Margaret Pontecorvo died July 8 at Calvary Hospital in Bronx, N.Y. She was 99.

She was born Margaret Mary Thatcher in Bend Ore. on June 26, 1923 to Evelyn and Ivan Thatcher. She was the third of five children: Earl, Eleanor, Frank and Jack. She attended high school in Bend and went on to attend Oregon State College in Corvallis, where she joined the Chi Omega Sorority.

At home during a summer break from college, Margaret and her friends attended USO events at Camp Abbot, the military center where newly-enlisted recruits were in basic training. It was there that she met Giulio Pontecorvo Jr. on a picnic at Suttle Lake in Bend. Giulio was a replacement for her intended date, who had been forced to cancel at the last minute because of disciplinary action. The event led to the marriage of Giulio and Margaret in 1947.

She returned to school and earned her master’s degree in library science, which led to a position as the librarian for Spring Valley Elementary School at a time when many roles were closed to woman. Besides managing the library, Margaret loved story hour where she read to the children and introduced them to new books and ideas. She continued to commute from New City, N.Y. after moving to New York city in the mid 80s.

Margaret was a thoughtful, articulate and caring friend who had the courage to think for herself and stand by her convictions. She was also a wicked bridge player. Although she put the needs of her family and husband first, her independent spirit supported a rich social life full of enduring friendships and meaningful pursuits.

She and her husband first brought their family to Chilmark for a month in the mid-1960s. It quickly became a family tradition that was followed soon after by building a house in Aquinnah. Summers on the Vineyard has become a treasured family experience being passed down to younger generations.

Her husband Dr. Giulio Pontecorvo Jr. predeceased her on Sept. 26, 2021. She is survived by four sons — Michael, Guy, Anthony and Andrew — and their families.

Margaret and her husband will be interred together in the Aquinnah cemetery on Saturday, August 6 at 2 p.m.

Memorial donations can be sent to Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), Donations, c/o Barbara Spain, 20 Black Brook Road, Aquinnah, MA 02535-1546.