It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the death of Nancy Coursen Carleton on December 17, 2012. She was dearly loved and survived by her four children and eight grandchildren, Susan Coursen Carleton of Carbondale, Col., and her children Justin, Shane and Hollister, Bradford Bristol Carleton of Woodinville, Wash., and his children Annie, Sarah and Grady, Margaret Toppin Carleton of Providence, RI, and Jennifer Carleton Stone of New Orleans, La., and her children Naylor and Nicolas. She was the treasured aunt of many, but most specially the Buttenheims with whom she grew up on the bluff at Eastham on Cape Cod.
Born on July 16,1932, in East Orange, NJ, she graduated from The Westover School (1950), Smith College (1954) and the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. She was the founder and head Chef of Couquille Inc., a fine catering company and cooking school in Norwich, Vt..
Inspired by her love of architecture and the rich history of Boston, she became a real estate broker and consultant for residential sales with Coldwell Banker Hunneman & Company in the Back Bay and the South End of Boston. As a proud resident of the South End, she initiated a fundraising campaign and the Annual Hayes Park Auction to support and renovate Hayes Park, as well as personally ordering and planting the beautiful spring tulip display. Always active and engaged in community affairs, she was an expert fundraiser and champion for the candidates and campaigns she cared about. Throughout her life, she served in both appointed and elected positions in town governments.
Known for her fierce determination, her mischievous smile, an irreverent wit, and her Viking blood, she had a steely spine and the warmest heart. She had a blazing tennis forehand, a genius for Sudoku, and could whip up a souffle at a moment’s notice. She was an intrepid traveler, a classically-trained chef, and inspired gardener. She was often accompanied in her travels abroad by her wonderful friend Janet Jones, and in her local forays by her feisty and elegant Airedales. In summer, she could always be found in or near her beloved Atlantic.
A celebration of her life will be held on June 1, 2013 in Westport. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to The Westover School, Middlebury, Conn.