Maria J. (Jesse) Williams died on May 24 after a period of declining health. She was 65.

She was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 1956. She grew up as an only child in her family’s home on Oakland avenue in Oak Bluffs, where she attended school. Her childhood was a typical one of friends, school, summer vacations and just being a kid until at age 11, she was tragically struck by a car while riding her bicycle. The accident resulted in permanent brain trauma.

Despite her injury, Maria was a naturally upbeat person and was a much loved and familiar Oak Bluffs figure, particularly in her younger years. During the more than 50 years that her family owned a house facing Viera Park, she could often be seen in and around the park and businesses near her home. She was a daily visitor to Smokin’ Bones and Tony’s Market where the staff were all very kind and generous with her.

She loved music, sports, coffee, conversation and animals, particularly dogs. She never met a dog she didn’t like. Over the years she loved and adored many canine friends. She often told lively stories about beloved family dogs she had in her younger years, all of whom she missed regardless of the passing time. She adopted Tammy, her last dog, in the fall of 2010. Tammy visited Maria long after she was given to a trusted friend and the two were always happy to be reunited on their visits.

In October 2015, Maria moved to Hillside Village, and more recently to Woodside Village. She continued to make friends and develop new interests. Her favorite pastime was listening to music and drinking coffee while chatting with friends and neighbors who called or stopped by to visit. Her warmth, positive attitude and desire to connect and form new relationships were inspiring. She will be missed by all who were lucky to know her.

She was predeceased by her parents Jesse and Josephine Williams.

Special thanks to the staff at the Vineyard Nursing Association, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Hillside and Woodside Villages and Leslie’s Pharmacy for all the care, patience and good will shown to Maria over the years. Their compassion and kindness were essential to her quality of life.

A private interment will take place at a future date.

In her memory, please pick up the phone and call a family member or friend and let them know how much they mean to you.