Nancy Reuter 1923 – 2016 Nancy Rogerson Brown Reuter daughter of John Freeman Brown Jr. and Gladys Pascoe Brown of Boston, MA died on November 23rd at Glenstone surrounded by her family. She was 93.
Born August 1, 1923 Nancy spent the first twelve years of her life in her grandfather’s (Judge John Freeman Brown), historic house, The Crehore House, in Milton, MA with summers on Ossipee Lake, NH.
A renowned gardener and artist in her own right, Nancy credits her creative roots to the progressive Brush Hill School in Milton, Ma. which was cofounded by her grandfather. It was here that she began her education with six children in her class where emphasis was placed on publishing a weekly newspaper, writing and acting in plays, and designing and making clothes.
Her family moved to Laconia, NH in 1935 where she graduated from Laconia High School in 1941. She went on to study at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY majoring in drama.
During the early years of WWII, Nancy served with a rank of Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol in Laconia where her father was Wing Commander for the State of NH. In 1944, Nancy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC where she was assigned to the Division of Motor Transport.
Nancy began her long business career in her teens assisting her mother, Mrs. John Freeman Brown (Gladys), in the development, promotion and management of “Antiques Expositions”, a new concept with the implementation of the first such show of its kind held in America, in Boston in 1931.Throughout the 1940s, the mother and daughter team continued to promote their unique show concept in fashionable settings like the Copley Plaza in Boston, the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia, the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Hotel Statler in Washington. Other locations included resorts hotels in Saratoga Springs at the Grand Union and at Manchester, VT at the Equinox House.
In 1947 she met Frederick Turner Reuter, then a captain in the Medical Corps, who was stationed at Walter Reed Hospital. Tony, as he was known to all, was the son of Frederick August Reuter, MD of Washington D.C. and Martha Turner Reuter of Aldie, VA. They married on February 14, 1948. After the birth of their first son, F. Turner Reuter Jr., they moved from Washington to Erie, PA where Tony reported to the Hess Clinic for his three year residency in Urology. Nancy credits Erie for the genesis of her love of couture clothes and where she was fortunate to study under Mrs. Harry Culhane a couturier dressmaker.
At the completion of Tony’s residency in 1951, he joined his father’s urology practice in Washington where Nancy and Tony designed and built houses to raise their family; first in Palisades and later in Spring Valley.
In 1961 Nancy established Reuter’s Inc. a residential real estate firm with offices in Washington and later in Middleburg where she began the restoration of properties in both locations. She felt her most meaningful and interesting project was the 1976 restoration and refurbishment of the Red Fox Inn, working with the assistance of her daughter Diana, an architect. Her son Turner soon undertook management of the inn where he and his daughter, Matilda Engle continue in this capacity today. Her son Jock manages Reuter’s Inc. Real Estate, now in its fifty-fifth year, both in the District and in Middleburg.
In the 1970’s Nancy, once again collaborated with her mother developing the concept of an antique center to be named The Middleburg Antiques Center. It was established in one of Nancy’s Middleburg properties and remained open under her watchful eye until closing in 1993. Concurrently and never at rest, Nancy entered a real-estate partnership with Viviane Crespi in the 1980’s. She began the restoration of their joint apartment house property at 4115 Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. which is still under Reuter’s Inc. management today.
If there was free time for Nancy, her focus was on the gardens at Glenstone, which she and Tony established in the early 1970’s at their farm in Aldie. It was not uncommon to see her in her “barouche” with a phone clipped to her belt alongside her clippers tending to her borders and picking flowers for the arrangements which always graced her front hall and dining room.
Nancy was proud to be a member of Emmanuel Church, Middleburg, the Society of Women Geographers, The Colonial Dames Chapter 23, The Evergreen Garden Club, The Fauquier Loudoun Garden Club, The Cosmos Club, and Book Club. She served on the Board of Directors of Leesburg Today and Oatlands, a National Trust Property, where she was able to inaugurate the first Oatland’s Antiques Show and Fair for its benefit. She was also District Commissioner of The Loudoun Hunt Pony Club.
Nancy has written and published five books on her family history. Her sixth book, co- authored by Louise Piazza, is titled, Well Turned Out; A Memoir, and centers on Nancy’s fascinating life as it parallels the 20th century. It is due to be published in the spring of 2017. If there is one lesson that Nancy wanted to impart to all women it would be to reach for the moon and never stop trying.
Nancy is survived by her three children F. Turner Reuter, Jr., Diana Reuter Twining and John Adams Reuter; three grandchildren, Matilda Reuter Engle, Hannah Reuter Rothrock, and F. Turner Reuter, III; her son- in- law, Edmund S. Twining III and daughter- in- law Dana Casey Reuter; two grand sons- in- law Jonathan Aaron Engle and Thomas Dyer Rothrock and a great grand daughter, Elouise Rousseau Engle; her brother Thomas L. Brown and ten nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Garden Conservancy or Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Middleburg, Virginia. A memorial service will be held in her honor on December 28th at 11 am at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Middleburg, VA.