CHESTERTOWN — Nina Rodale Houghton was born and raised in Allentown, Pa. Her sons like to say that she lived four lives. The first chapter was her unusual upbringing as the daughter of J.I. Rodale, who was ahead of his time, bringing awareness to the science and benefits of Organic Gardening.
Chapter two was her work for the Sea Mammal Motivational Institute (SEAMAMM) studying and training seals and sea lions aboard a research vessel with her family for four years.
Chapter three began when she married Arthur A Houghton Jr., who brought her and her four children, two dogs and two harbor seals, and one sea lion to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1972. Once settled, she was appointed as Trustee of Wye Institute in 1973. This was the beginning of her lifelong commitment to education from the 1990s well into the 2000s. She was a Trustee of Goucher College, a board member of the Columbus Center in Baltimore, an advisory group member to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, a member of the Board of Visitors to Johns Hopkins Medicine and member of the Board of Visitors of University of Maryland College Park. In 1999 she co-chaired an effort sponsored by the University of Maryland called Agriculture and Natural Resources Research: Seeking Common Ground, which was the beginning of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology. She was a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland. She was also on the board and otherwise involved in the Aspen Institute for a decade.
On to chapter four, she then spent much of her time in Chestertown. She served on the Board of Visitors and Governors at Washington College with a passion. Nina loved the community and could not resist being an advocate for anyone she felt she could help. There are many people whose lives she has touched in a significant way, and she will leave a big hole for those who knew her.
She is survived by her four children Robert, Jeffrey, Hale and Andrew Horstman, seven grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and two stepchildren. All services are private and the family thanks everyone for their support and condolences.