Gardening 07

Nancy Burleson

October 1, 1933 ~ September 6, 2019 (age 85)


Nancy Sturtevant Burleson of Bristol, passed away on the morning of September 6, 2019, after a short illness.

Nancy was born in Washington, DC, in 1933 and spent her childhood in Norristown, PA and North Plainfield, NJ.  Her parents, Harold and Dorothy Sturtevant, raised her in a home full of love, learning and interesting company.

Nancy graduated from Swarthmore College in 1955, and fondly recalled her experiences there for the rest of her life.  After graduation she spent three years in Washington as an intelligence analyst at the Department of Defense. During that time she met Charles Allen Burleson and began a partnership that flourished until Allen’s death in 2010.  

Nancy and Allen settled in Plainfield, NJ, and raised three children together.  Her affection for mid-coast Maine developed early, with summer visits to Friendship beginning in 1944.  Deaver Road in South Waldoboro was the site of summer adventures in several homes over a span of 40 years.  Nancy and Allen retired to Bristol in 1997 and joined a vibrant and welcoming community there.

Nancy was a loyal member and lay leader in the Methodist Church, both in Plainfield and after retirement at the New Harbor UMC.  She enjoyed opera, classical and sacred music, and sang in a number of choirs and choral groups.

While managing the household for her busy family, Nancy worked for many years as a freelance editor of scientific, technical and scholarly books, most often for John Wiley & Sons.  She later spent ten years as Director of Development for the Wardlaw-Hartridge School.

Nancy made a lifelong commitment to supporting non-profit organizations.  Prior to taking her position as Development Director, she spent ten years as a member of the Wardlaw-Hartridge Board of Trustees.  In Bristol, she served on the Board of Directors for the Skidompha Public Library, the Genesis Community Loan Fund, and most recently, the Inn Along the Way.

Nancy had a lively intellect, a constant stack of books in progress, a wicked sense of humor and a love of good conversation.  She was an excellent cook, an expert gardener, and a gracious hostess. She cherished all of her old friends and found new friends everywhere she went.

In recent years Nancy enjoyed the companionship of her son Bill, who made it possible for her to continue to maintain and live in her beloved colonial farmhouse on the Bristol Road.  Nancy lived her life to the fullest and left us with great memories.   

Nancy is survived by her children, Katherine Bolton and her husband James of Scarborough, Maine, William Burleson of Bristol, Maine, and Marguerite Burleson Barbetti of Branford, Connecticut; and five grandchildren, Christopher Burleson, Amy Burleson, Anna Bolton, Samuel Barbetti and Rion Barbetti. 

A celebration of her life will be held at 11:00am, on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the New Harbor United Methodist Church.  She will be laid to rest privately in Friendship at a later date.  

In lieu of flowers, Nancy would be delighted by a donation to the New Harbor United Methodist Church for repair of their steeple, to the Inn Along the Way, the Skidompha Public Library, the Genesis Community Loan Fund, or to any good cause you support.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543.  Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting:


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy Burleson, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
October 5, 2019

11:00 AM
New Harbor United Methodist Church
6 South Side Road
New Harbor, ME 04554

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