Nancy M. Keener McCafferty of Dorset, Vermont, the former owner of The Nantucket Lady women’s clothing store on Valley Road in Montclair, died peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 28, at her home following a 20-year battle with cancer. She was 82.
Mrs. McCafferty was born in 1938 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the eldest daughter of Henry and Elsie Keener. She attended a one-room country school until 1948 and met her future husband, Bob McCafferty, in fourth grade; they became a steady couple in high school.
They were married in 1958 and moved to West Dover, Vermont, where her husband had built a ski lodge, Doverhof, for which she became the main innkeeper, responsible for its operation and food preparation. While there they had a son, Jonathan, in 1961.
They sold the lodge after six years and Mrs. McCafferty subsequently began a lifelong career in fashion and retailing.
In 1974 they moved to Princeton, where she was accepted into the R.H. Macy executive training program after working for several years for a market research firm. She was assigned to the headquarters of Macy’s Bamberger division in Newark and advanced steadily within the Bamberger organization, becoming an assistant buyer in sporting apparel and winning an Assistant Buyer of the Year award for introducing Adidas sporting apparel to the Bamberger chain.
In 1979 they moved to Upper Montclair. In the early 1980s Mrs. McCafferty left Macy’s and, after a brief retirement, decided to return to retailing and opened The Nantucket Lady.
The decor was modeled after a Nantucket cottage and featured ladies sporting apparel, upscale casual fashions and accessories. The Nantucket Lady was an instant success, and Mrs. McCafferty and her sales staff managed the store successfully until 1996, at which point she retired to pursue her passions for competitive tennis and hiking the mountains of New England, Switzerland and Italy.
She and her husband moved to Dorset, Vermont, in 2001.
Mrs. McCafferty is survived by her husband of 62 years, Bob; her son, Jonathan, and his partner, Lisa Feiwel; grandson Willem and Willem’s mother, Jacki Gross, all of Manhattan; her sister, Janet Keener of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, and a number of nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center at 100 Hospital Drive, Bennington, VT, for the benefit of the staff of the cancer center, c/o Brewster-Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255.