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Nathaniel H. Hartshorne, 91

Writer, editor, actor, husband, and father

September 18, 1926 – March 28, 2018

Nathaniel Hartshorne, a longtime resident of Blawenburg, died peacefully in his home on March 28, following a brief illness.

Nat was born on September 18, 1926 in New York City to Robert and Esther Hartshorne. He attended St. Paul’s school and Hamilton college and spent two years in the U.S. Navy. On March 7, 1953 Nat married Valerie Thomas, orginally of Locust, NJ.

Nat and Valerie moved from Brooklyn to Blawenburg in 1960 and from that time to the present have lived in their beloved home, the old tavern building, in the heart of Blawenburg.

There they raised four children, hosted weddings, and entertained a constant flow of friends and family.

Nat was truly a man for all seasons. He spent most of his career as an editor and freelance magazine and newspaper writer. His articles and stories have appeared in Harpers, The New York Times, Family Circle, The Ladies’ Home Journal, and American Heritage magazine. Nat worked for 25 years as a senior editor at ETS and as a managing editor at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

Nat was also a stage actor. His lifelong love of the theater began in childhood. He spoke with great pride of joining his mother and older brother in musical productions in their home. In his adult years he went on to perform in countless summer stock and regional productions. Music was also one of Nat’s passions. He spent many hours enjoying favorites like Count Basie and attending the symphony in Princeton with Valerie.

A National Treasure, a play Nat wrote with Charles Leeder, was produced at the Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton in 1988. In March, 2018, Nat produced Keeping in Touch, a collection of his personal letters to his friends and his family, which were known for their wit and their warmth.

Beyond his many accomplishments more than 91 years, Nat will be most remembered by those who knew him for his interest in other people. Speaking with Nat you always knew he gave you his undivided and non-judgmental attention. “How are you doing?,” and “Tell me about…..,” always preceded any discussion of his own interests and activities.

Chopping wood, mowing the lawn, writing for hours in his study and, above all, making a home for his family, Nat is remembered with great love by the many people whom he touched in this world.

Nat is survived by his wife, Valerie; his four children: Anne, Jennifer, Max, and Caroline; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A private memorial service will be held at a future date.

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