Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Agnes (Nancy) Watters (née Boyce), BSc (born 13 September 1929, died 12 February 2020, aged 90)


Mrs Agnes Hutchinson (Nancy) Watters, née Boyce, was awarded a Belfast City scholarship to attend Methodist College Belfast (MCB) in September 1942. After completing seniors there she was awarded a further scholarship to study for a final year for university entrance examinations, and went on from there to Queen's University Belfast in 1948, to study Chemistry, achieving an honours degree in 1952.

She was proud to become a chartered chemist and was a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry for over 60 years. Her first job was as an analytical chemist for a meat firm, and she met her accountant husband to be there.

Harold and Nancy married in 1955 and later moved to Lurgan, where Nancy became a science teacher at the Girls Junior High School, after having her three children. When the family moved back to Belfast her three children attended MCB, and later Queen's. She was a member of Soroptimist International, The Business and Professional Women’s Club and Secretary of the Young Women’s Central Committee of the Presbyterian Church. She was a devotee of Edith Devlin’s extramural classes on literature at Queen's.

After Harold’s death in 1981, Nancy worked with the Schools Support Project, run by John Malone. From 1983-1992 she worked for the Educational Guidance Service for Adults, run by Dorothy Eagleson.

Nancy was an enthusiastic member of Queen’s Women Graduates Association , treasurer from 1979-1982, and President in 1984-85. She was honorary treasurer of the Irish Federation of University Women from 1992-1995, and also involved with international activities of university women. She attended the Stanford conference in 1992 after her retirement. Later she served on the Queen's Standing Committee of Convocation. She was also a Governor of the Linen Hall Library, and Chairman of the Abbeyfield Society in Belfast for 5 years.

Nancy loved learning and greatly enjoyed learning at Queen's, and encouraged others to make the most of educational opportunities. She died in hospital on 12/2/2020 after surgery for a broken hip, a quick end to a life that she had lived fully, and joyfully for just over 90 years. The twinkle in her eye and her enthusiasm for meeting with old and new friends were bright to the last. Her life was remembered with celebration on the 15/2/2020 by her many friends, and her loving family.

Nancy is survived by children David, Peter and Janet, grandchildren Richard, Anna, Lucy, Rachel, Simon, Jenny, Claire and Andrew, and by her sister Margaret.


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