Nancy Wynn Larkin, my mom was the most creative perfectionist i know. Everything she did, she did with the utmost thought, care, and creativity. Whenever she had an obstacle or problem, she solved it in the most innovative way anyone could imagine. She was a female McGeyver. She always said, "Do it right the first time", and made sure whatever she was doing was flawless. She was truly a genius, a scholar, an artist, an architect, electrician, plumber, contractor, comedian, chef & more. A Jack of all trades & Master of all. We will miss you Mom. Thank you for being our mom and everything you've given us.
Love, Stacey & Dan Zemanski, Ben & Meghan Zemanski, Kaitlin Zemanski & Zach Zemanski
John "Dink" to Dusty:
A beautiful and talented lady, Nancy with a laughing face.
I love you. Say hello to Aunt Betty.
My Mom made you believe anything was possible (especially if you did it her way). Even though she did not pursue a single career path or excel in a single profession, to me, she epitomized the quintessential career woman/entrepreneur . To outside observers, she may have seemed to not have achieved great success in the conventional sense of the word. But as a privileged insider, I have come to realize, that her achievements will reverberate through the ages in the spirits of all those who had the privilege to be part of her life. Whatever project she deemed worthy of her efforts, she would undertake it with her whole heart and soul, and expected the same of you if you were lucky enough to be enlisted to assist her in her efforts. She was a self-taught expert of many trades and a jack of none. Areas of major interest she tackled included sales, importing/exporting, business law, sculpting, home remodeling with substantial architectural renovations, carpentry, electrical wiring, and geopolitical debating, not to mention high fashion and whipping up gourmet Italian, German and Asian cuisine.
She was the caliber of person who inspired the coining of words. Case in point: "Nancified" was coined by my son, Jonathan, her grandson and pride & joy, who she, undeniably, had a monumental hand in raising to be the loving and great man he has become. All of us who were graced to be in her presence for any substantial length of time, have been "Nancified" (see below for definition). Her greatest legacy for me, will be making me believe I could achieve the extraordinary, if only I could believe in myself, and not be too shy about executing my own "Nancifications" along the way.
"Nancified": nan•ci•fied; \'nan-sə,-fīd\ (adjective); (past tense)
• (as in household objects) modified for optimization, thus improving an existing object's functionality by utilizing whatever resources are readily accessible, without undue regard for the final product's superficial or outward appearance.
(Example: This TV remote has been Nancified with the strategic placement of various textured stickers and bejewelings in order to more easily operate it in the dark using the sense of touch, despite said modifications rendering it more difficult to sanitize.)
• (as in the human spirit) altered in the name of reaching full potential of usefulness by any available means, with apparent fearless abandon and little to no regard for "keeping up appearances".
(Example: I have been Nancified and consequently will live out my days doing what I expect would make her most proud to show me off to anyone who would listen.)
(but not quite sans the je'ne sais quoi Nancy touch):
I regret I was reluctant to let her know more often (for fear it would go to her already seemingly amply self-confident head), but I've always known my Mom was extraordinary. I pray she somehow knows I Love her much more than I ever let on.
Forever yours, Erin Larkin
Nancy was my grandmother. She was one of the most influential people in my life, and I am going to miss her immensely. When I was little, my mom and I lived with Nancy, and she helped raise me. She taught me practical things like how to cook extravagant seven course meals, sew elaborate, historically accurate Halloween costumes, and remodel entire homes while living in them. She took me to the beach, to baseball games, Disney world, and most importantly to the countless fantastical worlds of books she would read with me. She’s the person who showed me the importance of imagination, taught me to balance the scientific with the creative, and encouraged me to pursue the career I’ve chosen in design. She’s also the reason I’m handy with power tools. Most importantly, Nancy taught me to bring passion to everything I do.
A famous writer once wrote:
“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Sure, Nancy was no stranger to drumming up tasks. She was a tough captain. But it was okay, because she taught us all to long for that place just over the horizon, that only she could see.
Nancy, you never settled for what already was, that’s why you were destined to be great. I’m going to miss you so much.