Abby Ann Patterson died peacefully Dec. 6 at her home in Vineyard Haven, surrounded by her loving family, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

She was born in Princeton, N.J., the daughter of Henry Stuart Patterson 2nd and Suzanne Virden Patterson. She attended Stuart Country Day School in Princeton. The Patterson family enjoyed summers and countless holidays at their beloved home in West Tisbury.

Abby graduated from Kirkland College in upstate N.Y. In 1979, after traveling and following her love of learning, she returned to Martha’s Vineyard as a year-round resident. Returning to her roots, she worked for Poole’s Fish Market and pursued her passion of supporting the Martha’s Vineyard community by volunteering as an EMT.

She married in 1981 and started a family farm on North Road in West Tisbury. A devoted lover and rescuer of animals, both wild and domestic, she also was an avid reader who loved a good book with a warm cup of tea. She had three children: Nicholas, Cortlandt and Katharine.

In 1995 Abby moved to the Boston area to follow her love of learning and devotion to helping others, enrolling in the master’s program in social work at Boston College. Being a social worker was a lifelong passion of hers. Abby always placed others before herself. She worked with several organizations in Boston and surrounding areas, helping veterans, homeless people and children. Her continued dedication to helping others led her to advocating for the elderly, working for Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services in Somerville as the clinical director of home care.

Abby often spoke of the Vineyard, and its wonder, mystique and beauty drew her back for the final years of her life. She took great pleasure in reconnecting with friends, meeting new people and spending joyous time with family. Martha’s Vineyard was her home, where she found peace and comfort unparalleled to elsewhere.

She is survived by her son Nicholas Cammann and his fiancé Anna Corrado and their children Henry and Luca Cammann; son Cortlandt Cammann; daughter Katharine Cammann and her fiancé Michael Cadman. She is also survived by her brother Henry Patterson and his partner Jeanne Herb; sister Lucy Patterson Cox and her husband Peter Cox; brother Michael Patterson and his wife Meg Patterson; and many loving nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents.

Donations to be sent to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Abby Patterson to Dr. Lakshmi Nayak’s Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or online via

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