May 13, 1930 – March 30, 2010
It’s the simple things in life that can bring the most pleasure. No one embodied that philosophy better than Nancy Crafts, who passed away on March 30, 2019. Whether it was finding a lucky rock on Minot Beach in Scituate, MA, enjoying seasonal views of Mt. Wanstastiquet from her window in Brattleboro Vermont, feeling the warm sun on her face in January in Hawaii, or simply eating Bacon; she always found her smile.
Nancy met her husband of 58 years, Richard, while he was riding his horse around Bulrush Farm in Scituate, Massachusetts, where she grew up. They raised their children, Cathy, Greg, and Debby, in the house they built in the early 1950’s. Nancy was the daughter of Andrews Wyman and Elizabeth (Walker) Wyman, big sister to Bruce Wyman and Peggy (Wyman) Goldyn. Nancy played basketball and was the head cheerleader for the football team at Scituate High. After high school, she received a degree in early childhood education from Tufts University. She then went on to teach Kindergarten before staying home with her children.
Her summers consisted of sitting on Minot Beach during the week and spending weekends with her family, either on the Cape or on their boat in Cohasset Harbor. Her husband would roll his eyes when he’d come home from working in the city because she would tell him she was tired from her day at the beach. That became a family joke. Whenever someone was feeling over-worked we’d say, “I had a hard day at the beach!” Nancy eventually went back to work full time when her youngest daughter, Debby, was in 6th grade. Debby still remembers the day when her mom asked permission for her to go back to work.
Erdman Preschool became the next great chapter of her life, where she worked as both a teacher and the director. She often commented how she loved the small children because they were so uncomplicated and so real. In the same breath, she would always mention the tremendous amount of respect she had for all the women with whom she worked. She was one of the lucky ones who truly loved her job.
Nancy was of the Greatest Generation; she was as resilient as they came. After Richard died, in 2008, she ventured out of Scituate. At 78 years young, she began traveling to Hawaii and Hood River, Oregon in the winter, so she could spend time with her son Greg Crafts, his wife Nancy Roach, their children, Katie Crafts and Andy Crafts and, eventually, Andy’s wife Katie (Rawson) Crafts. She followed every detail of the house Andy and his wife Katie built. She also enjoyed Katie Crafts’ artwork and photographs, and she admired her strength and bold sense of adventure. In Hawaii, her joy came in many forms: including sitting in a beach chair in January, the view from Mama’s, and simply spending time with her son, his family, and the many friends she made in Hawaii. She also made the trip a few times with her wonderful caregiver Rhonda Bradbury, whom she called her fourth child. Their favorite activity was to find as many sea turtles on the beach as possible, the record was either 44 or 77 depending on who you believed!
After Richard passed, her daughter Cathy Crafts-Allen and her husband John Allen built a small home over their garage for Nancy to age into. Nancy loved her “Ohana” as she called it. For several years she would summer in Scituate, winter in Hawaii, and spend the spring and the Holidays in Vermont; she felt like she had it all. While she was living in Vermont, she was able to enjoy time with her Vermont born grandsons. Griffin Allen and his wife Amber Lettre made her so proud when they planned a wedding ceremony that included her, even when she was unable to travel to their destination wedding. She also enjoyed visits with her grandson Dan Allen and his wife Eve Margolis, who, in 2018, gave Nancy her very first great-grandchild, Maya Lorraine Allen. Every time she saw or talked about Maya, Nancy got a twinkle in her beautiful, blue eyes.
Her younger daughter, Debby, felt very lucky to live close to Nancy for many years; her mom was her greatest champion. She has great memories of spending time in the kitchen, sitting at the family dinner table playing games or just talking about life. For many years, in July, Debby and her family, Mark Mahoney, Thomas Mahoney and Alex Mahoney, would rent a big house on Glades Road; to be close to Nancy and Richard. Nancy would sit in front of the house like she was the Queen of the Beach; which everyone agreed was quite accurate! When Debby and Mark’s boys, Thomas and Alex, were old enough, Nancy showed them all the secrets of Minot Beach: including the Well, dribble castles, the St. Bernard, the Bar (Rock!) and she explained the story of 1-4-3 to them.
Just a week before her death, Nancy was recorded by a friend saying she had an “idyllic life” and she wouldn’t have changed one thing about it. Nancy will be missed dearly by her family, her many friends, and her special caregivers. Her wishes were to have no sadness, just wonderful memories that make you smile when you think of her.
A Memorial Service will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 330 First Parish Road, Scituate followed by a gathering of family and friends to follow, which will be announced at the conclusion of the service. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. A private interment will take place before the service, where she will be laid to rest beside her late husband at the Cudworth Cemetery in Scituate.
Donations in her memory should be sent to the Unitarian Church 330 First Parish Rd., Scituate, MA 02066.
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
330 First Parish Rd
April 23, 2019
To all the Crafts,
My mother, Jean Holcomb, spent many years by Nancy's side as a friend and co-worker. Jean loved her days at Erdman and working with Nancy and the gang - the stories, the laughs and the passion they all shared during that time was very special. Nancy helped give my mother the opportunity to become director of the her own preschool at the Naval Base and was grateful for that. I enjoyed running into Nancy at the North Scituate post office and catching up - always with a smile, an update on the family and best wishes to my mother. These were great women from a great age and we were truly blessed to have them so close for so long. I will always smile and think good thoughts when thinking of Nancy.
April 20, 2019
That bright smile, quick wit and her twinkling blue eyes will always be my fondest memories of Nancy. We will all miss her! Debby has been an amazing friend over these last 24 years since we met on our first day of college. I was so fortunate to meet all of Debby’s family over the years and I am so sorry for your loss. Nancy shared so many of her gifts with all of her friends and family and I was fortunate to be a part of it through Debby. Debby is a testament to Nancy and I am so grateful to have had the honor to be their friends! Love and peace to all!