Nancy Soderberg, whose life was characterized by her devotion to her family; her commitment to service, especially to public libraries and to the Girl Scouts; and her enthusiasm for outdoor endeavors, particularly swimming, sailing, and picnicking, died on June 23 in Camden, Maine. She was 96 and had recently moved from her Camden home to the memory care unit at Quarry Hill, where she died.
Nancy Traill Soderberg was born on March 16, 1922, to Mabel White Traill and Frederick Balcolm Traill in Spencer, Massachusetts, where she grew up and graduated from David Prouty High School. After a gap year at the Northampton School for Girls, she attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating in 1944. She worked for two years at the Harvard Medical School and then joined the American Red Cross, serving that organization on the island of Okinawa (now part of Japan), South Korea and outside of Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1950 she married Carl Richard (Dick) Soderberg, Jr., with whom she had five children. Her husband’s work took the family to many places, including, chronologically, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; New Canaan, Connecticut; Lake Forest, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Concord, Massachusetts; and São Paulo, Brazil. With every move, Nancy, well served by her unfailingly positive spirit and keen managerial and organizational skills, energetically established the family, connected with the community, became an active member of the local Episcopal Church, and supported the Soderberg family’s love of sailing, on oceans and lakes across the Americas. When living in Minneapolis, Nancy, always eager to learn, earned a master’s degree in children’s literature at the University of Minnesota, which informed her future involvement with libraries and bookstores (and with her grandchildren).
Drawn to Maine by the opportunity for great sailing in a beautiful seaside location as well as proximity to family, they moved from Brazil to South Brooksville, Maine, when Dick retired in 1988, and to Camden in 2003. In both places Nancy relished welcoming her children and their families to yet another community she called home.
Her survivors include her husband of 68 years as well as their five children: Lisa Soderberg (Richard Brown) of Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Carl R. Soderberg of Simsbury, Connecticut; Leif G. Soderberg (Jill) of Lake Forest, Illinois; Inga Soderberg-King (Jeff) of Gloucester, Massachusetts; Erik T. Soderberg of Bedford, New York. Ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter also survive her. She was predeceased by her brother Frederick Balcolm Traill.
The family is grateful to the cadre of loving caregivers who attended Nancy in her final years. A memorial service is planned for September 8 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Camden with the Rev. Lisa Smith-Frye officiating.
If desired, memorial gifts may be made in her memory to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, or to Camden Area District Nursing Association. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.