Cover photo for Nancy Ann Coward's Obituary
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Nancy Ann Coward

June 24, 1936 — October 11, 2023

Asheville

Nancy Ann Coward

Nancy Ann Coward, aged 87, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2023 at the Deerfield Retirement Community in Asheville, North Carolina. She was born on June 24, 1936, in Masury, Ohio, to the late Russell Sage Reese and Blanche Davis Reese.                                                                                                        

Nancy was a dedicated educator, having pursued her studies at Kent State University, where she majored in K-12 education. After college, she taught English grammar.

In her professional journey, Nancy made significant contributions, working for the American Lung Association in Greensboro and managing a North Carolina DMV License Tag Office in Asheville. Her dedication to her work and family was evident throughout her life.

Nancy's interests were diverse, and she lived a full life. She found joy in reading books, tending to her flowers, playing tennis, playing bridge, and being involved in Republican politics. Her love for travel, pets, and cherished family moments at Grassy Creek were a testament to her zest for life.

Nancy was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Orville Dillard Coward, Sr., of Sylva, North Carolina; her brother, Richard (Dick) Reese of Phoenix, Arizona; and her first husband, Glen W. Lake of Roanoke, Virginia.

She is survived by her daughters, Kym Leslie Martin and her husband Mark Martin of High Point, North Carolina, and Stacy Ann Lake of Sylva, North Carolina; her stepson, Orville Dillard Coward, Jr., and his wife Carolyn of Webster, North Carolina, and stepdaughter Betsy Phillips, and her husband Herb Phillips of Asheville, North Carolina; and her sister-in-law Marylin Reese of Phoenix, Arizona, nephews Dave and Keith, and niece Judy.

Nancy leaves behind her loving grandchildren and step-grandchildren: Elliott Coward (husband Will); Lauren (husband Mike), Anna, Sarah, Nathaniel (wife Laura), and Susanna Martin; and Bert (wife Kelly) and Elizabeth Phillips.

The family extends heartfelt gratitude to all the caregivers and healthcare providers at Deerfield Retirement Community and Four Seasons Hospice for their unwavering support and care during Nancy's final days. Daughters Kym and Stacy are profoundly grateful for the love and compassion shown to their mother by all at Deerfield and Four Seasons.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at Appalachian Funeral Services, in Sylva, North Carolina, for a Memorial Gathering on Saturday, October 14, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. A private family burial will be held at Grassy Creek, North Carolina.

In honor of Nancy's memory, memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Sylva, Jackson County Public Library or an animal rescue organization of your choice.

Nancy Ann Coward's legacy will live on through the cherished memories of her family and the lives she touched through her teaching and community involvement. She will be dearly missed and forever remembered for her kindness, dedication, and love for her family and friends and dogs.

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

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, October 14, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Appalachian Funeral Services

165 Skyland Drive, Sylva, NC 28779

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

Memorial Prayers, Words & Music

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Appalachian Funeral Services

165 Skyland Drive, Sylva, NC 28779

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

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