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 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 them.

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 Stevensville MT.

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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