Cynthia (Cecy) Smith Maxim died of complications following a stroke early Thursday morning, March 8 at Bedford Gardens Hospice in New Bedford. She was 75.

Her death coincided with a wild northeaster that knocked out power to thousands of households in the New Bedford area and dumped several feet of snow over parts of New England. She would have enjoyed the coincidence.

She was the only child of Juliet Lanius Brewer Maxim and her husband, Austin Smith Maxim. In early August 1942 Lieutenant Maxim was killed while serving on the Navy cruiser USS Quincy when it was sunk by Japanese in the Battle of Savo Island, the opening of the Guadalcanal campaign. Cecy was born three weeks later. Her mother never remarried, and Cecy had no siblings.

Cecy’s mother was the eldest daughter of Basil Brewer, owner and publisher of the New Bedford Standard-Times for many years.

Cecy attended Friends Academy in New Bedford and North Dartmouth. She went to boarding school at Concord Academy and Rosemary Hall and attended Pine Manor Junior College in Boston and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. She worked in the fundraising department at the Smithsonian Institution before settling in New York city for the next 40 years. She returned to the south coast in 2007 and lived in Dartmouth until her death.

Beginning in the mid-1950s Cecy’s mother rented a house each summer in Edgartown, adjacent to the Norton and Easterbrooks Boatyard. The house became a magnet and gathering place for Cecy’s many contemporaries. She was an accomplished sailor and competed regularly in Edgartown Yacht Club races in her Woodpussy, Hound Dog.

She greatly admired and appreciated the art and culture of Turkey, Syria, and the larger Middle East. She traveled there extensively for much of her adult life. She admired Syrian decorative interior panels, in particular, rescuing several from a palace that was being torn down and installing them in her New York apartment to much admiration. She lived for several periods in Bodrum, Turkey, where she supported archaeological digs and the work of the Institute of Nautical Archeology at the Bodrum Museum.

She cared passionately for cats, especially Siamese. She had a tiny trust fund for her two favorites, Irving and Seymour, in case something happened to her while she was abroad. In Turkey she adopted a stray cat and named him Renfrew.

On her father’s side Cecy descended from the Smith family of Eastham and Orleans. She inherited the Smith homestead there on the death of her paternal grandmother. She lived at the homestead in the summer and fall for many years. She donated part of her ancestral land as a sanctuary to the Orenda Wildlife Trust, of which she was a patron, in memory of her paternal grandfather, Austin Smith. The Trust is dedicated to the preservation of wild life and open land on Cape Cod.

Cecy will be remembered by her friends for her incredible generosity, her wonderful parties, her rapier wit and her throaty laughter. She spoke an accented form of English somewhat like Katharine Hepburn — it is not often heard these days. She will be missed.

She is survived by two sets of cousins, one the children of Alice Brewer Steele, second daughter of Basil Brewer. Cecy was particularly fond of her aunt Alice, who taught her to read. Her other cousins, including Margo Brewer Harrison of Maine and Nicholas Brewer of California, were descended from Basil Brewer’s first marriage to Jean Armor Given.

She will be interred next to her mother and her uncle Given Brewer at the family gravesite in Orleans. Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Humane Society and Shelter South Coast, 31 Ventura Dr., North Dartmouth, MA, 02747, or the Orenda Wildlife Trust, P.O. Box 669, West Barnstable, MA 02668.

Arrangements are under care of the Wilson Chapel, 479 County St., New Bedford, MA 02740,