Anne Lesnikowski, a Vineyard Haven resident for the last 67 years, died peacefully at her home on Hines Point on March 14. She was 96.

Anne was a former librarian at the Vineyard Haven Public Library, the Tisbury school library and the regional high school library, as well as a former Vineyard Gazette columnist. She was active in many Vineyard organizations.

She was born in Union County, Ky. on Oct. 3, 1921, a daughter of Asenath (Dodge) Berry and James Driscoll Berry, and attended public schools in Sturgis and Henderson, Ky. She was a 1942 graduate of Murray State College in Kentucky. Later, in 1971, she received a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston.

While attending Murray State College, she participated in a civilian pilot training program which positioned her to become one of the first women to fly U.S. military aircraft as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) during World War II.

Although it took six decades for the WASPS to earn recognition of their work, in 2010, they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest congressional medal awarded to civilians, for their service.

After her service, Anne returned to Kentucky and worked for a time for a Louisville radio station, and then as managing editor of the Henderson Morning Gleaner. Leaving Kentucky for New York city, she found employment working on the UN World News magazine. It was in New York that she met her future husband, Bronislaw, through a high school friend from Kentucky who was studying with him at the Art Students’ League. They were married in New York in 1949 and moved to the Vineyard in the fall of 1951 after visiting artist Len Lye and his wife, Anne, who had property on Hines Point.

About the same time that Anne and Broni purchased land from the Lyes, the lumber from the water tower at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport became available and Broni, a carpenter and builder as well as an artist, conceived of a way to incorporate it into an unconventional circular home. Between home-building efforts and baby-tending, Anne was writing the weekly Things Insular column of observations of Island nature and Islanders for the Gazette. She often also assisted such writers as the late Lillian Hellman and the late John Hersey, who had West Chop homes, during their Vineyard summers And she was employed, over the years, as both Vineyard Haven librarian and then Tisbury school librarian.

In 1965, however, she was severely burned. To help pay the sizable medical expenses that followed the accident, Island craftsmen and artists held an auction of their works at the Tisbury town hall. There was a special showing of Charlie Chaplin films with the money from ticket sales designated for Anne’s medical expenses, and an Anne Lesnikowski Fund was established as well by friends who wished to help her because, the Gazette noted, “Mrs. Lesnikowski is held in such warm regard, not only because of the gentleness and amiability with which she responds to her acquaintances, but also because of her intellectual capabilities and her interest in humane causes.”

She recovered fully and in 1972 became the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School librarian. This was a job she was particularly delighted to have because she had been in the forefront of efforts to have an all-Island high school.

In 1983 she sorrowfully retired from that post when her mother was ill in Kentucky and she wished to spend more time with her, and when, she also said, she felt she would need additional technological training to keep up with library science in the computer world. But she had hardly been idle in retirement since then. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven, serving for a time as the head of its Sunday school. She was an active member of the Democratic party, the League of Women Voters, the Vineyard Committee on Hunger and the Turn Toward Peace movement. From time to time, she turned her librarian’s skills to working at Book Den East in Oak Bluffs

She is survived by her three children and their families: Alicia Lesnikowska of Vineyard Haven; Mollie Lesnikowski of Rutledge, Ga., her husband, Edward Joseph Hogan 3rd, and their son, Teddy; and Nicholas Lesnikowski of Seattle, Wash., his wife, Anne Cunningham; and their sons, Andrew and Daniel Lesnikowski of Seattle; three sisters, Bobbye Tucker of Carbondale, Colo., Virginia Heddens of Fort Collins, Colo., and Patricia Hearring of Decatur, Ill., and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband; a daughter, Sarah; and a brother, Dr. George Franklin Berry.

A celebration of her life will be held on the Vineyard in the fall. Gifts in her memory may be made to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger, P.O. Box 4685, Vineyard Haven 02568; the First Baptist Church of Vineyard Haven; and the Friends of the Tisbury Library.