JACKSON, NH - Two words that surface when people talk about Nancy Bornhofft are "gracious" and "indomitable." Nancy Lowe Bornhofft, 97, of Jackson, N.H., and Gloucester, Mass., was born in 1921 in Belmont, Mass., and passed away in her Annisquam home on February 1, 2018, just days after celebrating her 97th birthday with her family. An educator and community leader, she lived fully and independently her entire life.
Nancy was renowned for her elegant, yet robust swimming in the cold waters of Annisquam, as well as her enthusiastic skiing on the slopes and trails near Jackson, N.H. At the age of 95, she still swam her route through the eelgrass at Lighthouse Beach.
Aside from her family, husband of 41 years, three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grand children, Nancy's fondest love was her time as pianist and board member for the Annisquam Village Players. Her greatest passion was evidenced in more than three decades of active work for the American Cancer Society (ACS) in New Hampshire.
Nancy was the daughter of John William and Hazel (Roberge) Lowe. She attended Belmont High School, Class of 1938, where she met her life love, Henry ("Hank," "Bud") J. Bornhofft, Jr. She graduated from Smith College in 1942.
Nancy spent her early summers sailing competitively and working in programs for children suffering the cardiac effects of rheumatic fever. Throughout her teenage years she dedicated herself to the piano. Nancy performed solo recitals in front of packed audiences at the Belmont Women's Club and became an accomplished pianist at a young age. Following WWII, Nancy dedicated herself to raising her children, but also caring for Bud, a decorated veteran, who had been critically wounded in Germany.
Nancy and Bud lived in Dedham, Mass., for 32 years, where she taught piano in their home and music at Milton Academy. She participated in a leadership role in the League of Women Voters, PTA and the New England Piano Teachers' Association. While maintaining her own career, her intellectual interests and her volunteer pursuits, Nancy was well known in the candy industry as a faithful supporter of her husband's career and the national organizations in which he was a leader. In 1961, Nancy and Bud welcomed German exchange student, Klaus Nathusius, into their family. This began a lifelong friendship that has carried on for multiple generations.
Nancy retired to Jackson, N.H. She was proud to call herself a "silver streaker" on the slopes, but she was also passionate about her involvement with the American Cancer Society, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Mountain Top Music Center.
Known in the Mt. Washington Valley as "Mrs. ACS," Nancy worked tirelessly to promote comprehensive school health educations programs across the state. In 2006, Nancy received the prestigious St. George National Award for her significant impact on the strategic goals and mission-driven programs of the American Cancer Society.
Nancy made a toast to her family on her 97th birthday and said that she was looking forward to the arrival of two more great-grandchildren in the spring, as well as a summer visit from members of her treasured, adopted German family.
Nancy is survived by her sister, Hazel Lowe vonRosenvinge; her children, Henry J Bornhofft III, (children, Henry J. "Jamie" IV, Elizabeth "Betsy" Lamitina and Emily Merrill); J. Eric Bornhofft, (children, Brooks and Eric); Lisbeth Bornhofft and husband, Charles L Moore, Jr., (children Amber Moore and Lindsey Moore); and five (plus two on-the-way) great-grandchildren.
Nancy was predeceased by her husband, Henry J Bornhofft, Jr.; her sister, Constance Lowe Hale; and her brother, John Lincoln Lowe.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m. at the Annisquam Village Church.
Memorial contributions can be made on behalf of Nancy to American Cancer Society online at https://www.cancer.org or by mail at
P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123; or Annisquam Village Church, 820 Washington Street, Gloucester MA 01930.
For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Published on February 18, 2018