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Nancy Mattis


1921 - 2016
Nancy Mattis Obituary
MATTIS, NANCY W. of Barrington, passed away peacefully, at home, early Wednesday morning, October 26th. She was 95 years old. Born in Providence on March 6th, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Frederick Bernon and Clara Louise (Spencer) Wilcox. She attended The Gordon School, The Lincoln School and Wheaton College. A descendent of Gabriel Bernon (1644-1736), who settled in Rhode Island in 1697, she was a Rhode Island resident all her life and a Barrington resident since 1949. She grew up in Providence with her summers spent by the shore of Narragansett Bay in the Bristol Highlands. It was in that old summer community and, perhaps, she would say, having been born a Pisces, that her lifelong love for the water began. She lived on the water most of her life and, be it canoe or steamship, she was an avid boater. Even into her nineties, she insisted on being taken out for a "spin" around the river in the old Boston Whaler she kept at her dock. During World War II, while vacationing in Florida, she met a young Navel Officer from New Jersey and several years later, on October 7th, 1946, in Providence, she married Walter E. Mattis. They enjoyed a life of raising a family, boating, world travel and lifelong friends. They were married 57 years, until her husband's death in 2003. Even after she lost her husband, she kept an active lifestyle, with weekly golf and tennis matches, playing bridge with a local group of ladies, and bowling with the "Rumstick Rollers", all well into her late eighties. She was voracious reader and conversationalist, with a great interest in all that was going on, both globally and within her small close circle of cherished family and friends. She was a member of many local clubs and organizations for over fifty years, including the Rhode Island Country Club, the Barrington Yacht Club, Barrington Harbors Association, Barrington Women's Club, Barrington Garden Club, Providence Athenaeum, the Handicraft Club, Rhode Island Historical Society, RISD Museum, the Chaminade Club of Providence, and the Newport Art Museum. When she and her husband moved to Barrington, they joined the Barrington Congregational Church where she remained a member all her life. She was also a long time and active member of the "Barrington Blue Chips", a small women's investment club that, along with her father's tutorage, fostered a keen interest in the stock market, that continued into her final days. She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Lewis and son-in-law, Gilbert Garcia and by her son, Frederick "Ted" Mattis. She is also survived by her four grandchildren, Andrew Lewis, Ross Mattis (Lauren Miller), Bradley Mattis and Rebecca Mattis and two great-grandchildren, Jasper and Olive Miller Mattis. All of Rhode Island. She was pre-deceased by her older brother Frederick Jr. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the Hospice team from Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties and to the other caregivers who made it possible for her to stay in her home, in her room, and watching over the river, just as she had hoped for. According to her wishes, she was buried in her family's plot at Swan Point Cemetery. Services to celebrate her life were private. Visit smithmason.com for online condolences and further information.
Published in The Providence Journal on Oct. 30, 2016
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