Nancy Ann Moore Ziesman was born on December 15, 1956, in Algona, Iowa, the first child of Merle and Marilyn Moore. She attended grade school at St. Cecelia's in Algona and St. Joseph, and graduated from Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona in 1975. She was active in 4H, where she developed a legendary lasagna recipe. Nancy was a varsity football cheerleader, was a member of the National Honor Society, took first place in several science fairs, and was the class valedictorian. Her good friend, Jane Shey, even talked her into running track one season in high school, although the experience left emotional scars that haunted Nancy for years. Nancy always knew that she was born to be a nurse, and she graduated from the University of Iowa College of Nursing in December, 1979. Nancy met her husband, Craig Ziesman, in Algona in June 1976. They had their first date less than a week later and shared their first kiss at the top of a Ferris wheel at the Whittemore carnival. They were quickly inseparable and were married on May 20, 1977. It was a mixed marriage because Craig graduated from Iowa State University, but their love would endure for the next 36 years. Nancy worked as a floor nurse, as a nurse administrator, and as a nurse educator. She obtained a Master's in Nursing from Texas Women's University in 1987, and had been working on a Ph.D in Nursing at the University of Colorado. She was the director of the organ transplant program for Centura Health in Denver, CO, for many years, and most recently was an associate professor and director of the BSN and ADN nursing programs at the Denver School of Nursing. Over the years Nancy and Craig lived in Iowa City, Ames, and Marion, IA, in The Colony, TX, and, for the last 25 years, in Highlands Ranch, CO.
Nancy battled degenerative disc disease and chronic pain for most of her adult life. She herniated a disc while giving birth to her first daughter, and endured far too many surgeries and procedures in an attempt to alleviate her back pain. Despite all that, she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, nurse, mentor, boss, and friend. She was always ready with a smile, a kind word, or a hug. Nancy was famous for her loving hugs and for her favorite perfume, Rapture. Nancy was known as Mama Z to her many "adopted" daughters and sons, whom she dearly loved. Nancy doted on her daughters, nieces, and nephews, taking them on shopping trips, going out for dinner and a movie, or just hanging out and being silly. Nancy was a loving grandmother and was so proud of her two beautiful grandsons. Nancy enjoyed travel, and although she grew up in land-locked Iowa and lived in Colorado, her favorite place to visit in the world was Kauai, Hawaii. She loved the white sand beaches and the gentle warm waves of the Pacific Ocean. She also enjoyed vacationing in Europe, and enjoyed multiple trips to London, Paris, Florence, and Rome. Nancy relished a good glass of wine and was particularly fond of Grey Goose martinis. Nancy had many, many friends and enjoyed countless birthday and Christmas parties, happy hours, and girl's nights out. She enjoyed shopping, and was renowned for her impeccable attire and fashion accessories. Nancy loved teaching, and she finally realized her life-long dream when she became an assistant professor of nursing at the Denver School of Nursing in 2009.
Nancy is survived by her husband, Craig Ziesman, Highlands Ranch, CO, daughter and son-in-law Sara and Trent Gall, Lyons, CO, daughter Emilie Ziesman, Denver, CO, daughter Katie Ziesman, Boulder, CO, and grandsons, Sawyer and Avery Gall. Nancy is also survived by her dad, Merle Moore, Algona, IA, her brother, Gordon Moore, Silverthorne, CO, her sister, Angie Baker, Fenton, IA, twelve nieces and nephews, and ten great-nieces and nephews. Nancy was preceded in death by her mom, Marilyn Moore, Algona, IA, her nephew, Brandon Divis, Algona, IA, her father-in-law, Herbert Ziesman, Algona, IA, and her very good friend, Betty Oestmann, Littleton, CO.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 28 at 3pm at Christ Lutheran Church, 8997 S. Broadway, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.
Contributions in Nancy's name may be made to the Mile High Down Syndrome Association or the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.