CAPE ELIZABETH — Nancy Gould Britz, 83, died peacefully at her home on Dec. 1, surrounded by her children.
She was born Dec. 7, 1930, the elder daughter of Toledo, Ohio, attorney George Gould and pianist-composer Elizabeth Davies Gould. She lived many exciting lives, beginning as a pianist who played four-hands concerts with her mother.
She graduated from Maumee Valley Country Day School, attended Smith College, and earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Toledo. She then taught there and at secondary schools in Massachusetts and New York.
A self-learned horticulturalist, Britz hybridized hundreds of day lilies, often naming them for family and friends. She was recognized with an article in Fine Gardening magazine, and produced many spectacular covers for the Corliss Bros. Nursery catalogs. She also designed many delightful and elegant gardens.
In 1950, she married Edwin Duryea. The couple moved to Corvallis, Oregon, for two years before returning to Ohio. There she married John Turin, a professor of physics. She married attorney Harland Britz in 1962. After leaving Toledo she lived with pianist Andre Watts.
A lifelong Democrat, she was proud to be called a liberal, supported labor unions, and was always politically active. She instilled in her children a deep sense of the importance of every citizen’s civic responsibility.
Britz was a world traveler, making several trips to Israel, touring Europe and later visiting Russia, Japan and other destinations. She particularly enjoyed her vacations in the Caribbean.
She is survived by her three children, Jenifer Duryea, of Maine, Beth Duryea, of Massachusetts, and David Turin, of Cape Elizabeth; and a sister, Elizabeth Herrera, of Massachusetts. Also surviving are eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren: Nathan Weston, Colin Weston, Dustin Turin, Kyle Turin, Josh Heath, Emily Heath, Austin Bomba and Ashley Bomba. In addition, she leaves behind her beloved toy poodle, Sophie.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
There will be no funeral, as Britz donated her body to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A celebration of her life will be scheduled at a time that allows her grandchildren to attend.