Virginia Jeffery Stevenson, a retired dog breeder and trainer, died March 6 in Collegeville, Pa. She was 81.

For Dinny, as she was known, summer started when the train reached Woods Hole and she ran to the ferry, towing the family’s three dogs. Throughout her teenage years, she thrived on the Vineyard and cherished the friendships she made here.

She was born on June 7, 1939 in Lake Forest, Ill., the daughter of R. Martin Stevenson and Virginia (Doering) Stevenson. She was a great-granddaughter of Edward Turner Jeffery, a prominent railroad executive, and of Dr. E. J. Doering, a leading Chicago physician.

At the outbreak of World War II the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Virginia attended the Potomac and Madeira schools. Her parents divorced in 1945; 10 years later her mother, along with Virginia and her younger brother, moved to Charlottesville, Va., where she graduated from Lane High School in 1957.

While attending French classes at the University of Virginia, She met her future husband, J. Kelly Murphy 3rd, who was attending the School of Architecture. Shortly after their marriage, Kelly entered active service as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Soon after their first child was born in 1963, the couple moved to Kimberton, Pa. where she raised, trained and showed her beloved standard poodles and Lhasa Apsos. She gave birth to her second child in 1969 and later moved to Birchrunville, Pa.

In addition to her abiding love of dogs and horses, Virginia treasured the country life and pursued her interests in drawing, painting and creative writing throughout her life.

She was predeceased by her younger brother David D. Stevenson, in 2011.

She is survived by a daughter, Virginia M. Murphy of Phoenixville, Pa.; a son Martin N. Murphy of Philadelphia, Pa.; and four siblings, Robert M. Stevenson Jr. of Edgartown, Charles M. Stevenson of Great Falls, Va., Andrew E. Stevenson and Deborah E. Stevenson, both of Belfast, Me.

A memorial service will be held at Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pa., on Saturday, June 12 at 11 a.m.

Donations can be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation 406 W. 34th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64111.