Interviewed by Lana Ho, Publicity Chairman.
Nancy Matthies grew up in a Woodbridge, Connecticut farming family. She attended local schools and graduated with a Nursing Degree in 1951. The same year she also married Richard Matthies. They moved to Orange in 1953 and still live in the same house today. Nancy and Richard raised four children and have eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. In the early years she had a big vegetable garden and harvested blueberries and raspberry crops. She would then can and freeze the fruits and vegetables. Nowadays, Nancy and her husband love to travel.
Nancy joined The Garden Club of Orange in 1956 while raising four kids! I asked her what made you decide to join the Garden Club of Orange? Her quick response was “I love gardening”! Having just moved to a new place and with her husband in the service in Korea, she wanted to meet people with a similar interest.
Nancy immediately became active on the Garden Club board holding various chairmanships and became President in 1969. In 1976 Nancy became an Accredited National Garden Club Flower Show Judge and in 1997 a Judge Emeritus. Nancy was awarded The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut – Life Member and in 2002 and a special pin for her 50 years of service. Some of her major contributions were: co-chaired ‛Village Green’, a Standard Flower Show in 1974; co-designed the Herb Garden for the Town’s 175 Year Anniversary at the Stone Otis House 1977 to 1980; and co-chaired Garden Club’s ‛80 Year Celebration’ in 2010.
I ask her, having been in the Club for 60 plus years, what would you tell others that are thinking of joining the Garden Club? She said, “What a good learning experience! One will get the most out of it by joining various committees and by taking classes that are offered.” Her favorite committee is Civic – contributing to the beautification of Orange. At present Nancy is The Garden Club of Orange’s Award and Library Chairman.
The Garden Club of Orange is a member of The National Garden Clubs, Inc., The New England Region of Garden Clubs, Inc. and The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc. Interested to learn more, call Maryellen Bespuda 203-795-5414.
Pictured: Nancy Matthies ~ Photo by Lana Ho