Nancy H. Dillingham, a lifelong resident of Aquebogue, died at home with family by her side after a nine-year battle against ovarian cancer. She was 65.
She was born in Greenport’s Eastern Long Island Hospital July 2, 1948, to Marion (Wells) and Robert Dillingham. She graduated from Riverhead High School in 1966 and SUNY/Oneonta in 1970 with a master’s degree. Nancy returned to Aquebogue and taught at Hiawatha Elementary School in the Sachem School District for over 10 years. In 1981, she bought the Aquebogue Machine and Repair shop from her father and continued to manufacture electrophoresis apparatus equipment used in DNA testing until October 2013, when the business was closed.
Through the years, Nancy was active in the local Suffolk chapter of National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, serving in many capacities, including regent. She also held DAR offices at the New York State and national levels and was deeply committed to the support of the Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina.
Old Steeple Community Church has been the recipient of years of support and services from Nancy’s working hands and contributions. She held many leadership roles at the church and loved the members as though they were family. She also served on the board of Aquebogue Cemetery Association, maintaining its records.
While growing up, she was able to see almost all 50 states as her parents belonged to the Airstream Travel Trailer Club. She enjoyed visiting and learning about historic sights all over America.
Nancy appreciated women’s sports and developed a love of women’s basketball. She was a season ticket holder for the Women’s National Basketball Association New York Liberty team. She also attended many National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four competitions and supported her beloved University of Connecticut Huskies.
The plight of abandoned and feral cats was one of Nancy’s great concerns. She loved all animals, but cats held a special place in her heart. Personally she trapped, spayed/neutered and released many feral cats near her home in Aquebogue. Several stayed close by as she continued to feed them. She supported the North Fork Animal Welfare League and Kent Animal Shelter.
In addition to her loving spouse, Janet Wright, Nancy is survived by Janet’s daughter, Heather Barrett and her family of Pine Bush, N.Y.; daughter Helen Figueroa and her family of Chenango Forks, N.Y.; and son Henry B. Cook III and his family of Binghamton. Nancy is also survived by her father, Robert Dillingham; her brother, Bruce, and his wife, Anna, of Atlanta; her nieces, Coleen Lowe of Stirling, Mass., Cheryl Abrahamian of Atlanta, Jill Fitzsimmons of Granby, Conn., and her nephew, Ryan Dillingham, stationed in the United States Air Force in Turkey, and their families. She was predeceased by her mother, Marion.
The family will receive visitors April 24 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Reginald H. Tuthill Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral service will take place Friday, April 25, at noon at Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue, officiated by the Rev. Arlen Vernava. Interment will follow at Aquebogue Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Old Steeple Community Church, P.O. Box 154, Aquebogue, NY 11931; North Fork Animal Welfare League in Southold; or East End Hospice in Westhampton.
This is a paid notice.