Anne  Morgan

Obituary of Anne Piersol Murray Morgan

With great sadness, the family of Anne (Nancy) Piersol Murray Morgan of Duxbury, Mass. announces her death on January 11, 2020 at age 94. Born August 2, 1925 in Pennsylvania to Robinson Murray and Margaret Piersol Murray, she began her early years in Wynnewood, PA before moving at age 5 with her family to Paris, France. Five years later, in 1935, the Murrays returned to the U.S., to Scarsdale, NY, where they remained until 1937, when they headed off to London, England for a two-year stay. In 1939, only a week before the Second World War was declared in Europe, the family returned to the United States. Nancy graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1942 and went on to Radcliffe College as a member of the Class of 1946, graduating with a BS degree in English. After working as an editorial assistant for Parent’s Magazine, Nancy married Paul Shepard Morgan of Worcester, MA, in May 1947. They had first met through joint concerts of the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard Glee Club, in which both had held leadership roles. They went on to live with their four children in Worcester and Shrewsbury, MA until retiring to Duxbury, MA in 1984. A firm believer in volunteerism, Nancy often spoke to groups about the value of service to others and the role volunteering played in the creation of future leaders. She was fortunate to have been offered challenging volunteer opportunities that reflected her deep interests in education, the arts, and health care. From the 1950s onward, she held as many as three volunteer positions at a time--in her children’s schools, in Worcester civic organizations, and in national societies and institutions. On a professional level, from 1975 to 1994 she served as a director of Peoples Savings Bank and its successor organization in Worcester. Nancy was a devoted alumna of Radcliffe, serving as President of the Radcliffe Alumnae Association in 1968. She was also closely involved with Harvard University and became the first woman President of the Harvard Alumni Association (known then as the Associated Harvard Alumni) in 1977. She was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers in 1983, and chaired Visiting Committees to the Harvard Libraries and the Harvard Art Museums, continuing in those positions for a time even after her term as Overseer ended. Nancy’s career as a “volunteer professional” included a number of important firsts. In Worcester, she was elected the first woman Trustee of the Board of the Worcester Memorial Hospital (later UMassMemorial Health Center) in 1973. She was invited to become the first woman to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Worcester Art Museum in 1976, and five years later was elected as the first woman President of the Museum in 1981 and again in 1989. She was also a founding director of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the International Center of Worcester. A lifelong learner, Nancy was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1983. Then, in 1988 she was invited to join the Smithsonian National Board--“an expanding experience,” as she called it--which, with its 14 museums and several scientific, educational and research centers, catered to a wonderfully wide audience. She continued that enriching relationship as a member of the Smithsonian National Alumni Board from 1994 until shortly before her death. After her move to Duxbury in 1984, Nancy brought her skills and wise counsel to the Plimoth Plantation, serving as a Trustee from 1993 to 1999 and as a member of the Board of Fellows from 2003 to 2005. Together with her husband Paul, who served the City of Worcester in many capacities including as an elected City Councillor, Nancy received the city’s highest civic honor, the Isaiah Thomas Award in 1989. Harvard University bestowed on her its most esteemed alumni award, the Harvard Medal, in 1988, and Radcliffe College honored her with the Helen Gilbert Award for Volunteer Service in 1999. The Worcester Art Museum celebrated her leadership contributions with the naming of a gallery for her in 1991 and by including her in the Salisbury Society. In addition to her volunteering, Nancy and her husband were generous donors to many local, state, and national charities, organizations and institutions. Grateful for her wonderful, interesting and, she hoped, useful life, Nancy gave full credit to the loving support of her family, of whom she was inordinately proud, and the many helpful friends she counted on over the years. She and Paul celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary before his death in 2012 at 88. She is survived by her four beloved and loving children: Philip Robinson Morgan and his wife, Gale, of York Harbor, ME and Naples, FL; Daniel Murray Morgan and his wife, Mayo, of Marion, MA and Boston; Margaret Morgan Grasselli and her husband, Nicholas of Arlington, VA and Keyser, WV; and Anne Caldwell Morgan of Boyce, VA; six adoring grandchildren; and four super great- grandchildren. The burial in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, MA will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Radcliffe Institute, 10 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609; and Plimoth Plantation, P.O.Box 1622, Plymouth, MA 02160; or to the charity of your choice. A memorial celebration will be hosted by Nancy’s family in The Pavilion at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA on Saturday, 9 May 2020, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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