Cover photo for Nancy Alice Ganley Van Deusen's Obituary
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1932 Nancy 2023

Nancy Alice Ganley Van Deusen

December 18, 1932 — May 7, 2023

Nancy Alice Ganley van Deusen was filled with loving kindness and compassion toward others. She died peacefully in her sleep in her beloved home in the wee hours of 7 May. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey on December 18, 1932, she, her brother Robert, and her parents spent Nancy’s early years moving around New England. After her father returned from serving in the Navy in World War II, the family settled in Oreland, just north of Philadelphia. In school, Nancy was a good student and a curious learner. Her interests ranged from art and music history to literature and poetry. During her college years, she began to study world religions, a life-long passion of hers and completed her B.A. degree in Sociology at Penn State University in 1954. Before marrying Edwin H. van Deusen, her husband of 64 years, she traveled around Europe for three months, having the time of her life, while enjoying art and culture firsthand. In 1955 she gave birth to the first of four children, each of whom she loved with her whole heart. After moving to Columbus, Ohio in 1970, Nancy joined the First Unitarian Universalist Church and developed life-long friendships there. She practiced tai chi (even as she lay dying) and did improvisational dance with a group from the 1980s until the early 2000s. Nancy G. was a deeply spiritual person who always tried to see the good in people, wishing them “blessings and love” whenever she bid them farewell. She loved to laugh and imparted a love of music to her children. She is preceded in death by parents, Robert J. and Alice B. Ganley; brother, Robert W. Ganley; husband, Edwin H. van Deusen; and daughter, Bonnie Jeanne Lavric. Nancy is survived by her children, Nancy (Preston Schiller) van Deusen, E. Robert (Colleen) van Deusen, David (Diane) van Deusen; son-in-law, Sino Lavric; grandchildren, Natalia, Melania, Katarina, Helena, Aleksander, Barron, and Jack; and great-grandson, Nolan. A celebration to honor Nancy will be held on a future date. Nancy G. will be profoundly missed by family and friends. “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand” (Irish blessing).

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