Gerry Averill died on April 12 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in Oak Bluffs. She was 89.

Gerry was not your typical Vineyard wash-a-shore. She was dragged ashore, kicking and biting by her then husband, pulled away from her extended loving family in South Carolina where she had been born and raised.

Rolling off the Nobska or Islander in 1963 she may have thought the worst was behind her. That feeling of relief lasted the few minutes it took the family to drive to their new home on Cromwell Lane. Yes, that home. Within a fortnight she had seen a ghost and had been scolded by her husband for not listening to what it had to say to her, screaming instead, and finally, for the first time in that saga of coming out of the South, Gerry put her foot down: “I demand a house without ghosts!” she said.

So it was off to North William street, where she settled in and made a go of it raising a family.

There she began to develop friendships that were to last a lifetime — Jackie Baer, Barbara Morrison, Twinky Carr, Olive Dolby, Lorraine Clark, Nicky Dias, all-in-all quite the starting line-up.

Over time, she too became an Islander, the only vestige of her southern past being the accent she fell into whenever talking on the phone to family or friends from South Carolina. Her children and their friends would laugh at this odd transformation, too young to understand that what was passing along those copper wires was far more than what they heard. Like the oxygen provided to her lovingly at the end of her life by the dear staff at the Martha’s Vineyard hospital, those phone calls re-energized her, full of love as they were. Her first try at business was so-so. The Sea Chest on Union street was more of a place to drive by than it was to shop in. It had its moments though, especially after Western Union was added to the store. When that machine would start whapping out messages the floor shook. Do-dads on the shelves would dance and sometimes fall. These incoming messages were exciting enough, but the outgoing messages, those sent by Gerry with her outstanding typing skills, were filled with magic and even humor, such as found in the weekly articles by the summering Art Buchwald.

She made her spiritual home at Grace Episcopal Church, another source of life-long friendships, and she was an active participant in that warm congregation until the end of her life. In good times she found joy there, and in more difficult times she found solace and spiritual strength, exactly what one needs from a church.

Her next try at marriage and business were both successful, and she sold tons of ice cream to tourists and later sold souvenirs. With a stable home she promptly opened it to the younger members of her off-Island family who would spend summers living with Gerry and Preston while working summer jobs. Some even stayed beyond the summer and became honorable children of Gerry.

In retirement she enjoyed traveling, visiting with family and friends, playing bridge with another new set of friends, and reading in her easy chair. She was a woman who more than anything loved life and wanted others to share in that love. She believed that it was the way the world was meant to be.

She is survived by her brother Steve Scott, her children Becky Luce, Ehud Neor and Mark Luce and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A remembrance of her life will be held at Grace Church in Vineyard Haven on June 2 at 4 p.m.