Rebecca Wild Baxter of Edgartown died peacefully with family and friends at her side on Feb. 5 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla. She was 75.

She will be long remembered as a photographer, wife, mother and grandmother.

She was born Rebecca Ann Wild in 1946 in New York city to Ronold and Dorothy Wild. She grew up in Mamaroneck and Edgartown with her brother Michael.

In 1941, her parents sailed to the Vineyard for the first time and purchased the 215-acre Great Plains farm now known as the Herring Creek Farm. With farming expertise from the Waller family and others, livestock purchased at a Macy’s Victory Garden display and haying help from U.S. Navy pilots stationed on the Vineyard, her parents made a hobby farm while continuing to live in New York.

For more than 20 years the family made their annual summer pilgrimage to their hunting shack on Edgartown Great Pond. There were dances at Memorial Wharf, hayrides, beach picnics, Flying Horses and explorations galore. Rebecca made many friends and established lifelong Vineyard connections. The Wilds subsequently sold the farm but retained 22 acres for family use.

Rebecca attended Rye Neck High School in Mamaroneck and then Franconia College. She worked at WNET in New York and was an accountant for a salt company in Boston. She lived on the Vineyard year-round. She and Sarah Piazza were the first female commercial fisherwomen on the Island, and she worked at the Seafood Shanty and a cleaning business.

Her life changed when her brother bought her a Nikon camera. She studied visual anthropology, using the camera as a research tool. Her career blossomed when she moved to Sarasota. She was a staff photographer for the Sarasota Herald Tribune and then Sarasota Magazine, where she spent most of her career. She took pictures of people, not things, photographing everyone from celebrities to the children at Booker Middle School on Sept. 11 when President Bush came to read to them.

In Sarasota, she met her lifelong soulmate and husband, Rick Baxter. She started her family and became an avid tennis player and golfer. She was known for her Christmas and Halloween parties, her cooking and entertaining, and her warmth to all. She was famous for inviting strangers and mystery guests to festive events.

During this time, Rebecca and her family engaged in a 15-year long lawsuit with the former owners of Herring Creek Farm who wished to develop a 54-house subdivision where cows graze today. With Ron Rappaport, Dick Renehan and others, the town of Edgartown and the Wild Baxter family prevailed in the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Today The Nature Conservancy is in place as is the Wild Family compound Forever Wild, named after Ted Kennedy’s controversial conservation legislation of the 1970s.

Nothing was as important as her children and family. Her daughters Alexandra and Julia and her niece Cleo Wild were the centerpieces of her life. As children they indulged in many of the Island activities that Rebecca had as a child. Equally special were her five grandchildren, who she immersed in backyard art camps where painting in the lines was optional and making mistakes allowed.

Rebecca is survived by her husband, Rick Baxter of Sarasota; daughters Alexandra Chrebet and her husband Derek Chrebet, and Julia Smith and her husband Ryan Smith; and her niece Cleo Wild, all of Forever Wild on Edgartown Great Pond; grandchildren Hazel, Edith Hailey, Mya and Hudson; and her grandniece Sadie. She was predeceased by her parents and brother.

A celebration of life will be held on Sept. 17 at 11 Forever Wild Way from 1 to 5 p.m. All who knew her are welcome.

Memorial contributions may be made to Camp Jabberwocky.