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Obituary (CA): Mrs. Nancy (Robert D. MacArthur '54)

Posted on 04/03/2018

Nancy Anne MacArthur  (January 16, 1931 – March 24, 2018)

Nancy MacArthur, 87, of Chula Vista, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 24, 2018 Nancy Anne Palmer was born in Orange, New Jersey on January 16, 1931 and was the youngest daughter of Claude and Madeline (nee Middleton) Palmer, both from South Australia. She was the youngest of four children and moved frequently through the New England area due to her father's position with General Electric. The family spent summers at Ballston Lake in upstate New York and Nancy was an avid swimmer – a passion that she pursued through most of her life After high school Nancy attended the University of Vermont where she was in a pre-med program with ambitions of becoming a doctor. While home in Waban Massachusetts, she was introduced to a young Naval Academy midshipman named Robert MacArthur, who became the love of her life. After dating for a couple of years, Nan and Bob were married in August of 1953. They moved to Boston, where they spent the next couple years working to put each other through school. Nancy had decided to concentrate on biology and transferred to Tufts University where she completed her bachelor's degree. She worked at Harvard medical lab while Bob finished his engineering studies. They loved to share stories about their adventures in Boston and some of the tough neighborhoods they lived in After college Nan and Bob moved to Detroit for Bob's first job at Ford motors. They continued westward to Antioch, California in 1957, where they spent the next ten years. They adopted two children, Donald in 1959 and Madeline in 1963. The family enjoyed swimming and sailing, as well as frequent visits to the redwood forest on trips to visit Bob's mom. Nancy worked for the local newspaper, was active in several local and state political campaigns, and was very involved at St. Barnabas Episcopal church In 1967 Bob accepted a position at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York and they headed East. Nancy was delighted to be closer to her brothers and sister and the family made regular trips to New York city, Boston/Cape Cod and Michigan to visit them and their families. They still enjoyed activities on the water when the weather allowed; and sledding and ice skating in the winter months. Nan and Bob were both avid tennis players and as well as their many family games she had a group that she played with regularly. She continued to be extremely active in her church, first at St. George's in Rochester, then All Saints in Irondequoit, and finally Trinity Episcopal in Greece. Her love of God and dedication to church family was unwavering throughout her life. If there was something that needed to be done she was always willing to step up and do it After retiring, she and Bob enjoyed traveling the country, often to visit their kids. They would occasionally fly, but usually opted to take the road and enjoy the scenery along the way. They have been all over the country and visited most of the national parks. She had a great sense of adventure and often traveled with Bob on his Harley Davidson. When that got to be too much for him to handle, she bought him a Corvette for his 77th birthday and they continued to enjoy road trips for several more years In 2014 Nan and Bob moved to Fredericka manor in Chula Vista, California. Nancy's family wishes to express their overwhelming gratitude for the loving care and support that she received there. Nancy was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Robert, brothers Graham and David, a sister, Joan and a step-brother, Robert. She is survived by a son, Donald (Betty) of Imperial Beach, CA, and a daughter, Madeline (Thomas) of St. Petersburg, Fl. A memorial service will be held for Nancy at 12 noon on Sunday May 6, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal church, 3450 West Ridge Rd., Rochester, NY 14626. The family asks that in lieu of flowers that guests consider donating to Alzheimer's or cancer research.