Memorial services for Nancy Cline Lessig, 74, Lawrence, KS will be held at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, November 16, 2017 at Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church (3312 Calvin Drive) in Lawrence. The family will greet friends at 3:00 p.m. Burial will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 17, 2017 at Pioneer Cemetery on the KU campus. Nancy passed away Friday, November 10, 2017 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, suddenly after a brief illness.
Nancy was born July 18,1943 in Wichita, KS to Wilford L. and R. Leona (Cottle) Cline. She graduated from East High (Wichita) in 1961, and attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a BS in Elementary Education in 1965. Nancy was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and served has house manager. She met Parker Lessig on a blind date (orchestrated by Nancy’s sister Carol and Parker’s brother Paul) as a freshman in 1961. The couple was married in Wichita on August 15, 1965. Nancy began her career as an elementary teacher the same year, and for the next 5 years taught 5th grade at Hillcrest Elementary supporting Parker as he completed his masters and Ph.D. degrees. She earned a Master of Science in Education during this period by taking evening and weekend classes.
Nancy and Parker moved to Pullman, WA in 1970 where she taught 5th grade at Edison Elementary. They returned to Lawrence in 1972, and Nancy began teaching at Sunset Hill until the birth of their sons (Aaron Parker Lessig and Eric Paul Lessig). Nancy chose to be a stay-at-home mom until her children became teenagers. This was a wonderful period in the family’s life. She always filled the home with love, fun, endless adventure, and the aroma of freshly baked “monster” cookies. Neighborhood children knew that they were always welcome and grew to love her as a warm and caring “neighborhood mom.” Twelve years later, she resumed her teaching career at Basehor Elementary; she retired in 2007.
Nancy was a Cub Scout den leader and pack committee member and was a strong supporter of Parker’s work as a Scoutmaster and Scouting commissioner. Nancy had a life-long Christian faith. She taught Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church (Lawrence) and was a long-term deaconess and member of the Board at the First Christian Church (Lawrence). For the past 20 years, she was a member of Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Lawrence) and was active in its women’s Bible studies. She was a member of the Kansas University Women’s Club and participated in the New Members and Friends Group, the Kansas History Group and the Travel Group. Nancy especially enjoyed the Dole Institute of Politics and seldom missed a workshop or lecture.
Nancy was a selfless and caring individual. She always tried to follow God’s example and never placed her interests or wants above those of others. Her focus was on God, her family, students, friends and acquaintances. She offered support when support was needed and loving direction and constructive correction when required – always with loving compassion. Aaron summed this well by saying that “She loved people in the way they needed to be loved.”
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and niece, Gail Suzanne Lessig. Survivors include her husband of 52 years, V. Parker Lessig; two sons, Aaron Parker Lessig (Jessica) of Evergreen, CO and Eric Paul Lessig (Heather) of Lawrence; five grandchildren, Josephine, Cline, Caleb, Kaitlyn, and Grace; two sisters, Beth Gramly (Roger) of Overland Park and Carol Hermes (Hank) of Boulder, CO; a brother-in-law, Paul M. Lessig (Lindsay) of Seattle, and a number of nephews and nieces.
Nancy will be deeply missed, but she leaves a lasting legacy of faith, hope and love.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Dole Institute of Politics, to the children’s programs at Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church, or to the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council.