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Nancy Lee (Muench) Roskill
December 27, 1932 ~ October 13, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Nancy Lee (Muench) Roskill, 90, of Amherst, MA passed away Friday, October 13, 2023 at home with her family present.
Nancy was born in St. Louis, MO on December 27, 1932 to Roland Thomas Muench and Lucille W Muench. Nancy lived in St. Louis in her early childhood, then Milwaukee, Detroit and settled in Pittsburgh, PA where she attended Penn High School and graduated with a BFA from Carnegie Melon University.
Nancy moved to New York City in the early 1950s, where she trained Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Theatre. She learned acting from John Stix and Modern Jazz from Frank Wagner. She performed in several Off-Broadway productions including Sean O’Casey’s “Within the Gates” in 1953 and was the lead dancer in the Amato Opera’s “The Mikado” in 1954. She played Lola in “Damn Yankees” in 1958 and danced and sang in a package tour of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Nancy also danced in the Harry Belafonte Show at the Town & Country Club. She modeled for several record album covers and the Fall 1956 issue of Glamour Photography Magazine.
In 1960 she married her first husband, the artist John Grillo. In 1967, they moved to Amherst, where she resided since. She was involved heavily in the visual and performing arts throughout her life. In addition to fine art, Nancy made pottery, weaved and was a black and white photographer. She had a dark room in her home and held several exhibitions of her photographs in the pioneer valley. She orchestrated many art projects with her family and in the community including a memorable puppet show at her son’s elementary school. Nancy loved cooking and baking gourmet food for her family and friends. She made Pâté for the local French Bakery and catered several parties. She was a believer in natural healing and food as medicine. One of her other passions was gardening. She had a beautiful garden that she crafted using her artistic talents. She was a very generous person who graciously welcomed guests into her home. In 1974, she married her second husband, the art historian Mark Roskill. She journeyed to Europe and other countries with him, sharing her experiences through her photography and stories.
Nancy taught English as a second language to foreign students in her home. She cared immensely for her family, pets and others. During the 1980s and early 1990s she was a member of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, as well as a member of the Citizens’ Monitoring Committee at the Northampton State Hospital where she fought for patient’s rights and to turn around the abuses of doctors guilty of malpractice. Nancy loved playing piano, reading and listening to various genres of music. She enjoyed watching classic films, ballets, operas and musicals. At one time she was a big fan of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and had a wonderful sense of humor.
She is survived by her son, Jamieson S. Grillo, his partner Rosa Guerra, her two grandchildren Gianna L. Grillo and Kira M. Grillo of Amherst and three stepsons.
She is predeceased by her Father, Roland Thomas Muench and her mother, Lucille W Muench of Memphis, TN, her second husband Mark Roskill of Amherst, her eldest son Kurt Evan Grillo of Amherst, her first husband John Grillo of Wellfleet, her younger brother Thomas Muench of Amherst and several aunts and uncles.
The family would like to give a special thank you to all of the personal care givers and the Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice nurses and volunteers who compassionately cared for Nancy in her home.
In Lieu of flowers the family requests to please consider donating in Nancy’s memory to the