An Obituary: Nancy B. Haynes

January 30, 2024

Nancy Bernice Staudinger Haynes, 86, most dearly beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, and longtime Bedford resident, passed away serenely sleeping on the night of Jan. 28, 2024 at The Falls at Cordingly Dam in Newton.

Nancy was the cherished wife of Dr. Harley A. Haynes, and the beloved mother of Edward A. Haynes (wife, Teresa) of Gypsum,CO; Caitlin D. Haynes of Boulder, CO: and Ethan A. Haynes of Bedford, as well as the dearest grandmother of Ethan Haynes and Daniel Haynes. She is also survived by her sisters Meryl Rose (husband Buck), and Deborah Staudinger (husband Dominic), and many beloved nieces and close family friends.

Nancy was born in Philadelphia on June 15, 1937 to the late James and Bernice Staudinger. She was raised in Abington, PA and graduated from Abington High School. She was eldest sister to Jill, Meryl, Cindy, and Deborah.

Nancy attended Wellesley College, where she met her future husband, Harley Haynes, who was visiting Wellesley with friends from Princeton University. She graduated from Wellesley in 1959, and married Harley the following year. Nancy then earned a graduate degree at Lesley Collage. Her academic focus was primarily on English, education, and religion.

Nancy remained an active learner, often taking classes on various subjects of interest. An early adopter of home computing, and an Apple Computer enthusiast in the early 1980s, Nancy became the first computer teacher at the Job Lane Elementary School in Bedford, setting up the original computer lab, and later a greatly expanded lab. She was much loved by the students and faculty of Lane School. Upon retirement from Lane School, she began assisting at The Council on Aging in Bedford.

Nancy and Harley loved antiques and old houses. They lived for half a century in a late 1700s home in the center of Bedford, known as the Penniman-Stearns House, after the early Church of Christ ministers who lived there long ago. They were dedicated to maintaining its historic nature, inside and out.

Nancy B. Haynes

The house was a long-time tour destination for the students of the Lane School, and every year groups of students, teachers, and parents would receive exciting guided tours and history lessons conducted by Nancy.

Nancy and Harley were longtime members of the First Church of Christ across the street from their home.

Nancy was involved for a time in synchronized figure skating as a member of Hayden Synchro at the Hayden Recreation Centre in Lexington. Nancy was an avid skier, and loved to ski various mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire with friends and family, especially Jay Peak in Vermont.

Nancy loved nature and the outdoors, and spending time at the coast with a favorite destination being Spruce Head, ME where Nancy and Harley were often joined by their children over the course of decades.

She was also an avid gardener with an enormous garden like a small farm, in which she produced vast quantities of homegrown food for her family and friends, along with many beautiful flowers. Nancy was also a wonderful cook, utilizing many of the ingredients which she herself had grown.

Nancy was a truly remarkable and deeply intelligent woman with boundless energy, interests, and abilities. She was a talented artist who created numerous beautiful hand-drawn Christmas cards, and she also enjoyed sewing.

She was deeply involved with charitable giving, her favorite causes including disadvantaged youths, veterans, and nature and wildlife preservation. Even in later life, posed with difficult health challenges, her feisty and indomitable spirit remained.​

Visiting hours will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Shawsheen Funeral Home, 281 The Great Road, Bedford. Family and friends are kindly invited. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nancy’s memory to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Bedford Massachusetts Council on Aging, or Wellesley College.

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