Katherine Ann deBettencourt Tiernan died peacefully at her childhood home in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Oct. 19. She was 80.

She was a remarkable mother to her children, Elizabeth Tiernan of Hudson, N.H. and John Tiernan of Oak Bluffs.

She was incredibly kind, patient and giving, not only to her own two children but to other children who found themselves in her care. Nieces, nephews, neighbors’ children, even the rowdy hooligans on the school buses she drove in the early 1980s: they all loved her because she always made them feel welcome and accepted just as they were. She was that rare grown-up who children instinctively know is an ally.

Katherine was the cherished wife of the late Edward D. Tiernan Jr. for 43 happy years.

She was an adored and loyal sister, proud and supportive of her three big brothers, the late Nelson J. deBettencourt Jr., the late Allan (Buddy) deBettencourt and David deBettencourt. Her beloved younger sister, Deborah deBettencourt Ratcliff, was her best friend. They loved to travel together and spoke almost daily.

She was Nana to Fin and Ezra, who made her shine with joy.

She was a trustworthy friend. If you needed anything — a shoulder to cry on, a ride to the hospital, emergency childcare, the shirt off her back — if she had it to give you, she would.

She loved Martha’s Vineyard and never stopped thinking of it as her true home even though she lived away from it for many years. Her memory for family histories and stories of the Vineyard never ceased to amaze her family.

There are not enough words to say how much she was loved and will be missed.

Her memorial service will be celebrated at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs. A reception will be held afterwards at her son’s home in Oak Bluffs.

Visit chapmanfuneral.com for online condolences and information.