Virginia (Tilla) Durr, a civil rights advocate and humanitarian with long ties to the Vineyard, died suddenly on Dec. 1. She was 77. The cause was a heart attack, family members said. Her death occurred on the anniversary of the arrest of Rosa Parks, who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in December 1955, and later worked for the Durr family.

Till Durr grew up in Montgomery, Ala., where her parents Virginia and Clifford Durr, took a stand against segregation and supported the civil rights movement that began in the 1950s. During the 1960s, they housed civil rights organizers who were traveling through the South. Tilla left Montgomery at a young age to attend private school, and later had a long career as a social worker in the Northeast, among other things helping school children in Washington, D.C. and working with low-income residents.

In 2015 Ms. Durr returned to Alabama to speak at an annual lecture series named for her parents. “There has been a revival in looking at civil rights and we have to keep moving forward and can’t backslide,” she said at the event. At the time of her death she was working on a manuscript about her experiences in Montgomery and how they had shaped her life.

More recently she was living in Maine.

She was a frequent visitor to the Vineyard, where her sister Lucy Hackney owns a house on Main street Vineyard Haven. Their mother Virginia Durr also spent many happy summers on the Island.

Tilla is survived by her son, Ian Parker, and her two sisters, Lucy Hackney and Lulah Colon.