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Nonny Frances Burack ’60

November 25, 2021, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A native of Springfield, Massachusetts, Nonny attended Reed, the Columbia University School of General Studies, and Johns Hopkins University before earning a bachelor’s degree from Goddard College. She also earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Massachusetts. But her burning desire was to dance with Martha Graham, with whom she had trained. On November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, Nonny was hit by a car in New York City, ending all hopes of a professional dancing career.

Still, she taught dance for more than 20 years; worked at The Massachusetts Review, a literary magazine; and was the coordinator of the Valley Peace Center, which for five and a half years opposed the Vietnam War and worked to reduce the power of the “military-industrial complex.” Nonny worked at the Mark Meadow Library, at all branches of the Jones Library, in the Town of Amherst’s clerk’s office, and as an election worker. For more than 30 years she was a guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum. She did freelance typing, proofreading, editing, and calligraphy, and had a keen appreciation for a fine ampersand.

She served on the North Amherst Study Committee, the Town Meeting Study Committee, the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee, and the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee, and as a trustee for the Jones Library. In her early 50s, she discovered classical Greek and Latin with the Amherst College classics department, and this became a great and sustaining joy. She loved music and was a student of baseball, taking pleasure in watching and analyzing major league games. Nonny is survived by her brother, Daniel Burack

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2022

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