Doris Virginia Toll Andrews Gregory died at the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Oct. 31, 17 days shy of her 96th birthday. The cause was cancer.

She was a modest person who lived a quiet life and died the same way, slipping away peacefully.

She was born in Chicago, Ill., to John and Ruth Toll on Nov. 17, 1924. Her parents, both immigrants from Sweden, met in South Dakota, married, then moved to Chicago. There were two other children, Lorraine and John.

In a 1965 interview, Doris described an almost idyllic childhood in her close-knit family. Her mother cooked and sewed clothing for the children; her father worked outside the home. Weekends were spent together, sometimes with other Swedish families for community activities. Often, the Sunday dinner her mother prepared was packed up and the Tolls would drive to a forest preserve outside the city to enjoy the meal. In summer, the family traveled to Lake Michigan by streetcar. Later, when the children were older, they would ride bikes to the lake.

Doris grew up during the Great Depression, but her family did not suffer as so many families did, and had everything they needed.

Doris found lots of playmates in her neighborhood, and activities involved writing plays and performing them on someone’s front porch. While she enjoyed these amateur theatricals, she truly loved the movies. Jean Harlow was her favorite actress. She would cut out pictures from movie magazines to make scrapbooks of the stars of her day, an era when movies cost a dime.

When she was a senior in high school, the students were sent to the auditorium to hear President Franklin Roosevelt declare war. The day before, as the family was enjoying supper at the home of friends, news of the attack on Pearl Harbor was announced by a newsboy shouting, “Extra Extra!” outside in the street.

After graduating high school, Doris was employed as an office worker. In 1943 at the age of 19 she met Howard Andrews of Martha’s Vineyard. He was a Marine, stationed stateside after a stint in the South Pacific, and was smitten with her. They married two years later, and moved to the Carolinas where he was posted after the war. They moved to the Island a few years later when she was expecting their first child. Wendy was followed by Melanie and Billy.

When the children were young, Doris was a full-time homemaker, cooking and keeping a tidy house, and using her talent as a seamstress to make school clothes for the girls and outfits for herself. When the children were older, she worked at the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank. Doris and Howard divorced in 1962. She moved to Florida with the two youngest children to be close to her parents. Soon after moving, she met her second husband, Jack Gregory. They moved to the Island in 1986. Doris worked as a bookkeeper at DaRosa’s Printing, retiring in her 70s. She divorced a second time and never remarried. She gave her time and talents as a volunteer over the years, serving on the Girl Scout Council of Martha’s Vineyard, the American Legion Auxiliary, Christ Methodist Church of Vineyard Haven and the Tisbury Council on Aging. She volunteered at the Vineyard Haven Public Library and for 20 years at Windemere.

She was an avid reader, loved gardening, especially raising peonies, and could get an orchid to re-bloom. She learned new skills through the Dukes County Extension classes. After retirement, she learned to play mah jong.

She loved traveling, both in the U.S. and abroad and made numerous trips with her sister and other family members to visit aunts in Sweden. She understood Swedish, but never spoke it. She enjoyed cruises, a high point being a trip through the Panama Canal.

Closer to home, she enjoyed church suppers at Christ Methodist in Vineyard Haven and Trinity Methodist in Oak Bluffs, where she was a member. Eating out with friends was a welcome event, from dining on liver and onions at Linda Jean’s in Oak Bluffs to catching the early bird special at the Ocean View with her friend of 70 years, Betty Welch of Vineyard Haven.

She is survived by her children Wendy Andrews of Vineyard Haven and her son Thad Gessel; Melanie and her husband Tony DaRosa of Oak Bluffs and their children Erin DeBettencourt, Erika Bettencourt, Eliza Dolby, Eve Budkins, Emily DaRosa, and Toni Emin; William and his wife Margaretta of Nantucket and their children Maggie Andrews and Sarah Winters; 18 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Lorraine Smith, of Seminole, Fla. She was predeceased by her parents and brother John, who died in a tragic boating accident when he was 21.

Interment of her cremains will be private the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.

Donations can be made to Library Friends of Oak Bluffs, P.O. Box 1421, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; or to Trinity United Methodist Church, 40 Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs.