Anne Wasson Gallagher died Dec. 17 of natural causes after a long life well lived.

Born Anne Preston Wasson on April 13, 1929 to geologists Isabel Bassett and Theron Wasson, Anne spent her childhood in River Forest, Ill. Born into a family of scientists, with her older siblings, Elizabeth (Teedy) and Edward choosing to follow in their parents’ career footsteps, Anne decided early on to forge her own path. As her family searched for fossils or left for nature hikes, Anne headed to the Institute for Art in Chicago where she spent some of her happiest hours drawing and painting. She went on to major in art at Bennington College in Vermont. Later she took classes at deCordova Museum in Lincoln, and art history classes at Harvard University.

Along with her four children, art was the fulcrum of Anne’s life’s passions. She supported local artists wherever she lived, whether on Martha’s Vineyard, in Boston, or on Marco Island, Fla, where she spent her later years. Joyful sculptures danced on her lawn on the Vineyard, while vivid local landscapes graced the walls of each of her homes. Her proudest moments, though, came when she led groups of eager school children through the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. No taller than the 12-year-olds she taught, her wicked sense of humor and enthusiasm for her subjects were contagious. Students loved her.

An accomplished painter in her own right, Anne was an active member of Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard, where for 14 years she organized the Tom Maley life drawing class. As a result, her sketches of nude models began to appear around the house, to the delight of her grandchildren. In 2012 she was recognized for her extraordinary dedication to the Vineyard’s art community with the Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater Inspiration Award. In 2015, Featherstone recognized her at the C=center’s Say Yes to Art Gala for her years of support.

Anne had the heart of an adventurer, celebrating every moment of her long life on her own terms. She trekked in Nepal, visited India, China, and the Middle East, biked along the Danube, played a mean game of doubles tennis, and became a proficient, if somewhat less than enthusiastic, sailor. She was a lifelong Democrat who loved to argue politics. Anne worked for Kitty Dukakis during Michael Dukakis’s run for president, and in her final months, with her customary determination, she insisted that she live long enough to see Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election. As usual — to her delight — she got her wish.

Everywhere Anne went she made friends. Not simply acquaintances, but close friends who cared deeply about her, and she them. As her world grew smaller and her energy waned, multitudes of friends she stayed close to over the years reached out to remind her of the fun they had pulling pranks, throwing extravagant parties, or traveling together to exotic destinations. They remember her as vibrant and endlessly creative, a woman who touched many with her big heart and generous spirit.

For her children, she was a constant source of wonderment. The consummate planner, she organized late summer beach picnics, winter ski trips into the Vermont mountains, and spring camping adventures in the family station wagon. She applauded their accomplishments and always forgave them their failings. She was a true force of nature and will be missed.

She married three times to husbands Karl Bastress, Gregory Harney, and Herbert Gallagher. In her later years she found happiness with her partner, Bob Erlandson, who predeceased her in 2016. She was also predeceased by her parents and her sister, Elizabeth. She is survived by her brother, Edward Wasson, and her four children, Susan Bastress and her husband Peter Behringer; Jeffrey Bastress and his wife Dorothy Bastress; Erica Bastress-Dukehart and her husband Chris Dukehart; and Jane Preston Davis and her husband Michael Davis; six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at a later date on Martha’s Vineyard.

Donations can be made to Featherstone Center for the Arts, P.O Box 1145, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.