Nancy Atchison-Aylesworth


Longtime Malibuite Nancy Atchison-Aylesworth died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica on May 8 after a long battle with melanoma.

She was born in 1937 in Orange, New Jersey.

Atchison-Aylesworth was known to local residents as one of the original Tennis Titans of the Malibu Colony. The daughter of Ray Eberle, lead singer for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Atchison-Aylesworth grew up in New Jersey and Beverly Hills. It was while working as a personal assistant for television producer Nick Vanoff that she met her husband, writer/producer John Aylesworth, creator of the legendary “Hee Haw,” with whom she had four children.

In 1970, she remarried to rock n’ roll impresario Leonard Stogel and moved from Beverly Hills to the Malibu Colony. It was there, according to her family, that she fell in love with tennis and won several local championships.

Atchison-Aylesworth spent much of her time on the beach with her children and was involved in the community. She was a big supporter of Malibu Little League in the 1970s, where her sons Billy and Thomas Aylesworth both played.

After Stogel’s death in an airplane crash in 1979, Atchison-Aylesworth moved her family to Point Dume, where she raised her four children throughout the 1980s.

After her children grew up, Atchison-Aylesworth landed a job at the William Morris Agency, and eventually moved from Malibu to Topanga Canyon, then spent time in Lake Tahoe, returning to Los Angeles.

In her final 15 years, Atchison Aylesworth began reconnecting with other family members, notably her half-sisters Jan and Laurie Eberle. She became involved in researching melanoma when her son, Thomas, found out he had the cancer in the 1990s. Thomas Aylesworth died from complications from his battle with melanoma in 2003. He was 34 years old.

In her last years, Atchison-Aylesworth often spoke fondly of her recent trips to Florida and the Carolinas to visit her sisters and seek new treatments for her cancer.

A memorial took place for Atchison-Aylesworth May 14 at St. Monica’s Church.

She is survived by her children, William “Billy” Aylesworth of Malibu, John “Duke” Aylesworth of Sacramento and Cynthia Aylesworth-Heatley of Topanga.