Nancy Swartz Wilson
Jan. 11, 1926-July 24, 2018
Portola Valley, California
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Nancy Swartz Wilson was born to Ruby Myers and Jesse Franklin Swartz in York, Pennsylvania. Her family then moved to Akron, Ohio as her father worked for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Nancy’s father died in 1936 when she was ten years old. Her mother worked to support her three children which contributed to their self-reliance. Nancy put herself through the University of Akron by working in the local library and babysitting. After majoring in early child development, Nancy taught for nine years at Old Trail School in Akron before moving west to CA.
Nancy married John Arnot Wilson in Berkeley, CA in 1958 (the year the Giants came to San Francisco – and they honeymooned at spring training in Casa Grande, AZ). Coincidently, the Swartz and Wilson families already had connections. Both John and Nancy’s fathers had wrestled against each other in the Ivy League. In addition, both Mary - John’s mother - and Nancy belonged to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Nancy and John’s marriage was the result of the keen match-making skills of Mary Wilson.
Nancy’s passions in life were family, music, children and service. She loved serving others through Palo Alto Senior Center, the Children’s Health Council, the Junior League, and Christ Church Portola Valley. Nancy enjoyed a deep love of music and sang in a choir in some capacity for her entire life. John and Nancy reared three children; Catherine (Arnie), John Conner (Alice) and Robert Arnot (Lynn). She also enjoyed eight wonderful grandchildren. An avid gardener, Nancy particularly loved CA native plants. As John became busy with his law firm, Nancy opened their home to students through the Stanford Home Stay program, in which they participated for twenty four years. Nancy created many opportunities for the students to join family gatherings during the holidays and enjoy time at the family cabin in Lake Tahoe. Nancy stayed in close contact with many of these students throughout the years. She also enjoyed golf, paddle tennis, cross country skiing, and travel. John and Nancy were invited to participate in a People-to-People golf program that allowed them to travel the world as ambassadors of the game and form many lasting relationships.
They moved to the Sequoias from their Portola Valley home in 1999 where John died three months later. Nancy stayed quite busy, though, rekindling old relationships, forming new ones and volunteering in many capacities. Nancy’s life was filled with love, vitality, service and music. And as the song goes, “It was a wonderful life.” Friends and family are welcome to attend the regularly scheduled 8 am service on Sunday, July 29th at Christ Church, Portola Valley in Nancy’s honor followed by a reception.