SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nancy J. (Morcombe) Meyer passed peacefully on May 27 at Gateway House of Peace, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
Born in Cornwall, Vermont on December 4, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Floy and Francis Blair. Nancy attended school in Cornwall and Shoreham, Vermont and graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.
In addition to her husband, Edwin, she is survived by their wonderful children, Susan Meyer (Jack Powell) from Schuylerville, Ted Meyer from New York City, and Sandra (Andrew) Swayne from Clifton Park. She adored and was so proud of her four grandchildren, Jasmine and Cianan Allen-Meyer and Madeline and Derek Swayne. She is also survived by her brother, Frank (Mary Jane) Blair, and nephew Scott Blair from Ballston Spa and two cousins, Gail Hoy from West Palm Beach, Florida and Harry Duffany, Jr. from Bridport, Vermont, and her cat, Alena.
Nancy will be remembered for her love of the arts, which was infectious. Her love of music started on a pump organ owned by her grandparents that she found in the woodshed of their Vermont farmhouse. She continued her keyboard fascination with an upright piano that she taught herself to play. Her first purchase upon starting work was a spinet piano, which remained with her for the rest of her life and has been shared with her daughter and granddaughter. She learned to play cornet in a Gospel Hymn Band in Vermont and upon moving to Burnt Hills discovered the French horn which she played in the BH-BL band.
Nancy started her professional career as a secretary in the Advertising and Sales Promotion Department at Schenectady General Electric. Her desire to travel took her career in another direction. She was accepted at the Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant School in Miami, FL and proudly wore the navy blue uniform of an Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant for several years. She had the honor and pleasure of serving Captain Eddie Rickenbacker aboard one of her flights. While flying into Albany Airport, she met her husband, who was also an Eastern Airlines staff member. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Eastern later rehired her as a Flight Attendant Recruiter covering upstate New York and Vermont.
Her innate love of music found its way to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where she started working as an usher in 1970, followed by 34 years on staff as Executive Secretary/Assistant to the President, retiring in 2010. Among her SPAC duties, she served as liaison with the SPAC Action Council and the SPAC Board of Directors, and provided hospitality for world-renowned classical music artists who performed at SPAC. She truly loved her job and treated every artist, manager, and agent with such respect and admiration - and they all loved her. It was her privilege to work with Maestro Charles Dutoit and Chantal Juillet on the orchestral and chamber music programs. She was an avid John Denver fan and loved The Philadelphia Orchestra. It was a rarity for her to miss an orchestra performance. Upon her retirement from SPAC, she was presented with an amphitheater seat bearing a plaque that reads, “Nancy Meyer: The Heart of Art of SPAC,” right next to a second seat dedicated to her husband and “Partner in the Arts.”
She also attended the Nursing Program at Adirondack Community College but withdrew so she could spend more time with her grandchildren.
Following her retirement from SPAC and having had a great desire to be a nurse, Nancy became a volunteer at Saratoga Hospital, working with patients on A3 and assisting with blood drives. She always found something in common to discuss with the patients, regardless of age. Wanting to do more for the pleasure of the patients, Nancy started guitar lessons at age 73 and enjoyed playing for the patients, and also for her family and friends. She was a passionate, dedicated guitar student and loved to go out to hear live music by local musicians and dance the night away. She developed a repertoire of close to 200 songs and even did open mic nights. She is an example to everyone who witnessed her enthusiasm that you are never too old to learn something new.
Nancy always had a flower garden featuring a variety of roses, which she maintained with the same love and care she gave to the people in her life. She also enjoyed picking berries at area farms and would visit family and friends with the gift of a quart of berries handpicked with love. She made the best macaroni and cheese and loved to take her grandchildren shopping for clothes.
Nancy and her husband never lost their love for travel and visited the Hawaiian Islands and Walt Disney World in Orlando frequently.
Whether working as a flight attendant, assisting performing artists, volunteering at the hospital, or spending time with family and friends, Nancy’s life was one of joyful hospitality and service. Her warm, radiant smile put everyone around her at ease. She often described herself as an optimist, and her sunny mood was indestructible. She smiled through any challenges life sent her way and always chose the path of love.
Nancy was an active and involved member of the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church and volunteered for several organizations, including Saratoga Springs First Night, Saratoga Preservation Foundation, Saratoga Hospital Volunteer Guild, and Miss Greater Saratoga County Scholarship Pageant. She also served on the 50th reunion committee for the BH-BL Class of 1955 and was a member of the Wilton YMCA.
The family expresses tremendous gratitude for the angels at Community Hospice and Gateway House of Peace for the compassionate, tender, loving care they gave her every moment she was in their care.
Those who wish to honor her memory may contribute to Gateway House of Peace, 479 Rowland St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020, or Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, or the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 Fifth Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Relatives and friends may call from 4-7pm Friday, May 30, 2014 at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, Fifth Ave. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.