Sheppie Spigner Moore of Oak Bluffs died peacefully on Jan. 16, two days after her 98th birthday.

She entered this world on January 14, 1925 in Port Huron, Mich., the sixth of seven children born to Arthur Lee Spigner and Cora Brummitt Spigner. As recent arrivals from Camp Hill, Ala., the family rode the wave of the 20th century “great migration” of African Americans from south to north. Sheppie migrated in utero.

Her mother Cora died when Sheppie was 16 years old. After graduating Port Huron High School, she was taken under the wing of her eldest sister Bernice in Pine Bluff, Ark. She enrolled at Arkansas State University — now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff — and graduated in 1945 with a B.S. in home economics.

She ventured to New York city to enroll in the Dietetics School of New York and earn her dietitian license. Dental issues drew her to the office of a dentist recommended by friends. At first sight, she was skeptical of the experience of the boyish-looking young man. Yet his work won her over. “He took all my money,” she would later tell everyone she knew. “So he had to marry me.”

She married Marcus W. Moore in an intimate sunset ceremony on Jones Beach in 1949, followed by a honeymoon drive across the country. Their daughter Shelley Lorraine was born the following year. The young family lived in Marcus’s dental office in the Bronx for a time before securing a nearby apartment.

In 1956, she and Marcus settled into a newly-built home in the suburb of Scarsdale. She became a Girl Scout leader and active member of Scarsdale Congregational Church. In the 1960s, she was appointed to the Scarsdale citizens advisory committee on human relations. She was a member of the Scarsdale fair housing group and a founding board member of the student transfer education plan (STEP) at Scarsdale High School.

Sheppie joined a book club where she forged deep friendships lasting some 50 years. She was a skillful cook, baker, Scrabble shark and New York Times crossword puzzle player. She and Marcus were avid golfers. Vacations took them to the Caribbean, Europe and Hawaii.

In the summer of 1961, Sheppie and Marcus vacationed in Oak Bluffs and became hooked for life. In 1983, they joined forces in the purchase of their dream: a vintage Oak Bluffs cottage with a water view. She cherished the fast friendships of neighbors, the visitations of house guests, Sunday services at Union Chapel and lazy afternoons in her porch rocker.

As an empty nester, she continued her education at Marymount College and earned a masters degree in guidance at the Bank Street College of Education. She relished her tenure as a highly-respected guidance counselor in the New Rochelle and White Plains, N.Y. school systems.

She took early retirement in 1987 to care for Marcus, whose health was declining because of Parkinson’s disease. They became snowbirds, spending winters near Marcus’s family in Miami. He died in 1999. Sheppie moved from Scarsdale to nearby Greenburgh, N.Y. and served as a part-time volunteer at White Plains Hospital.

In 2017, her many decades of summer vacations in Oak Bluffs morphed into full-time residency when she moved into the home of her daughter Shelley. Sheppie discovered many of the delights of off-season Vineyard life, from high school musicals and community church suppers, to yoga at the Council on Aging and beach meanders in parkas. She marveled at the easy embrace of the Island’s year-round community. Those who didn’t know her by name greeted her cheerily as “Shelley’s Mom.”

Sheppie was predeceased by Marcus as well as by all of her siblings. She is survived by her daughter Shelley Moore Christiansen and a bounty of nieces, nephews, godchildren and friends.

A celebration of her life will take place in Oak Bluffs in June. Details will be posted on