Dorothy May Gregory died of a cardiac arrest at her home in West Tisbury on August 18. She was 76.

She was born in Fort Covington, N.Y. on June 6, 1945. Her parents had met on the Queen Elizabeth II, heading to war in Europe. She was named for her mother, who served as a nurse. Her father worked with the Veteran’s Administration and oversaw his chicken farm. She grew up the eldest of seven children in Peru, N.Y.

Growing up, she knew of Pat Gregory because of sports; their high schools were rivals. In those days, her auburn hair was often worn in long braids and she loved to play ragtime on the piano.

On their first date, in college, Pat dipped Dorothy down and kissed her. They fell in love instantly and forever.

Dorothy received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from State University College of New York. Work in a psychiatric ward filled her with horror and compassion. Mental health was an interest of hers long before it was something talked about in regular company.

Pat and Dorothy married weeks after college graduation. They moved to Hawaii and took endless home movies of Pacific waves as there was no ocean in the Adirondacks.

In 1971, Dorothy sat with her little daughter, Shannon Patricia, at the Vineyard Haven harbor while Pat interviewed for a job at the Tisbury School. Neither of them had known Martha’s Vineyard was an island, but they liked the feel of the Vineyard and it became home.

Each summer they ran Camp Monomonac in New Hampshire. In 1976, her son, Timothy Patrick, was born during a Camp Monomonac summer. His birth was announced to applause; campers raised plastic cups of bug juice to celebrate the new baby.

As a mother, she made the best chocolate eclairs for 4-H meetings and sewed many Halloween costumes. She had an eagle eye for a sick child and was a firm believer in “mental health days.” She recognized that sometimes a soft-boiled egg and a day on the couch were just what was needed.

She made short work of the New York Times crossword puzzle and knew her way around a Scrabble board, but she never could understand The Far Side cartoons. This left her family laughing during their fruitless attempts to explain them.

In the early 1980s, Dorothy and Pat started Educomp. Dorothy worked evenings at the hospital while Pat tried to figure out how to merge education and computers profitably. Art and office supplies were added to the mix and Educomp was born. She often said Educomp was like her third child.

In 1987, the store moved to the brick building on Main street in Vineyard Haven. She was proud of the supportive, family atmosphere that she and Pat helped create among staff. She didn’t sing her own praises or like to be singled out for attention. But behind the scenes, she was the quiet strength and organization that held things together in work and family.

After her grandchildren Jack and Bess were born, Dorothy was rarely called by her first name. She became Maysie to anyone associated with her grandchildren. Recently, she loved hearing her third and youngest grandchild, Jules, tell stories over the phone during Covid.

The years without Pat by her side were different but Maysie was buoyed by her family, book club, sisters’ weekends, old friends, and our supportive, caring Island. She found comfort in solitude, able to be alone without being lonely. Sunday nights were spent eating dinner with family and hearing the latest from her grandchildren.

She is survived by her daughter, Shannon Gregory Carbon of Edgartown; her son, Timothy Patrick Gregory and partner Chelsea Vandenameele of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; grandchildren Jack and Bess Carbon and Jules Gregory; as well as all six brothers, sisters and their spouses, along with many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her mother, Dorothy May Lacombe; her father, Ignatius Pierre Lacombe; and her beloved husband, F. Patrick Gregory.

Donations can be made in her name to The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), Vineyard House, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, or a charity of choice. A private celebration of her life is being planned for this fall.