In Memory

Nancy E. Stark

Nancy E. Stark

Word has reached us that Nancy Stark died on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.  Nancy moved to Kamas, UT after retiring as Director of MN State Agency of Architects in Minneapolis, MN, a few years ago.  Nancy choose the beautiful state of Utah as her retirement destination to live near family.  More information will be posted here as it becomes available.  The LHS Class of '61 sends sincere condolences to Nancy's family.


Obituary for Nancy Elizabeth Stark

After courageous battles with cancer, cardiac disease, and pulmonary insufficiency, Nancy passed peacefully on May 25, 2022. She was an amazing, accomplished woman and a friend to all who knew her. She was a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, and graduated in 1966 as one of the first women with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Nebraska. While at the university, she spent her summers as a student designer/historian working in San Francisco for the Western Office of Design and Construction with the United States National Park Service. After graduation and a brief period of Community Planning and Development in rural Nebraska, Nancy fulfilled a dream of working in Europe. She traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, and spent three years working as a designer with an established Swedish firm. While there, she enjoyed numerous European trips, a month of travel in the Soviet Union, and the honor of attending the Nobel Award presentation in 1968. Returning to the Midwest, Nancy enjoyed life and work in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She worked for the two largest architectural/engineering firms in the state as a Project Manager, Director of Interior Architecture, and Medical Planner. Her last position before retirement was working as the Director of the Capitol Area Architecture and Planning Board (CAAPB) for the State of Minnesota. She reported directly to the Lt. Governor and the Legislature regarding architectural projects and zoning within the capitol area. Nancy oversaw a major renovation of the Capitol building. Nancy maintained strong ties to Nebraska. She received a UNL Master Alumni award in 1975, participated on the College of Architecture Professional Advisory Council from 1984 until her retirement, and received a UNL Distinguished Alumni award in 1996. She was listed in the Minnesota Woman’s Yearbook and Corporate Report Journal and participated in a Twin Cities young business women’s mentorship program. From 1976 to 1982, Nancy served on the Nebraska Alumni Board. She was one of the original alums to participate in forming the Alumni Association’s Cather Circle for promoting growth and education of women and served from 1999 to 2005. In addition to Nancy’s professional accomplishments she was above all a loyal and loving friend and relative. She enjoyed her nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and extended family. Nancy spent time with family at the holidays, skiing and on numerous vacations. Nancy had a love for western culture and the mountains. After retirement, she realized her life time dream of living in the West. She moved to Kamas in ranch country in Utah. Nancy created a beautiful home with her collection of western art and her interior design expertise. She also remained close to her many friends in Minnesota and Nebraska. As always Nancy established many new friendships in Utah. Nancy was a founding member of the Kamas Valley History Group and helped document the history of nearby towns. She was close to her brother Roger and his wife, Phyllis, who were just a town away. They enjoyed sharing rodeos, concerts and the beautiful Kamas valley. Always a cat lover, Nancy adopted Slate in January. She’s a sweet friendly cat and brought much joy to Nancy. She had strong but subtle faith, loved her family and friends and was gracious and kind to all. A Celebration of Life is planned at a later date.



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05/30/22 10:33 AM #2    

Gloria J. Kowrack (Schmidt)

OMG I cannot believe that beautiful woman is gone, She changed so from high school to adulthood. She was gorgeous, smart, friendly and positive. What a loss!! Her family must know how respected and loved she was by all who knew her. Prayers!!


05/30/22 12:03 PM #3    

Jan E. Reimers

My heart and mind are full remembering all the times we spent together in High School.  Nancy made such a difference in my life, along with her welcoming mother, and of course Roger.  It was been a joy to watch her rise in her career and hear of her gardening and skiing among other things.  These last few years have been challenging, but you would hardly know it by her cheery posts.  I will miss knowing her positive spirit has moved beyond us, but will hold her in a special place in my heart.  Thanks Nancy, for the friendship.

05/30/22 02:03 PM #4    

Donna Filbert (Ewoldt)

Nancy enjoyed attending our reunions and I always looked forward to seeing her and catching up. One story she shared was a great example of the kind of person she was besides being kind, caring, smart and beautiful.

She was a first at LHS. When she wasn't allowed to register for a drafting class only for boys, the Dean of Women, Dorcas Weatherby, was visited by Nancy's mother. Soon after Nancy was in the class and eventually became a successful architect in Minneapolis. What courage it must have taken back then to buck the tight system of what men and women were allowed to do.

She was admired by many and will be missed in great numbers as well. Farewell Nancy. Rest in Peace.

05/30/22 04:20 PM #5    

John H. Pabst


05/30/22 07:13 PM #6    

Rosemary Long (Jamison)

Always positive. Always interested in and supportive of others. So talented and accomplished. She loved life. Gone too soon. R.I.P., Nancy.

05/30/22 10:09 PM #7    

Barbara J. Shuman (Shaeffer)

Nancy lived a few houses away from me and my Dad drove us to school every day for three years. She shared with me the challenges she had at UNL being the only woman in architecture and the bad time even her professors gave her. She became so accomplished in her career. She was so kind and interesting, she will be missed.

05/31/22 08:19 PM #8    

Rosemarie Jacobs (Magee)

Nancy was one of the brightest, friendliest, honest and loving women I've ever known. She was ALWAYS postive ... living each and every day to the fullest. I just can't believe she is gone ... i was looking forward to spending time with her at the reunion again ... but now we'll have to wait til we meet in another sphere! Love to you always, Nancy! 

06/01/22 03:08 PM #9    

Robert N. Bettenhausen

Very sad as she was such a beautiful and talented women inside and out. We became friends at LHS and contined our friendship at UNL. She made an impact of all the people she knew and came in contact with. I thank God that I was one of those people..Bob Bettenhausen

06/03/22 02:16 PM #10    

Kathleen D. Bender (Lucs) breath has been taken from me.
We were such dear friends. So much to remember about our friendship.
Will treasure all. Thank you, Nancy for being such a fun and wonderful part
Of my life. ❤

06/10/22 09:02 PM #11    

Joan D. Rockwell (Brannigan)

It's been hard for me to think Nancy is gone. We were friends at Randolph Elementary School. Our mothers were friends. We did many things together as kids. We were separated in junior high. She got to go to the new Millard Leftler and I went to Irving. We lost contact for those years but renewed our friendship at Lincoln High. We liked many of the same things and had similar values. I remember pajama parties and lots of talking about boys. We both went to the University of Nebraska together. Me in music, she in architecture. Our two buildings were across the street from each other so we often saw each other coming and going. I remember her taking me to see one of the small architectural models she had made. I was really impressed. The winter vacation of our first semester in college a group of us got together to go sledding at Pioneer Park. We took her tobaggan which was very special to her because her father had made it for her before he died. We had so much fun until going too fast we ran into a tree and broke the sled. I've always felt sad about that. Nancy had always been a tiny bit chubby but when she came to our first reunion she looked like a model. I was so jealous because my body was going in the opposite direction.  I envied her work and travel being an architect. She used her skills for wonderful projects in the US and abroad. She returned to the US and lived in Minneapolis most of her life  I was always going to visit her but never had the chance. She became a leader for all architects in Minneapolis. Recently she decided to retire where her brother lived in Utah. They had always been very close.  I'm glad she got to spend her last years with her brother.  She is missed by  all who knew her.


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