Nancy Wilterding Davis died quietly in her sleep on November 11, 2020 at the age of 93. She was born on November 1, 1927, the first child of John Howard and Florence (Colburn) Wilterding in Green Bay, WI. She grew up in Menasha, WI with twin siblings Gretchen and John Jr. When Nancy went to college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, her brother Mark was born.
Nancy met her husband, Robert “Bob” Davis, in Menasha when he came to take Nancy’s sister, Gretchen, on a date. She described it as love at first sight. They married in June 1951 and raised (and spoiled) five children, all of whom are still living: Rob, Martha, Cole (Tina), Sarah (Ralph) Maas, and Laura (Theresa Farris). She also leaves behind ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, as well as foster daughter, Sabina Kruse (Dalton) and their three children who have always known Nancy as Grandma. Bob preceded her in death in 2017.
Nancy and Bob moved to Lake Bluff, IL in 1955 and resided there for four decades in four different houses, the first and last one being of Nancy’s design. In 1965, they built a family cottage (also of Nancy’s design) in Ephraim, WI. When they retired in 1995, they moved to Ephraim after renovating/restoring and expanding an 1870’s farmhouse. Sailing was an integral part of their lives. Nancy thoroughly enjoyed many month-long cruises on the Great Lakes as Bob’s first-mate on the Great Bear II.
From her earliest memories, Nancy had a talent for art. As a self-taught oil painter, she mastered additional skills, including sculpting, copper plate etchings, watercolor, cross stitching, needlepoint, Danish thread count, knitting and creating traditional Ukrainian eggs. She willingly shared her knowledge and skills with anyone who asked, including teaching basic drawing, cross stitching and knitting at The Clearing in Ellison Bay.
Besides being a talented artist, Nancy welcomed everyone and nurtured many a soul needing love and a comforting ear, including exchange students from Brazil, Ghana, and the Philippines. Many a young person have called her “mama” including her current caregivers. For 47 years, she hosted an annual neighborhood Christmas dessert open house, which warmed the hearts of her community. When her health began to fail, she had a steady stream of friends and relatives stopping by for a visit to share their mutual admiration and joy.
Nancy and Bob enjoyed 66 wonderful years together and gave much of their time and talent to many organizations. As such, instead of giving flowers, please consider sending a memorial to: Ephraim (WI) Historical Foundation, The Clearing (Ellison Bay, WI), or The Door County Land Trust (Sturgeon Bay).
A celebration of Nancy’s life will be held in the spring of 2021 in Ephraim, WI.
Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Sister Bay is assisting the Davis family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Nancy may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com.