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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Nancy Louise Purtell Edwards

Louise Edwards Purtell
Louise Purtell Edwards

Nancy Louise Purtell Edwards, who met her husband when their families rented neighboring summer homes on Shelter Island, passed away on November 12, 2017 at her home in Houston, Texas.

She was born on August 20, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan to Joseph and Thelma Purtell. She attended The Liggett School in Detroit, The Spence School in New York City and graduated from Smith College in 1950.

Nancy is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, Gordon “Bob” Edwards; their son Dr. Gordon “Win” (Janet) Edwards of Katy, Texas; their daughters Sharon L. Edwards of Atlanta, Georgia and Susan E. Bopp of Houston, Texas; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and her brothers Dr. Michael Purtell of Balitmore, and Timothy Purtell of Shelter Island.

Nancy and Bob were truly the girl and boy next door, her family recalled. They first met in June 1948 on Shelter Island, where their parents, by sheer coincidence, had rented adjacent summer homes.

Nancy was a loving homemaker whose every day was devoted to her family. In Houston, she served several years as a volunteer at the Memorial Hermann Memorial hospital. She was an active member of the Junior League which she had joined in Brooklyn, New York, in 1955 and, on the family’s return from a 10-year assignment in England and Canada, rejoined in Houston in 1973. She continued as a sustaining member until she died.

Nancy had an enduring interest in fine arts and in the family’s early years in Houston she served as a volunteer docent at Bayou Bend. She and Bob were longtime subscribers to the Houston Pops concerts and the Alley Theater’s yearly series of productions.

A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions in Nancy’s memory to the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 12535 Perthshire Road, Houston, Texas 77024, or to a charity of your choice.

Visit DettlingFuneral.com to leave words of condolence for the family.