Ann Boyer of Chilmark died of metastatic cancer at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Dec. 15. She was 84. Her husband Everett Spees was at her bedside, and their children and grandchildren were present during her final days thanks to videos and telephone links.

Ann was born to Martha and Paul Boyer in 1936. Her parents built a house on Blacksmith Valley Road in Chilmark in 1946, after her father returned from wartime duty as a U.S. Navy physician on a hospital ship. The family enjoyed returning to the delights of the Island community every summer.

She attended Kent Place School in Summit, N.J., and received a bachelor’s degree at Middlebury and a master’s degree at Middlebury Breadloaf School of English. She taught English at the Roycemore School in Evanston, Ill., prior to her first marriage to Larry Palmer Scriggins. She had two children, Lee and Tom, and taught at St. Timothy’s School before returning to graduate school. In 1976 she received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, after which she was employed as a social worker at Shepherd-Pratt Institute in Baltimore while completing two years of evening training at the Washington-Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis.

In 1978 she married Everett Spees, a transplant surgeon with three children, who had joined the Johns Hopkins faculty after retiring from the army medical corps at Walter Reed. They had a son, Ben.

Ann was in a private therapy practice specializing in eating disorders. These disorders of children and young adults are often life-threatening and are among the most difficult cases for management. Treatment requires a therapist with great knowledge, insight, patience and courage.

In 1982 Ann, Everett, and Ben moved to Denver when Everett was recruited to start a transplant program at Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital and later to also head the transplant program at the University of Colorado Medical Center. There, Ann served at first for several years as a social worker therapist in the Denver Children’s Hospital acute psychiatric unit, managing seriously disturbed and sometimes dangerous children and their distressed families. She was respected for her high level of competence, commitment, and compassion. Although Everett’s long and unpredictable hours were also stressful, Ann enjoyed several overseas trips for transplant meetings as well as one social work trip to Wales. After 9/11, Everett was recalled to active army duty from retirement four times. Ann was able to join him only on the last deployment, an unforgettable seven months in 2008-2009 at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu. In 2015 Ann and Everett moved full time to Chilmark.

She was a knitter, designer and builder, an avid reader, writer, and sometimes poet. Always a teacher, she loved to help others with writing and editing. She waited for the delivery of each issue of the New Yorker and enjoyed books. She loved the Island and Islanders and had a seemingly encyclopedic recall of family names and relationships. She was a good listener who made lasting friends effortlessly with her authentic interest and sincerity toward others. She had a passionate and inquisitive spirit, delving deeply into intellectual and spiritual exploration throughout her life.

She was active in the Buddhist community on the Island and online. Lama Karma Rinchen, her Tibetan teacher in Honolulu provided invaluable distance mentoring.

She was predeceased by her parents and son Tom Scriggins. She is survived by her husband Everett Spees; two brothers, Paul S. Boyer, and Bruce Boyer; stepdaughter Sally Langlois and her husband Raoul; stepsons Everett 3rd and Robert Spees; daughter Lee Scriggins and her spouse Michell Irving; son Ben Spees and his partner Sabrina Gogol; granddaughter Natasha Punj and her husband Varun; and granddaughters Lucy and Destiny Scriggins.

The marvelous nurses and medical staff of the hospital and of both Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, and the Visiting Nurses Association of Cape Cod Hospice, as well as the staff of the Tri-Town Ambulance, provided her with continuity compassion care.

A funeral was held Dec. 18 at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark. Jill De la Hunt, an ordained Buddhist chaplain, conducted the green burial service with Tibetan Buddhist liturgy, in collaboration with Ann’s Lamas in Hawaii and Chas DiCapua of the Island Insight Meditation Community.

Contributions can be made to the Island Insight Meditation Community (