May Sams Ameen died April 3 in Bryn Mawr, Pa, after a long illness. She was 91.

May was a longtime seasonal resident of Chilmark.

May was born Sept. 14, 1928 in Bay City, Mich., the daughter of James and Adele Sams who were immigrants from Lebanon. She and her family were among the first group of Americans to visit Beirut, Lebanon after World War II. May adored her relatives there and devotedly kept in touch with her roots and the culture of her upbringing throughout her life.

After growing up in Bay City, she studied at Beirut College for Women and Michigan State before graduating from Alma College. Upon graduation, May moved to New York city where she worked for a number of years at the International Institute for higher education. During her time in New York, she met Dr. Lane Ameen whom she married in May of 1957. Dr. Ameen was a practicing psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at Yale University.

While in New Haven, May and Lane were actively involved in many cultural and civic organizations as well as with the Yale community. Her philanthropic endeavors included being president of the Connecticut chapter of Planned Parenthood, a member of the New Haven Historical Society and reader of applications to Yale University, which she did for over 35 years.

Summers on the Vineyard were cherished by May. She was a fantastic and curious cook who loved the bounty of all things fresh and local offered on the Island. Her summer repertoire always involved at least one all-day affair preparing paella. And, she would traverse the Island finding the freshest, sweetest tomatoes and corn as well as the very best pies. The Vineyard’s summer arts and intellectual life was savored as well.

What can you say about a woman who ran with the wind — the wind of adventure, travel, family and love? May Sams Ameen embodied all that we aspire to become — a loving, present and searingly intelligent matriarch whose fierce love of her family was a force to behold. She touched all that knew her. Her laughter was infectious as was her love of life, adventure and family. May brought joy and laughter to all who met her — in every aspect of her life.

An avid traveler and lover of the arts, May Ameen became an aficionado of the artists, intellectuals and writers of what would come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group, and supported their paintings, pottery and fabrics. She brought the Pre-Raphaelite scholar and potter, Quentin Bell, who was Virginia Woolf’s nephew, to speak at Yale.

May was preceded in death by her husband Lane, her sister and two brothers. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Ameen of Bryn Mawr, her son, Robert Ameen of New York, and four grandchildren.

Interment will be in the Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark.