Nancy Kuester Larsen of Shelter Island and Ridgewood, New Jersey died suddenly on Saturday, May 26,2012 at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport. She was 66.
Nancy first came to Shelter Island at the age of four, when her aunt and uncle shared their vacation at Peconic Lodge with her and her brother. She visited each summer from childhood until her 20s. When her own children were young, Nancy and her family returned to Peconic Lodge for their own summer vacations and they eventually purchased a home on the Island.
She and her husband David H. E. Larsen bought and renovated several Island homes over the years. She was active in the Shelter Island Yacht Club, both as a Junior Yacht Club parent shuttling kids to regattas when her children were in the junior sailing program, as well as on the Race Committee for the Etchells fleet. Nancy and Dave contributed greatly to the physical improvements to Union Chapel in the Grove over the last 25 years.
The daughter of the late Marjorie Gerstner and Otto Kuester, Nancy was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on February 25, 1946.
She graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood and earned professional degrees at the Katherine Gibbs School and the New York Institute of Finance. Nancy married her true love and life Maplewood. The couple moved to Ridgewood in 1974 and raised their two children there.
Nancy’s greatest passion was her role as a mother, wife and grandmother, according to her family. Her no-nonsense approach and warm, smiling disposition were an inspiration to many. She was an active member of Saint Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church and the Junior League of Bergen County.
Her business career began at McGraw Hill. She moved on to the securities industry as a registered representative and later joined Lehman Brothers. She left in order to raise her two children. She returned to the business community as an interior design consultant and, in recent decades, as a realtor. She accumulated a multitude of professional awards and received accolades for her excellent performance record.
Nancy will be remembered as a teacher and role model, imparting her wisdom with humor and humility. She was all about love, family and friends, her family said: She was talented, creative, brilliant and accomplished. She was the salt of the earth, generous of heart and inspiring beyond words, always ready with a warm, beautiful smile. She was a truly amazing woman, “Nancy (With the Laughing Face).”
Nancy will be remembered fondly by her adoring husband and her loving children, Elisabeth A. Larsen of Topsfield, Massachusetts and Peter C.R. Larsen of Harding Township, New Jersey; her daughter-in-law, Vanessa K. Larsen; her two grandchildren, S. Oliver and Benjamin F. Campbell; her brother, William G. Kuester of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan; her sister, Jeanne K. Markey of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania; her aunt, Jean G. Swain of Midland Park, New Jersey; and her large extended family, friends, business associates and clients.
A memorial service and reception will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Union Chapel in the Grove in the Heights. The Reverend Richard Anderson will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nancy’s name to the Union Chapel in the Grove, PO Box 326, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965.