Food Culinary 08

Nancy E. (Gray) Garvin

February 28, 2022


Nancy Evelyn Garvin, 86 of Ashfield, MA died on Monday, February 28 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. She was the daughter of Charles and Frances (Jenner) Gray. Nancy grew up in Ashfield. She loved music and started playing the organ at St. John’s Episcopal Church when she was 12. She attended Sanderson Academy until her junior year in high school, when she transferred to McDuffie School for Girls in Springfield. She graduated from McDuffie with honors and was a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb science award. She then went on to pursue a degree in zoology from UMass Amherst.

While there she met Lester Garvin, and after a courtship which included many a square dance at the Ashfield Town Hall, they were married in 1957. Lester’s career in the US Navy and other pursuits took them to Sanford, FL, Suitland, Maryland, Ossining, NY, upstate NY and Stow, MA.

In 1975 Nancy went back to school and obtained a master’s degree in biology and secondary education from Framingham State College. She taught advanced high school science courses for 20 years in the Ayer Public School system. As part of her teaching, she organized a science club and state science Olympiad team, was a student advisor, and served on many faculty committees. She was nominated several times for the state teacher of the year award and in 1993-94 became a semi-finalist. She retired from teaching in 1998, and she and Lester moved back to the woods of her beloved Ashfield.

For Nancy, retirement was not a word that meant stop, and she jumped into life and became a tremendously active person in the town of Ashfield. She especially loved her volunteer work with the Ashfield Historical Society, and spent many hours researching her own family history as well as countless others and the history of buildings, properties, gravestones, old roads, and mill sites. She was also a member of the Agricultural Commission, the Town Hall building committee, and the Burial Ground Association and served as the Election Warden for several years.

On her own property she was no stranger to driving a tractor and running a chain saw. She enjoyed working in her flower and vegetable gardens and picking fruit from her trees and was not opposed to chasing a bear or two should they threaten her precious honeybees. She was a wonderful cook, and the family especially looked forward to her blueberry and apple pies. She could also be found playing her piano, attending Ashfield Community Band and Shelburne Falls Military Band concerts, and conversing with family and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Brister Gray. Carrying on her legacy are her husband Lester Garvin of Ashfield, her children Cynthia (Garvin) Mangsen and her husband Dennis of Ashfield, Peter Garvin and his wife Raushan of The Woodlands, TX, and David Garvin and his wife Lisa of Lexington, NC, her brother Alden Gray and his wife Audrey of Ashfield, 4 grandchildren, 4 great granddaughters and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In her memory, please plant pollinator flowers around your house and in your garden. Donations can be made to the Ashfield Historical Society or Highland Ambulance in Goshen.

Burial and a celebration of life will take place when the weather is warm and the flowers are blooming.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy E. (Gray) Garvin, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced

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