SANTA FE, N.M.- Nancy Burton Fecteau, formerly of South Hadley, Mass., died peacefully on June 9, 2012, in Santa Fe, after a long illness. She was 82.
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Born March 1, 1930, in New Haven, Conn., to Willard Clark Burton and Florence Amelia Rose, Nancy grew up in Hamden, Conn., with her beloved Mather Street gang.
She was a cheerleader at Hamden High School, graduating in 1947. She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1951 from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
While at Mount Holyoke, she met and fell in love with Harrison "Harry" Bartlett Fecteau of South Hadley, whom she married soon after graduation. The couple lived first in Columbus, Ga., where Harry was stationed at Fort Benning while in the U.S. Army Airborne, and where their daughter, Lois "Loie" Ann Fecteau, was born. The family subsequently returned to South Hadley, where Nancy lived on Mosier Street for 56 years.
Harry predeceased Nancy in 1985. She died on their 61st wedding anniversary.
Nancy had returned to Mount Holyoke to earn her teacher's certificate and taught second grade for several years at the Carew Street Elementary School in South Hadley. She subsequently went to work in the Registrar's Office at Mount Holyoke College from which she retired at age 71.
A kind and caring people person, Nancy made friends wherever she went, including at Ponce De Leon senior community in Santa Fe, where she had lived since July 2010.
She was a longtime member of Center Church in South Hadley.
Nancy loved dogs, especially her little Lily, the Boston Red Sox, who made her dreams come true in 2004 when they finally won the World Series, and Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
A passionate supporter of veterans, Nancy was especially proud that her maternal grandfather, George Rose, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor while in the U.S. Navy during the Boxer Rebellion in China. She finally got to visit her grandfather's grave at Arlington National Cemetery when she traveled from Massachusetts to New Mexico during her move to the Southwest in 2010.
Born a Connecticut Yankee, Nancy remained a New Englander in her heart although she was quite fond of her adopted New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.
A memorial service will be held later this summer in South Hadley, with burial beside her husband at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507 or www.sfhumanesociety.org. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, 1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505, (505) 984-8600, handled the arrangements. Please sign our guestbook online at www.berardinellifuneralhome.com.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 23, 2012