Last summer, when Phronsie Conlin turned 100, there was a big birthday party for her at the Portuguese American Club in Oak Bluffs. Seated next to Phronsie was Betty Eddy, who at 99 was her oldest friend, literally.

The two friends and matriarchs of the Vineyard died recently — Betty Eddy on June 30, eight days after she turned 100, and Phronsie Conlin on July 9, the day before her 101st birthday.

At the party last summer, Ms. Eddy asked if there would be a fog machine for dancing. There wasn’t, but that didn’t stop the revelry. Although Phronsie was the birthday girl, party-goers made their way to the center table to share words of congratulations with both women who transcended time. They were from an earlier era and wore that mantle well, but they also remained vital and connected to the present day.

“If I don’t pay attention to what’s happening to people around the world I will feel guilty turning my back on them,” said Phronsie, as recounted by Sam Low in her obituary this week.

Phronise Conlin of Harthaven. — Sam Low

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ms. Conlin joined the Navy as a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), went to officers training school at her alma mater Smith College and also studied encryption at Mount Holyoke College.

Ms. Eddy volunteered as a nurse during World War II. In a 2015 interview with the Gazette, she described the experience this way: “I loved being a nurse’s aid in the E.R. Blood, guts, gore. Helping people. All of it.”

Both women eventually moved to the Vineyard full time — Ms. Eddy to Chilmark, Ms. Conlin to the Harthaven section of Oak Bluffs. They remained fierce in their friendships, particularly among other Island women.

“You see all of us, so many of the women on this Island, live up dirt roads,” Ms. Eddy said in the 2015 interview, recalling the origins of the Women’s Symposium which she founded. “The thoughts that go through your head in the winters here. Ugh! The community of women is so important here. We call each other. Are you still alive over there? We talk. Is there a young mother with a sick baby? We are responsible for each other. We have to know where each other’s houses are, what tree to turn at.”

Both women were funny too.

A neighbor of Ms. Conlin’s, Mark Grandfield, described going clamming with her when she was in her 80s. “I had a wire floating basket to put my cherrystones in and noticed Phronsie did not. When we started getting clams, she just put them into the top of her bathing suit saying ‘I don’t need a basket, I have a pretty good shelf right here.’”

In the obituary for Ms. Eddy, it is noted that her default setting was social. “She was a notoriously lax housekeeper and considered cooking an inconvenience, but she was an excellent sailor, fisherman, gardener and letter writer.”

In keeping with the current pandemic, services will be private for Ms. Eddy and Ms. Conlin, but their lives and legacy will continue to be as public as ever.