Martha Fleishman of Chilmark died in her home on Sunday, Feb. 4. She was 71.

She was the wife of Jay Fleishman, who predeceased her in March of 2006, mother to Nina Reed and Giulia Fleishman, mother in law to Jason Reed, and grandmother to Lucian Reed.

Born in Wakefield, R.I., to Leslie and Margaret Stone, Martha graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, moved to New York city and then settled on the Vineyard in 1995.

During her life she walked a vibrant and colorful path. She had an extraordinary ability to fashion ideas into physical form. She radiated creativity, leaving in her wake creative undertakings from sewing prom dresses to designing bank offices around the globe. She collaborated with her architect husband to design the new rendition of their Vineyard home in the 1990s and spent countless hours teaching her daughters how to make their creativity manifest in the world.

Martha was a lover of furry creatures. She was a devoted companion to at least three Airedale terriers, each with her own quirks, one hamster who seemed to escape from his cage nightly, a guinea pig whose teeth fell out and had to be hand-fed broccoli smoothies, an attack cat who mauled everyone in the house, and countless other oddballs. She also felt responsible for wild animals. At dusk she would often walk to the end of the field to spread apples or cracked corn for the deer, unable to bear the thought of their hunger.

Wherever she went, her cooking soon became the talk of the town. She regularly prepared elaborate five-course dinner parties. On the Vineyard she diligently tended her garden, ensuring enough nasturtiums to spice and color each salad, and enough yellow, orange and pink zinnias to brighten every table. She was often happy to eschew the expected, gracefully navigating between her fabulous New York city life and her roots in the wilds of Rhode Island.

She expressed her passion most clearly when it came to her family and Italy. In her husband, Jay, she found a ready partner in crime for all of her adventures. Together they soaked up Italian culture, bridging two continents in their life together. They hatched and realized a plan to live in Italy for a year, to spend 12 months basking in their love of all things Italian.

Through all the steps of the journey of her life, she remained a determined (some might even say stubborn) woman, moving with steady purpose and clarity of vision. She always succeeded at cultivating a place for herself in the world, in her particular Martha way. She will be greatly missed.

Her interment and service took place in Chilmark on Feb. 6. Donations may be made in her name to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.