Nancy Kingsley died peacefully at the age of 89, just weeks before her 90th birthday, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on August 4 after a brief illness.

Nancy was the matriarch of her family but gathered many others into her circle of love. She was a mentor, supporter and friend to many. Her love of humanity was evident in the many ways she provided a warm welcome and home to family and friends visiting her on her beloved Martha’s Vineyard. Her history on the island goes back to her college days when, one summer, she took a job as a detail painter for Van Riper Ship Model Builders. Nancy met Fred that summer at the laundromat on State Road, which is now a bicycle shop.

Nancy was born on August 23, 1930, in Bristol, Conn. to Alice and Eugene Marchand. Her father was an engineer and her mother worked at the local hospital. She attended freshman year of college in Ohio but, when her father died, she moved back to Connecticut and worked for a year at a florist shop in West Hartford to save money for art school.

She attended Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Art’s six-week summer sculpture workshop at Tanglewood. While at Tanglewood, she received a scholarship to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts that fall of 1950 and graduated from there in 1954 with high honors.

She opened a pottery studio in Bristol and she and Fred married in 1954, later moving to Simsbury, Conn. to raise their family. Nancy also received a bachelor of fine art degree from the University of Hartford in 1979. In between caring for four children, she assisted in art therapy workshops at the Institute for Living in Hartford, Conn., was an interior decorator and space planner at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, as well as a curator of their large art collection. In 1992, she and Fred moved permanently to Martha’s Vineyard, after spending many summers there with their family.

Nancy was adventurous and loved to travel. She visited Russia, China, Egypt, Africa and visited Europe many times. She also went rafting on the Colorado River and explored the Amazon River. She enjoyed meeting people from other lands and worked with immigrants at Volunteers for Literacy for many years. She fell in love with Hawaii and went there with her family often.

On the Vineyard, Nancy became deeply involved with the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and the Featherstone Center for the Arts, where she was a board member, mentor, patron, donor and curator. She recently curated two well-received shows featuring the works of Stan Murphy. She began painting at the age of 68 and created gorgeous paintings, which have been displayed in many local shows.

While Nancy had many interests and accomplishments, her children and family were, above all, her pride and joy. They are eternally grateful for her guidance and wisdom, on virtually any issue, including the importance of education, hard work and saving for the future. Her patience and unconditional acceptance made her a magnet for drawing creativity from others. She had a huge heart, a warm smile, and a talent for making friends everywhere she went. She was a model for how to live life fully, graciously, and beautifully. She will be greatly missed.

Nancy is predeceased by her husband, Fred Kingsley, and her brother, Gene Marchand.

She is survived by her children, Rick and his wife, Jeannie, Eve Kingsley, Anne and her husband, Robert O’Donnell, John and his wife, Amy; her sister, Betty Murphy; grandchildren; a great-grandson and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at Saint Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven at 1 p.m. on Monday, August 10, followed by interment at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. An outdoor reception will be hosted by the family at 3 p.m. at 41 Woodlawn ave., Vineyard Haven.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Nancy’s memory can be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum at 151 Lagoon Pond Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or Featherstone Center for the Arts at P.O. Box 1145, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.