Cover photo for Nancy R. Van's Obituary
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1932 Nancy 2024

Nancy R. Van

December 3, 1932 — February 16, 2024

Wautoma

Nancy Ruth Van, 91, of Wautoma, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on February 16th, 2024, in Plover, Wisconsin.

She was born December 3, 1932, in Milwaukee, the daughter of Frederick and Laura Sperk. She married John Mathew Van on October 22nd, 1954. He preceded her in death on October 1st, 2008.

Nancy was the oldest of six children and raised six children of her own. In 1960, she and John relocated from Milwaukee to Wautoma, WI, embarking on a new chapter where they lovingly nurtured their family amidst the serene backdrop of their vast garden and tended to a flock of sheep.

Nancy was a lifelong learner. She obtained an Associate’s from Waushara County Normal School, a Bachelor's in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and a Master’s in Guidance Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Nancy continued her education all while working full-time as a grade school teacher, practicing her faith, and raising her large family. She taught 3rd grade for many years at Rural Heights and Clay Lamberton in Berlin. Nancy was known for always seeing the best in all of her students. Her favorite quote was “Success breeds success, failure breeds failure.”

After retirement, Nancy and John began spending winters in Mesa, Arizona, where she took full advantage of the warm, sunny weather. She enjoyed riding her tricycle daily to participate in water aerobics, swimming, and water volleyball.

Nancy was an artist. She loved painting, drawing, and carving. She also loved baking and cooking for large groups of family and friends—especially Croatian recipes shared by her husband’s family. She was the babysitter of choice for her grandchildren and loved to smooch, cuddle, and spoil them.

Nancy drew comfort from her strong faith. She read the Bible daily and strove to set a good example for all. She loved sharing her faith in God with others. She was kind-hearted, loving, and always willing to help. She loved to sing hymns; some of her favorites included “What Shall It Profit?”, “It Is Well With My Soul,” and “Amazing Grace.”

Nancy is survived by her children Thomas Van, Robert (Kelly) Van, Mark (Laura) Van, Susan (Steven) Katner, and John D. (Donna) Van; her grandchildren Ryan Van, Shannon (Bianca) Van, Kimberlee Van, Dan Van (Kalina), Nicole Van, Jamie Van, Aaron Van, John Katner, Anna Katner, Nick (Bianca) Van, John G. (Hanna) Van; her great-grandchildren Stella, Sadie, Cooper, Peyton, Jack, and Jordy, as well as many beloved extended family members, nieces, nephews, relatives, and close friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband John Van, her parents (Frederick and Laura Sperk), brothers (Leonard and Erving Sperk) sisters (Margaret Pflugar, Betty Hester, and Catherine Adcock); Son Richard Van; and grandsons Shaun Van, Michael Van, and Richard Van Jr.; sister-in-law, Mary Ann (Yash Paul) Handa; brother-in-law, Jerome F. Van.

The family would like to express gratitude to Whispering Pines Assisted Living in Plover, for their outstanding love and care of Nancy for over two years. Also, Heartland Hospice for the past seven months of care and support.

Please join us in honoring Nancy’s life. A visitation will be held on Sunday, March 10th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Leikness Funeral Home. The funeral on Monday, March 11th, will begin with a viewing from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Following the viewing, the funeral service will commence at 1:00 pm at Waushara Community Church, where we will gather to celebrate Nancy, share cherished memories, and find solace in each other's company. After the service, we will proceed to the Wautoma Union Cemetery for the burial. Your presence and support during this time of remembrance are deeply appreciated by the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider adding a note to your donations. Make checks payable to Mark Van, The Nancy Van Memorial Fund and indicate the cause specified in the memo line. Directing support the following causes close to Nancy's heart: Berlin Area School District, Classrooms in Need: Your contributions will directly benefit students and educators in the Berlin Area School District, enhancing educational opportunities for future generations. Arts and Activities, Whispering Pines Assisted Living: Your support will enrich the lives of other residents at Whispering Pines Assisted Living by providing funding for engaging arts and activities programs, fostering a vibrant and fulfilling community environment. The Care Team, at Heartland Hospice: Your donations will enable the Care Team at Heartland Hospice to continue their invaluable work, offering comfort, dignity, and compassionate end-of-life care to individuals and families facing terminal illness.

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy R. Van, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, March 10, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Visitation

Monday, March 11, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Waushara Community Church

N2126 22nd Ave, Wautoma, WI 54982

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 11, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Waushara Community Church

N2126 22nd Ave, Wautoma, WI 54982

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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