Shirley Gray Vincent, recently of Hilo, Hawaii and a long time resident of Vineyard Haven, died on May 22 due to systemic illness. She was 80.

Three days short of her 81st birthday, Shirley had recently moved back to Martha’s Vineyard to spend her final days with her loving family and friends. Born in North Tisbury to Chester Gray Vincent and Hannah Ann Webb, she enjoyed the simple life of raising farm animals and dancing at the big barn in Seven Gates.

Curious to explore the world, Shirley joined the United States Navy in Boston on Oct. 25, 1955 as a seaman recruit, hoping to become a medic. Shortly after arriving at the medical training facility she realized she had issues with open wounds and transferred to the accounting department. While stationed at U.S. Naval Station Long Beach, California she met the love of her life, Daniel K. Kaeka 3rd.

While stationed in California Shirley gave birth to her son Daniel the 4th, the first of five children. She received an honorable discharge from the Navy and with her husband relocated to Makaha, Hawaii to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. While there she gave birth to her daughter Hannah but returned to Martha’s Vineyard to help care for her ailing mother and her growing family.

Over the next 38 years she held many titles as home health care worker, housewife and caregiver to so many children, not all her own. Shirley had a green thumb and a passion to grow things as well as a love for working the land. On her piece of land in West Tisbury she would raise animals including goats, pigs, chickens and ducks and grew a wonderful garden filled with an assortment of vegetables. At her home in Vineyard Haven she would grow amazing sunflowers and various dahlia and other flowers which she would sell along the roadside on Franklin street.

Shirley also enjoyed various styles of sewing and loved the challenge of converting old clothes into something useful. She loved to make patchwork rolled oblong-shaped rugs which she gave away to her children and friends. After her husband’s retirement from the Steamship Authority they made plans to retire back in Hawaii, the land of white sandy beaches and rainbows. They were able to live their dream for 13 years before her husband passed away in October 2015.

Shirley is survived by her two sisters, Lucia Small of Hyannis and Barbara Maciel of West Tisbury. She is also survived by her children; Daniel Kapioanuenue Kaeka 4th and his wife Susan, daughter Hannah Kaloke Scott and her husband Jonathan, son Daryl Kalani Kaeka Sr., son Dennis Kealoha Kaeka, and son Dwight Kimo Kaeka and his wife Elizabeth, who all reside in West Tisbury.

She is also survived by her grandchildren: Daniel (Fin) Kaeka 5th, Ali and Jordan Peterson, Leolani Rose Kaeka, Noelani Scott Chase, Ilikea Scott Fuentes, Maili Scott, Calvin Alika Kaeka, Daryl (DK) Kaeka Jr., Marissa Kaeka Lopenzo and Dwight (DJ) Kaeka and her hanai son Nathan (Nate) Thayer. She also leaves four great-grandchildren, Aidan Chase, Makaela Chase, Riley Kaeka and Penelope Fuentes.

In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard in Shirley’s name. A private memorial service will be held at a future date.