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Nancy C. DeBruin, 68, of Perrysburg, passed away peacefully Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the Arbors of Waterville, surrounded by her loving family.
Nancy was born November 30, 1944, in Ripon, WI and was the daughter of Karl Albert Knaack and Margaret Rose (Jepson) Knaack Ceman. She married Jerome E. DeBruin on August 17, 1968 in Berlin, WI. From the union of this marriage came one son, Todd.
Nancy had a lifelong commitment to education, particularly the children of Sylvania, OH. Beginning her education as a child in a one room school house in Wisconsin, she attended Montello High School and enjoyed playing in the band. She went on to earn her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master of Education from the University of Illinois. She taught in Janesville, WI and Champaign, IL before moving to Toledo, OH in 1972. She taught in Sylvania Schools, primarily 5th grade at Highland Elementary School, for nearly thirty years.
In addition to her career as an educator, Nancy had many passions that she shared with her friends and family on her journey since growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. She traveled the United States and the world for pleasure, including regular trips to the beach with her sister and mother as well as annual excursions to Rhode Island with her teacher friends. An avid walker, Nancy enjoyed the Toledo Metroparks during all seasons, particularly in the spring when the wildflowers were in bloom. Her love of flowers and gardening meant many hours devoted to her gardens and at the Toledo Botanical Garden, of which she was a member. Nancy also had a love of history, books and reading, dogs, collecting jewelry and art glass, listening to music, and playing bridge with her fellow teachers. Most recently, she particularly enjoyed spending time observing her grandchildren grow.
She is survived by her husband, Jerome; son, Todd (Allison), and grandchildren, Isaac and India. She is also survived by her mother, Margaret; sisters, Linda Zimmerman, Kathy (Vernon) Krause, Gail (Tom) Trochinski, Karen Hesprich, and brothers, Kurtis and Kenneth (Tracy) Knaack, and sister-in-law, Mary Knaack, as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, Karl A. Knaack; her stepfather, Richard H. Ceman, and her brother, Karl Allen Knaack.
Visitation will be held at Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main Street, Sylvania, OH on Wednesday, November 20th from 3 to 9 p.m. Nancy will return to her home state of Wisconsin for a gathering of her immediate family members and loved ones. Those arrangements in Wisconsin will be handled by the Boettcher Funeral Home at 2401 Fieldcrest Drive, Kaukauna, WI, 54130 (920-766-2099).
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to residents and staff at the Waterford at Levis Commons, the Kingston of Perrysburg, the Arbors at Waterville, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, as well as Home Instead Senior Care for their care of Nancy.
Memorials may be made to the Highland School Parent Teacher Organization, Toledo Metroparks, the Toledo Botanical Garden, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Nancy's memory.
Online condolences may be left at
Reeb Funeral Home
5712 North Main Street
Sylvania, OH 43560
Published in Toledo Blade from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2013