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Nancy Hill Jewett, artist and fundraiser

Jan. 3, 1921 – Jan. 22, 2016

Nancy Hill Jewett, an artist, businesswoman and fundraiser, died Friday in her Buffalo home. She was 95.

Born in Buffalo, the former Nancy Hill grew up in East Aurora. She graduated from Oldfields School in Sparks Glencoe, Md., and attended the Geneva School for Women in Mexico City, Mexico.

Mrs. Jewett, known for her colorful oil paintings of African animals, came from a long line of artists that included her mother and great-grandfather. Her great-uncle, George Bridgman, a renowned painter and teacher, taught at the Art Students League in New York City for 45 years. Her sister, Jean Hill Collins, who died last April, was a multimedia artist.

She was associated with a group called the Oakland Artists that included Liz Tower, Grace McKendry, Charlotte Albright and Virginia Tillou. They held a collective exhibition in 1982.

Donating her works was just one of her means to raise funds for her favorite causes, including the Burchfield Penney Art Center, where she was a founding board member, and the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, where she was an honorary board member.

“No one says no to Nancy,” one of her fundraising colleagues noted.

She was part of the committee that selected the artists in 2000 for the Herd About Buffalo project, in which fiberglass bison statues were painted and transformed into public art as a fundraiser for Roswell Park and the Burchfield Penney.

Always elegantly dressed, for 32 years she was co-owner of La Belle Boutique, a shop for women that principally sold Doncaster clothing.

A lifelong skier, she was a member of the National Ski Patrol Association. She also was active in the Saturn Club and the Garret Club for more than 60 years.

She and her husband traveled extensively throughout the world. She also spent more than 60 summers on Pleasant Island in Parry Sound, Ont.

Her husband of 62 years, Nelson Holland “Holly” Jewett, manager of buildings for Marine Midland Bank, died in 2003.

Survivors include three sons, Dean H., Nelson H. Jr. and Kent C.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

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