The late Margaret A. Yates, whose family owned the Yates Drugstore on Main street Vineyard Haven for decades, made news on the Vineyard last week with her generous $1 million bequest to fund scholarships for Vineyard students.

This week came the news that Mrs. Yates’s legacy will be felt for years by Islanders both young and old, as her trust has also left a $1 million bequest for the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Islanders 55 years and older.

The gift is the largest ever received by the organization, Center for Living executive director Leslie Clapp told the Gazette Wednesday.

“It took my breath away, I have to say,” Ms. Clapp said. “It’s so wonderful, it’s kind of hard to believe. I still have to pinch myself.”

Mrs. Yates, who died in April at age 103, was born and raised on the Vineyard. She was a nurse and her husband, George, was a pharmacist. The Yates Drugstore, complete with a soda fountain, was their family business from 1944 to 1969.

Mrs. Yates did not live on the Island in her later years, but “her heart and memories remained here and she always considered it home,” a press release from the Center for Living said. Looking for an organization to support as a way to give back to the Vineyard and thinking of older customers at Yates Drugstore, Mrs. Yates asked her attorney, Patricia Mello, to help her find an organization on the Vineyard that supports older residents.

The Center for Living turned out to be the right fit. The center has already seen broad Island support this spring, with voters in every Island town supporting a $1.6 million bond to purchase a building in Vineyard Haven to house the program. Right now, the center operates out of the Tisbury and Edgartown councils on aging.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Ms. Clapp said, looking back at the work that went into preparing for town meeting votes on the center’s proposal. “And then to get a phone call like this, very shortly after all those town meetings, it just blew me away.”

Ms. Clapp said she is still digesting the news of the donation, and she isn’t yet sure about how exactly the money will be spent. There are parameters for the funding set according to Mrs. Yates’s wishes. “We’re going to go by that,” she said.

“Basically, it’s for the advancement of our programs, mainly our supportive day program,” she said. The supportive day program provides support for elderly people who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They “need a place to go where they can have interactions with other people, to be cared for, and their families have a respite,” Ms. Clapp said. “That’s our main mission.” This program was also important to Mrs. Yates.

As it exists now, Ms. Clapp said, the supportive day program is social, and the center is unable to assist those who need medical attention or physical support during the day. That kind of assistance might be part of an expansion, Ms. Clapp said.

“We do plan at some point to expand and make the program more available to more people,” she said. “With some funding like this we can hopefully expand.”

The bequest could also be used to establish scholarships for families that are not able to afford the service.

As the center explores their unexpected gift, Ms. Yates’s memory is not far from the conversation. “The more I learn about her, the more amazing she was,” Ms. Clapp said. “I hope to learn more about her. And what she left to Permanent Endowment as well, it’s quite amazing,” she said, referring to the $1 million student scholarship bequest announced last week. It’s the biggest thing that’s happened to any [nonprofit] here on the Island in recent times.”

She continued: “But it’s also a big responsibility, and I want to be very, very careful and very responsible with it.”