Wenham — Nancy Lee Megowen Shane passed away from heart failure on May 24 in her home in Wenham, Mass. The daughter of the late Robert Lee and Myrtle Shane Megowen, and the sister of the late William J. Megowen, Nancy is survived by her husband, John A. Shane, and children, Lee Shane, Christopher A. Shane and Nancy S. Brophy and partner, David Cady; as well as her sister-in-law, Peg Megowen, and many nieces, nephews and extended family.
Born in Chicago and raised in Massachusetts, Nancy became a competitive swimmer, tennis player and horsewoman during summers in Magnolia. She attended Concord Academy in Concord, Mass. for middle school, and graduated from Miss Hall’s School of Pittsfield, Mass., where she would return years later to serve as a trustee and vice president of the Board. Nancy attended Stephens College in Missouri and graduated from Katherine Gibbs School in Boston. She later worked for the Boston FM radio station, WXHR, and at the MIT Lincoln Labs in Cambridge, Mass.
Nancy was most known for her skills in needlework and as a miniaturist. An early passion was needlepoint, and for schools and other nonprofits she created many popular designs, kits and original works which were then auctioned or sold to raise funds for these institutions. She later became an avid knitter known both for her skill and prodigious output including dozens of colorful socks for family and friends every Christmas.
In the early 1970s, she developed an interest in miniatures. Nancy studied architecture and design, and also attended and later taught classes in miniature building and room box creation. She traveled extensively to shows and conventions in the U.S. and Europe, creating and amassing a collection of more than fifty houses and room boxes. Nancy and her work were featured in many publications including the Miniature Collector and The Boston Globe. In 2011, The Wenham Museum presented a curated show of more than 30 of her dollhouses and room boxes. As she said at the time to the Salem News, “I love sharing them. There’s no point in not sharing them. I get enjoyment out of people’s interest and comments.”