Obituary : Nancie E. Buell
Nancie Elizabeth Buell of Ellenton, Fla., died at her home on October 29 with her family by her side. Nancie E. Flanders was born August 11, 1929, in Oak Bluffs. She had the serendipitous distinction of being the first baby born in the then new Martha's Vineyard Hospital.
Her father, Kenneth A. Flanders, came from a long lineage of Vineyarders from Chilmark. Her mother, Mary Lavare Flanders, known to all as Molly, lived for many years in Menemsha.
Nancie's great-grandfather, Samuel H. Flanders, was the keeper of the Gay Head Lighthouse in the mid 1800s, and witnessed the installation of the famed Fresnel lens in 1856. He had 14 children. Her grandfather, Samuel H. Flanders Jr., the youngest of them all, was born in the lighthouse.
Nancie was a popular young woman and was known for her beautiful strawberry blond hair and magnetic personality. She spent her summers in Menemsha and attended Brewster Academy and Pembroke College. In January of 1948, she married Frank B. Buell, whose parents owned the Home Port Restaurant in Menemsha. Frank became her lifelong soul mate and best friend for the next 58 years, until his death in 2006.
Frank's career as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation required the family to be stationed in several states over the years. Nancie lived in Connecticut, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Maryland, finally retiring to Ellenton. Nancie and Frank were avid campers and traveled on many Holiday Traveler caravans around the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Together they visited every state in the Union. Their travels were often several months in duration. When not traveling, they taught square dancing and entertained at many dance events closer to home.
Her chosen career and most joyous part of her life was caring for her family. Her tremendous capacity for love was felt by all who knew her. She would often say that there was more than enough love to go around in her family. She also enjoyed working and volunteering in her church where she served tirelessly in many capacities, all the while strengthening her faith. She steadfastly held to the thought, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings."
In a letter to the editor in the Vineyard Gazette in April of 1943, Eugene H. Damon eulogized Nancie's grandmother, Lillian Hammett Flanders. He wrote, "Samuel Howard, who survives her, can in reverie go back through the happy years they spent together, and be comforted with the thought that he has been one of the most favored of men. He had as a lifelong companion and helpmate whose entire life was devoted to him, the home and the family. Her composure and optimism in trying details of life that come to us all were always reassuring and comforting." These words of eulogy for her grandmother are easily applied to Nancie.
She is survived by her three sons and daugthers-in-laws: Scott and Jackie of Miami, Fla.; Stephen and Rita of Rancho Cordova, Calif.; and Frankie Jr. and Pam of Ashburn, Va.; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two nieces; and two nephews. She also leaves her sister, Barbara F. Seward, formerly of Menemsha, who now resides at Cape Cod Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Buzzards Bay. Her brother, Kenneth A. Flanders Jr., died in 1994.
A celebration of life memorial service was held for Nancie on November 1 in Ellenton. Her remains will be interred in her family plot at Abels Hill Cemetery in Chilmark at a later date.