Ellinor R. Mitchell died Nov. 1, 2019, in York, Me., at the age of 89. The cause of death was heart and kidney failure.

Raised in New York, Ellinor spent her most enjoyable years on Martha’s Vineyard. She came to the Island as a summer renter in the early 1970s and in 1975 she built a house on Tabor House Road in Chilmark. For more than 40 years, she divided her time between Martha’s Vineyard and an apartment on the upper west side of New York.

Ellinor was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Aug. 26, 1930. Her parents were Suzanne Robinson and Frank Robinson. Her father was descended from Samuel Colt, who founded the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Co. (now called Colt’s Manufacturing Co.) in 1855. Ellinor’s paternal grandfather, Charles Leonard Frost Robinson, was president of Colt from 1911 to 1916; her great-grandmother’s sister was married to Samuel Colt. Ellinor was steeped in family history and, when asked, would reminisce about her famous ancestor.

Ellinor graduated from Brearley School in New York in 1944. In 1948, she graduated from Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and a year later spent the summer at the University of Lausanne studying French. Ellinor later attended Barnard College in New York.

In 1951, Ellinor married Alex Mitchell and that fall, while she and Alex were living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she gave birth to twins Robert and Jennifer. A third child, Diana, was also born in the Bay Area and by the mid-1950s, the Mitchells had moved to Boston where Alex was taking business courses at Harvard. They soon moved to New York, where son Stephen was born in 1956. Her last child, Laura, was born in 1962. Ellinor was divorced in 1963.

Not long after her divorce, Ellinor met Ray Gordon, a New York commercial artist and actor. Ray was a member of the Actors Studio and he introduced Ellinor to such luminaries as actors Roscoe Lee Browne and Doris Roberts. Ray also introduced Ellinor to Martha’s Vineyard, where he had spent summers since the late 1940s.

With Ray in her life, Ellinor’s life took a decidedly different tack. She spent less time in Maine, where her mother’s family had homes, and a lot more time with Ray, spending summers with him on Martha’s Vineyard. In New York, where she lived the rest of the year, she joined the Parents League of New York, an organization of parents and independent schools which provides crossing-guard programs, among other services. She was on the league’s board of directors and was its president in the 1971/72 academic year.

An outspoken liberal, she immersed herself in the fractious 1960s, plunging into the chaos of the Vietnam antiwar movement. She devoured the New York Times war dispatches of Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam, furiously annotating their clips, which she then copied and mailed out to family members. Decades after the war was over, the wall of her study in New York still bore faded clippings with Saigon datelines, Ellinor’s notes filling the margins.

In November 1969, Ellinor joined 500,000 demonstrators in Washington, D.C., in a massive march against the war in Vietnam, a battleground where American soldiers were fighting with M16 rifles manufactured by Colt. Yes, she did note the irony.

In the early 1970s, Ellinor got involved with Ray Gordon’s Cell Block Theatre, a program he designed to help ex-offenders through drama therapy. The theatre did workshops in prisons in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

On Martha’s Vineyard, Ellinor’s house gained a reputation for sumptuous meals — one night it might be steamed lobster and a few days later she would make an Indian curry. Before dinner, someone might be playing classical guitar on a low stage that sat on one side of the living room. Outside, a few guests were slugging it out at boules — Ellinor had fallen in love with the European game and had installed a boules-piste.

Ellinor thought of herself primarily as a writer and in 1987 she published her first book, Plain Talk About Acupuncture. She followed it in 1995 with Fighting Drug Abuse with Acupuncture: The Treatment That Works. Recently, a caregiver browsing the bookshelves in Laura Mitchell’s house found a binder of poems Ellinor had written between 1950 and 1985. The poems, apparently unseen for decades, touched on the various subjects that interested her when she was young.

In 2007, she wrote a piece for Martha’s Vineyard magazine on sheepdogs’ unerring ability to herd their charges. At the time of her death she was working on a couple of non-fiction projects.

Ray Gordon died of acute leukemia in January of 2008.

Near the end of her life, Ellinor spent most of her time indoors, reading, listening to reggae and flamenco music, and talking to friends and family members who stopped by for a visit.

Ellinor is survived by her daughters, Jennifer Mitchell-Nevin, Diana Mitchell and Laura Mitchell; her sons, Robert Mitchell and Stephen Mitchell; her brothers, David Taylor and Michael Taylor; her extended family and eight grandchildren.