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Nancy Burchill

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Nancy Burchill died peacefully at her home July 30, 2013. She was surrounded by her children and had many friends and family visit with her during her last days in this life. Nancy was the daughter of the late John McKnight of County Down, Northern Ireland, and Jane E. McKnight of Boston. She was born June 15, 1940, in Boston, and lived in Brookline and Natick. During her childhood, Nancy spent a number of years with her grandmother, Eliza Young Priestly, a woman she adored and talked about often. After graduating from Natick High School in 1958, she attended Massachusetts College of Art where she met Samuel Burchill. They were married in 1959 and had four children while making home in California, New York and West Bridgewater. Nancy later returned to school and earned a degree in Special Education from Bridgewater State College. She spent the majority of the next four decades working with special needs children. Most recently, she was a special education teacher at the Latham Center in Brewster until her retirement in 2012. In 1986, Nancy moved to Cape Cod and settled in her adopted hometown of Chatham. She bought and operated The Culling Board restaurant on Main Street in Chatham for many years before returning to teaching. Nancy had a tremendous spirit and was always keen for a lively discussion no matter the topic. A strong willed woman, Nancy held many convictions - none more than the importance of self-advocacy. She was loved far and wide and leaves her mark in those she leaves behind. Nancy is survived by her two brothers, Bob Burkhardt of Halifax and Jack Burkhardt of Scituate. She is also survived by her two daughters, Eliza Celardo and her husband George of Walpole and Sarah Bishop and her husband Scott of Kingston; and her two sons, Samuel Burchill and his wife Gae of Newfields, N.H., and Damon Burchill and his wife Brenda Stein of Yarmouth. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Meghan Burchill, Caitlin Burchill, Bill Burchill, Samuel Burchill, Ryan Burchill, Douglas Bishop, Phillip Bishop, Lauren Celardo, and John Celardo. In addition, Nancy had two great-granddaughters, Haleigh and Nina Burchill. Nancys friends and family would like to express their deepest appreciation to Broadreach Hospice and Comfort Keepers for their assistance during Nancys final days. These wonderful caregivers and health professionals provided guidance and compassion and allowed her family to fulfill Nancys wish to be at home. Visiting hours were held at Nickerson Funeral Home, 87 Crowell Road, Chatham, Friday, Aug. 2, from 4-7 p.m. It was Nancys wish that there be no flowers. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to a charity dear to your heart. For online condolences, please visit

Published in The Cape Codder from Aug. 1 to Aug. 8, 2013
Nancy J. (McKnight) Burchill
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Nickerson Funeral Home
87 Crowell Road | Chatham, MA 02633 | (508) 945-1166
Funeral Home Details