Nanci Anderson

  • Born: October 7, 1941
  • Died: April 12, 2020
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Robinson Funeral Home

809 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176
Tel. (781) 665-1900

Tribute & Message From The Family

Nanci (Patterson) Anderson, died peacefully at the Winchester Hospital on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, with family and friends by her side.

Nanci was born on October 7, 1941; attended the Boston Public School system, the Immaculate Conception High School, and graduated from Boston University. As a young woman, she traveled extensively across North America and throughout Europe. At the age of 75, Nanci was still traveling and by herself courageously went on Safari to South and West Africa.

Nanci, was an only child, raised primarily by her Aunt, her mother's sister. As an only child, Nanci often found herself on her own, and she developed an enduring natural independence. Nanci was her own woman in every way, a tour de force; she was once described by a close friend as "truly a force of nature." In 1982 Nanci married the love of her life, Timothy Anderson and remained devoted and faithful to Tim until the very last. Nanci and Tim, a renowned Architect, raised their blended family and together rehabilitated an historic house in Cambridge. Through her resolute nature, self-sufficient style, and determined hard work, Nanci successfully created and operated Plantworks, first in Boston, and later for over 35 years in various locations throughout Cambridge. She also pioneered Hydrangea, a unique shop providing custom dried flower arrangements to many loyal customers. Nanci built lasting customer relationships over the years and operated the businesses successfully until her retirement in 2004. Nanci continued to provide services to many customers by operating her creative plant arranging business from her home until just weeks before her passing.

On a trip of discovery to northern New England, Nanci and Tim fell in love with a quiet little cove located in Milbridge, Maine, and out of a dilapidated little hunting cabin, built a special place of refuge, Kampenuf.

After the death of her beloved Tim, Nanci continued to grow connections in the local community through her involvement in the local library, the Cambridge Senior Center, and her participation in local events. Even if you only met Nanci once, even if it was long ago, Nanci remembered your name. She was active in local politics and was not shy about letting her progressive opinions be known to all.

Nanci was an artist of singular style. She loved to paint, was an avid reader, and a crossword puzzle savant. She loved music in all its forms and even learned how to drum. She loved animals, cooking, traveling, and most of all spending time with her many friends. She remained a devoted benefactor to Operation Smiles, and consistently supported wildlife and other charities. Nanci remained a generous and giving person throughout her life.

In recent years Nanci and her faithful dog Gracie, who earned the honor of "Therapy Dog," enjoyed volunteering, and brought love and joy to the homebound, the sick, the hospitalized, and those living in nursing homes. Nanci generously shared her love of Gracie with friends and family.

Nanci was an extraordinary woman who endeared herself to a wide array of people of diverse backgrounds with her authenticity, generosity, wonderful sense of humor, and indomitable spirit. She will be deeply missed.

Nanci was the beloved wife of the late J. Timothy Anderson. Mother of Sarah (Johnson) Diehl of Boston, and step-mother of Joshua Anderson (Kennon) of Manchester, MA, Rev. Jennie Anderson of Norwich, VT, and Adam Anderson of E. Wareham. She was the grandmother of Brandon Johnson, Duncan Anderson, Cecille Anderson, Dylan Desaubies, Craig "CJ" Anderson, and Kerri Anderson. She was the dear companion of Clifton Perkins of Lynnfield, and former wife of the late Arnold Johnson of Cambridge. She is also survived by a host of loving friends accumulated throughout her life.

In compliance with public health regulations, services to celebrate Nanci's life will be private. All are invited to remotely attend Nanci's virtual Memorial Service. If you wish, please join us by following the link below on Friday, November 13, 2020, at 1:00 pm.