Betty Mills Vantine, known as BJ to her many Island friends, died May 11 in Port Charlotte, Fla., where she had lived happily for the past several years with her beloved husband, Steve. She was 75.

Resourceful, loyal and warm-hearted, BJ was sales manager for the Vineyard Gazette for more than 12 years until her retirement in 2013. Popular with her coworkers and clients, she took a personal interest in everyone she met.

She was born on Feb. 17, 1945, to Elizabeth Mills and Lawrence Christensen. She grew up in the Vestal, N.Y. area, graduated from Vestal Senior High School and earned a degree from Wilson College.

She raised three daughters, working as a regular substitute teacher and later founding her own high school sports poster business. She joined the Gazette in 2001.

“BJ was an amazing individual who moved to the Vineyard to be with her family, and quickly plugged into the community and became a very visible presence representing the Vineyard Gazette,” said Joe Pitt, who was general manager of the newspaper for most of her tenure.

In her last few years on the Vineyard, she met the love of her life, Steven Vantine, and the two moved to Punta Gorda, Fla., after her retirement.

She was a bright, indomitable spirit, and a beacon of light to numerous people. She loved lighthouses, Christmas and her gardens, and explored her creative side through painting and crafting. She valued her family above all else. Through sacrifice and determination, she was a model of strength to her children and grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters: Sarah, Katryn and Megan Yerdon and their spouses; two stepchildren, Meghan Politano and Amy Berg and their spouses, her adoptive father Charles Mills, and several grandchildren.

Donations can be sent to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539. Condolences can be mailed to Steve Vantine, 1124 Lucia Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.