Virginia Colossale died on June 8 in her hometown of New Britain, Conn. after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 74.

Ms. Colossale, who went by the name Ginger, was a devoted mother of five children and 11 grandchildren, a lover of family, books and everything Vineyard.

Ginger was the daughter of Joe and Loretta Curcio. She met and married Dominic Colossale in 1962 and went on to raise a family. In 1978, she convinced Dominic to leave their Cape Cod summer rental to take a trip to Martha’s Vineyard for the day. As they drove around the Vineyard in a purple dune buggy, she fell in love with the Vineyard’s natural beauty. The seeds were sown that day for a lifetime of family fun and memories on the Island.

For the next 40 years, they would rent and eventually build their dream home in the Katama section of Edgartown. Ginger spent her summer vacations in Edgartown with family and friends making many of her happiest memories there. Ginger was a constant site during low tide on the shores of Katama Bay reading her book, while her husband and five sons dug for littleneck clams.

Ginger loved reading and spent many hours at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore, where she met and talked to many celebrities. Jackie O, Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace and Art Buchwald were just a few of the celebrities she mingled with. She liked to tell everybody that both her and Jackie O.’s favorite ice cream flavor was chocolate.

Ginger and Dominic opened their house to everyone. She wanted everybody to experience the Island. She encouraged her sons to bring up friends and had hundreds of people at her road-to-the-plains kitchen table over the years, making tons of memories in the process. Many of those children who vacationed with her family over the years are now grown with children of their own and vacation on the Vineyard because of her. One cruise around the Island in that purple dune buggy in 1978 affected so many people’s lives.

The funeral services were private. Ginger’s family would encourage donations in her memory to be made to the Edgartown Public Library.