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.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Hi. I’m sorry to just hear that Nancy had passed. I knew Nancy as a customer of Plantworks in Porter Square. Every week a lovely bouquet would be in place in the store that I worked at near Plantworks. After she closed the store I had not seen her for years until we ran into each other at my new office next to where her lovely home was. I enjoyed running into her and her beloved dog as they went for a stroll. I have not been to my office regularly for over a year know with Covid. I will miss running into her. I’m sorry for your loss.

Deb Cantrell

Posted by Deb Cantrell - Friend   March 08, 2021

Nanci Believed that three angels had guided the decisions she made all of her life. When I asked her once how she knew there were three of them she answered because each of them comes to me in a different color.
I believe those angels are holding Nanci close now, but they better behave themselves, because if they don't; Nanci is sure to set them straight.

Posted by Clifton Perkins - Lynnfield, MA - Student   November 15, 2020

I met Nanci this past December of 2019, through her amazing friend, Clif. I was recovering from surgery and needed "some help" decorating the Annie Longfellow Thorp home in Cambridge. What transpired was a work of art ... and love. My regret is not knowing her longer as we have much in common. I am grateful for her many gifts and wish her family and friends much peace and comfort.

Nanci was, and always will be, a force of nature. Thank you, dear Lady, and may "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest".

Posted by Tootie Larios McCarthy - Cambridge, MA - Friend   November 15, 2020

Nanci was an amazing woman who I really loved and respected. Her love of nature, Gracie and the people in her life were inspiring. Rest in peace, Nanci.

Posted by Judy Ranan - CA - Friend   November 14, 2020

I will so miss Nanci. She was such a longtime friend to my mother and me where we shared Harvard football year after year. Be at peace, Nanci. Carol O'Donnell, Brunswick, ME July 5, 2020

Posted by Carol O'Donnell - Brunswick, ME - Friend   July 05, 2020

Sincere condolences on the passing of my "painting friend" Nanci, whose kindness and subtle wit made her a joy to know. I will miss her and pray that she is resting in peace. - Susan Lester

Posted by A friend   May 13, 2020

To my dear friend, Nanci, I am so glad you are at peace and I have no doubt that you are with Tim, T&N, and Gracie. No more suffering. You have been an irreplaceable friend and will be deeply missed. I love you forever and you will always be in my heart. I wish I could hear your answers as I talk to you each day. I have no doubt that you have found out the bliss of the transformation from this lifetime. I am happy for you! God Bless You! I love you!

Posted by Sat Kartar Kaur Khalsa - MILLIS, MA - Friend   April 22, 2020

i shall miss our connections that have taken place throughout so many years. peace without suffering is her due and who knows perhaps she rests with gracie and tim

a nanci haiku:
beautiful gardens.
intelligent and caring.
with fine wine and dine.

Posted by ingrid urweider - Hasliberg/Reuti Switzerland - Friend   April 22, 2020

Words often do not do justice to feelings, and the right ones are hard to find. I have to trust that Nanci knew how many kindnesses I would want to thank her for and how important she was to me. The world has lost a very strong, kind woman and a loyal and true friend. I will miss you every day. My sincerest condolences to Clifton and to Nanci's family. Love, Liz

Posted by Liz Lombardozzi - Malden, MA - Friend   April 20, 2020

Rest in sweet peace Nanci, you were such a good person/friend to me.

Posted by A friend   April 19, 2020

My condolences to Nanci's family and friends.
Nancy was such a caring and generous person. She added much
color to the world.

Posted by Sally De F - Cambridge, MA   April 19, 2020

They say old Florist never die, They just make other arrangements. You will be truly missed my friend

Posted by Coleen ODonnell - Quincy, MA   April 18, 2020

My Condolences To The Family;
I'm so sorry for your great loss. May the God of all comfort be with you all during this difficult time.

Posted by A friend   April 18, 2020

Family Album