Ann Helen Sherman of Edgartown died on June 2. She was 81.

She was born on Feb. 10, 1940 in Providence, R.I., the daughter of Ruth Pelley Mellor and Harold Mellor. She grew up in East Greenwich, R.I. with her younger brothers Ted and Mark. From her parents, a registered nurse and a police officer, Ann learned the value of public service and that communities are built with strong hearts and a willingness to help others.

She was an honor student, salutatorian of her high school class, a member of the girls’ basketball team and football cheerleading squad, an en pointe ballerina, and the Sweetheart Queen at Wesleyan University. She described that time as “the real Happy Days,” complete with sock hops, Elvis records and sharing a milkshake at the local ice cream fountain.

Ann followed in her mother’s footsteps, accepting a full nursing school scholarship and earning her RN degree at Rogers Williams University, She completed her training at Boston Children’s Hospital.

In 1962, she married Richard A. Sherman. They had four children: Richard, Bethany, Gay and Robin. For several years, they fostered a child named Raymond, and through Child Welfare Services, helped more than 100 children through days of fun on the beach and a family living experience under Ann’s loving care.

Arriving in Deep River, Conn. on the cusp of the bicentennial, Ann readied their 18th century home for the celebration and was in charge of volunteers for a tri-town historical house tour. For 20 years, she worked tirelessly at the Deep River Congregational Church.

She worked as an EMT for Deep River Ambulance, once delivering a baby in a car. On another run, a man in a severe car accident told Ann he feared he was dying. She told him, “not on my watch.” He survived, never forgetting her comforting words.

She sat on boards and volunteered for many other organizations in Connecticut, including the Deep River Library, American Red Cross, Tri-Town Youth Services, Lower Valley Visiting Nurses, Meals on Wheels and MADD. In memory of her son Richard, she sponsored a scholarship for graduating seniors at VRHS for over 10 years. She ran her own boutique for two years and later worked for the Main Street News.

One of her superpowers was making everything beautiful, whether gardening, making flower arrangements for church, decorating for the holidays or wrapping a present. She had great taste in fashion and never left the house without pink lipstick, jewelry and perfectly-coiffed hair. Ann loved to have fun, laugh and especially adored dancing, music of all genres, good coffee, chocolate bars, dolls and playing with her grandchildren.

After many summers on the Vineyard, in 1996 Ann moved to the Island year-round. She volunteered for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Habitat for Humanity, the Agricultural Society, Garden Club and Federated Church of Edgartown, among others. Summer on the Island was her ultimate happy place: sunbathing and swimming at State Beach, taking visitors for a tour, Sunday breakfasts at Mel’s Diner, browsing at farmer’s markets, cheering at the Edgartown Fourth of July parade, attending performances and watching the Menemsha Beach sunset. Her favorite experience was the Oak Bluffs fireworks.

She is survived by her daughters Bethany Durkin, Gay Sherman and Robin Harper; grandchildren Galen, Olivia, Chauncey, Lucy and Sarah; and brother Harold (Ted) Mellor. She was predeceased by her son Richard Mark Sherman, brother Mark E. Mellor and parents Ruth and Harold Mellor.

A celebration of life will be held at the Deep River Congregational Church in Deep River, Conn. in late July. Please make donations to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, the Alzheimer’s Association or another nonprofit of your choice.