Anne (Nancy) Broeksmit Howe, beloved Mum to many, came to the end of a long and joyous life with family at her side at the age of 95 on November 27, 2019 at Carol Woods Retirement Community, Chapel Hill, NC. Nancy was born on April 25, 1924 in Chicago, IL to Mary Stillman Broeksmit and John Shaw Broeksmit. She attended the Francis W. Parker School and Ferry Hall. She graduated from Vassar College class of 1945-4 with a degree in Mathematics. After college, Nancy taught in a one-room schoolhouse in West Virginia and learned to fly an airplane. Nancy and her husband David Leavitt Howe (married 1946) moved from Illinois to a log house in Charlotte, NC in 1955. There, they raised nine children in a home that is remembered by countless travelers, artists, friends and family for Nancy and Dave’s free-thinking, welcoming, generous, and supportive spirit. Nancy’s life-long loves include music, dance, theater, gardening, travel, and thoughtful human culture in the natural environment. She demonstrated her deep commitment not just financially, but through presence and direct participation. A founding member of the Charlotte Country Dancers, she could be found every week for four decades at the Monday night contra dance. Working in her beautiful, wild garden was her meditation and personal practice in balance and harmony. Nancy will be remembered fondly by those involved at Charlotte Country Day School, St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte Opera, Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Country Dancers/ Dance Gypsies, Charlotte Folk Music Society, Moving Poets, ACE Theater Company/Charlotte Rep, Grassroots Leadership, Charlotte Community Singers, Mike’s Tai chi class, Friendship Force, and many who worked in theater, dance, film, and art production in Charlotte. In her last years at the Carol Woods Retirement Community, Nancy enjoyed being in the moment with the residents and staff, with the resident heron, and with the sunset. Nancy was predeceased by her sons David and Fisher, her husband David, her daughter-in-law Dorothy Williams, and siblings Laura Thurston and John Broeksmit. She is survived by her sister Mary Weeks, her children John (Karen) of Skillman, NJ, Ben (Tricia) of St Petersburg, FL, Tom (Mary Head) of Putney, VT, Steve (Meg Ryan) of Northampton, MA, Sarah (Randy Best) of Durham, NC, Maria (David Lyons) of Annville, PA, Clarissa (Steinar Simonsen) of Wilmington, NC, and Jenn Browning of Pittsboro, NC, plus 21 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren throughout the US and often in other countries. She was laid to rest at The Sanctuary at the Burrow in Moncure, NC on November 29, 2019. There will be a celebration of life at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made by practicing thoughtful reduction of waste and energy consumption, and supporting worthy causes near you.
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