Nancy Nagle Kelley Of Springs Dies August 28 - 27 East

Nancy Nagle Kelley Of Springs Dies August 28

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Nancy Nagle Kelley

Nancy Nagle Kelley

author on Aug 31, 2021

Nancy Nagle Kelley of Springs died on August 28 due to complications from multiple system atrophy. She was 65.

A lifelong advocate for land preservation and stewardship on the East End, Ms. Kelley shared an uncommon bond with the lands and waters that she called home.

Ms. Kelley was born to George A. Nagle Jr. and Helen Pierce Nagle on October 8, 1955. A lover of the outdoors and the waterways surrounding the South Fork, she moved part time to Sammy’s Beach in East Hampton with her family in 1956. With her year-round home then in Garden City, Ms. Kelley spent summers on the East End, swimming, water skiing, clamming, and teaching swimming lessons.

After earning her B.A. degree from Cornell University in 1977 and her master’s in city and regional planning from Harvard University’s Kennedy School in 1981, Ms. Kelley married Amagansett resident Christopher Kelley and started as a staff planner at what was then called Group for the South Fork. In her planner role, she regularly advocated for restrictions on development to avoid unnecessary suburbanization, and for the preservation of open space.

Soon thereafter, Ms. Kelley succeeded Audrey and Charles Raebeck as the Group’s director, fighting development proposals in East Hampton and Southampton and lobbying for land preservation, comprehensive planning, and up-zonings. She was a leader in the fights to preserve Hither Woods, the Grace Estate, and Barcelona Neck, among other battles.

After giving birth to two sons, Ms. Kelley worked briefly as director of the Suffolk Community College Foundation & College Development (1992-1994) and as director of development and governmental relations at Guild Hall (1994-1999).

Since 1999, and up until this year, Ms. Kelley served as director of the Long Island chapter of The Nature Conservancy. This spring, her over 22 years of service was recognized by the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees in dedicating the Sagg Swamp Preserve Trail in her name and honor.

Under her leadership, the Conservancy’s Long Island chapter helped raise billions of dollars for land preservation throughout the world. She lobbied and partnered with state and local governments to preserve thousands of acres of unique Long Island habitats and open spaces, including underwater lands. In recent years, her focus was on protecting water quality and restoring marine habitats in our bays and harbors, fisheries, coastal ponds such as Georgica and Wainscott, and the Long Island Sound. Ms. Kelley worked tirelessly to tackle climate change and raised funding that enabled a generation of bold new ideas to come to fruition.

As a dedicated, life-long not-for-profit executive, in recent years Ms. Kelley became trained as a management teacher, mentor, and strategic facilitator, educating and training managers throughout the Conservancy’s U.S. branches.

Ms. Kelley’s loves included sunbathing and swimming at Asparagus Beach, water skiing and cross-country skiing, hiking, scuba diving, and spending time with her beloved family and friends.

She is survived by her husband Chris: her sons Pierce of Los Angeles and Peyton of Brooklyn; her brother Bill Nagle of East Hampton; and her sister Sally Nagle Spencer of San Clemente, California.

There will be a celebration of Ms. Kelley’s life later in the fall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Stewardship Fund.

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