With great sadness family and friends acknowledge the death of Carla Sofia Pereira, who succumbed to breast cancer on July 8 after many years. She was 41. It would be hard to find a kinder or more compassionate individual.

Sofia led a life full of adversity. She was born in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 7, 1975 and spent many years with her four younger brothers in an orphanage in Lisbon. She came to the United States tates with the help of her aunt and father when she was 15. Time in the orphanage had given her and her brothers strong moral compasses. She spent years in foster care with a myriad of varied experiences, good and bad. She was homeless on the Vineyard yearround for a couple years. She never let it bring her to the less desirable aspects of life and remained an upstanding person.

She maintained her innocence throughout her life and always expected people to be as honest and forthright as she was. It did not always work out for her benefit. Through her trials she never became jaded or bitter; her positive happy outlook was infectious to others. Many people found her refusal to engage in self pity or anger, given her illness, an inspiration.

Sofia was honest to a fault. She spoke four languages and because of her honesty sometimes had to be reminded that the command of a language means knowing when to say nothing. She had no malice in her heart but was very capable of expressing herself when hurt or wronged.

In high school she was taught culinary arts; the school missed the boat. She maintained a strong natural, almost childlike curiosity about the world around her. There was little she could not grasp when shown. She had an innate intelligence and worked to expand it. She was a trained Certified Nursing Assistant.

Born a Catholic, she adopted the Baptist faith. She was very knowledgeable about the Bible and could recite many of its passages and was very aware of teachings and prophecies .

She was very beautiful. inside and out. She never used her natural beauty for her advantage and always tried to uplift people who struggled with their lot in life. Most people who met her were quick to realize the unique and special person she was. She will be missed by many.

She leaves her father, Antonio Pereira, of Fall River. She is also survived by her sister and her four brothers, Sandra, Nelson, Ivan, Valter and Nuno and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. She was well-known in the Brazilian community on the Island. She had many friends down-Island and was loved by many up-Island. She also leaves Russell Smith of Martha’s Vineyard, who was her longtime partner. She had many friends in Florida, where she spent the last few winters.

Her family and friends will lessen their loss by remembering the good fortune that she was a part of their lives. God bless.

Donations in her name and memory can be made to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard. A celebration of her life will be scheduled in September.