Melissa Bourque was an accomplished executive who served as president of Junior Achievement of Maine and previously as director of member services for the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce.

Though her work was an important part of her life, nothing topped the love she had for her husband and two children, her friends and family said.

She died Thursday after a long fight with Crohn’s disease and colon cancer. She was 47.

She was the wife of Michael Bourque of Portland and the mother of their 14 year-old twins, Kathryn and William. She was an active volunteer at Nathan Clifford Elementary School in Portland and then King Middle School, where she led its annual auction. She was recognized by the Portland School Board as an outstanding volunteer for 2014.

“She was unfailingly kind and pleasant,” said her husband. “She was someone who cared about people instantly, particularly kids. She put a lot of herself into her own kids and other people’s kids too.”

Family and community were the hallmarks of Mrs. Bourque’s life. At the start of her career, she served as education director for Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. She later transferred to Junior Achievement’s office in Greater Portland, where she took a similar position.

In 1996, she joined the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, where as director of membership services, she helped the chamber grow to a record number of more than 1,400 members.

Chris Hall, chief executive officer of the Portland Regional Chamber, said Friday that she had strong relationships with the staff and community. Recently she approached Hall about organizing a blood drive to benefit those who needed transfusions, as she had. The American Red Cross held a series of blood drives in her honor that generated about 200 donations.

“It tells you something about the woman to think that this is what she wanted us to do,” Hall said. “She was very selfless. She was one of those people. … She connected. She connected with friends, her family and her community. She was special. We’re all going to miss her.”

Mrs. Bourque returned to Junior Achievement to serve on its board of directors. In 2003, she was asked to lead the organization as president. In her seven years at the helm, she helped thousands of Maine students gain exposure to basic economic principles in school. She oversaw its programs and fundraising initiatives and recruited volunteers. When she left in 2010, the organization had received a big financial boost from winning beneficiary status from the Beach to Beacon road race.

“It was a great moment in her career,” her husband said, noting she ran the race a half-dozen times or so. “She loved the race and the community that’s built around it. She left them in a good position financially because of the work she had done.”

Outside work, Mrs. Bourque was a member of the Musica de Filia women’s choir for several years. She also sang in the choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Portland, which her family attends. She loved traveling and spending time at the family camp at Damariscotta Lake.

She was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago.