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Nadine Mayer, 84

Nadine Byrne Mayer, a former Westport resident, died April 28 after a battle with cancer. She was 84.

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Nadine Mayer: 1952 Staples grad. Contributed photo

Born in Richmond, Virginia to William Callaghan and Alice (Farrar) Byrne, she attended boarding schools and transferred to Staples High School from the New York High School for Performing Arts her senior year.

A promising ballet dancer until sidelined by an accident, she danced with the burgeoning New York City Ballet under George Balanchine.

After graduating Staples class of 1952 and Southern Seminary College, she was recruited by famed impresario Sol Hurok, credited with popularizing ballet in the U.S., to squire visiting Russian dancers around New York.

She resided in Wilton, Weston and Westport for over 40 years, employed by the Westport News and was a perennial member of Wilton Playshop.

At a time when the most dreaded disease was a new “gay cancer” rumored to be transmitted by handshake, she became a fearless volunteer ministering to HIV patients.

After raising her family in Connecticut, she relocated to the Gulf Coast of Florida to further her career as a speech writer for various Floridian politicians.

Her passions were political debate, tennis, theater, and all words well written.

She will be remembered for her ebullience, her joie de vivre, her ability to bring diverse people together and make them laugh, and her optimism in the face of multiple storms.

Nadine was the former spouse of Dwight A. Mayer, (deceased) of Westport and Wilton and predeceased by sisters Marie Lyle Kirby and Vivian J. Lyle of Richmond, VA. She is survived by her children Hope (Lawrence) Padalino of Morro Bay, California, D. Callaghan Mayer of St. Petersburg, Florida, Michael (Katie) Mayer of Bethlehem, Connecticut, grandchildren Margaret Mayer, Harry Mayer, Ross Padalino and Scott Padalino, and may nieces, nephews and cousins.

Believing family transcends blood, she included in her family Page (Ron) Schaschwary of Crystal Lake, Illinois, Staples High School classmate Lynn Lucke Lutkin, now of Ft. Collins, Coloradao, John (Lynn) Paul of Westport, her dog Scupper, and many others. You know who you are.

A memorial celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, July 28 at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.

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