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News Remembering former Board member Nancy Begin

Sportswoman and dedicated community leader Nancy Begin spent her life advocating for fish and wildlife conservation in the Commonwealth.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for Remembering former Board member Nancy Begin

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

Nancy Begin receives award

Noted wildlife artist and life-long Topsfield resident, Nancy Eleanor Killam Begin passed away on November 9 in Masconomet at the age of 95. Nancy had an amazing life. Born and raised in Topsfield, she inherited her family's traditions of farming, hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation. She was the first woman appointed to the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board, a position she held for 27 years. During her time on the Board, she worked to establish MassWildlife’s Wildlands Stamp Program that supports land acquisition and was active in promulgating endangered species regulations. She was also heavily involved with the state waterfowl stamp contest. Nancy spent 70 years as a volunteer, Executive Board member, and first woman President of the Topsfield Fair.

Nancy was the first woman voted Sportswoman of the Year by the Essex County Sportsman League. She was also the recipient of the Francis W. Sargent Conservation Award (see photo) in recognition of her significant contributions to the conservation of natural resources in the Commonwealth. In 2011, in recognition to her years of service to MassWildlife, the Nancy E. Begin Newbury Marsh Overlook at the William Forward Wildlife Management Area (Hay Street in Newbury) was dedicated in her honor.

Donations can be made in Nancy's memory to the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation, a Commonwealth-based 502©(3) organization that supports wildlife, inland fisheries, and endangered species habitat conservation by supporting MassWildlife projects. Donations can be mailed to Mass Outdoor Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 47, Westborough, MA 01581 or made online at

Media Contact for Remembering former Board member Nancy Begin

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.
Image credits:  Begin, with Fisheries & Wildlife Board members, accepts the Francis W. Sargent Conservation Award in 2004.