WALPOLE, N.H. – Nancy Morgan Stone Shepard, 94, passed away peacefully at her home in Walpole Feb. 7, 2021. Nancy was a world traveler who ended up calling Walpole home after moving to Smoke Rise Farm, the family farm, in 1994.
Nancy was born Aug. 28, 1926, in New Haven, Conn., the daughter of Laurence and Aletha (Knapp) Stone. Most of her childhood was spent in Madison, Conn., along the Connecticut Sound while spending time at the farm in Walpole. After graduating from Prospect Hill School in New Haven, she set out for fame and fortune in the bright lights of New York City where she graduated from the Tobe Coburn School of Design. She proudly remembered living in Greenwich Village during the ’50s and ’60s when a fourth floor, cold water, walk-up flat could be rented for less than $100 per month.
It was while working for Webb and Knapp, a real estate development firm in Manhattan, that she met the love of her life, Robert Shepard, a Swiss-born developer and fellow global traveler. Together, they spent time traveling around the U.S. and Europe. Avid sailors, they cruised up and down the East Coast on their sailboat, En Rapport, including when Bob participated in a trans-Atlantic race that ended at the Isle of Wright off the coast of England where they spent a summer enjoying the tropical paradise.
In 1960, they bought an orange grove on the outskirts of Miami where they spent several years raising oranges and battling the bugs and the humidity. They spent a year abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of a business exchange program where Nancy taught English and learned to eat spicy Thai food. After traveling around the globe, they finally settled on an overgrown farm on Maryland’s eastern shore, which they restored into a gracious home overlooking the Little Choptank River. Bob’s unexpected death in 1979 shook her world and Nancy eventually sold the farm and moved into a wonderfully formal house called “The Glenburn” in Cambridge, Md. She worked as a parole officer for the state of Maryland until she got fed up with the bugs and humidity, moving to Walpole in 1994.
On her arrival at Smoke Rise Farm, she attacked the property with her usual exuberance, transforming the old farmhouse into an elegant residence and restoring the woodshed and barn. Her gardens prospered in the rich farm soil; she grew beautiful peonies, daffodils, and tulips. She was active in the Old Homestead and Monadnock Garden Clubs, was an award-winning floral designer and Judge Emeritus for the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont. She was also a regular exhibitor at the Boston Flower Show and Art in Bloom at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In Walpole, she was active with the Friends of the Library and Women of Walpole.
Nancy is survived by her two sisters, Aletha C. Spang of New Jersey and Betsy S. Johnson of Ohio; as well as a multitude of beloved nieces and nephews and their families as well as many cherished friends around the Monadnock region and beyond.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, service arrangements are still being planned. Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, 55 Westminster St., Bellows Falls, Vt., will be assisting with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation to the Walpole Town Library, a beloved institution that fed her voracious reading habit.
Nancy’s style, grace, and wit will be sorely missed.