Nancy Ann (Titsworth) Edgerley, 93, a strong mother and grandmother who inspired her children and grandchildren to work hard and succeed, died on Thursday in her home in Newport.
Mrs. Edgerley, who battled cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia in her final years, died peacefully in the arms of family members and with a beloved caretaker at her side.
Her friends called Nancy “a pistol” and “a force to be reckoned with,” and knew her for her sense of humor and her sense of style. She studied art at Ohio State University and had an eye for design. She was admired for how she decorated her homes in Newport and Naples, FL, as well as for her collections of pressed glass candlesticks, cake stands and candy dishes (which her children and grandchildren would raid for gumdrops and licorice when they visited).
Nancy Edgerley was born on April 12, 1928, in Pittsburgh and grew up in Columbus, OH. She revered her father, Frederick Titsworth, a Quaker who fought as a Marine in World War I despite his religious affiliation. Gassed in the war, he died as a result years later when Nancy was still in high school. Her mother, Lola, never remarried.
Nancy Titsworth met Robert Morton Edgerley in Columbus when she was working in a bank and he was working for Carnation. They married in the early 1950’s, and after a brief stint in Flint, MI, where he had been transferred by his employer, returned to Columbus to rear a family.
She is survived by their three children, Susan, a former metro editor and dining editor at The New York Times, of Ashland, OR; Paul B., a former managing director at Bain Capital, of Brookline, MA, and Stephen C., a former public schoolteacher and sports broadcaster, of Dayton, OH. Mrs. Edgerley is also survived by their children, her eight grandchildren, to whom she exemplified resilience. They are Susan’s children, Jack Teter of Denver and Nora Teter of Brooklyn; Paul’s children, Brian, Matthew, Hayley and Michael Edgerley, all of Brookline, and Steve’s children, Casey and Robert Edgerley, who was named for his grandfather, both of Dayton.
Nancy Edgerley lived much of her life in Kansas City, after her husband, a sales manager, was transferred there in 1960 and the young family settled in the suburb of Overland Park, KS. Over the next 25 years, she worked occasionally at a local department store and did philanthropic work for the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra. Then, with their children grown and living in other parts of the country, the Edgerleys moved to Florida, and later, divided their time between Naples and Newport.
Bob Edgerley died on Feb. 23, 2009. He and Mrs. Edgerley loved Newport, and in her later years, Nancy Edgerley loved sitting on the porch of her son Paul’s house in Jamestown, watching the waves on Narraganset Bay.
The family will remember her at a private lunch with a few close friends on Sunday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Newport Public Library or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.