Nancy Lloyd Shippen died peacefully on January 20th, 2022 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The cause of death was complications from cardiac Amyloidosis. Born in Washington, DC on April 5th, 1949, Nancy grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, the middle sister of three daughters of Natalie Brooks Sears Shippen and Edward Shippen. She attended Greenwich’s elementary and middle schools, and graduated from Rosemary Hall, where she was active in drama and gymnastics.
As a girl she had many interests, including ballet, choral music, youth theater, and horseback riding. She loved animals, and was seldomly without a dog. She was always involved in a craft, be it needlepoint, macrame, or origami.
Nancy graduated from Goucher College, majoring in psychology and child development. After graduation she spent a year in Europe, working for and living with the Sisters of St Joseph at their school in Edinburgh. During this time she searched for a spiritual home and found she belonged with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), which she joined on her return to the USA.
Her struggles with dyslexia at a time when it was little understood imbued her with an interest and empathy for children with learning disabilities. After teaching in private schools for a few years she obtained a Master’s in Special Education from Leslie College. She taught for many years at St Anne’s School, Methuen, MA and Nashoba Brooks, Concord, MA.
While at St Anne's she met her husband William (Bill) Barwell How with whom she shared a love for wilderness forays, folk music, folk dancing, and social justice. Nancy and Bill were among the founding families of Fresh Pond Meeting of Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Both were beloved members of the Meeting, where Nancy served on many committees and was active in New England Yearly Meeting.
Nancy and Bill settled in Acton, Massachusetts where they raised their two children, Bharat Seth and Pauravi Brooks, whom they adored.
After many years of discernment Nancy founded, and became the Executive Director of, Our Prison Neighbors, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with incarcerated people using the Alternative to Violence Program as the backbone of her teachings.
After losing Bill to brain cancer, Nancy became further involved with Alternatives to Violence International, Inc. She travelled often with Pauravi to places such as Kenya, South Africa, Guatemala, and Nepal. In her work she preferred the title Natural Nancy, Professional Peace Maker.
Nancy is survived by her daughter Pauravi Brooks Shippen-How, her son Bharat Seth Shippen-How, his wife Sarah Shippen-How, their son Cobi William Shippen-How, as well as, her older sister Suzanne Sears Zimmermann, her younger sister Nina Brooks Shippen, and her cousins Robert S. and William B. Shippen. She also is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
Nancy Shippen’s memorial meeting, hosted by Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Framingham Friends Meeting House at 11:00am. The address for the meeting is 841 Edmands Road, Framingham, MA 01701. Framingham Friends Meeting has specific mask requirements for being inside the meeting house. Masks need to be N95. Cloth masks and surgical masks are not sufficient. Please plan accordingly. The memorial committee will have some extra N95 masks available for those attending the memorial without one.
A potluck lunch hosted by Fresh Pond Meeting will follow the memorial meeting, outside, under a tent. There will be no zoom or recording of Nancy’s memorial.
Nancy's celebration of life (memorial service) is scheduled for June 18, 2022 at 11:00 am at Framingham Friends Meeting located at 841 Edmands Road Framingham, MA 01701.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to:
Fresh Pond Friends Meeting Pat Moyer, Treasurer 3 Ellen Dana Court Lexington, MA 02420
Friends Peace Teams: https://friendspeaceteams.org/donate/
AVP (Alternatives to Violence) USA https://avpusa.org/get-involved/donations/