(from obituary submitted to the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror)
Nancy Tuttle Adam, of Arlington, Massachusetts, and a longtime resident of Nantucket, died on June 20, at the age of 82. The daughter of artists Isabelle and Emerson Tuttle, both founding members of the Artists’ Association of Nantucket, Nancy too was a gifted photographic artist and poet. She exhibited her signature minimalist landscape photography at The Little Gallery and published several volumes of poetry over the course of her life.
Born on March 16, 1935, in New Haven, CT, she was an Island child from the cradle on, summering in the Tuttle family’s historic 1724 house. From her bedroom window perch, she loved to stick her tongue out at passing tour buses as they pointed out her ‘old house’. She was precocious, observant and sensitive to image and language. Nantucket ran deep in her veins and influenced her profoundly.
After attending Radcliffe College in Boston and graduating from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, she worked in a photographic lab in that city from 1978–1984 before moving back full-time to the island. Here she could follow the many passions that made her a Renaissance woman. In addition to writing her own poetry, she contributed to the Isle Say column of the Nantucket Map & Legend for years, commenting with astute and gentle wisdom on Island life. She was an active and formative member of Hospice (now Palliative Care) on Nantucket, an active animal lover, and an enthusiastic member of the Unitarian Church family.
Challenged for most of her adult life with multiple sclerosis, she made illness her companion not her taskmaster. Grace, good humor and a forgiving nature carried her on wings above the disease, even when she was forced to use a wheelchair.
Nancy is survived by her devoted daughter Holly Adam, of Nantucket, her daughter-in-law and son Margaret and Andrew Adam, of Oxford, England, and her sisters Grace Noyes of Nantucket and Harriet (and Bob) Noyes of Arlington and Nantucket. She was predeceased by her sister Isabelle Tuttle DeWitt. She was a loving grandmother to Josiah, Nate and Pippa Adam. Various nieces and cousins complete her large and loving family.
A simple celebration of her life will be held at the Unitarian Church at a future date. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of gifts to Palliative Care of Nantucket.