Samantha F. Drogin died in her sleep, three days shy of her 98th birthday, in Edgartown on Nov. 13.

It was just the way she wanted.

Born in New York, she grew up in the Depression but was spared the hardship because her parents owned a kosher chicken shop in Bayonne, N.J. That produced a lifelong dislike of chicken and the nickname Chickie, which she bore for years.

She disdained her given name, Shirley. So inspired by Miracle on 34th Street, she mailed a letter to Samantha Drogin at her home address. When the postman delivered it, she said the U.S. government had recognized her new name, and she would brook no more Shirleys. She was Samantha or Sam ever after.

At age 22, she married Army Capt. Morris Drogin, who had just returned from the war in Europe and was headed to the Pacific. He got as far as Seattle when the war ended. In peacetime, Morris practiced law in Bayonne and was president of the Jewish Community Center. Appointing herself cultural doyenne, Sam hosted Eleanor Roosevelt, puppeteer Shari Lewis and other speakers.

Sam soon rode herd on a boisterous household of four children, hundreds of books (but only one TV), and home-cooked dinners every night at 6, attendance required, no exceptions. The children were convinced she had super powers, able to eavesdrop on bickering from afar. When she developed phlebitis, an inflammation of a vein, at the same time as Francisco Franco, the Spanish caudillo, they sadly concluded it was a common affliction among dictators.

“Rotten kids,” she would say, but not deny it.

She taught high school English for a time, and enforced a strict ban on dangling participles at home. But she viewed school as only part of education, regularly pulling her children out of class to drive to New York to attend the latest Hitchcock film, Charlie Chaplin revival or a MOMA opening.

Though she lived in New Jersey, Sam was a New Yorker at heart. She read The New Yorker cover to cover, solved the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in ink, and was addicted to Broadway shows. Later she chose her library at home in Fort Lee, close to her dog-eared Shakespeare and Dickens, as her daily repose.

She and Morris first visited the Vineyard around 1970. A few years later they bought a small house on the outer edge of Edgartown. She would spend the next 45 summers there, relishing littlenecks at Menemsha, visiting art shows and yard sales each weekend, and holding court in later years at the Vineyard Golf Club, where she played a mean game of gin rummy.

Soon after they moved to Fort Lee, Morris developed cancer. She sat by his bedside in the hospital every day for two years until he died in 1984. She vowed no hospitals for her. After that, she traveled widely, first alone and then with Elder Hostel, to Europe, Asia and Africa, enthusiastic and indefatigable.

She soon found her true calling, as a proud grandmother and devoted great-grandmother. She took each of her four grandkids separately on Shakespeare and Harry Potter tours in England or gastronomic tours in France. She taught them to appreciate the world from Huck Finn to Duck Soup. She became known as the Empress Dowager.

She died early on Nov. 13. No hospitals, no regrets, her final days surrounded by family.

She is survived by her daughter Susan, who lives in Edgartown; her son Bob and his wife Frankie, who summer in West Tisbury, and their children Casey and Caroline; and her son Danny, who lives in Sea Bright, N.J., and his sons Sammy and Michael and his wife, Christina, and their son Andrew.