Judith S. Miller of Vineyard Haven died on August 12 at Windemere. She was 97.

She was well known to many Vineyarders as a conservationist intent on preserving as much of the Island’s habitat as possible.

Judy was born in Brooklyn in 1924 and grew up in the borough of Queens in New York city. She studied piano at Juilliard Prep and graduated at age 16. She was a good pianist and singer and continued to sing with various choirs into her adulthood. She was also a talented painter and published poet.

She got her start as an activist unusually early. while still a student at Queens College. As a journalism major, she began her lifelong quest to make the world a healthier, more equitable place.

During years of living in Ohio, Chicago and St. Louis, Judy put her writing talents, persuasive speaking, administrative abilities and passion for community organizing to use in the service of many important progressive causes. These began with labor union organizing in Pennsylvania and Ohio, after which she did fieldwork with the American Friends Service Committee fostering racial integration, first in Chicago and later as a consultant in St. Louis. She also contributing many years of work with numerous organizations promoting world peace and drawing attention to the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Her Vineyard roots dated to the 1940s: her parents, Belle and Arthur Schneider, had a house in Vineyard Haven every summer since that time and were among the early contingent of New York city teachers who congregated on the island in summer.

Judy moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1973 and took a job with the Vineyard Conservation Society. She also served for a long time as chair of the Tisbury Conservation Commission in addition to being one of the founders of the Wastewater Coalition. She devoted herself skillfully and passionately to supporting the efforts of these organizations to preserve as much as possible of the farmland, meadows, woods and wetlands in perpetuity for everyone who lives on and visits the Island. A good deal of the Island’s open land has been conserved in part through her tireless and dedicated involvement.

She was a staunch supporter of the Vineyard Haven Public Library and one of its board members for many years. Her children remember her lugging heavy boxes of books for the library’s annual summer sale.

She is remembered by many as a deeply loyal and loving friend and an exceptionally warm and generous hostess who loved to cook for guests. Her doors were always wide open to a broad range of people and she maintained a huge correspondence with many friends of many decades. Her enormous library was legendary.

She was an accomplished amateur botanist and birder, and a knowledgeable geologist. Her elegantly documented collection of Island mineral specimens and fossils is now housed at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, enlarging their local holdings.

Judy is survived by her children, David Miller, Deborah Miller and Yonatan Rappeport, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Canada and Israel.

Memorial donations can be made to Vineyard Conservation Society, P.O. Box 2189, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.