Nancy Lee Wampler

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Wampler, Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee Wampler, devoted wife, loving mother and doting grandmother died on Sunday, August 10, 2014 surrounded by her immediate family including her niece Tammie Dowdle of San Diego, her nephew Randall Atencio of Sulphur, OK, and Tanya Mrotek and her daughter Kyra of Manitowoc.

Those who knew her are aware Nancy was diagnosed with a debilitating neurodengerative disorder that stole the last 10 of her 64 years of life. It by no means defined who this beautiful, loved woman was.

Nancy grew up in Yuma, AZ in a yellow house on 7th Avenue with her parents Ben and Tommie Melton Hartley (deceased), her brother Ricky Hartley (deceased) and her sister Shirley Ann Atencio of Prescott, AZ. Nancy adored her sister and could always be found by her side. On one of their excursions to Engineers' Beach, nearly 50 years ago, she met the love of her life Vic Wampler, a marine stationed nearby at the First Airwing Division. They married on June 4, 1966, and had two children, Christine Throndson and Mike Wampler of Manitowoc. She taught them to embrace life and whatever crazy things it throws your way. Whether it was how to survive when a train takes the front of your car off, where to hide when the 5 cows at your hobby farm stampede when scared by thunder and your husband is out of town and most importantly that nothing is ever more important than family.

The real adventures started in 1976 when her husband decided to take the leap from the daily grind and try his hand as an entrepreneur. Working side by side until they retired in 2000 with never a cross word between them, Nancy discovered she had a green thumb like no other as they nurtured a small greenhouse into a successful lawn and garden center. As their journey continued Nancy also discovered she could decorate ice cream cakes like a pro when they bought a DQ franchise. Her last working role was to help manage the front office of a successful furniture store in Manitowoc that they co-owned. But it always wasn't about hard work. As a couple they played as hard as they worked, always surrounding themselves with good friends and family. These lifelong friends, of whom they are too many to mention, eventually became part of the family and all who knew them as a couple will remember Vic saying "Every time I see her I smile and think about how lucky I am that she chose me."

Nancy took extreme pride in her two grandchildren Cole and Kendyl Throndson of Manitowoc and shared her love of cooking and baking with them from before they were old enough to stand on a chair to reach to counter. They could always be found at Grandma's house with flour in their hair and frosting on their lips after a day spent together. Up until she had been robbed of her ability to communicate and was too weak to move her body without assistance, she could be seen proudly watching her grandchildren at every baseball game, basketball game and dance recital she could attend. Nancy always enjoyed a date at Capone's, her favorite pub and grill, which is owned by her son. Her favorite entree was catfish with malt vinegar, crispy fries and a glass of wine.

Her family is honoring Nancy's wishes of no funeral or visitation and instead will celebrate Nancy's life at a private, Life Celebration Social at the Harrigan Parkside Gathering Center with close friends and family. The family asks that those of you whom wish to honor Nancy may do so by making a donation in her name to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition ( The family's dream is that through more research, others diagnosed with these diseases may be given hope.

Although she will be missed more than words can express, her family has peace knowing she is no longer in pain and is again able to do all the things she loved. Somewhere there's an intense card game of 31 being played.

Online condolences to the family may be sent to

The Harrigan Parkside Funeral Home and Crematory, North 11th and St. Clair streets, Manitowoc is assisting the family with arrangements.

Funeral Home
Harrigan Parkside Funeral Home & Crematory
628 North Water Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(920) 682-0346
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Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14, 2014
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