In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Nancy’s Story (Resident of Granite Hill Estates)
What is your name:
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
Mom: Lillian, Dad: William and a brother who is also William.
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
I’m not sure how my name was determined but my nickname was Nanny. A fun fact about names in my family is there are seven men named Charles in the immediate family.
When and where were you born?
I was born in 1927 in Madison, Wisconsin.
What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
We went to the library and state parks.
What did you love to do with your friends?
I did more things with family. We moved around a lot and it was hard to keep the same friends.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
I attended 13 schools before High School and Math is my favorite subject.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
My husband is Richard and we met while racing sailboats in the regatta.
What are your children’s names?
Deborah, Dana, Cynthia and Charlie. My daughter Deborah is the 4th generation woman to have the name. My son has a PHD in Groundwater Hydrology, the other is a manufacturer furniture rep which he took over from his dad. One daughter is an artist and the other is a computer manual editor.
What are some special memories you have about your children?
I had three in diapers for 2 years.
Where have you lived?
Many places including: Chicago, Washington State, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. I was in a ski club and lived in Poland with a polish family.
Have you had jobs? Who did you work for and what did you do?
I was a high school math teacher and I have a degree in architectural engineering.
What are your hidden talents?
Racing sailboats and cross-country skiing.
What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
Lots of things with family thru the Depression. I went to the library often.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
No holiday traditions that I can think of.
What are some of your favorite things?
Favorite flowers? Wildflowers
Favorite foods? Raw oysters
Favorite pets? Cavalier King Spaniel
What are some personal experiences that have especially touched your heart?
Skiing the Olympic trails in Australia and sailing the regatta with my husband.
What are your favorite things to do now?
What are you favorite experiences to partake in at Granite Hill Estates?
Love the word games and puzzles. I also love the food choices.
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
To be happy and healthy. I have 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
Keep things to yourself.
Sum your personality up in 1 word?
A note from one of Nancy’s daughters:
“Nancy and Dick were married over 60 years and enjoyed sailing, hiking, birding, and travel; they were in the hiking club when they first came to Granite Hill Estates in 2008. Nancy was an architecture student at the University of Minnesota after WWII at a time when there weren’t many women in the field, but never became a professional architect as she got married and raised a family of four. She participated in the design and remodeling of their various homes (including making some interior modifications to their cottage at GHE), and in the development and building of a new chapel at their church in Minnesota, (photo below) something she is very proud of. She also loved to cook and knit; she’s got a pretty amazing life to look back on!”