Nance E. Close (1952 - 2010)

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  • "I was so saddened to learn that Nance had gone. She was one..."
    - Christy Stiles
  • "To the family of Nance I am so sorry for your loss and for..."
  • "Bob, Mickell and Elvis: our hearts go out to you. We hope..."
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    - Michelle Stearns
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Nance E. Close, 58, of Helena, passed away at home on March 11, 2010, after a short struggle with pancreatic cancer.

The daughter of Margaret Joanna and James Harvey Close, Nance entered this world on Jan. 6, 1952, in Harlowton. After her father's death in 1956, Nance and her two siblings were raised by her mother and stepfather, James "Jim" Staley. She grew up in Harlowton and graduated from Harlowton High School in 1970. She then graduated from Eastern Montana College in Billings in 1975 with a degree in rehabilitation and counseling.

Following graduation she moved to Helena and worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters and then the Montana Mental Health Service for a number of years. She was working at the Pan Handler in Helena as a manager when she met and married Robert "Bob" L. Fox Jr. in 1981.

With the birth of their daughter in 1986, Nance retired from the business world and devoted herself to raising her small family. She loved to travel, and the Oregon coast and Zion National Park became special vacation sites for her and her family.

Nance was extremely creative and had a flair for color and decorating as well as scrapbooking and stamping. She loved touring museums and art galleries and had an eye for beauty and artistic design.

She also enjoyed reading, doing puzzles, and exploring nature's wonders. And as a notorious practical joker, Nance delighted in laughter and playful silliness.

Her greatest passion, however, was that of caring for others. Nance always took time to truly listen and had a knack for making people feel interesting and important. This compassion extended to animals, too, and she spent countless hours trying to help strays.

Nance is preceded in death by her parents and stepfather; her half-sister, Mary Alice Wittenburg; her stepsister Sarah "Sally" Brock; and her stepbrother. Jimmy Staley.

She is survived by her husband, Robert "Bob" L. Fox Jr.; her daughter, Mikell Fox and son-in-law, Elvis Ninahuanca, both of Bellingham, Wash.; sister, Sandra Keller of Bozeman; brother, Dan Close of Greybull, Wyo.; half-brothers, Jim Close of Hereford, Texas, and Edgar Close of Lubbock, Texas; and various extended family in Oregon, Washington and Texas.

A memorial celebration of Nance's life will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 22, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Helena. A reception will follow in the church's social hall.

Cremation has taken place under the care of Retz Funeral Home.

Memorials may be sent to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604; or to a charity of the donor's choice.
Funeral Home
Retz Funeral Home
315 East Sixth Ave
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 442-1550
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 17, 2010
Funeral Home Details
Helena, MT   (406) 442-1550