On October 7th, 2020, Nancy Lollar Sergel passed away at the age of 92.
Born on July 30th, 1928, in Carbondale, Illinois, to Maxwell and Emilie Lollar, their family moved many times for Maxwell's work as a teacher and then school superintendent. They eventually settled in Hampshire, Illinois. There, Nancy attended Hampshire High School, where she was an exceptional student. She then attended Northwestern University, where she studied theatre. At Northwestern, she met future husband Sherman Sergel. They married and, after living in New Jersey, eventually settled in Evanston. There they raised their three daughters Kassandra "Sandy," Victoria "Tori," and Madelyn. They also enjoyed summers at the family cottage in Michigan. Nancy and Sherman (a play publisher, writer, and adapter) traveled regularly to New York City and London. They also enjoyed collecting art, especially modern mid-century work.
While raising three active daughters, Nancy also worked various part-time and full-time jobs, including at a doctor's office and a nursing school. The family eventually moved to Lake Bluff, where she worked at Lake Forest Library for a number of years.
After Sherman's death, Nancy returned to acting. Starting in community theatre, she built her professional resume show-by-show, all the while working full-time at Lake Forest Library. She eventually became a union member in both actor's unions, Actor's Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA. Her stage work included productions at Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, Next, Apple Tree, Lifeline, Kinetic, Zebra Crossing, Bailiwick, Touchstone, Inn Town Players, and many others. Her on camera work included work in films The Amityville Horror, The Untouchables, and Prancer, television shows Early Edition, Missing Persons, Tough Target, and ER, as well as commercials and industrials. She was an ensemble member in Steppenwolf Theatre's Tony award winning production of The Grapes of Wrath, traveling with the production from Chicago to La Jolla, California, and then London. She also appeared on stage with Julie Harris and Mike Nussbaum in Winter at Victory Gardens.
Nancy led a life full of passions. Aside from theatre, she loved gardening, art, music, reading, politics, and had lovely sense of style including colorful scarves, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and bold hats. She was also a really great mom.
In her final years, she received excellent care and support from the entire staff at Sunrise Living in Gurnee, Illinois. In her residence at Sunrise Living, her walls were covered with art, production posters, and family photos, she enjoyed listening to audiobooks, shunning group activities (she was never a "joiner"), and sitting in the gazebo or gardens, enjoying the flowers and feeding the birds.
Preceded in death by husband Sherman Sergel, and parents Maxwell and Emilie Lollar, Nancy is survived by brother Robert Lollar, daughters Kassandra "Sandy" McPheron (h. John McPheron), Victoria "Tori" Sergel, Madelyn Sergel (h. David Brodsky), grandchildren Tim McPheron, Jason McPheron, Katherine Pinkalla, Lucas Brodsky, Isabel Brodsky, and great-grandchildren Meghan, Keira, Riley, Audrey, Wayne, George, and Henry.
Burial will be private. If you wish to celebrate her life, consider purchasing original art by a local woman artist or making a donation to a theatre company in her professional name "Nancy Lollar." Nancy worked at (or supported) Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, Three Brothers Theatre, and Shattered Globe Theatre
Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 11, 2020.