Friday, July 29, 2022

Obituary - Nancy Jo Hamm

Nancy Jo Hamm (Roberts) was born December 23, 1948 in Grand Rapids, MN and died peacefully at home with her loving husband by her side on July 27, 2022.

Nancy is survived by her husband Jon (Mike) Hamm, daughter Rebecca (Jose) Lopez and grandchildren Ronan and Devin, son John (Becky) Hamm and grandchildren Hannah, Abby, and Josiah, daughter Jen (James) Bartz and grandchildren Jaida, John, Jonah, and Janelle, and daughter Liz (Ryan) Duffy and grandson Michael, and her brother, Jim Roberts. 

Many other friends and family grieve Nancy’s death as everyone who met Nancy loved her dearly. Nancy is preceded in death by her parents Bud and Juanita Roberts, her sister Linda Hansen, and her grandson James Bartz (Jr).

Nancy was more than where she lived, what she did, and who she loved. Nancy actively LIVED LOVE. It can be illustrated in how she created art. She saw the beauty and potential in things that were broken, used, and what other people threw out. She loved people the same way–as they were, seeing the beauty and potential in each person who crossed her path. She did this in such a gracious and humble way–you could just “be” with Nancy, and not have to hide any of the ugly parts of yourself. She loved you anyway. People who rarely felt love, respect, or acceptance from others received kindness in Nancy’s presence. Those who were ignored or left out, Nancy championed. Nancy’s heart was softened by her faith in Christ, and as Jesus’s love changed her, so she extended that grace and love to everyone around her. Nancy showered people with Great Love because she emulated her Father in Heaven. Her path in life was a steady one, following Christ daily.

Most of us walk through life noticing the big events and life goals–our vacations, our occupations, big events like weddings. We often forget to notice the details and cherish the small things. Nancy knew love was in the details. She took almost daily walks on their property in Missouri, spending time in prayer and enjoying the wildflowers, critters (big and small), and sounds of nature. With her art, the details are what set her apart. Whether it was the perfectly spaced quilting stitches or the creative details that adorned her bags, gnomes, stockings, boxes, caterpillar puppets, or whatever else her hands fashioned that day. Some of Nancy's favorite verses were these, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6: 25-34

Nancy also navigated challenges in life with humor, grit, wisdom, and generosity. There were times when Nancy would say something so outrageously funny and unexpected, it made a stressful situation turn into a hilarious story later. Or, she would have a knack for saying just the right thing to someone grieving. Giving simple tips that carried us through hard days (if you’re upset about something or frustrated, just step away, cry for 10 minutes, then go back/show up and be strong for whatever you were facing). The way she put herself last, and acted like that was a natural way of living, helped us all to decide willfully to live the same way. Nancy led by the example she had in her Savior, Jesus.

Nancy lived a generous life that focused on the needs of others. She was a major supporter of two nonprofits that help children. In lieu of flowers, please consider showing your love for Nancy by championing these wonderful children through these nonprofits (donations are tax deductible for both nonprofits): Tapestry International serves girls (educational support) and widows in India. Girls in India do not have the same access to education as boys, and need support in order to obtain education (and many are able to go to College with Tapestry’s support). They also provide clean water to villages that don’t have this basic necessity. “Desiring to be a useful thread in the tapestry that God is weaving for humanity.” Hero’s Path Palliative Care was created to honor Nancy’s grandson, James Jr (along with other children with serious illness). This nonprofit is serving children with medical complexity and their families through support groups, respite, and educational programs. They are in the process of fundraising to build a respite/hospice house for these children, and provide home-based medical care. “Supporting families on their path to quality of life.”

Memorial contributions can also be left in care of the funeral home.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Vansant-Mills Funeral Home in Clinton, Missouri.

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