Catherine Hohenlohe Jacobus died peacefully in Delray Beach, Fla. shortly before sunset on the winter solstice, Dec. 21. She was 79. She was married to George H. Jacobus, who predeceased her in 2013.

For the last 40-plus years, she divided her time between Florida and Martha’s Vineyard, usually feeding, tending and celebrating her family members and friends.

Catherine was born in 1942 in Washington, D.C. to Margaret Boyce Schulze and Alexander Hohenlohe but grew up in New York city with her mother and step-father, Morton Downey. She attended Marymount High School and graduated from Manhattanville College in 1964 with a degree in English. After college, she worked briefly in journalism for McCall’s Magazine. From 1964 until 1973, she sat on the board of Newmont Mining Company as a principal shareholder.

In 1973, she married Jake and moved from Greenwich, Conn. to Little Rock, Ark. The family moved to Florida in 1976 and she served as a board member and worked closely with the staff of the Achievement Centers for Children and Families to establish the Morton Downey Family Resource Center. A children’s rights advocate, Catherine also had a passion for the arts and for education. She provided private scholarships for numerous young people to attend college. The Bethesda Hospital Foundation honored her as A Woman of Grace in 2004.

She became a summer resident of Chappaquiddick in 1979. She contributed generously to the Vineyard community over the years, including to the YMCA, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Island Grown Initiative and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Throughout her life, she was a devoted and generous philanthropist, financially supporting many causes, organizations, institutions and individuals.

Catherine loved beautiful, powerful writing and read voraciously throughout her life. A poet herself, she composed many bawdy rhyming verses for loved one’s special occasions as well as more serious work, such as the collection of almost 50 poems she was editing at the time of her death. Her creativity went beyond words. She painted pictures and furniture, arranged flowers, made elaborate wedding and birthday cakes and crafted gorgeous beaded necklaces.

She learned the life story of almost every person with whom she came into contact, usually within minutes. When faced with disappointing news, she typically responded with a burst of profanity that surprised some and delighted others. She also loved dogs and owned many sweet and not-so-sweet canines through the years.

She is survived by her children Alexandra Cook and her husband John Conforti, and Christian H. Jacobus and his wife Ashley; stepchildren Ann Kordahl and her husband James, William Jacobus and his wife Crystal, Lacy Jacobus, and Todd Jacobus and his wife Shana; grandchildren David, Christina and Dylan Conforti; Catherine Jacobus and Jace Nienberg; James, John, Caroline and George Kordahl; John Ficklen; Andrew, William and Nathaniel Jacobus; three great-grandchildren; her brother Christian Hohenlohe and his wife Nora; and her goldendoodle, Colby.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Delray Beach at 1 p.m.

Her family requests that donations be made to the Achievement Centers for Children and Families Foundation Arrangements are under the care of Lorne & Sons Funeral Home of Delray Beach.