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Shelter Island Reporter obituaries: Fox, McCarthy, Needham

Natalie Spencer Fox
Natalie Spencer Fox passed away on December 17, 2018, peacefully in her sleep, at her home on Shelter Island at the age of 93.

Natalie, or Nat, as she was known by family and friends, was a longtime Shelter Island resident. After visiting the Island for the first time in the late 1950s, she felt an immediate bond for the place, where in the early 1960s she met and fell in love with Arthur “Bud” Fox, her husband for 52 years.

Bud and Nat built a house on White Birch Road in Silver Beach in the mid-1970s and moved in as residents in 1978. Bud established himself as a home builder and Nat a realtor, first working for the Gregory Price Agency, then as the owner of Gregory Price, which she sold to Cook Pony Farm, remaining as an agent well into her 80s.

When they were not at work, Nat and Bud spent much of their time sailing and cruising around Shelter Island, Long Island and the east coast. They both shared a deep love for life on the water.

Natalie was born on August 20, 1925 in Manhattan, the daughter of Gerard and Lillian Spencer. She attended Friends Academy in New York City and then graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She first experienced life around the water in Sea Cliff, where her family spent their summers, and where she later lived in the 1950s and 1960s.

She and Bud moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1966, where they lived and sailed before becoming full-time residents of Silver Beach in 1978.

Natalie is survived by her three sons, Peter Ryder, Anthony Ryder (from her first marriage to Howard Ryder) and Matthew Fox and three grandchildren, Lucas Ryder, Maxwell Ryder and Emily Fox.

She will be missed by her family, her many friends and associates and the Shelter Island community she loved so much.

James D. McCarthy
James D. McCarthy of Shelter Island died at home on Saturday, June 1, 2019. He was 71 years old.

The family has chosen to remember James’ life privately at this time.

Richard Hale Needham
Richard Hale Needham of Shelter Island died Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at home on Country Club Drive. He was 89 years old.

Richard was born to Elizabeth and Basil Needham on February 6, 1930 in New York City. An avid sailor who grew up in Bayside, he sailed Comets on Little Neck Bay. He continued sailing in high school, attending Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.

After graduating from Tabor, he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, leaving to join the Navy during the Korean War. There he spent four years as a radarman aboard the USS Lloyd Thomas. In later years he thoroughly enjoyed traveling to his ship’s reunions and keeping up with surviving shipmates, his family said.

Richard worked in sales for several years at the National Industrial Conference Board in New York City before joining Continental Radiant Glassheat Corporation in 1974, which was founded by his father in 1951. He enjoyed working and keeping busy and continued to service heating customers even after the company was sold in the mid-1990s.

Predeceased by his brother Basil and sister Cynthia, he is survived by his younger brother, Robert, who resided with him on Shelter Island; his daughter Cynthia Leduc and her husband, David, of Hingham, Massachusetts; and sons Richard H. Needham II of Leesburg, Virginia and Todd Needham and his wife, Elizabeth, of Concord, Massachusetts.

In addition he leaves behind his children’s mother, Joan Needham of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to East End Hospice, 481 Westhampton-Riverhead Road, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.