Julie LaHart Keefe died on Friday, Oct. 7, just a few days shy of her 70th birthday. She spent her final days in the company of her three children at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Julie was born in 1946 in East Orange, N.J. to Carlin Sullivan and Richard Joseph LaHart. Her earliest years were spent fondly in Japan, where her father was stationed as a captain in the Army. Shortly thereafter they moved to West Tisbury to join an extended family that reached back to the whaling days. She attended the old West Tisbury schoolhouse, now the site of the West Tisbury town hall, where she would later work as the administrative assistant to the zoning board before retiring in 2011.

As a young girl she loved riding horses with her friends at Pondview Farm. Julie later moved with her mother to Nantucket, where she attended high school. Faded photographs of beach scenes, cheerleading, letterman jackets and beach buggies tell us that this was a happy time.

Once graduated from the University of New Hampshire, she returned to the Vineyard, where she spent some of her favorite summers. By day, she would dig for steamer clams in the Great Pond, and nanny a beloved family friend. Many nights were spent mixing with friends and summer folk at the Lampost. She loved driving her yellow convertible VW Bug up to Menemsha, where she waitressed at the Home Port. She was also a beloved employee at Poole’s fish market, where many years later she would bring her son Sebastian to apply for his first summer job.

After marrying a Welshman she spent 10 years living in North Wales raising her young family. There she worked as a librarian and ran a thrift store for the Oxfam charity. She was a set dresser at the local amateur theatre where she volunteered her time. She took daily walks with her children through wooded Welsh paths. She kept a beautiful flower garden which her children tormented with wayward soccer balls. She taught herself to play the flute along with her children as they took music lessons.

She demonstrated to her children how to live in the natural world, and embrace the Island they called home. She was a West Tisbury girl to the bone. She led them to the ocean edge and showed them how to swim and filet fish. She would happily announce when the daffodil bulbs had pushed their way up through the dirt each spring. She was beautiful, tough, and loyal. She was adored by her children.

Julie was a truly lovely person. She was intelligent, warm and kind. She loved to read, play Scrabble and do crosswords. She was great company and her smile would light up any room. She had a great sense of humor and lots of charisma. She was empathetic and selfless, putting the needs of others before her own. Her presence will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

In her later years her miniature Yorkie Iggy was the grateful recipient of her surplus love and affection.

Julie leaves behind her children: Hannah Keefe, Joseph Keefe, and Sebastian Keefe, all of Los Angeles.

There will be a memorial for her Saturday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. at the West Tisbury cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please consider contributing to a charity of your choosing.