Patricia Crosson died peacefully at her Martha’s Vineyard home on Jan. 9 after a long illness. She was 76.

Pat lived in Massachusetts communities around the University of Massachusetts Amherst for more than 40 years and on Martha’s Vineyard for the last 12 years. Never one to follow a standard path, she received master’s and doctoral degrees in education without an undergraduate degree. She taught at the University of Maryland and Pittsburgh University as well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she served as interim provost for several years. She also served on the board of directors at Greenfield Community College for many years.

She was an extremely hard worker and is remembered for her candor, boundless energy, intense sense of fair play and great sense of humor.

In addition to her academic career, Pat and her husband Charles Adams, also a longtime faculty member at UMass Amherst, led a life of travel and adventure. Avid sailors with little open-ocean experience, they decided to sail their 40-foot Concordia yawl across the Atlantic from Maine to Portugal. Pat’s conservative parents were told an experienced sailor would be onboard. Not the case. They made it, and for years spent winters teaching and summers sailing up and down the western coast of Europe.

On a stop in county Donegal in northwest Ireland, they spied a small croft perched on steep terrain high above the Atlantic Ocean. They spent years converting the place to a comfortable cottage, always mindful of original plans and materials. When Charles died in 2008, Pat continued her annual visits to Donegal, taking long daily hikes with many new friends. The house on the hill will always be known as Pat’s Cottage.

She is survived by her sister Peggy Siegel and brother Bill Harrison; nephew Ted Green and niece Wendy Green, and their children Anna and Dylan Green and Kari, Nora and Lars Green-Orset.

A celebration of life will be held in late May at her house on the Vineyard.

Memorial donations can be made to the Greenfield Community College Foundation, One College Drive, Greenfield, MA, 01301.