DALLAS, TX Nancy Cone Hanley, 74, died peacefully in the presence of family at Baylor Hospital in Dallas on April 3, following complications from an illness she had endured for several years. In addition to her husband, Tim, she is survived by daughters Laura Lea, Barbara Ashworth, Beth Coffman, and six grandchildren of Dallas, and sister, Barbara McPhail, of Berkeley, California.
Nancy Gaither Cone was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on October 30, 1937 to Elizabeth Gaither Cone and Clarence Cone. After graduating from Chatham Hall high school in 1955, she attended Smith College as an English major. While at Smith she met Bryant "Tim" Hanley, Jr. of Rochester, New York, who was studying at Dartmouth College. They married on January 1, 1958 in Greensboro, moved to San Diego, California where Tim was to serve as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Kidd, and started their family. Following Tim's service with the Navy and graduate studies at Dartmouth, they lived in New York and New Jersey where they spent family weekends sailing their boat "Uptick" on the Atlantic. Tim's work brought them to Dallas in 1972, and they quickly called it home and became involved in the community. Still desiring to be close to the water and its quiet solitude, they spent many weekends and summer breaks with family at Possum Kingdom Lake.
When her daughters left home, Nancy pursued her interest in the studio arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU). She became very active in the Dallas arts community, both as a patron of the arts and as an artist. In the early years she produced works in a wide variety of mediums including drawings, paintings, prints, and ceramics. During the 1990s she collaborated with several SMU classmates-turned-friends to show their works, including a show at the Conduit Gallery titled Seven Friends, Four Days. In later years, she focused her attention on framed glass fusions, praised for their unique use of materials and composition.
Nancy's support of the arts in Dallas was far-reaching. She served on the Boards of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (MAC), the Arlington Museum of Art, and the Dallas Visual Arts Center (DVAC), which through her years of steadfast and substantial support she helped transform into the Dallas Contemporary where she served as an honorary board member until her death. Nancy also served on the Collections Committee of the Dallas Museum of Art.
In 1993, Nancy and Tim lovingly restored a home designed by Texas architect O'Neil Ford and accelerated their collecting of important works by local artists. Over the years they have opened their home, considered by many to be the best combination of Texas modern architecture and Texas modern art, to hundreds of art and architecture enthusiasts.
They also enjoyed spending time in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where many of Nancy's Cone family relatives from Greensboro still live close by and gather.
Nancy was a loving wife, mother, sister, and friend and especially enjoyed her grandchildren. She was respected and admired for her keen sensitivity of humanity, nature and art, her diverse array of talents, and her courage and integrity. Her love of life and generosity of sprit will be missed by all who knew her.
Her life will be celebrated at Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street, Dallas, on April 7 at 4 p.m.
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