Claire Elizabeth Nickerson Hall died peacefully in the same place that she began her life, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, on Wednesday, March 15. She was 82.

She was born to Howard and Marie Brown Nickerson in 1935 in Edgartown, and was the granddaughter of Captain St Clair and Elizabeth Brown, who lived in the Walker House (now belonging to the Fligors) on North Water Street. Her father, Nick, a teacher at the Edgartown School, and her uncle, Buster Brown, ran several businesses including the Captain’s Table Restaurant, where she and her Brown cousins worked every summer. She was taught to “make hay while the sun shines.”

Growing up in a family that greatly valued education, she was sent to Northfield Academy for the end of her high school years, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in history. Not long after, she travelled to Wilmington, Del. with her lifelong friend, Nancy Hathaway Risk, as her bridal attendant when she met her future husband, Sonny, who was a groomsman. For many years the Halls and Risks were close neighbors in Wayne, Pa,, and it was a comfort to have her childhood Island friend so close by. Later these friends would have a small business called Natives Two that designed and sold beautiful throws. Always extremely handy with a glue gun, Claire made beautiful scallop shell wreaths and gorgeous Easter baskets, and loved decorating for each and every season. She knew the best beaches to collect the whitest scallop shells and was always on the lookout for beach plums for her jelly.

One of her greatest lifelong friends was the late John Donnelly, and she helped him out in the kitchen at the Square Rigger making pizza. She enjoyed the young people who worked there and had many fond memories of her time with John, both in the restaurant and relaxing at Camp Hurricane on South Beach.

Claire and Sonny raised their three children in Wayne, Pa., but she was never comfortable with being “landlocked,” and came home to her beloved Island whenever she could. She was the most amazing grandmother and cherished her summers on Chappaquiddick exploring with her more than willing partners, her grandchildren and her beloved dog Gatsby, searching for dew-covered spider webs at dawn, birds, berries, flowers and shells.

Claire knew so much about Island history and could give perfect directions to any beach, hike or path. She knew exactly where to find lady slippers and mayflowers. When the public walk along Starbuck’s Neck was landscaped closed, she fought to have it reopened and it is available for all to use today because of her vigilance and persistence.

She loved storms. And monarch butterflies. And music. And political debate. And her signature “menopause pink” nail polish. And given the time and the choice, she always took the scenic route.

She was a free thinker and an excellent writer with a wonderful sense of humor. Her charm and kindness were her hallmark. She was extremely grateful to so many in Edgartown who helped to take care of her in her later years, especially the Edgartown police and fire departments, EMTs, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, the VNA, Community Services, Stop & Shop pharmacy staff, our special angel, Lori Perry, and everyone at Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, and her longtime caregiver and friend, Jessica Perry. It took a village and she was grateful for her Island community, hating to inconvenience anyone, but happy to see you if she needed to go to the hospital where she met old friends and made new ones.

Claire loved her home on Morse street with its majestic copper beech, amusing birds, and lovingly cared for hydrangeas. An accomplished cook and hostess, she delighted in throwing open its doors to family, friends and neighbors on any occasion, especially Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July. She will be missed there by many.

She leaves her daughter, Stacy Elizabeth Nickerson-Hall and her partner Bob Garrison of Edgartown; her son, Howard (Nick) Nickerson Hall and his wife, Amy, of New Hope, Pa.; her son, Gregory Brown Hall and his wife, Stacie, of Jamestown, R.I.; and her grandchildren Katama Marie Martellucci and her wife Janice, Zachary John St Clair Martellucci, Summer Alexis Hall and Caroline Browning Hall. Her husband, Harold G. (Sonny) Hall Jr., to whom she was married for 59 years, predeceased her. She is also survived by her brother, Howard William Nickerson, her sister in law, Saundra Rollason, and her brother in law Sam Greer and their families; as well as her cousins who were like sisters to her, Sandra Cournoyer, Pam Quimby and Marsha Gagnon and their spouses; as well as many loving nieces and nephews who will miss the matriarch of their family.

A celebration of her life is planned for Saturday, March 25 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church on North Summer street in Edgartown. Interment of her cremated remains will follow in the Old Westside Cemetery in Edgartown. A reception will follow at her home in Edgartown. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers she would have been pleased to have donations made in her memory to Hospice of MV. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.