Nora Hersey

Nora Keeling Hersey, 86, of East Orleans, died peacefully on October 24, 2013. Born in Walhalla, ND, the first child of Victoria and Harold Keeling, she graduated a year early from high school, and graduated from The University of Minnesota. Later, she completed studies for her Masters degree in Special Education at The University of Minnesota. Her first teaching job was at the Grey School, a one-room schoolhouse in Lamoure, ND, which is now a historical landmark. She received the North Dakota Teacher of the Year Award. Married to the late Richard Andruss Hersey in 1955, the couple lived in Minneapolis and summered on Cape Cod for 23 years, before moving permanently to Cape Cod. The couple was married for 45 years, until his death in 2000. Her quest for learning and love of teaching and desire to make resources more widely available to others was a lifelong passion, which carried over into so many of the organizations at which she volunteered. In Minneapolis, she was on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Orchestral Association Board of Directors; a Board Member of the W omens Assn. of the Minnesota Orchestra; President of the Board of the Young Peoples Symphony Concert Association; on the Boards of the Childrens Hospital Volunteer Assn., the Junior League of Minneapolis and on the womens committee of St. Marks cathedral. After moving to Cape Cod, Nora engaged herself in the community there with the same energy and devotion that she had shown in Minneapolis. In Orleans, she was President of the Friends of the Snow Library, as well as on the Snow Board of Trustees, and oversaw new construction, including the creation of the Childrens Room/ Program, which was dear to her heart , and lifetime of Learning, a program of featured speakers , as well as the Cape-wide inter-library exchange, a forerunner of many later rograms across the country. She was a member of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra Guild, President of the Cape Cod Symphony Friends Assn., a member of the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary for over 25 yrs., co-chairman of the Hospital Aid Holly Bazaar, a member of the Orleans Historical Society, the Nauset Garden Club, the Junior League Club of Southeastern Massachusetts, and on the Needlepoint Committee of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Aside from her active roll in her community, Nora had several hobbies, which she loved, including cooking, gardening, quilting, needlepointing and rug hooking. She was an avid reader of American history and English literature. She loved attending lectures and shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her greatest commitment was to her loving family, as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother and to her devoted circle of friends in Minneapolis and on Cape Cod, whom she adored. Her gentle smile exuded the warmth and caring demeanor that was her personality. Her generosity continued even after death, as she donated her brain to the Massachusetts General Hospital for Study. She is survived by her loving children, Kate H. Dickerson (Jack), Elizabeth H. Gardner (David), Richard Keeling Hersey (Lucy) and Jane H. Sanborn (Robert); seven grandchildren, Madeleine, Drake, Richard, William, David, Peter and Anne; step grandson, Giles Dickerson (Mia) and two step great grandchildren, Taylor and Sophia; beloved siblings, nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service is planned at the Church of the Holy Spirit in East Orleans on November 30 at 2:00 PM. Donations in Noras memory may be made to Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra or Snow Library.

Published in The Cape Codder from Nov. 8 to Nov. 15, 2013