Nancy Morris Mathey
Nancy “Nan” Morris Mathey, 92, of Ipswich, passed away peacefully at her
Exeter, New Hampshire residence on February 2, 2021. Nan was born December
4, 1928 in Orange, New Jersey to Robert Clarence and Mildred (Town)
Morris. She was blessed to have two happy marriages: first to Richard
“Dick” Durand (married in 1951) and then, following Richard’s passing in
1988, to George R. Mathey (married in 1989), who passed away in 2020.
It is impossible to capture the full portrait of Nan Mathey in a few
hundred words. A committed friend and philanthropist, she loved family,
neighbors, and spending quiet evenings in conversation with a cigar and a
brandy in each hand (in that order). Nan was active in her community,
involved in Castle Hill in Ipswich, The Trustees of Reservations, and the
Quebec Labrador Foundation.
“Nan” was a strong, independent woman,” says
Nan’s friend, Candace “Candy” Haydock. “She loved hosting and was happy to
have everyone be together. If I had to describe her approach to life it
would be this: be strong, be funny, and make the most of each day.”
Candy’s first interaction with Nan is indelible: as she pulled into the
driveway of Nan’s home in Ipswich in 1981, there she appeared on her lawn
tractor, a lean, wiry, six-foot tall woman, with soil-splotched blue jeans
and short, wavy silver hair. “I was, like, who
is this woman,”
Candy recalls, laughing. Celebration and camaraderie permeated Nan’s life.
From the Fourth of July get-togethers in Ipswich filled with hamburgers,
fireworks, and a parade of grandchildren to the annual Montana family
excursions, Nan found fulfillment in the serene visages of nature and joy
with the people she treasured most in the world at her side to share in
Though Nan may have physically departed, her spirit - and legacy -
endures. She gave generously to support the causes she cared about and
lent her energy, warmth, and compassion to all who knew her. Nan
Mathey was simultaneously larger than life and down to earth, and we will
always be reminded of her when we sit outside, breathe deep the fresh air,
and gaze into the big night sky.
And then we’ll each raise a brandy and say: “To you, Nan!”
Nan Mathey is survived by her two stepchildren George G. Mathey of
Ipswich, and Elisabeth M. Landry of Yonkers, NY; ten step-grandchildren,
Peter W. Mathey of Ipswich, Samuel G. Mathey of Beverly, Maxwell L. Mathey
of Weymouth, Sarah J. Mathey of Salem, Frances Mathey Dorman of Ipswich,
Andrew R. Mathey of Ipswich, George J. Mathey of Ipswich, Henry M. Mathey
of Boston, Nathaniel M. Landry of Oakland, CA, and Devin W. Landry of
To honor Nan's deep appreciation of nature and
committed philanthropy, a celebration of life will be held in the spring
at Burley Farms in Epping, NH, a place Nan enjoyed and where she chose to
honor her late husband George.
Arrangements are under the direction of the
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.
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