Nancy Davis Nutt, age 81, passed away Saturday April 30, 2022. She battled several long term illnesses, spending two long months in hospitals and, finally, with Hospice at Arlington Court. Her son, Charles Nutt, constantly always by her side.
Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, Nancy’s sense of fun and adventure was developed early. This led her to getting into much mischief with her school friends. During summer, after working at her father’s Variety Store, she could be seen swimming and water skiing at her family’s cottage on Eagle Lake. Learning to cook from her mother, and later her future grandmother-in-law, she became an amazing chef of Irish cuisine and comfort food (making the best chicken and dumplings and bean soup ever). Her active high school career included serving as a majorette, playing the violin and clarinet in the orchestra and band, cheerleading, and being elected President of the Spanish club.
After getting married, Nancy lived in several cities supporting her husband’s educational pursuits and, later his career aspirations. She always found much to do wherever they lived; always striving to enrich the lives of others. While living in Madison, as her husband worked toward his Ph.D., she contacted the University of Wisconsin to offer a “home away from home” for adult foreign students, separated from their families. They responded by sending her one student. After a few visits, which offered dinner and conversation, the student asked if he could invite others. The group continued to grow in this way until it became the place to be for foreign students on Friday evenings. This prompted other foreign students to host similar gatherings, with Nancy always being invited. Her contribution after dinner was always the same; facilitating lighthearted conversation and laughter. Everyone loved it and came back for more. These gatherings quickly became a tradition, and Nancy would host special gatherings for new and departing students. Through this work, and numerous other civic endeavors supporting her community, she was selected to receive the “Know your Madisonian” award.
Nancy moved to Columbus when her husband took a faculty position at OSU. Once settled, she quickly resumed her community-minded activities, serving several terms as President of the Northwest Civic Association. This sparked an unexpected career in real-estate, which she began when she earned her Real Estate license. She enjoyed a long career as a member of the Holzer-Wollam team, where she made great friends and rose to the position of Vice President of Relocation. She was very proud of earning a national award from Home Equity for her excellent work.
Nancy would host an annual party for her husband's graduate students - a tradition that lasted nearly 30 years. She was a member of many organizations in support of her children. These included Girl Scouts and Northwest Columbus Sports, as well as PTA and Athletic Boosters at Gables Elementary, Ridgeview Junior/Middle and Centennial High School.
Nancy loved travel and the adventure it brought. Whenever possible, vacations would be wrapped around business and include her children. In addition to site seeing, the trips often had educational components, such as visits to art galleries and museums - where there was always a required stop at the gift shop! While she enjoyed exploring and never shied away from visiting new places, she had a special place in her heart for Mexico. It is fair to say Mexico was her favorite vacation destination. After first visiting as a preteen, she fell in love with the people, food, and culture, and returned often over her lifetime. She was particularly fond of Cozumel and the Palace Resort, where her charms earned her under-the-table perks and special treatment, turning staff into friends; she was affectionately known by all as "Miss Nancy".
Nancy enjoyed gathering and socializing, whether it was a professional event or neighborhood picnic, meeting a friend for a Coke, or just a chance encounter at the local Big Bear supermarket - she always made time to chat and make people feel valued. And, it must be noted that she always enjoyed a good party, especially if there was a glass of champagne or Isle of Shy single malt Scotch involved.
Nancy was beautiful on the outside and even more so on the inside. She had a spontaneity about her, one that prompted a sense of fun and adventure that drew people to her. She related to people, no matter how similar or different they were to her. She was uniquely able to see everyone as their own person and chose to define people only by what was in their heart. Nancy had a charm that connected with nearly everyone. She was a friend to all, particularly to those needing help. She provided everything from emotional support to financial means. Only ever having one request in return; everyone must be treated with respect. Those failing to do so heard about it from her. Those that received her generosity can be found in every city in which she lived and all around the world in countries that she visited.
Even during her most difficult period, when pain was getting the best of her, she gave us that wonderful smile that marked her true feelings. Nancy will be sorely missed every day, in every way by her husband, her children, her grandchild, and her many friends.
Nancy was preceded in death by her mother Marian Gess Davis West, father Lloyd Davis, father Jesse West, and brother Billy West. She is survived by her husband of 60 years Paul Nutt, her daughter Suzanne Jenks (Richard), her son Charles Nutt, and her grandson Timothy Jenks. Also surviving are her other siblings Phyllis Kearney, Lazelle Davis (Evelyn), Donna Krieger (Fred), along with many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, May 13th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Egan-Ryan funeral home, located at 4661 Kenny Road in Columbus. Visitation will be followed by the sharing of memories beginning around 6:15pm. A private burial will take place on Saturday morning at Union Cemetery in Columbus.
When the 'significance' of the Friday-the-13th date was realized, all smiled, and we absolutely knew it would make Nancy laugh. If you will be joining us to celebrate her life and share memories, please consider skipping traditional funeral attire in favor of comfortable clothes in the bright colors Nancy loved. While flowers are welcome, a donation to Doctors without Borders would be preferred.