Nancy Walker Bush Ellis

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Person.png Nancy Walker Bush Ellis   Alchetron Geni WikidataRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Bush family)
Nancy WB Ellis.png
BornFebruary 4, 1926
DiedJanuary 10, 2021 (Age 94)
Alma materChoate Rosemary Hall, Vassar College
ParentsPrescott Bush
InterestsWilliam B. Macomber
Daughter of Prescott Bush, sister of George H. W. Bush.

Nancy Walker Bush Ellis was the daughter of Prescott Sheldon Bush, the only sister of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and aunt of both former President George W. Bush and the former governor of Florida John Ellis "Jeb" Bush.


Nancy Walker Bush was born on February 4, 1926, in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895–1972) and Dorothy Walker Bush (1901–1992). She had four brothers (one was George H. W. Bush) and became a champion tennis player and athlete in her youth. She was educated at the private school Rosemary Hall in Greenwich (now Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford) and Miss Porter's School in Farmington. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in English in 1946.[1]

On October 26, 1946, at St. Paul's Church in Greenwich, she married Alexander Ellis Jr. (1922–1989), an executive with insurance firm Fairfield & Ellis (which merged into Corroon & Black,[2] now a part of Willis Group Holdings Ltd.). The couple's wedding guests included James L. Buckley, John V. Lindsay, John Chafee, and Nancy's brother George; Office of Strategic Services agent William B. Macomber Jr. was best man.[3] Together, they had four children: a daughter, Nancy Walker Ellis Black, and three sons, Alexander, John, and Josiah.[1] The family lived in Concord, Massachusetts before she moved to Beacon Hill after her husband's death.[1]

Political and charitable activities

Although she had been a liberal Democrat and an environmentalist who actively fundraised for the NAACP and co-chaired the New England section of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund,[4] she joined the Republican Party in 1988 when her brother ran for president.[5] In September 2004, when her nephew was running for reelection, she visited London, Paris[6] and Frankfurt[7] on behalf of Republicans Abroad in an effort to encourage Republicans living in Europe to register and vote.[8]

Ellis long volunteered with the Boston United South End Settlement House, of which she was an honorary director.[9] She also volunteered with the New England Medical Center,[10] the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory of Music.[11]

As a board member of the Massachusetts Audubon Society,[4] a group that was critical of the George W. Bush administration's widespread encouragement of industry self-regulation,[12] Ellis led fundraising efforts[4] to establish Belize's Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area[13] and the environmental conservation program Programme for Belize.[13] She was also a member of the nongovernmental organization Pact.[4]


Ellis was hospitalized on December 30, 2020 with a fever and subsequently received a positive PCR-test for Coronavirus. She died on January 10, 2021 at an assisted living facility in Concord, Massachusetts, one month shy of her 95th birthday.[14]