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Lilia "Mimi Gherardi Nash

February 6, 1928 February 4, 2021
Lilia "Mimi Gherardi Nash
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Obituary for Lilia "Mimi Gherardi Nash

NASH, Lilia “Mimi” Gherardi
Two days shy of her 93rd birthday, Lilia “Mimi” Nash passed away peacefully at home on February 4, 2021. Born in Mineola, NY, Lilia grew up in the war years, living in CT, DC, NY, and NJ. She attended Madeira School, in Virginia and Wheaton College, MA as an art major.
Of her various homes, Mimi’s favorite childhood years were spent in Old Greenwich, CT. With a war housing shortage in Washington, DC in her teenage years, both Mimi and her sister, Tidi were taken in by their cherished great aunt, Mrs. Bancroft Gherardi of Short Hills, NJ. As the war ended, Mimi fell in love with her beloved husband of 54 years, Francis Philip Nash, Jr. “Phil,” while summering on Nantucket Island. Married in 1948 in Oyster Bay, NY, Mimi worked for Aetna Insurance while Phil finished at Trinity College, CT. Initially living in Mt. Kisco, NY, where they celebrated the arrivals of their first two children, they moved to Providence for Phil’s teaching. With the births of two more children, Mimi’s family and community contributions burst into full swing. She generously welcomed and supported Phil’s new faculty colleagues from Providence Country Day School. Together, Mimi and Phil immersed themselves in service and worship at St. Martin’s Church. As a volunteer, she dedicated herself to the workings of the Rhode Island Mental Health Association. She battled the state of RI to coordinate its mental health services, and, as a trustee, Mimi’s persistence contributed to the establishment of The Providence Center.
As a descendant of two Gherardi Rear Admirals and the Tuckerman family that established fresh western roots at the turn of the century, Mimi loved all things Navy and California related. She was an avid sailor, racing Flying Dutchmen with the Nantucket Yacht Club and cruising the coast of downeast Maine. As her four children grew, Mimi took up her artist’s brush again. Joining the Handicraft Club, the Providence Art Club, and the RI Watercolor Society, she was a lifelong learner in the studio and relished classes and painting with friends by the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Throughout her life, Mimi was an ardent traveler. Whether for family summers on Nantucket, cross country treks to California, tours to England and Moscow, or retirement excursions to Greece, Alaska, France, Panama, and the pacific Northwest, she relished both the planning and the execution of each new adventure.
Mimi loved a good laugh. From picnics to trustee work, she was an organizational ace. Most of all, she was irrepressibly honest about people and the world around her. Undeterred by broken legs, bouts of brain and breast cancer, and the temporal arteritis that stole her sight late in life, Mimi was a model of strength and persistence. Family was paramount, and as an exemplar of love and devotion, Mimi stalwartly tended to her husband, Phil’s Alzheimer’s journey. Undeterred by blindness in her final years, she immersed herself evermore in her beloved books and family visits. Mimi was blessed with loving, remarkable care giving. Under the devoted daily care of Ann Nsubuga, the knowledgeable oversight of Gale Gaines, and the extraordinary ministrations of eldest son, Philip, Mimi proudly remained in her own home until the end.
Mimi is survived by her sister, Florence “Tidi” King of Washington, DC; her children, F. Philip Nash of Providence; Macauley and Cathy Nash of Orlando, FL; Lilia “Lee” and Stephen Carey of Beverly, MA; Neville and Jeffery Motta of Richmond, RI; her beloved granddaughters, Heather Motta and Taylor Motta of Warwick, RI; Lilia “Lily” Carey of Baltimore, MD; Meghan and Alex Grabau of Framingham, MA; Patrick and Elise Carey of Portland, ME; and her treasured great grandsons, Cyr and Julian Carey of Portland, ME.
At a healthier date, all will be welcomed to a celebration of Lilia and the scattering of her ashes in the Memorial Garden at St. Martin’s Church, Providence, RI. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to contribute in Lilia’s name to the parish of St. Martin’s Church, 50 Orchard Ave, Providence, RI, 02906.

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