Nancy Ann Grisamer passed away peacefully in her home in Ronan, Montana, on April 6, 2017, at the age of 88. She was a beloved wife, our mother, grandmother, grandma great, friend, cook, seamstress, and quilter.
Nancy Ann Grisamer was born on January 17, 1929, to Wallace Fife and Lulu Gladys Blanchard on their family ranch in Victor, Idaho, where she spent her childhood in that tiny, sleepy farming community, where life in general was simpler and slower.
As a young, flirtatious 17-year-old redhead, Nancy met her cowboy sweetheart, Alonzo William “Billy” Grisamer, at a dance hall just over “the hill” in Jackson, Wyoming. After a short courtship, they were married on August 7, 1946. Their first home was a little bit of heaven in the attic of Billy’s parents’ ranch house in Jackson, Wyoming. Throughout their early married life, they moved from Jackson to Victor, Idaho, to Dog Creek, Wyoming, to Dixon, Montana, and finally settled their family in Charlo, Montana, to raise cattle. After retirement, Billy and Nancy moved to their last home in Ronan.
Nancy was well known for her service as a PTA member, regional Latter-day Saint Girls Camp director, and 4-H leader. Among Nancy’s many talents were floral design and becoming known as the town’s seamstress with her small “Sewing Room” business in Ronan, where she worked closely with her dear friends, Julia and Leona Maughan. Nancy was also known by her family and friends for her holiday feasts, homemade noodles and chicken, chocolate cake, cornflake candy, and hot apples pies. Even at 80 years old, she would make over 100 pies to give away each year because she didn’t want to waste the apples that fell from the tree in her backyard.
If Nancy wasn’t cooking, she was sewing or quilting. She made more quilts in her lifetime—too high to begin to count. One year, Nancy and her friends made and donated 250 quilts to the Ronan community police department and ambulance crew. When she celebrated her 50 th wedding anniversary, she made 50 quilts just for that special day to give away to those she loved. Today many of her friends and community members, but especially most all of her posterity, are proud owners of at least one, if not many, of Nancy’s finished quilts. Even with significant loss of her sight, Nancy continued to make quilts. Each of these will forever be a symbol of her everlasting and warming love she gave so freely.
Nancy leaves a great legacy of charity, real-life teachings, funny stories, and laughter which will forever be in our memories and hearts. She is preceded in death by her parents Wallace and Gladys Blanchard and her western cowboy sweetheart, Billy Grisamer, son-in-law, Jim Dahl, and grandson in-law, Kurt Starkel.
She is survived by her brother, Gary (Lou) Blanchard, five children, Janet (Dennis) Gardner, Joy Dahl, Ronnie (Bev) Grisamer, Rae (Gary) Hunt, and Judy (Del) Niemeyer. She is also survived by 21 grandchildren, and 62 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
A viewing for family and friends will be held Monday evening, April 10, 2017, from 5-8 pm at the Ronan LDS church building, 700 4th SE Ave. The family requests that anyone who has received a quilt from Nancy to please bring it, with your name on it, to the viewing so it can be displayed.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at the LDS Chapel in Ronan, Montana, at 11:00 am, followed by a luncheon for all family and community friends. Interment will follow the luncheon at the Ronan Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest by her life-long love.