IN MEMORIAM: Nancy Spofford Yerkes

by Jane Ahrens

Nancy Spofford Yerkes, of NYC and Fishers Island, died peacefully January 14, 2013. She was the beloved wife of the late Harry Estile Yerkes III, and is survived by her children Elizabeth Tyson Yerkes, Harry Estile Yerkes IV, Nathalie Yerkes George and 12 grandchildren. Nancy was predeceased by her son, J. Nicholas Yerkes.

After graduation from The Chapin School and Vassar College, where she composed music and sang with a cappella groups, Nancy traveled and painted the cities and landscapes of post-World War II Europe that she encountered. On her return to New York, Nancy worked briefly for David Ogilvy.

Continuing her studies at the Art Students League, Nancy fine-tuned her watercolor and drawing technique. With artist friends, she often toted a camp stool, watercolor block and brushes to paint the docks, brownstones, and lesser-known neighborhoods of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

After Nancy and Harry married and settled into their Carnegie Hill apartment, Nancy maintained painting studios on Fishers Island and in the city. The couple continued to sing with the Blue Hill Troupe, play tennis, and sunbathe with abandon on the Island. Nancy played golf into her 60s, always bringing along a sketchbook and camera. Nancy’s wit, humor, and joy for life pervaded her artwork, her sartorial sensibility, and her humanity.

A retrospective show of her paintings will be held July 7 to 14, 2013 at the Fishers Island Community Center.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

A Fishers Island Community Center Program and the accompanying Fog Horn eNewsletter serve as the communications resource for the Fishers Island community. The content – news, calendar, links and photos, milestones, ads, and more create a clear image of Fishers to those on and off the island.

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