George Lush and Annie Lush (nee Parsons). A mishandled forceps delivery at her birth left her
with a serious, permanent vision impairment in her left eye, but she never let this slow her
down. By all accounts she was a happy and precocious girl in her childhood and teen years.
She was lovingly devoted to her mother, adored her older brother, Denman, and developed
long-cherished relationships with her cousins and friends at school. She was very active and
athletic, a fast and daring bicyclist, and a horse enthusiast. One of her favorite girlhood
memories was of the horse-drawn milk-cart and the day she was allowed to drive it.
Like many children from London during WW2, she was evacuated from the city and separated
from her family for several years. She was always a very enthusiastic and bright pupil, and
despite the disruptions of this time, she graduated from Tollington High School for Girls in
midsummer 1942. Given her early excellence in math, geography, and the sciences, she
attended classes at the boy’s school, possibly a reason she was later so comfortable working in
a primarily man’s world. Undeterred by the progress of WW2, she went on to university -
unusual for women of her era - graduating from University College London with a Bachelor of
Chemistry (B.Sc. London) in 1947.
Nancy began her career at British Oxygen and worked there from 1947 to 1961. Starting as a
research chemist, she soon transferred to the patent department, where her responsibilities
included patent research. Recognized for her potential, she went on to qualify in 1959 as a
British patent agent (now called patent attorney). She recalled very happy times here, between
the work and the social connections she made. A fortuitous downsizing at British Oxygen was
her impetus to change professional direction, and in 1961 she joined Gill, Jennings & Every, a
leading firm of British Patent Agents based in London.
In 1965, at the age of 39, she became partner at the firm, then only about the fifth woman in
the UK to become partner in a patent firm, and the first or second woman to achieve that
without family connections to the firm. She took her mother’s advice never to let being a
woman stop her professionally, while privately acknowledging that “women have to work twice
as hard as men” to achieve the same goals. However hard the work had been, her success in
patent law was a source of immense professional and personal satisfaction, and she often
recounted tales of this time with much happiness and gratitude.
Gill Jennings & Every relied on the partners developing personal relationships with agents in
associated firms and industrial departments at home and around the world, and Nancy had a
wide network of business contacts many of whom were also personal friends. She maintained
a life-long membership and interest in the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys in the UK.
While at the firm she worked on a mutual case with American patent lawyer Robert Bernard
Russell (Bob), who would go on to become her husband and greatest love. They enjoyed travel
to the capitals of Europe and membership in the Wig & Pen, a private club for lawyers and
journalists in London. In 1967 they welcomed the birth of their first daughter, Sarah, moving
from London to Boston, Massachusetts where Bob’s law practice was based. Nancy dedicated
herself to making a stable and happy home for her family, and a second daughter, Emma, was
born in 1971.
Their marriage was a happy and affectionate one, busy with raising their daughters and building
a home in Chestnut Hill, MA. Nancy supported Bob in his law firm, Russell & Tucker, and they
had a lasting intellectual bond, often discussing questions of the law after the day’s chores were
done. Leisure times were enjoyed at The Country Club in Brookline, where Bob played tennis
and Nancy golfed and curled, and summers were split between visiting family in the UK and
spending time on Martha’s Vineyard.
From childhood Nancy had had three material wishes: a mink coat, a model train set, and a
horse. Bob got her the first two, the latter of which took a place of pride in the formal living
room for many years. She never got the horse, but she and Bob made one for the girls out of a
giant sawhorse and brown plush, and it became a beloved “pet” that also lived in the house for
Bob passed away unexpectedly in 1988, and Nancy carried on with admirable fortitude to
maintain a secure home base for her daughters. She rebuilt her career, first earning her real
estate license and working as a sales broker, and later returning to patent law, qualifying by
examination as a US Patent Agent in 1992. She was an advisor and paralegal in Lahive &
Cockfield, LLP in Boston from 1989-1995, where she thoroughly enjoyed not only the legal
work, but also the friendships she made with the people at the firm, who appreciated her keen
insight and depth of experience.
Nancy, ever the scientist, was an avid health enthusiast. She had a strong understanding of
behavioral factors for health and longevity, notably nutrition and exercise. In the 1950s she
developed a low-carbohydrate diet from which she never deviated, likely the reason that she
was vibrant and slim right up to her final days. She exercised every day - from her power walks
around the neighborhood to strengthening exercises she would do at home. She had an
enviable physique, but not wanting to brag, would say that she got her strong arms while
pitching hay during the Evacuation, and that she was “as good as any man”.
While she adapted to life in the US, she remained very British at heart, and was always devoted
to her family in the UK. In her later years she joined a society called Daughters of the British
Empire, enjoying social gatherings with a group in Massachusetts. She made trips back to the
UK to visit family and friends as frequently as she could, and in recent years regretted not being
able to travel because of COVID-19.
In addition to her early love of horse-drawn vehicles, Nancy bore a strong affection for cars anddriving, starting with her beloved 1920s Austin 7, which she named Giuseppe. In the 1950s she
took driving lessons, received a special rally driving license, and together with her first husband,
George Hulbert, participated in road rallies across Europe. In later life she pulled those skills
out of the bag, when against the clock and dashing through Boston to one of the girls’ many
after-school activities. She finally ceased driving at age 93, to her extreme regret.
For many years Nancy ran a bed and breakfast out of her home in Chestnut Hill, MA and later in
Needham, MA. She delighted in the many visitors, especially repeat visitors, and the guest
book, with its signatures and friendly comments, was a treasure to her.
Nancy was bright and inquisitive about the world around her, and very connected to the flora
and fauna of her surroundings. She was often sharing a story of a turtle, a deer, or a fox that
had appeared in her garden, or of a pair of birds that had nested in a nearby tree. She found
the wild turkeys at the roadside in Martha’s Vineyard amusing as she drove past, and would
sometimes playfully approach them, curious of their reaction. The health and thriving of the
plants and trees in her care was also of great concern to her, especially in the latter 20 years of
her life when she lived at The Cove in Marion, MA, where she became Homeowner’s
Association president for a time and was responsible for the design and implementation of a
community beautification project.
After retirement she was involved in volunteer work, such as driving elderly people to their
appointments, even herself being over 80. Being fit and capable was a source of pride for her,
and she sought to put the needs of others above her own. Well into her 90s she was still
making solo trips to the UK and Europe, much to the amazement of her peers.
Nancy identified as agnostic and held staunchly liberal political views. She kept abreast of
current events, reading the newspaper daily and following television news programs, and as
such was greatly concerned about recent turns toward fascism in global politics. She once
commented on how much she hated the former president Trump, adding “and I’ve never hated
anyone!”. When asked, “not even Hitler?”, she explained, “no, because at least we were
She had close connections with many friends from her past, with whom she kept in touch
through visits and yearly Christmas letters. In her 80s she made several long trips to places that
had always been dream destinations, such as Australia and New Zealand, and returned to a
Catalan coastal village, Tamariu, that she had remembered with special fondness from when
she took a holiday alone in the 1960s as a young, happy, independent professional.
Nancy passed away in Plymouth, Massachusetts on October 5th, 2022 after a brief illness, at the
age of 96. She is survived by her two daughters and three grandchildren.