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Memorial service for Shelter Island supervisor’s wife

Author Nancy Decker Dougherty, a film critic who

Author Nancy Decker Dougherty, a film critic who wrote biographies and in 1987 and won the Pen Girard Award for the best nonfiction work by a previously unpublished author, died Feb. 6, 2013, at her home on Shelter Island after a 13-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 73. Newsday's obituary for Nancy Decker Dougherty
(Credit: Handout)

A memorial service honoring Shelter Island Supervisor James Dougherty’s late wife, Nancy, will be held Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Manor House on the Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.

Nancy Dougherty died at her home Feb. 6 after a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. June 30 would have been her 74th birthday.

Nancy grew up in Columbia, Mo., where her mother was president of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters and her father taught political science at Stephens College.


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She graduated from Radcliffe in 1961 and spent the next year touring the country with classmate Lucy Tuchman — daughter of author Barbara Tuchman — talking about her school to high school girls.

Nancy Dougherty earned a master’s degree and doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley, then moved to New York City in 1971 where she married James Dougherty. They lived for a decade in Manhattan, where she co-chaired the literary committee of the National Arts Club. In 1987, she won a Pen Gerard award for the best nonfiction by a previously unpublished woman author, and went on to write film criticism and biographies.

She and her husband bought the historic John Tuttle house on Shelter Island in 1971 — it was built in 1852 and stayed in the hands of the Tuthill family for a century — and moved there permanently in 2001. For several years, she served on the board of directors of the Mashomack Preserve, the nature preserve that makes up about a third of Shelter Island.

Tags: Shelter Island , memorial , service , James Dougherty , supervisor , wife , Nancy , towns

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