Brenda Sue Mullins died peacefully at home on Oct. 2, surrounded by loved ones.

She left all who knew her with warm, lifetime memories of her humor, wit and unique southern insight.

Brenda was born on July 31, 1955, in Clintwood Va., to Mary Helen Fuller and Hilliard Harold Fuller. She graduated from Thomas Edison High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1972.

She loved telling the story of her earliest memory of how her father Harold said: “I fell in love with you and then I fell in love with your mother.” In fact, the entire Fuller family — all 10 of Harold’s siblings and parents — also fell in love with Brenda. Harold’s family was descended from the first settlers in the area that later became Dickenson County in the western reaches of the Virginia Appalachian Mountains. Farming, gathering wild plants, hunting wild game, logging and later coal mining provided a living. When he was old enough, Harold followed his father into the coal mines. So Brenda started life as an Appalachian and a coal miner’s daughter.

When she was seven, Helen and Harold took her and her brother Dennis to the Washington, D.C. area to make a better living for their family. Harold eventually joined the ironworkers union and worked on commercial construction projects, including some of the iconic buildings around the Capitol Beltway such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the renovation of the Old Post Office Pavilion.

Brenda learned nurturing skills at an early age, taking care of her two younger brothers. She eventually matured into an open, accepting and unpretentious adult, encouraging everyone she met to be themselves. She found something special in everyone she met and her positive spirit, sparkle and ability to find humor in every situation endeared her to friends.

She arrived on Martha’s Vineyard in 1984 with her husband John Gibson, their son John, and joined her stepson Jim. With her infectious laughter, mischievous smile and a twinkle in her eye she was quickly accepted into John’s large loving family. Kindness, generosity and upbeat personality were her hallmarks. She worked at several jobs on the Island including Martha’s Vineyard Airport, Powers Electric, MV Electric and most recently the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

She spent many years volunteering on the Island, mostly at the PA club, where she served on the benevolent committee and loved playing Mrs. Claus every year at the annual Christmas party. She enjoyed all her jobs and never forgot a name or a person’s life story.

Her final gift to all who knew her was her acceptance, grace and courage in the last few months. She demonstrated how to turn a tragedy into an inspirational journey of love, and laughter, and never lost her sense of humor or joy of living.

She is survived by her brothers Dennis W. Fuller and his significant other Amy of Woodbridge, Va., and Sam H Fuller; her daughter Stacey Hibbitt; her son John Gibson and Talia Rogers; grandchildren Eagan Gibson and Isaiah Geddis of Oak Bluffs, Brandon Clay, Nikia and Victoria Johnson of Harper’s Ferry, W.V., Kylie Gibson and her mom Ashley Hersman, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; stepson James Gibson and Brie Gibson and their children, Addison and Reese, of Sarasota Fla., and surrogate children Elyse and Ben Madeiras and Kristen MacLean all of Oak Bluffs; her niece Elaine and nephews Sean and Justin of Glade Spring, Va.

Brenda also leaves a team of angels who came one day a week for the past few months: Donna Montesion, Diane Welch, Jenny Pye, Karen Jardin, Elyse Madeiras, and Tricia Bergeron as well as many extended family, friends and the hospice team of Betsy Marshall and Rabbi Lori who surrounded her with love and comfort throughout her illness. In her usual unique way of looking at life, Brenda had her own going away party in August, and therefore there will not be any services.

At her request, donations in her memory can be made to St Jude’s Hospital, the benevolent committee of thePortuguese American Club, or a charity of choice.

Brenda was sure that Bruno Mars would also be left with a broken heart and asked all to reach out to comfort him.