Barbara Martin Walker died suddenly from a stroke at her home in New Jersey on March 25. She was 92 and won’t be on the Island this summer for the first time in almost 50 years.

She was born in Manhattan and attended the Putney School and Wellesley College. She married Robert Gill Walker of Meadville, Pa. They settled in Newtown Conn., then in Pittsburgh, where their first three children were born.

World War II must have changed their expectations. She could not settle for life as housewife and mother and he was not happy with the practice of law. They headed for post-War Washington D.C., a job for Bob in State Department intelligence, and two more children. Still not satisfied, Barbara encouraged Bob to join the newly-expanded U.S. Foreign Service.

Their first assignment was Brazil. She travelled alone, pregnant, on PanAm, with five young children. She loved the change, the challenge and the country. She enthusiastically engaged in the unpaid job of Foreign Service spouse, honed her skills as organizer, hostess and volunteer at a medical clinic. Nearly three years later, they transferred to Buenos Aires. There, good fortune brought Norma Aranguiz Baez to be housekeeper, cook and nanny. A native of Chile, she moved in with her two children, and stayed for 30 years.

The next stop for the family, with little notice, was Chile. A crowded VW van drove across the Andes and a new house and dogs were identified; younger children distributed among different schools, older ones flown to boarding school in the States, until 1966, when the family returned to D.C.

Barbara returned to school for a master’s degree in teaching. Censured during her first public school teaching job for taking black high school students to a civil rights demonstration, she joined the Washington International School and the World Federalist Movement.

During their pre-travel years, Barbara and Bob explored Martha’s Vineyard at the behest of friends. Taken by the sunset from a hill overlooking Menemsha Pond, they purchased a lot in an area known as Red Ground. Later, they hired Chia-Ming Sze to design a modern house for large numbers of children. They furnished it sparsely, preserving a camp-like atmosphere. Their devotion to international government was displayed every July 4th when the United Nations flag flew next to the Stars and Stripes from the deck. They welcomed members of their own and extended families and friends. Barbara’s younger brother, Sandy, an avid fisherman, and his wife, Peg, were yearly visitors, adding their four children to the flock.

By 1985, they downsized to Princeton. Norma stayed in Maryland with her son, except in summer when she joined them on the Island until her retirement. Barbara was now editing books about World Federalism and planning conferences for a newly-formed committee on teaching About the U.N. She and Bob played tennis and gardened. They filled their house with the work of Vineyard artists, Stan Murphy, Albert Alcalay, Marsha Winsyrg. She was regularly at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market. The two sailed on Menemsha Pond and frequented the Menemsha Store, Larsen’s Fish Market and Our Market in Oak Bluffs.

As children and grandchildren grew up and married, Barbara and Bob embraced partners and spouses, grandchildren, step, adopted and biological, of whatever race, faith or gender orientation. The children had the run of Menemsha, formed friendships at the Chilmark Community Center and became close to their progressive grandparents.

The Vineyard also became the place for important celebrations: their 50th anniversary, the weddings of their youngest daughter and oldest grandson. As Bob’s health declined, doctors urged him to find drier air for his lungs. By August 2008, he was hospitalized, remained on the Island until his usual October departure and died in New Jersey on Nov. 5 that year.

Barbara returned the next summer, to host the wedding of one granddaughter and the following summer for the wedding of another granddaughter. She continued to gather family groups and do water aerobics and Pilates. She was forgetting things and needed help, but by March of this year she already was asking: “When are we going to the Vineyard? Have you made the ferry reservations?”

Her work as an internationalist was remembered May 13 at a service across the street from the UN.

She will be interred next to Bob on Abel’s Hill in Chilmark. Donations in her honor can be made to Committee on Teaching About the UN or the World Federalist Movement.