Nancy "Maggie" McLaughlin

January 1, 1938 ~ November 8, 2021 (age 83)


AMESBURY - Nancy "Maggie" McLaughlin, 83, of Amesbury, MA died at Anna Jaques Hospital on November 8th of complications following heart surgery earlier this year. Independent to her core, she died as she’d lived—on her own terms—without ever having to move from her own residence into assisted living or a nursing home. 

Nancy was born in Cambridge, MA, on New Year's Day 1938. She grew up in Arlington and graduated from Arlington Senior High class of 1955 and from Sargent College of Boston University, class of 1959. She later lived in Boston, Rockport, Gloucester, and Amesbury. After a short teaching stint in New York, Nancy taught PE and coached in North Reading, MA for four decades. Over summers and in retirement, Nancy became an art and antiques dealer, owning and operating two stores in Rockport, MA—Galerie Musee & Max Antiques—and selling a variety of vintage items and clothing at the Todd Farm Flea Market in Rowley, MA. 

Known affectionately as "Maggie" to her students at North Reading High School, Nancy brought energy, skill, patience, inspiration, the best music, colorful language, and endless humor to her teaching, offering everyone in her classes and on her teams an opportunity to be seen, accepted, and encouraged. 

She consistently led her field hockey team to the state tournament and led them to the Cape Ann Championship in 1969, 1973, and 1974. She also led the gymnastics team from 1963-1974 and brought them two championship titles in 1973 and 1974. Nancy was proud to have never had a losing season for any sport she coached and was recognized not only for her support but her fierce advocacy for gender equity in athletics in the years before and after Title IX. The North Reading High School Hornet Hall of Fame recognized Nancy with a ceremony and induction in 2007.

Swimmer of quarries, hunter of bargains, breaker of rules; devoted daughter and sister, doting life partner, adventurous aunt, stand-in grandma, and self-appointed 'speedy tailor,’ Nancy could fix anything if you had a few years to wait. Always good for a laugh (most often at her own expense) she was a rebel soul who met Bob Dylan through Joan Baez in a coffee house in Cambridge, MA in the year of who knows when & truly stayed Forever Young in many ways. Nancy loved life and particularly appreciated sports, art, and absurdity. 

If you happened upon her table at the flea market, she was at least as likely to get your life story as your cash. In her final days, she continued to stop in to see friends to share stories, laugh, and give advice; in the words of a friend ‘she was very tired, but working hard at being Nancy.” It was quite a job. Always sharp, often blunt, and sometimes truthful, she lived life on no one’s terms but her own and showed us that there’s really no point in being anyone but exactly who you are. To many who loved and appreciated Nancy, the world feels like a less colorful, animated place without her in it. 

Nancy was predeceased by her mother, Emily Boudreau McLaughlin, her father, William "Mac"McLaughlin, her niece Deborah Brennan, and her little sister Jane McLaughlin Krainin. Nancy will be missed by her sister Judy Weitzen, nieces Leslie, Julianne, and Katy Brennan, Penny Krainin, their partners and families, and her many friends. 

Nancy's family extends deep and abiding gratitude to the village that supported her. To the staff of the Anna Jaques Hospital, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Port Rehabilitation Center, the Elder Services of Merrimack Valley (especially their Meals on Wheels program, which she loved for both the drivers and the food); to the residents of Lonvale Gardens, her neighbors, and her friends; and to those who knew Nancy from all around and who continued to laugh and engage with her in her final months, your appreciation and care for our dear aunt will always be remembered.

No formal memorial service has yet been held, but Nancy’s family hopes we can all share our memories (along with photos, etc.) of Nancy here on this page. Donations in Nancy's honor can be made to National Organization for Women or Rockport Art Association

Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. For guestbook, visit


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