Nancy Rickner Rowe, 84, died May 5, in Florence, Colo.
She was born August 21, 1938, to John Andrew (Jack) and Julia Ethel (Wolfe) Rickner in Durango, Colo.
Nancy along with her slightly older sister Jacklyn, who passed away May 5, 2010, were raised for a short time in Mancos, Colo., but due to the era, their parents were forced to move where there was work for their dad. Denver, Pueblo, and Canon City were some of the towns they lived in before settling in Garden City, Kans. Sunday drives in the mountains were a highlight of Nancy’s young childhood with her sister and parents.
Nancy was married for 19 years and to this union, two children were born: John C. on December 11, 1960, and Valerie Ann who was her Nancy’s 25th birthday present on August 21, 1963.
Nancy attended college at Garden City and moved to McPherson for a time before settling in Ulysses, where she raised her children. Her kids brought friends home and those kids were always thought of and treated like one of her own. For many years, her kids would say, “Mom is a mother to many”.
Nancy became a Nana April 8. 1994 to Andrew John Rowe, son of Val, and from the moment that little guy was born, she embraced the title proudly. She played a key role in helping Val raise Andrew and never gave it a second thought. Her son John passed away August 4, 1994, and turned her world upside down, as burying her child was a horrible experience. Many of her friends along with her daughter knew Andrew would be her saving grace, so to speak.
In the early summer of 2000, she, along with Val and Andrew, left Ulysses and moved to Colorado. Salida, Poncha Springs, Canon City, Buena Vista, and finally Florence were towns lived in. Val’s employment in the nursing world determined their moves and Nancy willingly packed up the house each time with gusto and ready for new adventures. As long as their next home was in or near her mountains, she kept a genuine smile.
Florence was her and her little family unit’s final move after Andrew’s seventh grade school year and Nancy, being the Nana, put her foot down, so to speak, and proclaimed there would be no more moving her grandson. Nancy embraced and loved the small-town atmosphere and eclectic little town and one week after moving to Florence, found Florence United Methodist Church, where she was welcomed and quickly loved by many. She was active in her little church with her church family until COVID messed with everything and everyone. Various medical issues seemed to happen to Nancy and soon, she declined a little with each malady. Various people described her to be spunky, funny, and determined, to mention a few. She lived life to the fullest and passed onto her new life all the while doing it her way.
Nancy will be lovingly and fondly remembered by her daughter Valerie; grandson, Andrew John; niece, Kelly; and nephew, Scott, along with others from the Rowe side of the family. Special friends who Nancy considered family include Anna May with her husband, Archie Green, Cindy with her husband, Gary Jones, Carol with her husband, Harvey Alley, Wanda Christian of Westcliffe, Tomas Napier, and Jackie McPeek with her little pup Bane, who was frequent enough guests, that Nancy referred to the guest bedroom and “Jackie and Bane’s room”. Birdie Hines was a weekly coffee buddy, along with her longest and dearest friend from Caldwell, Idaho, who phoned Nancy often, Shirley Akagi. This second mom to Nancy’s kids gave the ultimate and selfless gift by helping Val tell Nancy that it was okay to move on to her new and whole life.
Nancy’s family is eternally grateful to all who helped make her life a little brighter in her final years. Special thanks also to Desert Willow Health and Rehab in Pueblo along with all the special nurses and CNAs who treated Mom with love and care during her two-month recent stay, and to Sangre de Cristo Hospice and the AMR ‘boys’ for their hand in helping to get Mom home to live her last moments in her own home and bed.
Visitation took place from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, May 11 at Garnand Funeral Home in Ulysses.
Graveside service and interment took place at 11 a.m., Friday, May 12, at the Ulysses Cemetery in Ulysses.
Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.
No specific memorial has been established, but if any would like to do so, National Mill Dog Rescue was always special to her as her little babe, Micah, came from there. Her other little one, Missy, was adopted from the Fremont Humane Society.