the Lucia made a trip to Haiti, but Lucia Moffett, whose appetite for sailing was for short trips, flew to the Caribbean island to meet her namesake there. Lukewarm though she was about long distance sailing, after her move to Ireland Lucia made efforts to have the boat shipped there. Those efforts were unsuccessful, and the Lucia remains today still stored in Mattapoisset.

Lucia Evans Moffett is survived by her two sisters, Susie Grubaugh and Anne Tenwick of Columbus, Ohio; an aunt, Jean Irving of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and her companion of recent years, John O’Connor of Baltimore, Ireland.

A memorial service will be held on the Vineyard in the coming summer at a time to be announced.