Cover photo for Nancy Ellen (Phelps) Graham's Obituary
Nancy Ellen (Phelps) Graham Profile Photo
1934 Nancy 2022

Nancy Ellen (Phelps) Graham

August 18, 1934 — February 8, 2022

Nancy Ellen Graham, nee Phelps, daughter of the late Charles and Bernice (Munro) Phelps, died peacefully on February 8. With her husband John, Nancy was a longtime resident of Harvard, living in the house John designed for her on Warren Avenue since 1962.

Nancy was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 18, 1934. She graduated from Waltham High School in 1952. She completed secretarial school and met John while they were both working at Raytheon. Nancy and John were married in 1960, the start of a love affair that lasted 60 years.

Nancy worked at Cream Crock Ice Cream Distributors in Harvard before becoming a secretary to the principal at the Bromfield School, a position she held for more than 15 years. She made lifelong friends in the school community. She was also a longtime member of the Congregational Church in Harvard, serving as Deacon for several years and spearheading the Church's recycling efforts. She volunteered for many years at the Harvard Transfer Station and was an expert in the do's and don'ts of Harvard's recycling program. She loved travelling to Bermuda and Nantucket with her dear Harvard friends.

Nancy was dedicated to her family and immeasurably proud of her children and grandchildren. She met her grandchildren's teachers, attended plays, musicals, and baseball games, and discovered each of their favorite cookie recipes. She was famous for her cookie-baking and proud to be called "the cookie lady." She was an avid seamstress and quilter and loved to garden. She also made a mean fluffernutter. She served as assistant secretary and treasurer of John's business, Lou's Electric Supply, as recording secretary for the Geneological RoundTable, and as purser for the North American Steamboat Association. She and John traveled to the eastern seaboard for more than two decades with the wooden steamboat John built, the Mary Seaver. Nancy and John found great joy on the water and became pillars of the community of steamers, who came to love and depend on Nancy's chocolate mint cookies at every meet.

Nancy was known for her kind and welcoming spirit, her warm and gracious hospitality, her skill at gin rummy, and her ready laugh. She adored her children and grandchildren and always wanted each of them to know they were loved for their own unique self. She was deeply devoted to John.

Nancy was predeceased by her husband, John, and by her brother Charles Phelps, Jr. Nancy is survived by her daughters Heather (Cambridge) and Amanda (Devens); her terrific sons-in-law Robert Downing and Clayton Hobart; and her grandchildren Thomas Edward Downing, Elizabeth Graham Downing, and Finnegan John Graham Hobart.

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Nancy for a period of visitation on Monday, February 14, 2022, from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. in the Badger Funeral Home, 347 King Street, Littleton. Nancy's funeral service will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Congregational Church of Harvard, 5 Still River Road, Harvard.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Ascentria Care Alliance
Development Office
11 Shattuck Street
Worcester, MA 01605


Loaves & Fishes
234 Barnum Road
Devens, MA 01434

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, February 14, 2022

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Congregational Church of Harvard

5 Still River Rd, Harvard, MA 01451

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