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Nancy Hammerslough, 87

Nancy Hammerslough of Westport died Nov. 1 at home. She was 87.

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Nancy Hammerslough: longtime Weston resident. Contributed photo

She was a figure in Weston’s political, cultural and social life for more than 50 years.

Her longtime home on Kettle Creek Road, “The Brown Barn,” not only was the setting for Democratic Party planning groups, scriptwriting sessions for Weston Players productions, and raucous holiday parties, it was also the home of her publishing company, Pictures of Record, an academic publisher focusing on archaeology.

That in turn led to a new business, Brown Barn Books, which published dozens of novels for young adults.

Born Nancy Kaslow in South Bend, Indiana, she graduated from Smith College in 1951 with a BA in sociology and later received an MA in anthropology from City University of New York.

After a few years in New York City, she married John Hammerslough and soon after moved to Weston. She and John lived in the same house for some 54 years.

Together, they were a near constant presence in town affairs. She served two terms as the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee (DTC), was a member of the Board of Education, and ran for a seat in the state legislature in 1974.

In 2009, she and John were honored as “Democrats of the Year” by the Connecticut State Democratic Party.

But Nancy’s involvement in Weston went far beyond politics. With a circle of friends, she and John mounted musical theater productions spoofing the latest shows on Broadway, and in the 1980s she coproduced a film tracing the history of the town. “The Outlivers,” though a small-town production, featured big city talent: It was narrated by Christopher Plummer and featured a bevy of well-known actors who made their homes in Weston.

The film won an Emmy and led to Nancy’s involvement as a writer and producer of productions for educational television.

Her publishing business, Pictures of Record, provided photographs of archaeological sites and artifacts for use in college classrooms. The business allowed her to travel to the far corners of the world, taking pictures in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia — and the United States as well.

In the 1990s, she launched a book publishing business, focusing on titles for young adult readers. Among the dozens of books she published, one was her own, a coming of age novel called “Almost Lost, Nearly Found.”

After John Hammerslough’s death in 2013, Nancy took up residence in Westport.

She is survived by her son, Charles R Hammerslough, her daughter, Jane Hammerslough, and four grandchildren.

A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, Westport.

Contributions in Nancy’s memory, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Planned Parenthood.

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