Nancy Newcomb

Nancy Barenow Newcomb (Barenow)

Friday, May 30th, 1930 - Friday, March 13th, 2020
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Nancy Lou Barenow Newcomb quietly left this earth on Friday March 13, 2020. Her next breath was taken at the side of her beloved father, Michael William Barenow, mother, Lorraine Schnabel Barenow, brother, Richard Bruce Barenow, and sister, Laurie Lee Hill. Nancy adored her family and undoubtedly smiled and laughed, with the infectious joy that was uniquely her, at the sight of her family once again. It was, without a doubt, a happy reunion in a better place. Nancy leaves behind many who loved her and admired her amazing stamina in battling both mental illness and, more recently, cancer, which ultimately took her from this world. Among those left behind to remember her fondly are daughters, Tawne M. Newcomb of Thousand Oaks, CA. and Pamela (m. Daniel Vaughn) of Grand Rapids, MI., grandchildren, Madeline Vaughn (m. Andrew Parsons), Wesley Vaughn, Emilly Newcomb (m. Taylor Cozzens), Samuel Vaughn, and Natalee Newcomb, nieces, Lisse’ Hill (m. Pete Egler), Heidi Hill, and Michele Hill (m. Jim Elliott), nephew, Michael Hill, grand nephew, Justin Tyler Hill, and grand niece Dylan Mierzwinski (m. Brooks Carmean). Her family meant everything to her.

Nancy was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan on May 30, 1930. She had many memories from her early days there and would cheerfully recount them to those around her for the remainder of her life. She always loved the Upper Peninsula’s pasties and her parents’ meat pies. She found joy in craftwork, painting whimsical faces on rocks, creating unique greeting cards with pen and ink, water colors and felt, and water color painting.

Memories of her youth and her family carried her through many hard times in her latter years. She cherished the pictures and mementoes of her family and many loved ones, which she displayed throughout the humble living places of her adult life. She prized “the great lake state of Michigan” where she spent most of her life. She was convinced that there was no better place on earth.

She performed as a competitive synchronized swimmer for Roosevelt High and Michigan State Normal College (EMU). She attained her Bachelor’s degree with High Honors in Physical Education. Recounting her days as a phys ed/swimming instructor or her time at “Michigan State Normal College, largest teaching college west of the Alleghenies”, were facts about which she was immensely proud.

Nancy will be remembered for her contagious laugh and wonderful smile. She found remarkable joy in simple things, like pictures of her favorite pets, stories of her grandchildren’s activities, a meal with her family, and watching the waves on Lake Michigan. Her face would light up and she’d laugh readily at the picture of a “grand-pup’s” mischievous shenanigans or a grandchild’s joke. The joy that these simple things brought to her was evident in her face and eyes.

Nancy valued her friends and she continued to make new ones even in her waning years. She loved to be with them and share a meal on the town. She also managed to maintain friendships over distance and time, keeping in touch with friends from her youth until the end.

Fond memories, good friends, family, and pets were the elements of joy that carried Nancy through to the end. Her love for each were clearly what sustained her through the good times and bad on this earth. Life comes with the guarantee of our passing and yet we know with certainty that Nancy awaits a joyous reunion with those from whom she has momentarily departed. Rest in peace, Nancy, Mom, Grandma, Aunt Nancy; we all will miss you dearly.

Donations can be given to the Pine Rest Foundation, Grand Rapids, MI.
Please direct donations to the patient assistance fund, with comments to use toward “urgent care services”. Thank you for your support and kindness.
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