Obituary: Eleanor Atwater Byers, 89

Eleanor Atwater Byers passed away peacefully on March 20, 2017. Nunnie, as she was affectionately known, was born on Nov. 30, 1927, in Fall River, Mass., and grew up in Tiverton and Providence, R.I. She graduated from the Lincoln School in Providence in 1945 and Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Mass., in 1947.

In 1951 she married Randolph Kunhardt Byers Jr. of Milton, Mass. She devoted her life to raising her four children, pursuing her artwork as a photographer, spending time in nature and traveling.

Nunnie was a force to be reckoned with, a fierce and passionate woman who felt and experienced life at a very deep level. Her sense of humor was full of wit and time spent with her was always memorable. She stood her ground, valued truth, and supported others in being their own selves.

She was predeceased by her parents, Eleanor Bartlett and David Hay Atwater. She was the sister of the late David (Tiny) Hay Atwater Jr. and Damaris (Dicie) Syre Atwater.  Living to carry on her memory are her husband of 65 years, Randy, and her children, Elizabeth (Libby) Moore and husband Raoul of Little Compton, R.I., Bartlett (Bart) Cooke Byers of Denver, Colo., Eleanor (Ellie) Byers of Shelburne, Vt., and Mary Truslow and her husband Charles of Milton. Living to carry on her legacy are her grandchildren, Justin, Andrew, Loren, Kelsey, Chas, Will and Graham. Living to carry the Atwater legacy are her sister, Sally Anne (Sadie) Havens, and brother, Nathaniel (Nate) Bartlett Atwater, both of Little Compton.

A celebration of Nunnie’s life will be held Saturday, April 22, at 11 a.m., at the United Congregational Church in Little Compton. Donations in her memory may be sent to Stay at Home in Little Compton (, Up with School Arts ( and the Visiting Nurses of Newport and Bristol County ( To read the full obituary, go to