Maria Arms, 59, of Ridgefield, CT and Bridgehampton, NY, passed away unexpectedly on July 16, 2018 at her home in Bridgehampton from complications of a recently diagnosed aggressive cancer.

She was born in Worcester, MA, the youngest of five daughters, to Athanasios (Arthur) and Aristula (Toula) Shocas. After her studies at Bradford College, she worked in the fashion and design industries in New York, Boston and Marblehead, MA, and Washington, DC. She was founder of Open Arms Design, was the Northeast Regional Manager for Smith and Hawken for ten years, and was a personal assistant to Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy at Hickory Hill in McLean, VA.

Maria married Thomas Arms and moved to Ridgefield, CT to begin their life together and raise their daughter Isabella. She was a fiercely dedicated and loving mother, encouraging her daughter to volunteer and travel widely. Three weeks before her death, one of Maria’s proudest moments was cheering from afar as Isabella reached Mount Everest Base Camp.

She had an extraordinary ability for designing interior and exterior spaces, combining function and aesthetic. A remarkable and gifted artist, jewelry designer, gardener, and cook, Maria unselfishly shared her many creative talents with family, friends, and neighbors. Her playful sense of humor and positive energy were always evident, including at her legendary Halloween parties. A loyal friend, Maria would drop everything to offer support or calmly manage an emergency. After 9/11, she helped deliver large amounts of hand tools to search and rescue teams at Ground Zero.

Maria is survived by her beloved husband Thomas Arms and cherished daughter Isabella Arms. She also leaves her sisters and brothers-in-law Dorothea and Steven Craig of Truro, MA, Elaine Shocas of Washington, DC, Katherine Shocas and Daniel de la Torre of Worcester, MA, Sandra Bazoukas of Worcester, MA; mother-in-law Anneli Arms of New York City and Bridgehampton; nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Maria’s family and friends are forever grateful for her love and generous spirit. Burial was private. Donations in Maria Shocas Arms’ memory may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Attn: Elliott Pollock, 885 Second Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10017. Giving.mskcc.org.