Nancy Stokes, obituary

Posted:  Monday, June 19, 2017 - 7:00pm

OWLS HEAD - Nancy Taylor Stokes, 90, died June 12, 2017.

Born in 1927, she was the daughter of Capt. Conant Taylor and Marjorie Buffum Taylor. She grew up in Westerly and Newport, R.I., sailing on the Narragansett Bay, during the war years when her father was chief of staff at the Naval Operations Base.

She came from a Puritan and Quaker heritage, and attended Westerly Meeting, Mount Holly Meeting and Moorestown Meeting. Her lifelong spiritual quest was a guiding force in her life. She was active in the peace movement, civil rights movement and local Democratic politics.

She graduated from Westown School and Wheaton College, majoring in music. After college, she taught music at Scattergood Friends School and Moorestown Friends School. She married Francis C. Stokes Jr. in 1952 and they raised their family in New Lisbon and Moorestown, N.J.

Nancy taught piano and recorder lessons for many years at home and at Berwick Academy. An aficionado of early music, she played recorder and harpsichord in the Da Camera Consort in South Jersey and Philadelphia. She also played in a local Midcoast Maine group. She was an accomplished pianist and in her 50s studied piano performance at Temple University.

While her husband took up solo-ocean sailing and racing, she began running at age 50 and ran seriously for the next 30 years. She competed in many races, 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and approximately 15 marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice, the New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Cape Cod marathons. A member of the 65+ Runners Club of New England, she ran the Mt. Washington Road Race twice at ages 71 and 72, setting a record for her age group. In later years she continued to run 40 miles a week. She often ran from her home at Four Winds in South Thomaston down Route 131 to Tenants Harbor and back, picking up cans and bottles along the way.

She was always grateful for the kind loving care she received from the staff at the Owls Head Homestead during the last year of her life.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Francis C. Stokes Jr.; her brother, Jack; her first baby, Peter; and her daughter, Marjorie. Nancy is survived by her sister, Phoebe Franklin of Westerly, R.I.; her brother, Roger C. Taylor and his wife, Kathleen Carney, of Virginia and Paris; her daughters, Clare Stokes and her husband, Roger Papke, of Gainesville, Fla., Agnes Joy and her husband, Paul Joy, of Lincolnville, and Rachel Stokes of Kingston, N.H.; her sons, Whitall Stokes and his wife, Deone Zell, of Santa Rosa Valley, Calif., and Arthur Stokes and his wife, Lydia Stokes Fiavola, of West Linton, Scotland; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She will be interred privately at the Village Cemetery in South Thomaston.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home.