Age 90, passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve 2021 in Penn Yan, NY and joined loved ones who preceded her in death to the Gardens of Paradise. It was the end of a 74-year love affair with Bruce Westerdahl that began in high school in 1947.
Nancy was born in Gettysburg, PA to a deep-rooted family that included Francis C. Ogden who during the Civil War years, planted the grain on the Wheatfield, a famous Gettysburg battlefield.
Nancy and Bruce were married in 1953 after she graduated from Shippensburg State Teachers College. Nancy began her long, distinguished, and exemplary career as an elementary school teacher in the fall of that year. Her career spanned over thirty years and concluded when she retired from the Penn Yan Area Schools in 1991. She left a lasting impression on countless students who to this day remember her as loving, kind and talented.
Nancy is survived by Bruce Westerdahl, her husband of 68 years, and by her children Douglas (Kristin) Westerdahl of Webster, NY, Steven (Laureen Barnes) Westerdahl of Canandaigua, NY and Tamara (William) Rollins of Mathews, VA. She leaves behind eight grandchildren: Jennifer (Jeremy Maichuk), Jamie (Tina Borra), Allison, Ryan (Nicole Westerdahl), Amy (Scott Larminaux), Lindsey (Alex Bailey), Amanda (Adam Nordin), Kristen (Steve Lind) and six great grandchildren: (Hannah, Haylee, Oliver, Cooper, Hattie, Jasper) who adored her in every possible way.
Nancy was an avid reader throughout her life and enjoyed needlepoint and bird watching. She and Bruce worked tirelessly on their award-winning flower garden at their home in Bluff Point. With their dog Cody, they traveled by camp trailer throughout the United States, enjoying all the beauty and personality our wonderful country has to offer.
Her family was most important to Nancy, and she showed her endless love for them by her positive influence, supportive nature and gentle spirit.
With her husband, Nancy coauthored and published a memoir entitled We Grew Up in Gettysburg - A Love Story. Nancy’s daily high school diary entries provided primary source material for this remarkably detailed account of the start of their love story for the ages.
Nancy and Bruce have been supporting the Nasaruni Academy for Maasai girls in Kenya and in recent years have been raising money for a library at the school. The family asks that any donations be made in her name to the Nasaruni School Library and forwarded to the Weldon Funeral Home at 102 E. Main Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527.
A memorial service to celebrate Nancy’s life will be scheduled for some future date.
Funeral arrangements with Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.