Darlene Ayres was a former public health nurse for Maine, a dedicated school nurse for the Cape Elizabeth School Department, a camp nurse and hospice nurse, who made a difference in so many lives.

Mrs. Ayres, who dedicated her life to taking care of others, died Sunday in Beaverton, Oregon, with her two daughters by her side. She was 74.

Mrs. Ayres had a long and diverse career that began as an emergency room nurse at San Francisco General Hospital in the late 1960s. She went on to become a public health nurse for Maine. In the early 1970s, she became a school nurse and health educator for Cape Elizabeth schools. She retired in the early 1990s.

Mrs. Ayres was remembered this week as a strong, beautiful and compassionate woman, who had an impact on many people throughout her life.

Her daughter Carol Ayres of Portland, Oregon, shared a story Wednesday of a young boy with cerebral palsy that her mother helped. She said her mother fought to get him the care he needed.

“She connected with him,” her daughter said. “Those kinds of stories are everywhere in her life. She really had a heart for people, who were vulnerable in any way through a disability or through poverty. She was a real advocate for those people as well.”

Mrs. Ayres was also remembered for her sense of adventure and passion for life. Soon after she retired, she moved to Bolivia and helped open a hospital there. She worked as a public health nurse in Cochabamba for the next two years. Her daughter said she loved the people and they loved her.

“It’s amazing to me that she learned Spanish in her 50s, moved down there, and did the work she did,” her daughter said. “She made friends wherever she went. One of her gifts was connecting with people. I saw the connections she made on an individual level. There was something about her spirit that was magnetic and that made people want to talk with her. She always had such a listening ear with so much insight and understanding and compassion.”

Mrs. Ayres was a longtime resident of Ocean Park in Old Orchard Beach. She was married to Kenneth Ayres for more than 30 years. The couple’s other daughter is Janet Ayres.

Carol Ayres said her mother was fun, full of life and laughter and always there for others. She remembered the year she did a charity bike ride from Boston to New York. Her mother drove her to Boston and they stayed at a hotel. The next day she drove her daughter to the starting line, and then continued to New York to meet her daughter at the finish line.

“It was very much her,” she said. “She was supportive, but let me do things on my on. She trusted me and believed in me to get from point A to B. She had this deep belief that I could do it. That combination will stay with me forever.”

Mrs. Ayres continued her work in the health-care field at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston as a certified diabetes educator. She retired in 2008.

Mrs. Ayres was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine cancer, known as carcinoid, in 2007. In the fall of 2013, doctors gave her six months to live. She lived for more than a year, to the fullest. When she stopped walking, she started swimming. She made time for her daughters. Most recently, she lived with her daughter in Portland, Oregon.