Obituary: Nancy Lutton, 1925-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Nancy Lutton, 1925-2023 

Shelburne woman cherished her Scandinavian heritage — and fiercely guarded her Swedish meatball recipe

Published February 21, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated February 21, 2023 at 7:09 p.m.

click to enlarge Nancy Lutton - COURTESY
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  • Nancy Lutton
Nancy Lutton cherished nothing more in life than her family, and she was blessed with a large one: six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Born in Worcester, Mass., on August 13, 1925, to Ethel and Ted Quist — both first-generation Americans — she grew up in a close-knit Swedish community and prized her Scandinavian heritage. (The Kitchen Gnome, as her daughter Karin lovingly nicknamed her, fiercely guarded her Swedish meatball recipe, in particular.)

As a teenager, Nancy found the first love of her life: Block Island. She spent summers there throughout the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s helping her parents run the Bayside, a lively inn on Corn Neck Road. In later years, she reminisced wistfully — in a Worcester accent she never lost — about her time on the small island off the coast of Rhode Island. A favorite story was of her coming-out party on her 18th birthday, a lavish affair at Searles Mansion, for which Mansion Beach is named. Though the Quists sold the Bayside in the late 1960s, Nancy’s heart never really left the island.

She was a graduate of North Park College in Chicago, an accomplishment of which she was deeply proud. After school, Nancy returned to Worcester and married Robert Tillson, with whom she had three children. Their marriage ended in 1963. But Block Island would again play a pivotal role in her life. One day on the ferry back to the mainland, Nancy met Don Lutton, a friend of friends who offered her a ride home to Worcester. They soon fell in love and were married on the island in 1969. Nancy raised Don’s three children as her own. The couple lived for decades in Schenectady, N.Y., where he worked in various capacities for General Electric, and she served on the board of the Schenectady Museum and the auxiliary board of the Schenectady Symphony. They later moved to Shelburne, Vt., to be closer to Nancy’s daughter, Karin Lime, and her family.

After Don passed away in 2016, Nancy lived at the Terraces in Shelburne. Even as Parkinson’s disease slowly diminished her over several years, Nancy retained her sharp wit, impish charm and boundless pride in her family. She especially enjoyed following the exploits of her grandchildren and relished every chance to see them.

In the final weeks of her life, Nancy was surrounded by family at the Gazebo Senior Living facility in South Burlington. She died peacefully in the early morning of February 19. She was 97.

Nancy is survived by her son Marc Tillson of Block Island, R.I.; daughter Karin Lime and her husband, Neal Lime, of Charlotte, Vt.; son Mark Lutton of Brookline, N.H.; son Larry Lutton and his wife, Denise, of Nashua, N.H.; daughter Lynn Fletcher of Block Island, R.I.; grandson, Nelson Lime, of Burlington, Vt.; granddaughter Keilani Lime and her fiancée, Dan Bolles, of Vergennes, Vt.; granddaughter Rebekah Fletcher; grandson Orin Fletcher of Seattle, Wash., and grandson Beckett Lutton of Nashua, N.H.; and two great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Robert Tillson, husband Don Lutton and her son Philip Tillson.

A celebration of Nancy Lutton’s life is planned for the spring, with arrangements handled by Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home in Shelburne. Donations in her name can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association. To send online condolences visit
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