Anne N. "Nancy" Primrose, a founder of the Gibson Island Country School who later retired from Bryn Mawr School, died Oct. 14 of heart failure at Heron Point retirement community in Chestertown. She was 87.
The daughter of Judge Emory H. Niles, who had been chief judge of the old Supreme Bench of Baltimore, and Anne W. Niles, a social activist, Anne Niles was born in Baltimore and raised on Bellemore Road in the city's Poplar Hill neighborhood.
After graduating in 1943 from the Bryn Mawr School, she enrolled at Bryn Mawr College, which she attended until 1945, when she married Harry Clay Primrose III, who had served as a pilot with the Army Air Forces during World War II.
The couple settled on Gibson Island, where they raised their three children and where, in 1958, she became one of the founders of the Gibson Island Country School, now called Eagle Cove School.
While teaching fifth grade and serving as assistant head of the school, Mrs. Primrose continued her education at the Johns Hopkins University and earned a bachelor's degree in 1968 from Towson University.
She joined the faculty of Bryn Mawr School, where she taught middle school math and served as a class adviser until retiring in the 1970s.
In 1972, Mrs. Primrose and her husband moved from Gibson Island to Bolton Hill, where they lived until moving to Heron Point in 1996.
She attended Washington College's Academy of Lifelong Learning, volunteered with several Chestertown community organizations, and was a riverkeeper for the Chester River Association.
Mrs. Primrose and her husband owned a succession of cruising sailboats — Windward, Nymph, Errant, Spica, Quest, Queen Mab, Belinda and Ol' Nance — and in 1975, fulfilled a lifelong dream when they completed a round-trip voyage to Europe.
In addition to sailing, Mrs. Primrose enjoyed gardening, traveling and spending winters on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.
Her husband of 56 years, a retired mortgage banker, died in 2001.
A memorial service for Mrs. Primrose will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 16 at Wesley Hall, Heron Point retirement community, 501 E. Campus Ave., Chestertown.
Mrs. Primrose is survived by two sons, Niles Primrose of Baltimore and Clay Primrose of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; a daughter, Carol Sullivan of Rangeley, Maine; a sister, Mary Waters Shepley of Bedford, Mass.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.